Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

DeployStudio has the ability to import a csv file that is populated with the MAC address and a few specific settings. This allows you to prepopulate the database with the names that you want each machine to have. If you purchase a lot of machines from Apple then you can get a list of MAC addresses, or, you can use a bar code scanner to scan them as you’re unboxing.

If you have a list of MAC addresses (en0), then you will need to format them in a very specific manner. Here, I have included a sample csv file with the data that goes into each field, which I have nameĀ DSImporter.csv.

Once you paste the data that you’d like into the csv, provide the computer names (these can be pasted or compiled using formulas). Once done, save and then open Deploy Studio Admin. From here, click on Computers and then (as you would with iTunes) click on the plus sign (+) and create a new computer list (this step is optional, but I prefer to always import into computer lists, just in case something goes wrong, especially with my first import). Once you have created the computer list, you should see a screen similar to the following.

Next, click on the Server menu and select Import.

Now browse to your csv file and then click on the Import button. When the import is complete you will see a screen informing you as such. Click on the Done button to complete the process.

You will then see your computers listed in the database and should see the names that you assigned them listed as well. You can now set a workflow item in DeployStudio for Reconfigure system with computers database content (shown below). This will set the name (and any other fields you decided to use) from the spreadsheet that you imported into the computer list.

Once you have your computers in a group, you can also set a default workflow for them for their first time imaging, by clicking on the name of the group and then clicking on the Automation tab at the bottom as you can see below.

Here, you will set the workflow to run and optionally set the computer to not have a default workflow moving forward or just be disabled so users can’t accidentally reimage their computers later.

If you don’t have the MAC addresses for your computers ahead of time, you can use the Hostname option instead.

This will enable you to enter the computer name that you would like to use moving forward into the DeployStudio Runtime at imaging and then have it stored in the DeployStudio database, where it can be used to build future workflows or even be exported and imported into the Open Directory computers.

Overall, the computers and groups in DeployStudio Admin can be used to design more and more complex imaging sequences and to provide much of the scripting logic that a number of organizations need. Beyond that, JAMF, FileWave and a few other solutions offer even more logic and even more features or a little shell scripting can take you a really long way.

August 3rd, 2010

Posted In: Mac OS X, Mass Deployment

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Whether you’re going from Open Directory to Active Directory or from Active Directory to Open Directory, chances are you’ll encounter csvde along the way. Csvde is installed on Windows Server and allows you to interface with Active Directory using csv files. cvsde can import files using the -i switch, followed by the -f switch to indicate the file that you are importing, followed by the path of the file. So if you save a file called toimport.csv to the root of your c drive temporarily you would use the following command to import the objects in the rows of the file:
csvde -i -f c:toimport.csv

Now, what’s that file need. At a minimum the file needs to indicate the objectClass for each user, the users sAMAccountName and the dn. So this file can be used to import a user called johndoe. But how to build a csv file like this from Open Directory? There are a number of ways, but here’s one way I’ve found works pretty well for me. First, let’s use dscl to dump a list of the long and short user names:
dscl /LDAPv3/ -list /Users cn > import.txt

Now from Excel, click on File, Import and then select to import from a Text file, clicking Import. Then, browse to and double-click on your file, which if you used the above command would be called import.txt. Then, when it asks you for the Original data type, choose Fixed width. This will dump two columns. One with the short name, another with the name.

Now, download and open this spreadsheet I made for ya’ll. Paste the shortname column into the sAMAccountName column. Then paste the column with the full name into the D column, where John & Jane Doe are now. Then copy the user (objectClass) entry in column A to the number of rows you actually have (they will all be users) and then copy the CN= in column C to all of the rows you need. Then the , from column E and finally the OU/Search Base information for your Active Directory will need to replace that of mine. So if your Active Directory domain is called (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it in production) and the ou you are going to use is Users then replace this text with OU=Users,DC=contoso,DC=com. Once you have all of the information filled in per row, notice that row G will automatically update. If you look at the formula, I’m just merging the contents of rows C-F. Copy the contents of rows 2 and 3 into the cells for column F until the end of your users.

Now you can take the information from column B and paste it into the toimport.csv and then take the information for row G and paste it into column C of the toimport.csv file (using Paste Special and pasting only the Value, NOT the formula). The objectClass will need to be filled in as user for each user as well (easily enough, this is user). Passwords aren’t to be imported, so using the 3 attributes from toimport.csv along with the command initially referenced earlier in this article give it a shot.

There are a number of other attributes that you will likely want to pull in and maybe augment as well. However, it’s late and I’ll have to talk about those later. In the meantime, do 1-2 users at a time until you feel confident to let csvde rip on all 10,000. I also strongly recommend bringing the initial import into a unique OU so that you can remove them all easily if things go wrong.

August 19th, 2009

Posted In: Mac OS X Server, Windows Server

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