View Full Version : NetBoot Image, set as the default?

Jun 28, 2010, 09:46 AM
Hey, so Iím not really much of a server admin, but at work I have several NetBoot images set up, and I would like to set one as the default. In other words, if I start up a computer with the N key held down, I want it to boot from my one particular image (10.5.6 install disk) instead of another (an Apple diagnostic disk). However, I canít seem to figure out how. I tried checking the ďDefaultĒ checkbox on the 10.5.6 image, and unchecking it from the other, but it still defaults to the wrong image every time I try to boot a Mac over the network. Usually, if I hold Option at startup I can just pick, so itís not often a problem, but today I had a computer that wouldnít recognize the NetBoot images that way, so I had to temporarily disable the diagnostic image just to get the machine to boot. Iíd rather switch it around the other way, as I can tell it to restart to the diagnostic disk if I can get the machine started from the install disk.

Any help would be great!


Jun 28, 2010, 09:51 AM
Have you tried restarting the NetBoot service?

That will often clear up any issues, such as starting to the wrong image.

Jun 28, 2010, 09:57 AM
Hmm, Iíll give that a try.


Jun 28, 2010, 09:58 AM
You may have to reset PRAM on the NetBoot client as well, as it may be holding onto the previous NetBoot set as the startup disk.

Jul 2, 2010, 09:26 AM
From http://www.bombich.com/mactips/netboot.html

When you hold down the "N" key during startup, your machine will boot from the image set that you have identified as the "default" set in Server Admin. When you choose a Network startup disk in the Startup disk preferences pane, the server keeps track of your selection, and you're forever bound to that server and Netboot set until you make another choice. What this means is that if you change the default set at the server, then hold down the N key on startup at that client that had chosen another Netboot set, the client will not boot from your default set, it will always boot from the set that you had previously chosen (even if you have, since then, reset the startup disk to a local disk).

Ü(EFI): Hold down Option+N to boot from the actual default NetBoot image.

While this technically works as designed, it doesn't necessarily work as expected. The Netboot server keeps these choice settings in /var/db/bsdpd_clients. Its safe to delete that file to allow your clients to boot to the default image set again. Also, the following series of commands tend to resolve problems caused by setting a specific network startup disk choice on a client, then deleting that Netboot set.

So either delete /var/db/bsdp_clients, modify /var/db/bsdp_clients so that the machines you want point to that image by default, or do Option+N if they are Intel Macs.

Les Kern
Jul 2, 2010, 06:02 PM
un-click "enable"? Default means just default, and does not stop another from being used. Of course it COULD be the nib file... if not set for the architecture, it won't boot. You'll know soon enough.