Unlike Windows and Linux imaging, for which Symantec provides pre-boot environments (e.g., WinPE, Linux, etc.), the first preparatory step for imaging Apple systems is to create an OS X automation environment. The two components required for Mac automation are an Apple server running OS X and a Netboot image; as stated in KB 44067, a licensed copy of OS X Server is a prerequisite for using Deployment Server to image Apple systems and is necessary to create a NetBoot image, since neither Symantec nor Apple provide this. The attached PowerPoint outlines the procedure for creating a NetBoot automation image for use with Deployment Server.
The following is a brief overview of the procedure provided in the PowerPoint: Install a clean, minimal copy of OS X on a client system. Next, install the Darwin ADLagent (page 21 of the PowerPoint) and, if running any version of OS X between 10.5.4 and 10.5.8, follow KB 45086. Once that’s been done, set the environment variable for the agent. Since we’re configuring this machine to provide us with our automation image, that variable will be set to automation (page 8 of the PowerPoint). From there, the rest of the PowerPoint should be followed for saving the configured image to the OS X Server and setting the Netboot service to use that image.
Once automation is configured, any Mac that network boots will load the automation image containing the Darwin ADLagent which will then check-in with the Deployment Server and appear in the Deployment Console, making it available for jobs to be dropped on the client. There’s no need to create a new computer in the console prior to this step.
By default, Apple systems aren’t set to Netboot. If you are only working with a handful of machines, holding down the ‘N’ key while booting a Mac will cause it to look for available Netboot images. Rather than setting a boot order in a BIOS, Macs have a Startup Disk preference pane in the System Preferences utility in the OS which modifies the computer's EFI settings. Unless a Netboot image has been specified as the default startup disk, the client will attempt to boot from the hard drive first. The ‘N’ key bypasses that setting. Another alternative is to install the Darwin ADLagent on the client, then drag and drop an imaging job on the client when it appears in the console.