Small School - Universal Image for Mac OSX

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Hello everyone. I am the tech liason for a very small rural school in Alaska. We are a mac district and have computers running everything from 10.6.8 to 10.10. We do not have funds for a local server here so all students do not have their own logins; we just have a student and a staff login.

What I would like to do is configure a disk image that sets up security measures that do not allow students to change the desktop (background, files, etc.) and prevents them from installing programs.

Essentially, I want to store these images on a portable hard drive and be able to just deploy my configured copy of OSX on each machine. I have plans in place for staff training to try and prevent students from messing with our technology in the future (the computers are for school use only; not personal use).

Any help is much appreciated. I am fairly tech-saavy but for some reason I cannot figure out a good way to do this.
 

pigoo3

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We are a mac district and have computers running everything from 10.6.8 to 10.10.

If this were possible…I'm guessing you would need a separate setup for each OS version.

- Nick
 
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Yeah. I would sit down with 10.6.8, configure it. Then, 10.7, configure. We have no 10.8. 10.9. configure, 10.10, configure. So....4 images total.
If I was re-imaging the older machines, I would use my 10.6 image on them. Make sense?

Are you saying its not possible?
 

vansmith

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You might also need images for different types of machines if you have them (to be honest, I've never tried an image from one machine on another so this may not be necessary). One thing to look into might be parental controls. As for the wallpaper, there are some suggestions here.
 
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Ah, I forgot to mention...Parental controls tend to be buggy. I took time one evening to go in and turn them on, going through each option carefully, and in the end, the students were barely able to browse the web without being blocked. So, I turned them off.

Thank you for the wallpaper suggestions. I have found a few links describing how to make an image of an entire hard drive here:

Quick Tip: How to Create a Disk Image - Tuts+ Computer Skills Tutorial
and here:
OS X: Creating a software deployment image with a recovery partition - Apple Support

Any thoughts on this? Thinking once I get a machine configured properly, I might try to image the HD using this method.
 

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What I would like to do is configure a disk image that sets up security measures that do not allow students to change the desktop (background, files, etc.) and prevents them from installing programs.

As you probably know…achieving this is a very difficult task…since some kids will always figure out a way around things. But it at least keeps the honest kids honest!:)

- Nick
 
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As you probably know…achieving this is a very difficult task…since some kids will always figure out a way around things. But it at least keeps the honest kids honest!:)

- Nick

Very true....doing my best to fight that! A server would be great because then if I catch something, I know who logged into that machine and what time.

*IF* we could get one, is there an easy way to image all the machines from our server?
 

vansmith

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*IF* we could get one, is there an easy way to image all the machines from our server?
OS X Server, which can now be installed on any Mac, has imaging support (see here). If you've got an extra Mac lying around, you could convert that into an OS X server.
 

chscag

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Actually, a Mac Mini makes for an excellent server. Check on that.
 
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I have played with OS X Server. It actually runs with Yosemite. I loaded it on my Macbook Pro (specs listed on the left) and it ran smoothly.

I run two Windows Servers 2008 at work and OS X is MUCH simpler to run and setup. It does help to understand how to set up a server. I have not added it to the network as I have not had a good excuse to add a mac server into the mix. I just wanted to see the differences between the two OS's. One huge difference is cost - OS X Server is $19.99 and Windows Server editions is big $$$$$.

A mac mini is a great suggestion. It is a cheap and easy way to set up your network and would provide more control of individual machines.

And if you have adequate internet service, add Google Classrooom, which is free, and all students and staff can have all kinds of free software and storage in the cloud.

Lisa
 
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I have played with OS X Server. It actually runs with Yosemite. I loaded it on my Macbook Pro (specs listed on the left) and it ran smoothly.

I run two Windows Servers 2008 at work and OS X is MUCH simpler to run and setup. It does help to understand how to set up a server. I have not added it to the network as I have not had a good excuse to add a mac server into the mix. I just wanted to see the differences between the two OS's. One huge difference is cost - OS X Server is $19.99 and Windows Server editions is big $$$$$.

A mac mini is a great suggestion. It is a cheap and easy way to set up your network and would provide more control of individual machines.

And if you have adequate internet service, add Google Classrooom, which is free, and all students and staff can have all kinds of free software and storage in the cloud.

Lisa

This is a huge help, thank you!

Our village JUST obtained high speed internet access within the last year and a half due to a microwave system that GCI (a local Alaskan company) set up through some grants. Before that, we had satellite...which, as we all know, is not that great.

I will look into OSX Server and see if I can set up some student logins with it.
 

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