Troubleshooting the NetBoot Service on Mac OS X Server

Chad Nielsen -

This article applies to Mac OS X Server 10.5+.


The Apple NetBoot service in Mac OS X Server is fairly reliable, but its functionality suffers if the permissions are incorrectly set or if you have a turn-key clone backup in place while hosting the NetBoot images on the boot disk. Permissions and backup applications can can prohibit the use of the diskless feature as well as create unwanted duplicate NetBoot images being hosted which will cause an index number conflict.


Follow these instructions to reset your NetBoot service to 'factory defaults'.


1. Shut-down any machines that are currently NetBooted.
2. Open Server Admin and connect to the server hosting the NetBoot images.
3. Select the NetBoot service and click 'Stop NetBoot'.
4. Select the AFP service and un-share all NetBoot share points.
5. Remove the NetBoot00X folders from /path/to/NetBoot/NetBootClients0.


1. Select the NetBoot service > Settings > General.
2. Uncheck everything and recheck Images and Client Data for the location of the NetBoots. Save.
3. Click on 'Save' and then 'Start NetBoot'.
4. Select the NetBoot service > Settings > Images.
5. Click 'Enable' on the NetBoot images you use, selecting default and diskless where appropriate.


If you maintain a turn-key backup clone of your server, consider hosting the NetBoot images on a separate volume. This will allow you to maintain your current clone without duplicating the NetBoot images leading to a index numbers conflict. | 312 602.5345 x1

Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.