deploy studio website

DeployStudio 101 – Part 1 – Information and Installation

Hi All.

Over the last little while I’ve noticed a number of questions regarding DeployStudio, varying from uncertainty over the Netboot and Repo locations, right to ‘How do I DeployStudio?’ I’ve also heard a few complaints regarding the documentation for DeployStudio being of date or hard to follow. In an effort to help those Mac admins get a leg up and a bit of a head start on DeployStudio I’ve put together a number of blogs.

Because I’ve set up a fair few whilst on projects and wanted to help give something back to the community, much like how I’ve tried to with my previous Munki blog series.

The current plan is to produce and ‘publish’ a number of posts getting you from a standard Mac Server to a working DeployStudio solution in as straightforward a way as possible. Now this will mean some sacrifices, for example, I’ll be skimming over most of the more advanced features, but hopefully will get you comfortable enough with the basics that you’ll be happy to test out the rest yourself!

This ‘part 1’ blog looks to cover where to find information regarding the DeployStudio solution, where to obtain the installer and what each installer option is for. ‘Part 2’ looks to cover the configuration of the DeployStudio Repository and server. ‘Part 3’ should cover the configuration of the Netboot service and building of the DeployStudio NetBoot set. These should leave you with a fully functioning DeployStudio solution.

Key Details

OS Used:                              OS X Yosemite (10.10.5)

DeployStudio Used:                        1.6.16

I will often be using “DS” as shorthand for “DeployStudio” throughout this series.

I will also be using “Repo” as shorthand for “Repository” throughout this series.


Right, let’s start at the beginning, where can you go to find out information regarding DeployStudio (other than these blogs and our training course!).

Fire up a web-browser and navigate to

deploy studio website

This will show you the front page of the DS website with tabs to the following resources:

  • Downloads
  • Documentation
  • Forums

Information: Documentation

Ah, my favourite word (as it should be). This link allows you to download PDFs of the developer provided documentation and are well worth reading.

Information: Forums

The forums are the best place to go if you feel you may have encountered a bug with DS, and to find out if others have possible workarounds for the issue. You can also submit feature requests here.

deploy studio forums

Information: Downloads

And, as expected, this is where you obtain your installers for DS.

Click on the version you wish to download.


Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the version number again.

known issues

This will then start the download of a disk image file containing the installer.


OK, so now you’ve got your nice shiny and new copy of DS downloaded and the disk image mounted, and you find a number of extra bits and pieces in there. What’s that about?

deploy studio installation

Installation: Quick Install Guide

This is a copy of the Quick Install Guide, found on the main DS website in the Documents section.

Installation: Extras

As you’d imagine, this folder contains all the extra bits and pieces that you may need but not want to run as part of the installation.


These include:

  • “DeployStudioRuntime_v1.6.16.pkg”
    • This will install just the DS Runtime application (the same application that runs whilst a Mac is Netbooted). Handy if you’ve an unusual situation such as using an external imaging OS rather than a NetBoot image.
  • “DeployStudioServer Uninstaller”
    • Does exactly what it says on the tin. An uninstaller package to remove the DS server from an OS.
  • “ExampleTask”
    • This folder contains a number of example files to build your own custom task in DS. Think of it like an SDK for DS.

example task

  • “FreezeHomedirs_v1.6.16.mpkg”
    • This installs a custom scripted solution to restore a users’ home directory to a predefined state at reboot, similarly to the Deep Freeze solution but only for user home directories.
  • “import_compters_template.csv”
    • A template file that would allow you to import a number of computer records into DS ready for use.


Installation: Installer

And now we reach the important one, the DeployStudio Server installer itself. This will install all of the required DS components as well as optionally (enabled by default) the ‘DeployStudio Runtime for PCs” (DS used to support imaging PCs but this appears to be no longer actively developed) and “950.deploystudio.relica.sync” (all of the scripts and items required to build a DS replica server with syncing).

install deploystudio server

Installation: Step-By-Step

Right, so we’ve got that out the way, let’s get on with the guide.

1. On your freshly downloaded and mounted DS installer disk image, double click the “DeployStudioServer_v1.6.16.mpkg” installer file.


2. If you have Apple’s Gatekeeper enabled, you should get a warning that the installer has not been signed.


3. Confirm that you obtained the disk image (and installer) from a legitimate source, then “Ctrl” + Click the installer, and select “Open”.


4. Gatekeeper will give you a second warning. Check you’re happy with this, then click “Open” again.


5. Click continue until you reach the SLA screen. Read and confirm you are ok with these terms, then click “Agree”.


6. Click “Install” and enter the local administrator username and password. Click “Install Software”.

install software

7. The installation is complete.

installation complete

Installation: What did it do?

Well, as you can guess, it would have installed a number of files. The key ones are:

  • “/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio”
  • “/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio Assistant”
  • “/Applications/Utilities/DeployStudio Runtime”
    • These three applications are used to manage the DS server, configure settings and run the workflows.


  • “/Library/PreferencePanes/DeployStudioServer.prefPane”
    • This adds a preference pane to System preferences to allow you to manage the DS Server service and check the replica sync status.


  • “/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.deploystudio.server.plist”
    • This Launch Daemon file configures the DS Server service to auto-start on boot, once enabled.

And that’s pretty much it. Congratulations you have…downloaded and run an installer. Ok, so it’s not a huge amount, but at least its got you setup and ready to, along with the knowledge to find further help if needed.

Next time, we look at configuring your DS Repo to story your DS files, and we setup the DS server itself.


As always, if you have any questions, queries or comments, let us know below and I’ll try to respond to and delve into as many as I can. I’m especially eager to hear any feedback on this new series.

Interested in learning more about DeployStudio? Attend our DeployStudio 101 course in London.

While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. Amsys will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.

3 Replies to "DeployStudio 101 – Part 1 – Information and Installation"


    Hi there,
    I’m new to DS so please excuse my ignorance.
    I updated a mid 2012 macbook pro with El Capitan and wanted to image this to deploy to all laptops using Deploy Studio 1.6.16. I keep getting a recovery file instead and it doesn’t put it in the correct folder on my xserve. What is the problem? Do I need to update to DS 2.0 or go to Yosemite instead on the laptop? Please advise

    • Darren Wallace

      Hi tnatterer,

      I’m afraid it’s been a few years since I’ve captured an image for deployment. The common census is now to (if required) build a clean Base OS using something like AutoDMG followed by scripting and / or packaging any software or changes you need to make. This gives you more flexibility around ‘builds’ and more options in the future where full imaging may longer be an option.

      I would otherwise suggest asking on the DeployStudio Forums or on the #deploystudio channel on the free Mac Admins slack instance.

      Good luck!


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