The prolific Graham Gilbert is working on a new tool: https://github.com/grahamgilbert/imagr
Imagr is an application designed to be run from a NetInstall environment. It is able to restore a disk image and install packages on a target volume.
Though Graham claims it is not intended to be a replacement for DeployStudio, I think in time it could very well be exactly that, at least for many people/organizations.
Some exciting things about Imagr:
- It is open source! DeployStudio is free, but the source is closed. Open source means you can look at the code and see what it is doing. You can fix bugs and perhaps even help add features to the product.
- It’s written in Cocoa-Python, with much of the “interesting” tasks in Python — a language many OS X admins are familiar with.
- And most importantly: it does not require a specialized server: it can work with any plain-old web server. This means that you (potentially) can eliminate the last OS X device in your server room/data center. Almost every service of interest to OS X admins can be run on platforms other than OS X with the huge exception of a DeployStudio server. If Imagr can meet your imaging/machine build needs, you can finally get rid of that poor Mac mini sitting on a shelf in the server room.
Graham has posted detailed instructions on how to build a NetBoot image that contains Imagr. But if you just want to take a look and play with the tool, and you have an existing DeployStudio NBI with Python support included, you can play with Imagr without needing to build a new NBI. More importantly, you can test new versions (or work on the code yourself and test new versions you build) without having to build a new NBI each time.