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I have a netboot setup with DeployStudio that works great in my lab, but doesn't work on our main network. After some digging, I believe it's because our network admins are filtering BSDP (Boot Service Discovery Protocol) on our subnet at the switch level.

Is it possible to hard code which server my clients (early 2007 iMac Core2Duos) should boot from without relying on BSDP?

Perhaps relevant details: I do not have control over switch configs or DHCP settings. Client and server are running 10.6 Snow Leopard. The clients see the netboot server advertising itself in the 'Startup Disk' system preferences pane, but when I go to netboot it just leaves me with a flashing globe.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I know this is a good long while ago since this was asked, but the DeployStudio Assistant can create bootable flash drives or external hard drives that will connect to the server hosting the DeployStudio repository. While that requires plugging things into each host, it is a reliable workaround for NetBoot issues like these.

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Ah, that sounds promising, I'll give it a shot. Especially if I could just create a local hidden partition with this. Thanks! – notpeter Sep 19 '12 at 15:32

BSDP is just a a bunch of DHCP vendor-specific options that need to be set/implemented. Are you sure that DHCP is blocked at the switch level and that this isn't just an IP problem - ie are your client and server subnets routed? If so you would need to adjust to this by using DHCP relaying (additionally) to the NetBoot server.

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Nope, my servers and clients are on the same subnet so (AFAIK) there's no routing involved. – notpeter Aug 11 '11 at 20:04

You can use bless to netboot a Mac to a specific address.

From the always excellent Mike Bombich

sudo bless --netboot --server bsdp://yourServer

This will take the broadcast element out of netbooting and attempt to netboot directly from the given server. Chances are, your network guys aren't filtering BSDP specifically, but are just cutting out "unauthorized" broadcast traffic. This should get around that.

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Sadly, I get the following error: Netboot scheme bdsp not supported on EFI systems – notpeter Aug 11 '11 at 17:51
@notpeter You're typing bdsp you should be typing bsdp. – MDMarra Aug 11 '11 at 17:57
Ooops. Thanks for catching my typo. It still doesn't work though, just a blinking globe on boot. – notpeter Aug 11 '11 at 20:03
@notpeter - Can you mirror the port on the switch and do a wireshark capture? – MDMarra Aug 11 '11 at 20:25

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