Apple introduced the ability to erase and cleanly install the Mac operating system in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 using a one-line command called startosinstall. Two years later, they continue to improve on this valuable tool for Mac admins.
During our recent webinar Reinstall a Clean macOS with One Button, I discussed these improvements and offered advice for constructing a workflow for Mac admins to use in their environments. Here, I’ll recap the webinar and attempt to answer questions from our audience.
A brief history
Every Mac OS installer app since OS X El Capitan 10.11 has included the startosinstall command line tool in its app bundle. This tool enabled Mac admins to script installing the Mac OS, allowing them to deploy upgrades to their fleets through management tools like Jamf Pro.
macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 included the new option –eraseinstall to the startosinstall tool, enabling admins to not only update or upgrade existing Macs, but completely erase them and cleanly reinstall the macOS. It was a gamechanger because they could now refresh Macs in the field without needing additional equipment like bootable thumb drives. All management settings, applications, user accounts and user data were erased. Read more
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