Grad Student Mac Deployment

The information on this page pertains to obtaining and setting up a Mac for grad use.

The current setup uses Mobile Device Management and Automated Device Enrolment to handle setting up the Mac. Imaging is not used anymore. See MacImaging for more information.


If purchasing a new Mac, it must be purchased from the University Apple Educational Store in order for Automated Device Enrolment to work.

We cannot automatically set up or manage a Mac that has been purchased in person or from a different vendor. Even Macs purchased from Apple's main website will not work.

There is no way to add a Mac to the University's Apple School Manager account if it was purchased in person.

Once a Mac has been purchased, it must be assigned to the Computer Science MDM Server. To do this, contact Devon with the serial number(s) or PO number(s).


Once a Mac has been assigned to the MDM Server, it must be added to the Grad PreStage Enrolment in order for the Mac to act as a Grad Mac.

  1. Log in to the JSS/MDM Server
  2. Navigate to Computers -> Enrolment -> PreStage Enrolments -> CS Grad
  3. Enable editing by clicking the Edit button at the bottom right
  4. Navigate to Scope and use the Filter text area to search for your device
    1. If your device has just been assigned to the MDM Server, it may take a few minutes to appear
  5. Click the checkbox next to your device(s)
  6. Click the Save button at the bottom right

Once a Mac has been assigned to the CS Grad PreStage Enrolment, it may take a few minutes for the changes to apply.


In order to set up a Grad Mac, it must already be assigned to the CS Grad PreStage Enrolment.

Our current Grad Mac setup procedure requires that a Mac is on the campus network. If a Mac is not on the campus network then it won't be able to contact our MDM server or install any packages.

For laptops, a USB-C to Ethernet dongle to VLAN 420 can be used to temporarily set up the Mac. (The Mac doesn't need to be on it's permanent IP address to be set up. It just needs internet access and the ability to contact and

To set up the Grad Mac:

  1. Connect the Mac to the campus network (or VLAN 420)
  2. Power on the Mac
  3. Proceed through the first boot Setup Assistant
  4. When the Remote Management pane is shown (it should say "University of Waterloo" can automatically configure your computer), press Continue
    1. If this setup pane is not shown, verify that the Mac has been added to the MDM Server and that it was added to the CS Grad PreStage Enrolment
    2. If Mac has just been added to the MDM Server or PreStage Enrolment and the Remote Management pane was missing, shut the Mac down by holding down the power button and wait a few minutes before trying again
    3. Once Continue is pressed on this setup pane, the Mac should enrol itself with the mac.cs MDM server and should automatically begin installing packages and running scripts in the background while you finish running through the Setup Assistant
  5. When asked to create a Computer Account, enter the Full Name of the student, their userid for the Account Name and assign them a temporary random password.
    1. Do not use this set to set up the cscf-adm account. The cscf-adm account will automatically be added in the background as part of the CS Grad PreStage Enrolment
  6. Proceed through the Setup Assistant until you reach the user's desktop
  7. The Mac will now automatically begin installing applications and packages in the background. Do not turn off the machine until a message appears on screen saying "All applications installed."
  8. You may need to manually update the OS of the Mac by going to System Preferences -> Software Update
    1. The background task for automatically updating the OS doesn't currently work

Wiping and Redeployment

If the Mac is being redeployed from one Grad to another, you do not have to assign it to the MDM Server or PreStage Enrolment again. You only need to wipe the drive and reinstall a fresh copy of macOS (since all of the scripts and packages.etc are triggered by the Remote Management pane in the first boot Setup Assistant).

If you need to wipe and redeploy a Grad Mac (i.e "Reimage"):

  1. Boot the Mac into macOS Recovery
    1. Note: The startup key combination to start macOS Recovery is different between Intel and Apple Silicon-based Macs
  2. Wipe the hard drive/SSD using Disk Utility
  3. Reinstall macOS using the Reinstall Utility
  4. Once the Mac reboots into the macOS Setup Assistant, shut it down by holding down the power button

The Mac now has a fresh macOS Install and should act like a Grad Mac once the Setup instructions on this page are followed again.

Evergreening or Reassignment

If a Grad Mac should no longer be a Grad Mac (i.e if it is being evergreened or used somewhere else) then the following steps should be taken:

  1. Remove the Mac from the Grad PreStage Enrolment
    1. Follow the same steps from the Assignment instructions on this page except you will want to uncheck the machine instead.

If a Grad Mac is being surplussed or evergreened:

  1. Delete the Mac from the JSS (in order to free up any Jamf Pro license in use by the Mac)
    1. Navigate to Computers -> Inventory -> Search Inventory
    2. Search for your Mac using the serial number
    3. Click on your Mac in the search results
    4. Click Delete at the bottom left, follow any confirmation boxes
  2. If being surplussed, contact Devon and have him un-assign the Mac from our MDM server completely (otherwise the Mac will still contact our MDM Server for management even with the new owner).
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Topic revision: r24 - 2021-07-22 - DevonMerner
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