I sent this letter out to our newsletter list today. Explains a bit what MDS is and why we did it. –tim

Hello.

This is Tim Perfitt from Twocanoes Software. We recently released MDS, formally known as Mac Deploy Stick. We shortened the name to MDS since it has already grown beyond just a USB flash drive “stick”. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you why MDS is special.

In late 2017, Apple began selling Macs that boot up differently from prior Macs. Macs can no longer boot off the network (known as NetBoot), go into Target Disk Mode, or set up using imaging. If you have been setting up Macs using Deploy Studio or NetBoot in macOS Server, then setting up new Macs will be a challenge. This is why we created MDS.

MDS works by making the macOS installer, packages, and scripts available in the recovery partition that makes it easy to select what you want to install. These resources can either be on a USB external volume or on a disk image hosted on a file server or web server. You boot up the Mac in the recovery partition, give a command to start up the workflow selector from the external volume or disk image, and you are ready to completely restore the Mac with macOS and any custom software packages and scripts. You can even use a package to enroll in MDM (Mobile Device Management).

If you use Winclone Pro to deploy Boot Camp, you can use MDS to deploy dual-boot Macs easily. In fact, I think it is the easiest way to deploy dual-boot Macs we have ever seen.

MDS is both free and open source. If you want a supported version, we offer paid support packages so you can get the support you need. If you don’t have the budget or want to do it on your own, you can still use MDS.

There is a lot more to MDS, including an Arduino device to automate keyboard presses, tons of documentation, a Slack channel, and more. You can learn more about it on our MDS page on our website. Visit the page by clicking on the big button below.

I hope you will take a moment to check out MDS. If you have any questions, just respond to this email and I’ll get right back to you. You can also download a fully functional, non-expiring version of MDS from our website by clicking on that big button below.

Thanks and have a great day.

Timothy Perfitt
Twocanoes Software