Zero-Touch Deployment for Macs

Revision as of 11:49, 12 August 2021 by Brett Wells (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

What is Zero-Touch?

Zero-Touch deployment is a new method for provisioning College-issued, primary-user Mac computers. This method of deployment replaces the need for an ITS staff member to prepare computers before they are deployed to the client. With Zero-Touch, a computer can be delivered directly to a client without ever needing to be physically handled by ITS.


How does it work?

Apple has a program called Apple School Manager (ASM) which works in conjuction with any number of Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems. Middlebury College uses an application called Jamf Pro for MDM. When computers are enrolled into Apple School Manager, they become assigned to Middlebury College's Jamf Pro server.

When a Mac is powered on for the first time and gets an Internet connection, the first thing it does is establish a connection to Apple servers. Apple then directs the computer to make a connection with Middlebury's Jamf Pro server and then enrolls itself into the Jamf Pro inventory. After enrollment is complete, Jamf begins to push policies, profiles and software, thereby configuring it automatically. Once Zero-Touch completes, a Self Service application will open on the desktop providing the client with many options to install as the user sees fit.


Deployment steps

  • If on campus, please join the "MiddleburyCollege" wireless.
  • If off campus, connect to your home wireless or wired network connection. 


To begin, remove the computer from its packaging. If using a laptop and depending on how long the computer has been sitting, it might be necessary to connect the included charger. On most laptops, opening the lid of the laptop will automatically start the computer. Otherwise press the start button as shown in the picture below. Note that the start button is located on the right side of the touch bar, just above the delete key.

Once the computer is powered on, the Apple Setup Assistant will guide you.  Following are the steps you are likely to see as of July 2021.  Estimated times in parentheses are based on a fast Internet connection by a user familiar with macOS and Middlebury login screens.

Start button.jpg


Setup Assistant: Country or Region

Choose United States, or as appropriate.

Country or Region.jpg


Setup Assistant: Accessibility

Select as needed or click “Not Now” to continue.



Setup Assistant: Select Your Wi-Fi Network

Select “MiddleburyCollege” on campus or a trusted home network.  You may plug into Ethernet instead if you prefer.

Select Wi-Fi.jpg


Setup Assistant: Remote Management (~1 minute)

Click “Continue” or follow the link to learn more about remote management.

Remote management.jpg


Setup Assistant: Single Sign-On

Log into Middlebury’s Microsoft Single Sign-On solution with your Middlebury email address and password, as well as Multi-Factor Authentication (if prompted).

SSO-email address.jpg

SSO-enter password.jpg

Approve sign-in request.jpg


Stay signed on?  It is appropriate to say Yes when signing onto a personal computer or one assigned specifically for your use.

Stay signed in.jpg


Setup Assistant: Remote Management setup (~2 minutes)

This window will provide you with progress of the setup steps.

Remote management again.jpg


Setup Assistant: Create a Computer Account

Note the Full name and Account name are already filled in based on your login, and that the account name is your full email address.  Note that your email address will be required on your next login!  Please enter your Middlebury email password two times here to set it for your macOS account.  (Matching your passwords will provide improved access to services and keep your life simpler.)

Create computer account.jpg


Setup Assistant: Enable Location Services

See “About Location Services” for more information.

Enable location services.jpg


Setup Assistant: Touch ID (~3 minutes)

For devices with a fingerprint scanner, you may set this up as an alternative to entering your password for installations and other administrative tasks, or “Set Up Touch ID Later.”


Post-Setup Assistant

Finally, you will arrive at the desktop. Self Service will automatically open for you on your first login. You may also be prompted to allow notifications for Jamf and Sophos. 








There may be additional notifications as Sophos installs, and the computer will automatically reboot after five minutes.

Reboot message.jpg






Upon your next login, encryption will be enabled to protect your data. 

Enable FV.jpgEnabling FV.jpg

Once back at the desktop, the setup process is complete.

Self Service should open automatically. Self Service can also be found by navigating to Applications/Utilities then double clicking on Self Service. Use the search box in the upper left corner of the Self Service window to search for desired items. Self Service provides installers for software and printers, as well as information on how to get applications outside of Self Service (e.g. MS Office and Adobe applications).

Self Service.jpg


At this point the computer is still loading applications in the background. One such application, Sophos Anti-Virus, will automatically download and install. It is important to note that there will be an automatic restart once Sophos has finished installing.   

If Self Service isn’t already open, open it by navigating to Applications/Utilities then double click on Self Service.

Use the search box in the upper left corner of the Self Service window to search for desired items. Self Service provides installers for software and printers, as well as information on how to get applications outside of Self Service (e. g. MS Office and Adobe applications).    

Powered by MediaWiki