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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > What’s the Best Way to Set Up “Identical” Computers?

What’s the Best Way to Set Up “Identical” Computers?
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subego
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Sep 11, 2019, 11:47 PM
 
In other words, I’ve got a computer set up perfectly as a node in a render farm.

I’m going to add an identical computer as another node, and I want the OS set up exactly the same way. Accounts, preferences, etc.

Just cloning the drive from the first node is the obvious idea, but I’m worried about, say, iCloud freaking out about a trick like that. Further, I know I have to change the network name, but are there other things which will collide if I don’t change them?

Instead of that, MacOS Server seems like it still has management tools for this type of thing, but people hate what Apple’s done to it, I’m a little afraid to even try it.

Any thoughts?
     
reader50
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Sep 12, 2019, 12:29 AM
 
The 2nd computer will adjust its own network name when it detects a match already present on the LAN.

You could clone it, then adjust a few things while offline. Or install the OS the regular way, and Migration Assist everything across. Followed by adjusting a few things before putting it online.

Cloning a drive may cost you a Recovery partition on the copied drive. And we still don't have much in the way of 3rd party drive utilities for APFS.

I've used both methods to sync two different installs.
     
subego  (op)
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Sep 12, 2019, 11:01 AM
 
I think Carbon Copy Cloner can create a recovery partition.

I guess the only thing I’m really worried about with a clone is iCloud thinking I’m trying to spoof myself.
     
ghporter
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Sep 12, 2019, 11:57 AM
 
Will any of the cluster machines need iCloud access? If not, turn it off. If so, I think iCloud looks at more than just sign in credentials, so the machine name may help avoid hiccups in the cloud.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Sep 12, 2019, 12:14 PM
 
That’s a very good question!

I guess not... signing-in a new computer is force of habit, really. I guess I could make dubious use of “Find my Mac” if it gets ripped, but that’s about it.

Back to my Mac will require it, but I’m pretty sure I can use Screen Sharing locally without it.
     
subego  (op)
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Sep 13, 2019, 09:50 PM
 
Thanks both for the help!
     
subego  (op)
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Sep 16, 2019, 05:35 PM
 
Well, now I’m worried about some of my After Effects plug-ins, which have network based copy protection. They’re definitely going flip out over a clone.

Unlike iCloud, these I actually do need.

Any thoughts on MacOS Server to at least handle copying system prefs?
     
   
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