I'm having a lot of trouble finding anything that can help with my specific issue, and it really bugs me because I feel like I cannot be the first person to try and figure this out.

I have one of the new 2016 Touch Bar MacBook Pros that I need to reinstall macOS. Typically whenever I need to reinstall OS X I just use my external SSD with a preinstalled El Capitan and run the DMG after some configuring, but with the latest MBP I've realized that I have to use Sierra since El Capitan is not supported. I only have about 1gb left of free space on my external SSD so I can't just upgrade to Sierra and go from there.

Is it possible to host my Sierra DMG on my local network via something like OS X Server or DeployStudio on my other Mac?

That way I can just hold the Option key down as I boot up and connect to my Wi-Fi network and have it "see" the hosted image like a NetInstall or something similar.

  • 2
    Wow! That’s really over complicating things! Use Internet Recovery instead. Hold cmd+option+r on boot. See this OS X Daily article for more information about Internet Recovery.
    – NoahL
    Jun 28, 2017 at 6:52
  • 1
    @NoahL is 100% correct. For an Apple reference see How to reinstall macOS. You could also refer to my answer here.
    – Monomeeth
    Jun 28, 2017 at 7:06
  • I’ve edited “how can” down to “can”in the title. The how to is far too broad for one question. If you want to pick one setup and list what one step you missed, that would make an excellent follow on question.
    – bmike
    Jun 28, 2017 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


What you propose works just fine on Mac OS Sierra with HFS + filesystems. Both deploy studio and server.app work fine for network installs.

Whether this continues for High Sierra and APFS remains to be seen, but OS at 10.12.5 and lower all include network install functionality in addition to network boot and the setup steps are well documented publicly for both.

The only wrinkle added for 10.12 is the touch bar and EFI component. As long as your Mac can connect to both the NetBoot server and Apple's servers you will be prompted to update the Touch Bar if needed.

If you can’t do that, plain old internet recovery might be better for your situation.

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