Deploy Tailscale with SimpleMDM

SimpleMDM is a common mobile device management (MDM) solution to manage Apple devices within an organization. You can use SimpleMDM to deploy Tailscale in your organization. You can configure a number of system policies, and you can then ask SimpleMDM to deploy these policies across the Apple devices in your organization. Tailscale system policies via SimpleMDM are supported on macOS, iOS and tvOS.

If you need help deploying Tailscale using SimpleMDM, or would like to suggest any feature enhancements, contact our support or sales teams.

Follow the steps in this document to get started. You’ll create a configuration profile containing a system policy that displays the name of your organization in the Tailscale client. You’ll then deploy it to a set of devices already enrolled in SimpleMDM.

Create and upload a Tailscale configuration profile

To get started with Tailscale and SimpleMDM, you’ll first need to determine which system policies you wish to impose on your devices. Once you know which system policies to impose and the value for each, you’ll then need to create an Apple configuration profile (.mobileconfig file) to define them, and upload the profile to the SimpleMDM admin console.

  1. Paste the contents of our configuration profile template, which provides preset values for the ManagedByOrganizationName and IPAddressCopiedAlertSuppressed policies into a new XML file called Tailscale.mobileconfig. This XML file with the .mobileconfig extension will become your configuration profile.
  2. Log in to the SimpleMDM admin console.
  3. In the sidebar, select Profiles under the Configs section.
  4. A list of currently configured profiles will appear. Select the Create Profile button at the top right.
  5. Among the available profile types, choose Custom Configuration Profile.
  6. Assign a name to the profile. This will be displayed to the user in System Settings. For instance, Tailscale Policies.
  7. Leave the For macOS devices, deploy as a device profile instead of a user profile. option selected.
  8. Use the Choose File button to upload the .mobileconfig file previously created.
  9. Save the profile.

Assign the Tailscale profile to a group of devices

SimpleMDM is now ready to deploy your configuration profile to one or more devices in your fleet. To do so, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to the SimpleMDM admin console.
  2. In the sidebar, select Groups under the Devices section.
  3. Select a group of devices to deploy Tailscale to. For instance, the Default group should already exist, and include all devices in your fleet.
  4. Once the group settings appear, go to the Profiles tab.
  5. Click on the Assign Profile button.
  6. Identify the Tailscale profile you just created in the list of profiles, and select Assign.

SimpleMDM will momentarily begin deploying the profile to the devices in the selected group. After rebooting the device, each enrolled client should display the organization name in the Tailscale client menu as set in the sample configuration profile used.