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coley909 06-10-2013 03:17 PM

ok guys, little background information. I work as a 1 man IT for a public library. Roughly 75 computers most of which are public. I have been given the task to redo every single one of them with new Windows computers.

I would rather go the Linux route, my requests are to have a live CD setup with a custom ISO that included our proxy server settings word processor web browsers and other basic stuff that I can add to my ISO and be burned to many Cd's pop them in and boot to them.

That way it can be locked down from things the public shouldn't be on(conservative library) the public could do what they want and leave. I do not know the best route and version of Linux to achieve this. I am on Slax right now because I had read you can make a custom ISO file with it. I just don't know where to start and what tools I will need to complete this. I am open to other versions of Linux and ideas but my main needs are

custom ISO disc to ease staff with any IT problems. Have an issue new disc done and moving on easy for the staff
custom applications and settings normally not included in live Cd's

really thats about all I need from this disc. That way I can eliminate HD's and keep everything as easy and simple when we upgrade just pop in the disc and your done.

Any help would be appreciated I don't have any kind of assistance here or someone to bounce ideas around with so I am turning to you guys

Thanks, Cole

coley909 06-10-2013 03:31 PM

Not sure why double post nothing showed and now both are here. admins delete this one please!

Habitual 06-10-2013 05:11 PM

IF you were installing a debian-inspired version/distro of Linux, you could use remastersys or clonezilla

coley909 06-10-2013 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Habitual (Post 4969173)
IF you were installing a debian-inspired version/distro of Linux, you could use remastersys or clonezilla

Will that allow what I want to do? With the live disc?

itsgregman 06-10-2013 07:47 PM

Just about all the big distros have that ability, just look at Pclinux, Ubuntu (or any of its derivitives), as most have a progrom preinstalled for just what you want to do, and read the documentation in their forums on creating a remaster. I've never bothered to make one myself but it doesn't look like it would be insurmountable.

jefro 06-10-2013 08:56 PM

I think I'd pxe/gpxe/ipxe boot them to some source or even iscsi or nx.

You'd need to protect where the public doesn't have physical access to.

coley909 06-11-2013 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jefro (Post 4969269)
I think I'd pxe/gpxe/ipxe boot them to some source or even iscsi or nx.

You'd need to protect where the public doesn't have physical access to.

Exactly, I was hoping to have an almost kiosk setup with limited access to everything except internet browsers and word processors.

I've imaged computers with PXE before and a drupl server I believe it was. That was as far into PXE as I got. What do you mean you have them boot to PXE? what will they be doing? Running from there like a dummy terminal or something else?

yancek 06-11-2013 09:23 AM

Quote:

I am on Slax right now because I had read you can make a custom ISO file with it
You can do that with any Linux system. The advantage of Slax is that it is very basic. The last time I tried Slax, it was a little over 200MB and at the site you can install individually other programs you want/need as it is very modular in setup.

Remastersys works well and one of its advantages is that it can be used on most Ubuntu derivatives. I used it on Ubuntu 12.04 and some of its derivatives and it worked fine. The simplest program I have come across to make a bootable/installable iso of a filesystem is with PCLinux and its Mylivecd program. It only works with PCLinux. There is a link below to its site which has several different versions including the mimime version which is only a 549MB download. You could then add/remove programs you don't want and use the mylivecd program to create an iso. It might be a good idea to read up a little on the different options suggested to find what is most appropriate for you.

Clonezilla would also be a good option to install to multiple computers.

coley909 06-11-2013 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yancek (Post 4969569)
You can do that with any Linux system. The advantage of Slax is that it is very basic. The last time I tried Slax, it was a little over 200MB and at the site you can install individually other programs you want/need as it is very modular in setup.

Remastersys works well and one of its advantages is that it can be used on most Ubuntu derivatives. I used it on Ubuntu 12.04 and some of its derivatives and it worked fine. The simplest program I have come across to make a bootable/installable iso of a filesystem is with PCLinux and its Mylivecd program. It only works with PCLinux. There is a link below to its site which has several different versions including the mimime version which is only a 549MB download. You could then add/remove programs you don't want and use the mylivecd program to create an iso. It might be a good idea to read up a little on the different options suggested to find what is most appropriate for you.

Clonezilla would also be a good option to install to multiple computers.

How would I go about creating ISO? Install it on a second hard drive? Or virtual machine or what? I ran slax from a live CD I downloaded and i liked how simple it was to use and easy to move do what I wanted with it.

yancek 06-11-2013 10:17 AM

I meant to post a link to PCLinux which is below:

http://www.pclinuxos.com/?page_id=180

You can install it to a second hard drive or an empty partition on the same hard drive or to a flash drive. If you have a flash that would probably be the easiest. There are numerous tutorials on installing to a flash drive if you google 'install slax to flash/usb'. After installing, you would just modify the install to suit your needs by adding whatever software you want.

You can create an iso with the mkisofs command which you should be able to do from the Slax Live CD. There is a bash script (makeiso.sh) on the Slax CD under /slax/boot which should also work. Sample mkisofs command below which should create an iso named 'slax.iso' from the files in a directory named 'isoimage' which you could create on the Slax LiveCD and mount the installed Slax there:


mkisofs -o slax.iso -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table isoimage

schneidz 06-11-2013 11:03 AM

why do you want to use cd's instead of usb's ?

in fedora there are many live-spins for different purposes. i did one for xbmc but i realized it was easier to use the base lxde install and have a script to yum install xbmc vlc gparted libreoffice-calc libreoffice-writer then i would run:
Code:

dd bs=8192 if=/dev/sdd | bzip2 > xbmc-01.05.2011.iso.bz2 # to create the image
bunzip2 -c ./xbmc-01.05.2011.iso.bz2 | dd bs=8192 of=/dev/sdd # to restore the image

when i was in college i worked at a computer lab that had dual boot fedora/win-xp machines. we would norton ghost image them once a week.

similar: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...12#post4969612

coley909 06-11-2013 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schneidz (Post 4969634)
why do you want to use cd's instead of usb's ?

in fedora there are many live-spins for different purposes. i did one for xbmc but i realized it was easier to use the base lxde install and have a script to yum install xbmc vlc gparted libreoffice-calc libreoffice-writer then i would run:
Code:

dd bs=8192 if=/dev/sdd | bzip2 > xbmc-01.05.2011.iso.bz2 # to create the image
bunzip2 -c ./xbmc-01.05.2011.iso.bz2 | dd bs=8192 of=/dev/sdd # to restore the image

when i was in college i worked at a computer lab that had dual boot fedora/win-xp machines. we would norton ghost image them once a week.

similar: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...12#post4969612


I never considered USB's for some reason. I am open to them, is there any way to prevent theft with them though?

schneidz 06-11-2013 03:03 PM

^ not practically... i re-read your first post... i get it now. you are planning to have the users run from a live-cd (instead of installing onto a harddrive).

this mite be useful:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_t...fedora_desktop

salasi 06-11-2013 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coley909 (Post 4969122)
I would rather go the Linux route...

While I too would rather you go down the Linux route, too, let's just consider a few of the problems.
  • When windows users come across a computer that isn't what they are used to, they tend to consider it as 'wrong' or 'broken'. A typical reaction will be 'why did they put that computer there that no one can use.' However wildly incorrect you consider that reaction, you'll have to get used to fielding that reaction a dozen times a day.
  • You'll also get a lot of 'I can't find Internet Exploder' reactions; you'll know this isn't helpful. You'll also know that you shouldn't want to hit the people who say that, but that might not help. These days, you'll probably be able to cut down the number of these reactions by ensuring that a nice gleaming version of Firefox or Chrome/Chromium is waiting for them, but there will still be some.
  • You will then bet with your colleagues 'You know that guy who just asked two stupid questions that he could have answered by reading those notices in 72 point, I bet he'll be back within seven minutes asking about Word or Excel'
  • At this point you may be thinking 'You are right, I am lucky that I don't live an area in which carrying guns is legal, because I could probably shoot a few, pour encourager les autres, and that wouldn't be all that helpful. Or you could live in area in carrying guns is legal, and the implications of that could be troubling. After all, killing too many of your customers isn't generally considered to be great customer service.
  • After getting past all of that (Hey, all we've got to do is get better customers!) we can get on to the more technical aspects.
  • A Live CD is a tempting approach; beware of it being slower, and that causing the custards to come creeping back with complaints.
  • You will want something like 'kiosk mode'
  • If you can treat these computers as something like an appliance, you could probably build your own custom DVD quite nicely with the Suse Studio (here is some stuff that leads you there)
  • there are still a load of decisions to take; probably the worst/most pressing one of those is 'which GUI'? In general, Windows users are thought to be more likely to adapt to the 'everything is configurable' approach of kde than the 'we know what is best for you' approach of Gnome (and Apple users the opposite). In some ways, something plain-and-simple like XFCE or LXDE might be better still if your hardware dictates something on the lighter side (while you might be able to configure the heavyweights in a gazillion different ways, as you'll probably prevent the punters from storing configurations, spending an hour getting KDE just as you like it won't be all that constructive, because you'll throw it away at the end of the session)
Quote:

Originally Posted by coley909 (Post 4969122)
That way I can eliminate HD's and keep everything as easy and simple when we upgrade just pop in the disc and your done.

So, no swap, then. If you've got enough ram, I can understand this as an approach. But, if you haven't got enough ram, it could be problematic.

You might also want to consider one of the 'thin client' approaches. Using your old computers as sort-of dumb terminals, and a central computer holding configurations has the potential to simplify admin. (The clients get a fresh config at the start of each day, so old configs and pushing out updates becomes simple, and there shouldn't be too much risk of customers storing their own stuff somewhere on the computer.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by coley909 (Post 4969122)
(conservative library)

You need some kind of content filtering. Whether or not the library is particularly conservative, you will need this. People will come in to 'research' bomb making, mass murder and porn. You don't want to see the headlines after this. Even if you are pretty liberal, you don't want to see the headlines after someone who has, eg, researched bomb making puts those 'skills' into practice. You know, maybe the information is clearly 'out there', and maybe even if you didn't help, they would find it some other way, but you are the line of least resistance and they find it using your equipment and you are in the frame, maybe even personally.

Quote:

Originally Posted by coley909 (Post 4969122)
custom ISO disc to ease staff with any IT problems. Have an issue new disc done and moving on easy for the staff
custom applications and settings normally not included in live Cd's

Do you have a minimum list of applications? If the list is essentially common, open source, applications (eg, Libre Office, Firefox, etc) then it will be reasonably easy, if it includes much proprietary stuff, you'll have to think about the apps more carefully (particularly for something like Flash, there might be a security risk with how fast you can get security updates and push them out. Oh, I don't know why I mention Flash. No, no, it is not at all because it is a crock with a history of late and badly-done patches. No, its not that at all.)

coley909 06-11-2013 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schneidz (Post 4969810)
^ not practically... i re-read your first post... i get it now. you are planning to have the users run from a live-cd (instead of installing onto a harddrive).

this mite be useful:
https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_t...fedora_desktop

Yup points me in the right direction on how to do it at least.


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