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Old 09-18-2006, 10:52 AM   #1
mstester
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Unattened Installs???


Hi guys!

I've got a problem I'm hoping you maybe able to help with. Over the next two weeks I will be recieving about 20 machines with Windows Server 2003 installed on them, the group I'm doing this for wants me to install Ubuntu on a seperate partition (i.e. to have Server 2003 as a safe OS in case of the worst). Is there away that i can do a automatic/unattened install of Ubuntu from the Safe OS?

I.E.:
My thinking behinde this is:

Create a new partition:
Partition one: For an xml install conf file and for the new OS.
Partition Two: Server 2003 (Safe OS)

So the plan would be run some form of app in Server which would change the active partition to "two", the machine would reboot into two. Then the xml would kick in locating the Ubuntu Image from a server on my network and install it?

Would something like this work? Is there anyway that when (if it did work) partition two boots it would need no human interaction?


Cheers,
Phil
 
Old 09-19-2006, 09:45 AM   #2
mstester
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Unhappy

Should i take it from the lack of response that its not going to work??
 
Old 09-19-2006, 10:53 AM   #3
hob
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You could configure one system exactly how you want it with all the OSes and then clone the whole drive to the others with Ghost or a similar app. To install a second OS from a running Window system as you've described you would need to shrink the partition, inject a disk image into the space and modify the boot loader, which sounds fiddly.

These days I tend to recommend virtualization over dual-boot set-ups though, if possible: Windows can screw up the Linux boot on dual-boot systems, and running a double OS load means having to manage updates for systems that aren't often being booted. Virtual machine files are a lot easier to handle.

Update: You can get VMware Player through Dapper if you enable access to commercial applications (Applications > Add/Remove... > System Tools > VMware Player).

FWIW, I think that Ubuntu's native method of automating installation is "preseeding", but I'm not sure how well this would work with NTFS-formatted drives.

Hope that one of these ideas helps.

Last edited by hob; 09-19-2006 at 11:04 AM.
 
Old 09-27-2006, 05:10 PM   #4
mstester
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hob
To install a second OS from a running Window system as you've described you would need to shrink the partition, inject a disk image into the space and modify the boot loader, which sounds fiddly.

Thanks for the response, my appologies for not writting back I was on holidays! If I wanted to try the above method is there any doc's or articles you could point me to?

Thanks
Phil
 
Old 09-28-2006, 03:29 AM   #5
hob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstester
Thanks for the response, my appologies for not writting back I was on holidays! If I wanted to try the above method is there any doc's or articles you could point me to?

Thanks
Phil
I can't think of any - it would require a combination of tools, and would be better done with disk imaging. Many support teams replace the shipped operating system on systems with a standard build as a matter of policy (using Ghost or something else), and this is likely to be the quickest solution in your case. Is there any particular reason for leaving the vendor-supplied copy of Windows in place?
 
Old 09-29-2006, 08:24 AM   #6
mstester
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Cool, yeah they wanted to role back to the version of Windows which came with the machine in case of "disaster".

I think i will be going with the ghost option! Thanks for your advice mate
 
  


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