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Old 11-23-2011, 01:22 AM   #1
khatrianand
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need method to image custom Linux distro and distribute to multiple machines


Hi everyone,

I have a special need. Say there are few 100s of employees in a company, and they are currently using Windows (xp,vista,win7).

I want them to start using Linux as well, and later plan to switchover to Linux, and this transition should be as smooth as possible. To do that I want the dual boot option.

With live CD, we can install say Ubuntu on specific partition. The custom live CD distro can be prepared for them using remastersys. But this method has serious limitation of 4GB size.

Can I do something like this:
create standard partitions on available hard drive, swap, / and home.
create .img file on a seperate test machine using dd command. And later overwrite those partitions on individual machines.

But questions are
1. how to add grub menu so that it gives option to boot from Linux and windows.
2. How o user login names be handled? Do I need to add it later?

Thanks

Anand
 
Old 11-23-2011, 09:45 AM   #2
yancek
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You might try using clonezilla which can clone drives including the master boot record or just clone partitions. You should be able to clone from a machine with both operating systems to another test machine to see if it works as you want. Check out the section at the bottom of the page on Clonezialla SE under Which Clonezilla Shall I use:


http://clonezilla.org
 
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:05 AM   #3
jschiwal
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There is a project called FOG that can use PXE to create images on a large number of machines at once.
AFAIK, it is normally used to create images on new machines, or replace the ones on old machines.

For Windows hosts, the image is at the point where the license key needs to be installed.

For 100 users, you probably want to use LDAP or even AD for authentication. You do need to plan out things like authentication, before installing Linux on the hosts. Distro's have several options: Samba, LDAP, AD, NIS.

Google for IBM redbooks on migrating from Windows to linux. Samba 3 by Example has sample configurations for larger networks.
 
Old 11-23-2011, 10:21 AM   #4
khatrianand
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Hi, thanks for reply...

With clonezilla I might be able to clone a specific partition, or multiple linux partitions, or even whole drive but...

My activity is not about just imaging, this is a Linux promotion activity. I want existing users, without affecting their work, data or windows machine, be able to start using Linux using dual boot option.

1. Imaging whole drive is is useful in test labs, where multiple test suits are run on same setup, and there is no need to protect certain partitions.

Here for normal desktop users say some mechanical manufacturing unit, 100 odd users are already using their windows machine. A test drive image can NOT be pushed to their machine, as this will wipe off everything they have !! (each user has his own data/apps on windows partition)

2. If we push only Linux partitions...
* Can image be pushed to different physical location of partitions on different machines? Size will be equal or greater than the test machine partition size.

* And what about the boot option? How do we add the Grub to startup.. so that user be able to boot in operating system he want.


I don't mind doing this manually on each machine. I am ideally looking out for a scenario, as if I am installing from a live CD, which allows me to install on specific location on existing hard drive, along with Windows (make it dual boot). Also the live CD image is a custom image with all the needed applications. And This custom image size can be greater than 4GB. ( I can use remastersys to create a bootable custom live CD but the size of this distro as per iso9660 specs is limited to 4GB max)

Please suggest, what alternative do I have?

Regards,
Anand
 
Old 11-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khatrianand View Post
* Can image be pushed to different physical location of partitions on different machines? Size will be equal or greater than the test machine partition size.
Yes.

Quote:
And what about the boot option? How do we add the Grub to startup.. so that user be able to boot in operating system he want.
You have to do that manually using the Live-CD.

Quote:
Please suggest, what alternative do I have?
For that amount of machines I would set up my own repository-/proxy-server with aptcacher-ng and then use preseeding to generate a custom installation CD (not a Live-CD) with anything automated except the partitioning part of the installation.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 11-23-2011 at 04:57 PM. Reason: fixed typo
 
Old 11-23-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
jefro
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I might be tempted to run an ISCSI or even gpxe to some http/ftp server.

You might need to

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ki...tCompatibility

https://help.ubuntu.com/11.04/instal...c-install.html

Last edited by jefro; 11-23-2011 at 08:21 PM.
 
Old 11-23-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
fingers99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khatrianand View Post

I don't mind doing this manually on each machine. I am ideally looking out for a scenario, as if I am installing from a live CD, which allows me to install on specific location on existing hard drive, along with Windows (make it dual boot). Also the live CD image is a custom image with all the needed applications. And This custom image size can be greater than 4GB. ( I can use remastersys to create a bootable custom live CD but the size of this distro as per iso9660 specs is limited to 4GB max)

Please suggest, what alternative do I have?

Regards,
Anand
I'd suggest you look at a live DVD. And that you look to Knoppix or Kanotix to re-master rather than Ubuntu: they have compression off to a fine art, they're generally less buggy, they have better auto recognition of hardware. Try and talk to Kano on the Kanotix forum -- he'll often be able to find time for a project he finds interesting.

With DVDs, space isn't really an issue -- the live Knoppix DVD is easily the equivalent of my running Debian install (and, if anything, is technically superior so far).
 
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