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Old 06-07-2005, 08:56 AM   #1
kleptophobiac
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Running g4l (or alternative) weekly


I'm volunteering at a place that has public computers. These public computers have their software molested in every way possible. They're Windows boxes, and the apps that they run require administrative priveledge all the time.

Anyway, I'd like to put a small linux distro on each of these machines that boots and automatically wipes the disks with an image on an FTP server. Here are the problems I'll need to overcome:

1) Booting different images in lilo based on time. Is there a more appropriate boot loader? I'd like these machines to restore from images every friday night.

2) Changing the windows SID when it's done. Is there a linux utility that can change a windows SID on an NTFS partition?

3) Handling differently sized drives, again with NTFS.

Any thoughts on these three issues?
 
Old 06-12-2005, 10:33 AM   #2
msetzerii
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Options for g4l

There are a number of options that you can do.
You could use g4l on a single machines, and create images of each machine. If you clear all unused sectors, using compression can make a relatively small image. At my college, I make image of my lab machines that are about 15GB that includes W98, XP, and FC3. Depending on how many machines, you might need a good amount of space.
If you put linux on each machine, you could do an image using dd and comppresion that could backup and restore the image to the partition.

Might want to look and see if using a version of Linux in place of the Windows, depends on what the applications are.
 
Old 06-12-2005, 09:27 PM   #3
kleptophobiac
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It's definitely going to have to be primarily windows... and having a different image for each machine is out of the question. There are about 250 computers in the building, and about 6 different software sets. It doesn't make sense to store 10GB x 250 when 10GB x 6 should be good enough.

Any other thoughts on the primary problems?

Thanks for the input.
 
Old 06-12-2005, 11:13 PM   #4
msetzerii
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Options

Some ideals.
G4L can create a number of images for different machines. In my building, we have 8 labs with difference configurations, so have 8 images. The images in each lab are imaged exactly the same, but that is everything is the same exactly software and everything. In my own lab, I have a program that makes some minor changes to the system based on the MAC address on the next boot up.

The college has a site license of Norton Ghost from before Norton bought the program, and at one point I had the machines automatically start at 6:30am with WOL, and they would automatically ghost the C partition from the hidden D drive, but that was using 98.

You would also run into a problem with time, since imaging over the network eats bandwidth. Doing a single machine in my case takes about 50 minutes with a 15GB image (compressed), and it increases with more machines. Doing 20 at once with a 100Mb connection takes about 6 hours. Using UDPCAST, can let me send a single image to 20 machines in about 55 minutes, but it does full load that network segment, since it uses multicast, but does greatly reduce the time.

I'd probable have to know some more details on the setup, to give a better suggestion.
You could emai me - mikes@kuentos.guam.net

Hope this helps, but it sounds like it will require some real planning to get the best solution.
 
Old 06-14-2005, 04:12 PM   #5
kleptophobiac
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I like the idea of doing mods based on mac afterwards. I'll have a lot of computers doing this at once - about 30 at a time. On the bright side, the server is on gigabit and the clients are on 100 megabit, and it won't matter in the slightest if that segment is completely bogged down.

#2 down, at least using ghostwalk - not linux. My big issue is with handling differently sized NTFS drives and how to get them to do this automatically at certain intervals. I don't know if all the machines do WOL.
 
  


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