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Old 01-05-2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Question How to clone a PC

hi all,

I have to clone the content of one PC (which has linux installed) to another PC (with same content). Since i was working in testing i need to re-image(using CD (or) NFS server) minimum 5 machines per day. Re-imaging will take lot of time.

Cloning (or) re-image has to possible between multiple architecture system. Backup Image has to applicable to all architecture machine (INTEL or AMD.

I have to save some installation time (or) i need to automate OS installation part. previously i was trying with following methods.

1) Using DD command:

Using DD utility i try to take a backup of one machine and i try to apply to another machine. DD utility is working fine for the same machine. In case of another machine cannot able to boot with restored OS (OS not Found).

2) Using Ghost for Linux. Has no help to proceed further.

3) Clonezilla.

Can anyone help in solving the above problem. Hope this description is clear.

Old 01-05-2009, 07:36 AM   #2
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If the machines are not all the same (architecture or hardware for example), cloning with an image (as with dd) won't probably work, unless the system you clone is specifically made to work on different hardware; even then I'm fairly sure you'll end up with a case where the cloned OS won't boot for one reason or another. In your case I'd consider automated installation, which wouldn't ask you any questions (or as little as possible), just do a pre-defined installation once you boot off the installation media. This is certainly possible, and one way to do it is a kickstart file; it's been quite a while since I last worked on those, but at least the older Fedora Cores (and I'm fairly sure many others, but I used FCs) gave you a possibility to create a kickstart file, which basically defined the installation procedure. Then you could burn an installation disc with that customized kickstart file on it, and instead of asking you the regular questions and going trough the regular steps in the setup, the installer got all the needed information from the kickstart file (what to install, where, ...) and thus worked trough the setup on it's own. I used this approach just for the same reason you described: there were a lot of computers that needed to have the same (in my case a custom version of Fedora Core) operating system, they were not all identical and I didn't have time to do the installations the usual way one by one. It was easier to just burn a bunch of those customized discs, put them in and start working on other things..

See if kickstart helped you, or something similar (as I don't know if it's still a "modern" way of doing this). The file was fairly easy to create, and I recall there were/are even some graphical user interface applications for creating such a file..

Now that I thought about it, there was a small problem with that kickstart method too, and it was with partitioning: (hardware) RAID systems seemed to confuse the installer. That was finally solved too, but it did point out that even if 10 systems install fine, 11th might not..

Last edited by b0uncer; 01-05-2009 at 07:40 AM.
Old 01-05-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sathiyadev View Post
Since i was working in testing...
Do you mean that your distribution is debian testing, or do you mean something else?

(kickstart, as suggested above is what I'd be looking at with RH-derived distros, but isn't applicable to others...autoyast for SuSE, and I know there is a way with debian, but I can't currently remember what it is...)
Old 01-05-2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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In addition to kickstart look at FAI



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