Cloning Machines

Blake Barnett shadoi at nanovoid.com
Wed Oct 11 12:49:48 MDT 2006


On Oct 11, 2006, at 9:47 AM, Kimball Larsen wrote:

> Ok, so I think this has been asked here before, but I'm too lazy to  
> dig through the archives:
>
> What solutions do you use for cloning a lot of computers at once?   
> Historically, I have used Ghost, G4U, and G4L, all of which have  
> worked well, but recently the hardware configuration to which I'm  
> cloning has changed just enough to kill performance for G4U and G4L  
> (I'm using DDR2 memory, and the kernels included with these 2  
> projects don't like it much.. ) so I'm searching for a Better Way™.
>
> How about some sort of network boot solution that just pops up a  
> menu of which image I'd like to slam on the box?  That would be  
> cool. :)

Altiris Deployment Server does exactly this, it supports Linux in  
addition to Windows, if shelling out some cash is a viable option for  
you.  It's possible to homebrew your own, in the dark ages I used dd/ 
netcat + a bootp enabled DHCP server to achieve similar results.   
These days, I use a PXE enabled DHCP server + KickStart for RedHat,  
and FAI for Debian.  We're in the process of scaling back what we do  
with these scripted installers to the bare minimum and using Puppet 
[1] to automate all the management of our systems.  (It makes me  
giddy to think about it being complete!)

1. http://reductivelabs.com/projects/puppet/

-Blake


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