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View Full Version : [all variants] Cloning OEM to 20+ machines



eyelessfade
April 26th, 2010, 02:27 PM
We are giving away 20+ machines to 3rd world county and I was asked from the receiving party to install linux on them. What I don't want is to pop a cd into all of them and do the manually install.

I'm thinking of installing one computer the old fashion way and do the OEM-configuration on it afterwards. It would be nice to just clone the hard drives since the computer is identical right down to the hard drive.

Does anyone have any experience with cloning a working install using dd or any other software?

iponeverything
April 26th, 2010, 05:13 PM
clonezilla might be what you are looking for or you can do it the good fashion way:

Setup one machine the way you like it.

Install the second drive into the system.

Partition the second drive to match the first drive.

Then boot from live CD or USB and rsync from the first drive to the second drive. for example see:
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Full_System_Backup_with_rsync

install grub on the second drive, boot and test it.

Grenage
April 26th, 2010, 05:15 PM
dd can do it, but iirc Clonezilla has a network clone function for cloning many disks across the network. It probably uses multicast or the like.

iponeverything
April 26th, 2010, 05:20 PM
The thing I don't like about dd is that it copies everything, blank space and all.. it can be big time sink if you have a lot disks to do.

renkinjutsu
April 26th, 2010, 05:37 PM
The thing I don't like about dd is that it copies everything, blank space and all.. it can be big time sink if you have a lot disks to do.

How else would you clone a drive though? isn't it bad to copy only part of a formatted filesystem?

makingtheswitch
April 26th, 2010, 05:43 PM
Clonezilla, definitely.
Just get the first machine exactly how you want it, use Clonezilla to clone it, then copy that clone to each remaining machine.

iponeverything
April 26th, 2010, 06:29 PM
How else would you clone a drive though? isn't it bad to copy only part of a formatted filesystem?

An exact copy of a physical disk is good for forensics, evidence preservation and little else, imo. And yes, if you dd a image from one size drive to another size drive you might well have some issues.

But there are different types of clones.

- A clone of your data and
- A clone of your disk

rsync'ing one partition to another drive's partition where each drives ends up having the same files with the same md5's, you have created a clone of the data, doing this for entire os disk and you have cloned the os to another drive. And when you rsync you have do it to a formated filesystem, as just data is moving.

eyelessfade
April 26th, 2010, 08:31 PM
Thanks for all your input. I'll look into all the options. The disk is not big (80GB), so even with dd of all the space it wouldn't take much time.