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O/S Deployment Thread, How do you Image Asus EEE machines? in Technical; As title suggests, how would I go about imaging 47 Asus EEE machines with the linux build containing all the ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    How do you Image Asus EEE machines?

    As title suggests, how would I go about imaging 47 Asus EEE machines with the linux build containing all the customisations I've spent the last few days creating?

    I don't really want to do them all individually if I can help it, and would be handy to have the ability to re-image them quickly as and when the kids break them like we do with all our windows machines. I'm relatively new to linux so I've no idea where to start really, would something like ghost work with a linux machine?

    Many Thanks,

    Mike.

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    Jona's Avatar
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    Perhaps the best way would be to use a post install script, so just make a .sh script you can run which applies all the changes?

    Cheers
    Jona

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    If the changes are text files, it is a simple case of copying the files... as suggested, a script could be used for this.

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    I have imaged an eeepc SDcard using dd. It would be possible to image the onboard flash as well, but take care because the bios is stored on one of the partitions on the onboard flash.
    the way I did it was roughly, boot to a USB distribution (or PXE distribution), do
    Code:
     dd if=/dev/sda of=/path/to/imagefile.img
    where sda is the original disk and /path/to/filename is the path to the image file that you are about to create. To restore the image do
    Code:
     dd if=/path/to/imagefile.img of=/dev/sda
    take care that /dev/sda is the disk you want to image

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    markcuk's Avatar
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    could you not use ghost.they do pxe

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Ghost supports Linux.

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    Partimage would also be a good choice:
    http://www.partimage.org/Main_Page

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I've just reached this stage as well having used the suggested post-install script

    I copied all changed files from one machine onto a folder on a USB Stick with the same relative tree structure.

    I then ran this script
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    
    #V2 - 31Mar08 - don't use /mnt/sharename
    
    set -x
    
    sudo cp ./etc/network/if-up.d/mynetstart /etc/network/if-up.d/mynetstart
    
    sudo chmod 777 /etc/network/if-up.d/mynetstart
    
    sudo cp ./home/user/.network-autostart /home/user/.network-autostart
    
    sudo chmod 777 /home/user/.network-autostart
    
    sh /home/user/.network-autostart
    
    sudo cp ./etc/cups/printers.conf /etc/cups/printers.conf
    sudo cp ./etc/cups/classes.conf /etc/cups/classes.conf
    sudo cp ./etc/cups/ppd/OldPrinter.ppd /etc/cups/ppd/OldPrinter.ppd
    
    sudo kwrite /etc/hostname
    which creates a samba sharemount, sets it up to automount when wireless net comes up, updates my printer configuration (don't know if just copying those files would work if I hadn't already added the printer beforehand) and then finally launches kwrite to edit the hostname.

    This has worked flawlessly (once I worked out the problem with <CR> when using notepad for editing!)

    However, I've noticed that ASUS has issued updates for a few things now - so I'd like to setup one machine and then clone it like you.

    I think the cloning "should" be simple" using Linux dd command (with a bit of compression as well) to save to an external USB drive but I need to find a bootable USB OS that works on an eeePC.

    I tried PenDriveLinux but it just hangs halfway through.

    So I think we just need to find one that boots and it could be quite simple!

    Which one did you use Cybernerd?

    regards

    Simon
    Last edited by SimpleSi; 3rd April 2008 at 05:27 PM.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone, lots of things to look at now!

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    Which one did you use Cybernerd?
    Ubuntu on a USB, my trusty trinity rescue disk didn't recognise the internal disk for some reason !

  11. #11

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Do you have a link to how to set it up please?

    regards

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    Do you have a link to how to set it up please?

    regards

    Simon
    I don't recall if this is the guide I used...
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/02...r-linux-users/
    but pendrivelinux has plenty of resources

  13. #13

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I ended up using the Breezy version of Puppy Linux that has been customised for the eeePC.

    I used dd through gzip to make a backup onto another pendrive (Was about 1.5GB in size) but I've not had time/nerve to test it restoring it but its so simple it must work (famous last words eh )

    It took about 45 mins to backup - adjusting compression ratio didn't seem to make much difference.

    regards

    Simon

    PS Now trying to get latest Ubuntu on a pendrive but its hard without an external DVD/CD Drive - I think I'll just have to get one in the holidays and have a play

  14. #14

    maniac's Avatar
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    I settled for using this linux distro in the end http://www.tux.org/pub/people/kent-r...looplinux/rip/ which includes the Partimage utility that let me image the partitions nice and quickly. Got it running from a USB hard drive (eventually) - USB memory stick was just too slow to boot, and I'm in the process of writing a simple script to automate the process, should be really slick when it's done. (anticipating lots of these being broken by kids, so we want a really simple way of restoring them back to normal)

    Also discovered it's only the second partition I need to image to transfer across all my changes (but I expect any linux user could have told me that, but I'm very new to linux!) which is only about 75mb in size, so imaging them takes only minutes each.

    Mike.

    P.S on a side note, anyone know how to disable the console window shortcut in easy mode, as it's only a matter of time until one of the bright ones figures out how to get this up and starts fiddling.
    Last edited by maniac; 3rd April 2008 at 07:25 PM.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Also discovered it's only the second partition I need to image to transfer across all my changes (but I expect any linux user could have told me that, but I'm very new to linux!) which is only about 75mb in size, so imaging them takes only minutes each.
    I imagine that might be due to the UnionFS system employed on the eeePC. (Which is not a standard Linux feature)

    Its eomthing along the lines of most of the OS is on a read-only basis with the differences between what is being used and the original setup being held on a R/W partition (or something like that anyway - its a bit of black magic afaic

    Now your changes at the moment are only 75 MB but if you install stuff like OpenOffice 2.3.1 or greater then all of that gets added to the R/W part of the eeePC - so expect your image sizes to start growing - and I'd still have a full backup in case of total emergency

    regards

    Simon

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