Clonezilla & DRBL
I didn't see any Clonezilla posts so I thought I would throw this out there:
I've been looking for an open source solution that would help me clone lab machines. I came across Clonezilla, which by itself allows you to easily clone either entire disks or individual partitions. It works pretty well, and there is even a Clonezilla Live CD so you don't have to set up a Linux box, install necessary software, etc.
I then found DRBL Live, which combines Clonezilla and DRBL. DRBL allows you to PXE netboot machines in a diskless or thin-client scenario. The DRBL CD is coupled with Clonezilla - thus allowing you to PXE boot clients, upload a master image and the restore that image to the rest of your computers. Here's a brief description of what I did:
Downloaded the DRBL-Live iso and created a bootable cd using Nero.
Found a server with 2 nics (required) and booted it with the CD.
I then had a DRBL server ready to pxe boot any clients set to PXE boot
On the server, I ran Clonezilla in "save partition" mode
PXE booted the computer in my lab that had all my software loaded (my master)
The master client automatically began uploading an image of it's primary partition to the server
I then re-ran clonezilla on the server, this time in "restore partition" mode
I then PXE booted the remaining 19 machines in my lab.
Each machine began downloading the image, overwriting its primary partition
In about 50 minutes they were all cloned
This of course is a simplification of all the steps - there are few parameters here and there that I had to figure out, and I had to enable Multicast on my switch. I also had to isolate the lab from the rest of my network as I was afraid DRBL would restore the image to ANY machine that happened to PXE boot (although the DRBL documentation does say something about only allowing authenticated clients to boot)
Anyway, perhaps there is someone out there that this might help.
(still considered to be in testing stage - no 'stable' release yet)
Re: Clonezilla & DRBL
This sounds very exciting, I shall look into it, I have tried a number of Open Source solutions recently and I can help feeling that pretty soon something terrific will appear and perhaps Clonezilla is it?
best regards Roly
Re: Clonezilla & DRBL
I have been looking for a free alternative to Ghost Corporate Edition, and DRBL/Clonezilla seems to do exactly what I need.
What I don't understand is the 2 NICs requirement.
I have set up PXE boot environments before, using the 3Com boot services and never needed 2 NICs. Same for TFTPD32, it doesn't require 2 NICs.
I must be missing something important here. Would you mind explaining to me why the 2 NICs are required?
Re: Clonezilla & DRBL
The DRBL portion of the Live CD requires 2 nics simply because that is the config that was put to the ISO.
I actually tried the Live CD with just one NIC and got nowhere i.e. PXE boot never happened (I noticed at boot some errors regarding trying to initialize eth1)
However, DRBL by itself does not REQUIRE 2 nics. Apparently it's just easier to config:
(from the drbl docs)
# If you have only one NIC, you may set two IP addresses, i.e. one in eth0 and another alias IP address in eth0:1. eth0 will be used for the DRBL server to connect to the public Internet while eth0:1 will be used for the DRBL environment. Here's how to setup eth0:1 in RedHat-like Linux. NOTE! This alias IP address will cause some problems if you do not provide static IP address to DRBL client via its MAC address. In this example, the DRBL server will lease IP address to any machine connected to eth0 if no MAC address is set in the DHCP service. Hence you'd better not to use alias IP if you do not know exactly what you are doing! Two or more NICs are recommended!#
Again, the Live CD is pre-configured for a server with 2 NICs installed. If you setup a DRBL server from scratch, it would appear that there is no real advantage to having 2 NICs other than it being easier to assign IPs as opposed to aliasing. Remember, DRBL by itself is for booting workstations that are in production, i.e. need dhcp, access to services, etc.
Has anyone found an install that will setup DRBL and Clonezilla other than a live cd on a linux distribution?
you can just install DRBL package from most of the major distribution.
Apt-get install DRBL in Debian
DRBL has been a great great tool in the lab. Through it I was able to reinstall the whole lab (22 PC) in about 40 Minutes.