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Installing on several computers/making an image

Hi Folks

I'm new here, and not so into the world of linux yet - but i have made some adjustments to the linux system i installed.

Now, I have 20 laptops of the same type, with the same hardware - i want the same configuration on all of them from the laptop i have modified. I'm guessing i need to make an image of the "modified" laptop, but I have no idea on how to do so in linux, and google isn't of much help as I don't really know what to look for.

So I'm hoping you guys can help me with some suggestions or maybe even the perfect solution ;)

Thanks for all your help.



  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    If they are all the same, you could use something like:

    dd if=/dev/sdX of=/name/of/the/image/you/want/to/use

    where sdX is the disk you have the system installed in. Once you have the image, on every latop:

    dd if=/name/of/the/image/you/want/to/use of=/dev/sdX

    You'll have to do this with the hard disk unmounted, for example from a livecd.

  • Thanks Marc

    But i was thinking more like "installing" on the other laptops so they are "born" with all settings, updates and so forth when done installing.

    I can see that some linux iso's are included all updates up to a certain date, I just wanted to add antivirus and user accounts/settings, so that I don't have to create them on every single laptop ;)

    Best Wishes

  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    I can see that some linux iso's are included all updates up to a certain date, I just wanted to add antivirus and user accounts/settings, so that I don't have to create them on every single laptop ;)

    For that I'd create a private repository and add the packages you want there

    For the configs, you could create a package with all the settings you need

  • Hi,

    Thank you for suggesting Clonezilla, I remember Norton Ghost is a perfect solution for this job, and used it extensively around 7-8 years ago. But I am clueless now about any similar open-source alternatives.

    Thank you Nick for raising this question, and thanks to the folks who suggested Clonezilla :)

  • Thanks all of you

    I was looking at clonezilla before asking, just thought there where an easier way, but guess thats the way it is with Linux, can't both be free and easy all the time ;)

    Like installing a antiviral software was not so easy either (when your not used to the "language" of linux systems.

    again thanks and merry christmas everyone.

  • JalockinJalockin Posts: 10
    edited December 2011
    hi again guys

    I've tried CloneZilla now, but the image that clonezilla makes, does not make the USB-stick bootable..... I might not have been good enough in my initial question....

    The image must be bootable, is that possible in CloneZilla ? so that it is installed like a normal OS intallation, I know you guys know what I mean. (english is not my main language so bare with me :) )

    Best Wishes

  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    You are not looking for an image rather than a complete new installer with updated packages?

  • @Marc: I'm looking to do my modified version of the linux to an installer, I've made an Image with clonezilla, and it works sort of..... if the destination drive is slightly smaller than the drive that was used to make the image, the image restore fails.
    The problem with a normal linux installation is that I'll have to create all user accounts, and install antivirus programs and download all packages on every computer - i could do that but thats very time consuming, but this "image quest" have been to ;) but more fun.

    @Masen: Thats exactly what i want to do, but PXE is not really an option as I do not own a server :)

    I work at a school, and the 20 laptop is for the students ~ so they have to be exactly the same, as the one i have configured was hoping to avoid installing and configuring + installing virus software and packages on all 20, but it seems it has to be that way.... as I mention before CloneZilla works fine if the harddrive is exactly same size or larger (tho it is possible to ignore size on harddrives if you are "console safe" which I am not ;) have no really idea on how to use console.

    Any ideas are welcome, as I don't wanna spent christmas installing linux on 20-25 laptops ;)

  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    Build your own package that sets all the configs you need and has as dependency all the packages you want to install. That way just with a simple "yum install mypackage" will give you and updated system.

    You do that with your own repo and it works wonderfully.

  • Hi again guys/gals

    happy new year everyone

    @Marc: how do I do that? as i stated earlier I'm pretty new to the linux world, so it would be lovely if you could help me with basicly a step by step guide ~ if you care to,if you don't have any other plans :)

    Best Wishes

  • marcmarc Posts: 647
    A step a step guide would take quite a while :S

    I'll try to find time in a few days though
  • melodiemelodie Posts: 7
    edited January 2012
    I didn't quite understand if you already chose a Linux distribution and flavor (type of desktop). I use PCLinuxOS, and can fast type in a tty in the root directory "mylivecd my_new_distro.iso" to make a bootable iso image of the running distribution which I want to install elsewhere or publish for use for other people. And many users currently use this feature with options to avoid adding files or directories which must not go into the ISO. The resulting iso not only contains all the changes performed but also contain the necessary tools for hardware detection.

    It is a script derived from this project:

    Then, I heard about udpcast, http://www.udpcast.linux.lu/index.html used together with Parted Magic (but don't know how it works, I didn't have the opportunity to make use of it).

  • thanks for all of your responses.

    I took a bite of poo, and started manually installing and configuring all 24 laptops - wasn't so bad, though i didn't want to look at Ubuntu for a while now ;)


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