[K12OSN] OT, slightly: loading OS remotely, running locally

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Fri May 12 13:05:17 UTC 2006

> So, I was thinking, what if I had a central server that wasn't  
> responsible for *running* all the programs on the local machines,
>  but  did serve the OS to them through PXE and hosted a common 
> filesystem  
> (including /home and /usr). Updates would occur once, students would 
>  be able to access their files from anywhere in the lab, and I could 
>  still boot Windows from the hard drive if I needed to.
> (I've also thought about setting up an image and having it auto- 
> update itself using rsync or something from a central repository as 
> a  way of automating system updates, but that seems slightly dicier.)

It sounds like you want something similar to OSX Netboot but running windows.
 Just for clarification it sounds like you want an ISO image of your "gold"
Windows machine setup sitting on a server and somehow expanded sort of like a
live CD onto your local machines.  This image would in no way touch your local
hard drives, they wouldn't even be needed.  This image would be set to use
SAMBA/LDAP or something similar to authenticate and auto mount their roaming
profiles and home directories on login.  Sound right?

I know you can do everything else, but I don't know how you would boot the ISO
from over a network.  Sounds interesting.  Could a live image be place on a
server and booted with a boot floppy or local script to simply expand a
network share with net use commands or similar and function as if it ran from
a local 
CDROM?  Or would there simply be too much lag with the network involved?  Of
course, has anyone ever seen a Windows live CD :-)

Maybe you just need to look more into better ghosting options.  What do you
use now?

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