[K12OSN] OT: FOG - Free Computer Cloning Solution

Les Mikesell les at futuresource.com
Wed Mar 5 16:46:14 UTC 2008

R. Scott Belford wrote:
>> Are you using a 'clonezilla-live' boot from CD or do you have a DRBL 
>> server set up?   And has anyone compared DRBL's thicker-client boot to 
>> k12ltsp in operation?  (Drbl is the PXE/etherboot server)
> Yes.  It has been several months, but after a kind of disappointing 
> migration to something other than the K12ltsp, primarily due to the 
> flash load, we tested and liked booting a thick client from a DRBL 
> server.  "Tested and liked" is hardly the thorough feedback needed, but 
> the classroom had been through enough of a change already, so my load 
> testing was limited.
> I use it almost daily to boot to a thick client, after imaging its 
> drive, and run gparted to resize the partition.  It boots fast, is 
> easily customizable, easily maintainable, easily tweaked, and could be 
> more to me if I knew more.  With the amazing and recently released 
> clonezilla-live cd getting so much attention, I hope that the DRBL magic 
> continues.

I think someone who understands the PXE/etherboot process better than I 
do could install DRBL on a k12ltsp server, then patch the boot choices 
together so certain machine types (based on mac address ranges) would 
continue to boot as thin clients while others (with more RAM, faster 
CPU, etc.) would boot as diskless 'fat' clients with an NFS-mounted root 
and everything running locally, getting the same home directory either 
way.  (But don't try this on a production server unless you know what 
you are doing...).  It would at least make an interesting comparison for 
where the 'fat' approach is better.

> A *serious* gotcha for me early on was trying to use some Universal Boot 
> Floppies.  That did not work.  I had to use a newer etherboot floppy 
> made from an etherboot image on the DRBL server.  This is documented, 
> but I am generally too smart for documentation until things are broken.

The clonezilla-live CD has a netboot option on its boot menu that should 
work well enough for testing the concept on machines that won't do PXE. 
  It is supposed to be easy to remaster that CD.

    Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

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