[K12OSN] Cloning drives, no network or compression

Scott S. ssh at tranquility.net
Sun Nov 30 01:56:30 UTC 2008

Thanks all for the replies. I had originally proposed a K12LTSP 
solution, but these machines are physically very spread out. We're 
talking many boxes of cable and there's three stories in the building. 
There's perhaps 100 of them total. I've replaced a few dozen already. I 
agree that bumping up the RAM on this mish-mash of old machines will be 

Their needs are very simple, 256 meg seems to be very adequate. Most of 
them are only running a 5250 emulator to a couple of AS/400s, and an SSH 
session to an IBM AIX server. Some of them will need Firefox to use as a 
mail client. None of these machines will be exposed to the outside. No 
Flash, etc is needed.

I do have a decent machine with removable bays, that's what I have been 
generating the image and doing the dev work on. I had considered yanking 
the drives and sticking them into there for imaging. I normally use this 
machine for forensics and data recovery. There's enough Winderrs 
machines around that go braindead, that the ability to stick their 
drives into this box and suck the data off has proved very useful. That 
machine uses sidux.com for it's base OS.

This is a warehouse environment, and most of the machines are tucked 
into pretty tight cubbyholes and all wires are zip-tied every few 
inches. They are hard to get out, though some of them need it for cleaning.

I have been using a Damn Small Linux boot floppy, with a USB DVD drive 
to re-image them in place. The suggestions about the BIOS in the 
original imaging machine seem like a good thing to check.

My immediate boss is Linux-curious, which is how I got this far with it. 
Above him, they want Winderrs, which is a terrible waste of PC resources 
for the simple needs these machines have. I explained (and demonstrated) 
K12LTSP and was initially suggesting that as a solution. He said to get 
these old ones replaced first, then we might run a few runs of cable to 
try it on a few. Running enough cable to do them all would be a major 

Scott S.

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