Re: quickly partition disk, copy an image, install grub

From: Matt Price (
Date: 09/21/05

  • Next message: Bill Thompson: "How do you load your Mp3 flash player?"
    Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 20:36:41 -0400

    Hi Ron,

    On 9/20/05, Ron Peterson <> wrote:
    > On Tue, Sep 20, 2005 at 09:20:33AM -0400, Matt Price wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I have to install ubuntu or something similar on about 20 aging
    > > workstations without cd drives. THese are donated boxes with small hard
    > > drives (as small as 2.1 gig, but not all identical) all wiped clean.
    > Have you looked at System Installation Suite?
    > apt-cache search systemimager
    > Basic idea:
    > * Make a golden master
    > * Make an install CD that gets clones minimally booted and networked
    > * Image the machine from the master
    > Takes care of hostname tweaks etc.
    > The instructions provide enought detail to make it look complicated, but
    > when you get down to it, it's really easy.
    > dd is also an option, be careful about bad sectors etc. Also presumes
    > identical disks.
    > Otherwise, do something like:
    > * create master. make note of it's ip/network hostname
    > * boot clone w/ knoppix cd
    > * get shell, and 'sudo -s' to be root
    > * ssh root@master 'sfdisk -d /dev/hda' | sfdisk /dev/hda
    > * maybe do 'fdisk /dev/hda' and a write (type 'w') to make sure you call
    > ioctl so
    > kernel re-reads partition table
    > * mke2fs as req'd
    > * mkswap as req'd
    > * mount /hda/<root partition>
    > * mount /hda/<other partitions>
    > so you end up with something like
    > /mnt/newroot
    > /mnt/newroot/home
    > /mnt/newroot/var
    > etc.
    > Then rsync data over:
    > * rsync -avz --hard-links root@master:/ /mnt/newroot
    > Then edit /mnt/newroot/etc/ files that make specific mention of hostname
    > or ip address as req'd.
    > This is from memory, so I'm sure I skipped or mistyped some crucial step
    > that will drive you mad.
    > Oh, like the mbr...
    > Maybe something like this to copy the boot record:
    > * ssh root@master 'dd if=/dev/hda bs=512k count=1' | dd of=/dev/hda

    THis looks really cool. But at the moment there's no network, no
    imageserver, no nothing -- I'm starting form scratch in the basement of a
    housing project.... So I think I will try this method once I've gotten
    things up and running.

    Does Holyoke have linux clusters for student use? If so I'd be interested to
    hear how the transition has gone...


    > Ron Peterson
    > Network & Systems Manager
    > Mount Holyoke College
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