Cloning Groups of Computers Using the Clonezilla Server

Pages: 8 (1573 words) Published: October 4, 2010
Cloning i-cafe Computers
How to Clone Groups of Computers Using Clonezilla Server
The problem: Purchases or donations of multiple identical computers / laptops require a standardized setup before deploying them on campus. Setiing up and configuring computers for campus use can take several hours for a single computer. Commercial cloning software licensing can be costly. The solution: Set up ONE computer in a standardized configuration and then duplicate it exactly to the other computers using a method known as cloning or disk imaging. Avoid high licensing costs for commercial cloning software by using Clonezilla Server, a free open source software. The method used here is multicast imaging.

This is a preferred method of re-imaging many computers simultaneously. Using multicasting, a roomful of computers will image in the same time as a single computer using other methods. Example using 6 clients and a network switch:

There are 4 main steps to successfully imaging groups of computers. 1. Install and configure an image server.
2. Setup a mini cloning station.
3. Clone the master computer to an image file.
4. Create clones from the master image file.
To do this you will need:
An Ubuntu Linux computer with Clonezilla installed.
A simple 10/100 or 10/100/1000 network switch with 8 ports or more. Ethernet network cables connecting all computers to the switch. A fully configured Windows computer as the "Master" computer. All the computers must be able to boot up from the network card. (PXE booting) One or more computers to be cloned from the master.

Step 1. Install and configure an image server.
* First install Ubuntu Linux Desktop
Download and install the latest Ubuntu Desktop release on a spare computer or laptop. A recent computer with a Pentium 4 processor or better, 512MB ram and 40GB drive or more will suffice. This computer needs internet access to download software during installation. The Ubuntu download is an .iso file that needs to be burned to a CD. You can burn it with Img Burn, a free program. Insert the Ubuntu CD, restart the computer and watch the screen for a message that says "Press any key to boot from CD". Press a key. If you don't see that message, change the boot order to boot from the CD first in BIOS.

Follow the prompts to install Ubuntu. Recent Ubuntu Desktop installations are straightforward. No special configurations are necessary. * Next install Clonezilla Server on the Ubuntu Linux Desktop Clonezilla Server is used to clone many computers simultaneously across a network. This is done using a DRBL server and computer workstations that can boot from a network. 1. Install the key for the Clonezilla repository. Enter the following in the terminal to download the key: To get to the terminal in Ubuntu go to: Applications > Accessories > Terminal

Now type:
2. Add the key:
sudo apt-key add GPG-KEY-DRBL
3. Add the Clonezilla repository to the apt source.list file. Open /etc/apt/source.list in the nano text editor: sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
4. Add the following lines to the bottom of the list. Replace "lucid" with the name of the Ubuntu distribution you are using. I.E. gutsy, feisty, edgy, hardy, lucid..: Find your release name here. deb lucid main restricted universe multiverse deb drbl stable

Save changes and exit the file. ( ctrl + x ) then press Yes at the prompt and Enter to exit the nano editor. 5.Run these two commands to update your list and install drbl: sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install drbl
6. Finally:
sudo /opt/drbl/sbin/drbl4imp
This configures DRBL and CloneZilla with default values.
When the installation is finished, Clonezilla is started and ready to accept clients for cloning. Stop the Clonezilla Server. Type this in the terminal:
sudo /opt/drbl/sbin/dcs clonezilla-stop
References: How to Forge - Cloning...
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