Exploring computing in Indiana classrooms. How can we best use technology dollars to promote achievement?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Imaging programs

Do you need to image disk drives? Some of you may find this helpful. Thanks to Don Vosburg for this information.

Donald Vosburg wrote:
There are a number of imaging options, and I will explain with some pros
and cons:

1. g4l ( - free imaging software that allows you to use a ftp for network storage of the image. Can handle all Linux files systems, flexible in restoration process as well. This is the IDOE-preferred method.

Negative: slow, unicast-only

2. partimage ( - free one-at-a-time partition backup, handles all Linux file systems, fast

Negative: complicated restoration process, limited to same-size partitions

3. clonezilla - ( - free imaging system that is part of server, scripting wrapper around partimage and other processes to create an imaging environment including PXE boot and multicast; very fast, supports all Linux file systems

Negative: Setup requires a Fedora Core server (recommend FC3), setup is a little complicated

4. ghost ( Ghost is a comprehensive imaging environment that supports a wide variety of setups, full-featured, supported

Negative: Costs money, requires version 7.5 and above to support Linux ext3 filesystem, 8.0 or higher for reiserfs (NLD default)

5. Novell Zen Imaging 7
( - Part of Novell Zenworks Linux Management, fast, supports all file systems, PXE boot, multicast, infrastructure for IDOE application management

Negative: Takes time to set up, subscription based


  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger TS said…

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  • At 10:02 PM, Blogger musica said…

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  • At 10:04 PM, Blogger Andrea Peterson said…

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  • At 8:02 AM, Blogger Bill Kreps said…

    Being able to "freeze" a partition has been the best means of protecting a computer running MS Windows. The best solution to protecting a Linux partition would be a product that offers the same type of protection. In the absence of that product then I would prefer the next best thing - a computer that restores it's own image.

    Maybe I'm describing Ghost, but I would like the ability to perform a "Restore on Reboot". This process would pull the image from an archive on a second partition on the computer and re-create the primary partition in its virgin state. This utility would also include a feature that permitted root to update of the archive as changes were made to the partition.

  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Going along with what Bill Kreps said--there may be a solution in our near future. I've had the same concern, but hoping to have a solution soon. I've worked (!!!) to get all my Linux workstations on one subnet. With that in place I can boot using PXE (The network card) instead of a floppy, CDROM, or USB. and deploy the image. PXE so far is great!!!! I'm hoping to get Wake-on-Lan with PXE working so that the PCs can "wake up" in the middle of the night and reimage themselves. I agree Bill! If interested I'll keep you posted.

    Matt Sprout
    Franklin Community School Corp

  • At 6:24 PM, Blogger Richard June said…

    I've found that if you do a few simple (but non-standard) things, you make your life as an admin *MUCH* easier.
    1. make /usr a separate read-only partition
    2. make /tmp, /home, /srv, /var, and any other non-software mountpoints non-executable. this means that nothing can have the executable bit set.
    3. run tripwire on a regular basis.
    4. use the GUI tools to restrict users to their Home directories. KDE supports this, I'm not sure about GNOME.
    5. Remember that this isn't Windows guys. Don't treat it like such.

  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger Alex Inman said…

    As a school, we have the affordable Novell School License Agreement, so we used ZenWorks for Linux. We found we needed to change the default id for disks to device ID in our donor image. We also use a script to remove the networking config files so new files with the correct mac address are created at boot. Those were the buggy parts.

    However, we used some simple bash scripting to have each machine identify itself in our inventory db, name itself, join to the appropriate AD groups and ZLM channels. It saved us days in imaging!


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