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  1. #1

    Do you use image to install new server?

    Hello,

    Do you use image to install/setup new server?

    I have ordered 20 servers, 15 of those have same hardware configration/model #. So I was thinking of installing and setting up one of the machine perfectly and than take a full image of it, and copy that over to remaining machines.

    Does anyone have any specific guide/how-to to execute this whole process for linux machines.

    I have done it a lot on windows machines using norton ghost but not sure how it can be done in linux.

    Do I have to unmount all the mounted directories/partitions before taking the image? and what else?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I believe Ghost will work for Linux as well. At least the version I had did.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago
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    984
    I've only just started using their Windows disk imaging/backup product but you could take a test drive of Acronis's Linux Imaging/Backup solution and see how that works for you.

    I really like their Windows version, but just haven't had a need for their linux yet.

    http://www.acronis.com/

    You can use a boot CD and restore a image from various media or network locations.

  4. #4
    What distro of Linux are you going to be using?

    If memory serves me correct, Red Hat and Fedora have an option where you can set up an "install server" so-to-speak, and then all your other servers install from that one master. It's used for batch installs similar to what you're trying to do. It is also automated, so you don't have to sit there and watch each one.
    Garry Dolley @ ARP Networks | gdolley _at_ arpnetworks . com | #arpnetworks on Freenode | @arpnetworks, @bsdvps
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  5. #5
    Hello Garry,

    I will be installing CentOS + CPanel

    Looking forward to know more from you.

  6. #6
    I cannot remember the name of the boot option, and from looking at RH Enterprise which is what CenOS is based on, I don't know if it still supports it.

    Personally, I would just do it something like this:

    say server1.mydomain.com is the one you already set up to your exact specs.

    boot up your 2nd server w/ CentOS CD in Rescue Mode. then do:

    1. assign an IP to it, so you can connect to server1
    2. use 'fdisk' and configure the partitions the way you want them
    3. mount your partitions, for example, under /mnt/sysimage
    4. execute:

    cd /mnt/sysimage
    ssh [email protected] tar cvpf - / | tar xvpf -

    That should copy every file from server1 onto server2, while preserving everyting (user/group info, timestamps, symlinks, etc...)
    Garry Dolley @ ARP Networks | gdolley _at_ arpnetworks . com | #arpnetworks on Freenode | @arpnetworks, @bsdvps
    State of the art services, strong community and friendly support
    FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux VPS • ARP Metal™ Dedicated Servers • Colocation • IP Transit
    Native IPv6 • VNC Console • Tunnel VNC over SSH • Serial Console over SSH • DNS Manager

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
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    641
    I use kickstart when installing the o/s on machines, and pxelinux. no disks no hassle.
    Kevin

  8. #8
    kickstart is what your looking for gary... W

    Those items you list can be configured in the kickstart configuration file. It's the quickest way to get the most updated image copied w.o having to deal with licensing. You can do partitioning, exclude certain packages, etc.

    If the hardware is identical, its all gravy. I tried asking about this before. Acronis is the only thing I've found that does imaging to CD but that's not cost effective...

    bqinternet... I hope you have a ghost license for every linux box you have. Every ghost image is supposed to have an associated ghost license with it. Otherwise, you might be categorized as a pirate! According to the many software inspectors here.

    Poor mans way is to have RAID 1 pull out 1 hdd then put in the new one and let it rebuild. soft power off and redo it. This way is not recommended, but can work...

  9. Originally posted by ikeo
    ....If the hardware is identical, its all gravy. I tried asking about this before. Acronis is the only thing I've found that does imaging to CD but that's not cost effective...

    bqinternet... I hope you have a ghost license for every linux box you have. Every ghost image is supposed to have an associated ghost license with it. Otherwise, you might be categorized as a pirate! According to the many software inspectors here.

    Poor mans way is to have RAID 1 pull out 1 hdd then put in the new one and let it rebuild. soft power off and redo it. This way is not recommended, but can work...
    please let me know if anyone know any disk image software can write an image of hardware array (RAID-1/5/10/50). either 'true image' or ghost can only write image or disk-to-disk dumping for standalone drives.....

    Ghost disk-to-disk does work to make cloned drives from a 'master' drive, but a few steps are required to make the cloned drive 'bootable' otherwise the cloned drive will stuck trying to boot 'grub' because Ghost can't write the Master Boot Record (MBR) from master drive to cloned drive. of course, you can try sector-to-sector cloning, but it takes forever for modern large-capacity drive, then the point to make quick clones from master drive is lost.

  10. #10
    Sounds like I will be better of burning some 10 copies of CentOS on CDs and installing them simaltanously on my servers since all this ghosting/imaging stuff is too much to search about to find something which works properly, jeeesh this is where i love windows

  11. #11
    why do you love windows? with kickstart you can do 10 or 100 servers

  12. Originally posted by HenryJ
    Sounds like I will be better of burning some 10 copies of CentOS on CDs and installing them simaltanously on my servers since all this ghosting/imaging stuff is too much to search about to find something which works properly, jeeesh this is where i love windows
    if you need to do extensive 'customization' or need to load lots of stuffs beyond standard distribution, Ghost's disk-to-disk is not that bad and rather speedy despite few steps are required and outlined below. I assume Dell servers come with hot-swap HDD which also make it rather easy to do the disk-to-disk cloning.

    after disk is cloned from master disk, do this:
    boot CentOS install CD from the server with newly cloned drive installed
    enter 'linux rescue' at first boot prompt
    choose language/keyboard
    answer 'yes' to mount system partition as '/mnt/sysimage', then it will drop to a shell
    type 'grub' to get a 'grub>' prompt
    type 'root (hd0,0)'
    type 'setup (hd0) which writes the MBR (master boot record) to boot partition
    type 'quit' then reset, and now CentOS shall boot normally from cloned HDD

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    For Cpanel ... I think you have to manually install each ... especialyl with the license
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    The later versions of Ghost address the Linux/Grub issue, at least from what I have read.
    bye

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
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    I'm guessing none of you have heard of 'dd'. If the servers are identical in every way, install your OS on one machine and customize it exactly the way you want it. Then use a linux boot disk (some of you might know this as a "rescue disk") with network support. Mount to some commonly-accessible NFS or SMB share, take an image of your partition scheme with fdisk (read the manpage), dump it to the network share, then take a dumpdisk (read the manpage for 'dd'), and dump that to the network share. You've now taken a bare-metal backup of your system. To image/restore to your remaining machines, do the inverse.

    My recommendations are not a subject for clue, but hopefully with some reading, they'll help you along the way.

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