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Re: Switchconf: Orphaning or removing?

On Sat, Mar 12, 2005 at 10:34:19PM +0100, Florian Möllers wrote:
> Hi,
> can you just give us (at the fai mailing list) a brief description of
> what you are discussing?!
> Let me guess, and I migth be totally wrong, but you are discussing ways
> to install 60 PCs with Debian and you have 4 different configurations to
> install.

But it have some extra difficulties.  English is not my main language
so is dificult to me to explain the problem well.  

I have 6 labs in the University with about 60 computers, dual
booting Windows XP and linux.  This computers will be used by the
students to do work for the classes and as desktop for general work
and leisure.

Some of the software for Windows is complicated to install.  For
example to setup "Tomcat for Java Web Services" and "Java Web Services
Developer Pack", with other software, I have a manual with 22 pages of
requirements before it can be used in classes.  I tried to setup the
same software in Linux -- as way to promote Linux in a very Windows
centered University -- but my ignorance of JWSDP was too much and I had
to give up.  It's normal after the first deployment and after the
starting the classes to correct problems with the software or install

This computers are installed by imaging a disk from the reference
computer to the 60 computers in the labs, using Symantec Ghost.  To
reduce the effort there only one image of windows and one of linux,
that have to adapt to the different kinds hardware.  If are found
problems with the setup of the software, the reference computer is
updated, and new images are copied to the computers in the labs.

This year I made one Debian installation with the software for the
classes using Linux plus GNOME and KDE.  As the computers are of 4
different kind I have a script that look into the PCI bus during boot
and change XF86Config-4 gpm.conf to suit the hardware and another do a
reverse name of the IP, and set the hostname and the mailname.  It's
during the boot that I use switchconf to change XF86Config-4 and

From the experience I have, it seams to be faster to have a reference
computer with the software already installed, that are after copied
using ghost to the 60 computers in the labs.  Because the only thing
that change with this computers is the VGA Display, the monitor and
the mouse and I have to suport Windows XP on NTFS.

The classes have already started and exist some minor problems and
others not so minor problems with the Debian installation and the
Symantec Ghost is not working well, so this time is needed more manual
work, so every computer have to be booted by hand using a floppy.

If you have a way to read Portuguese you may read the site I made for
the teachers to request software and follow the production of the
installations for the labs.  Altavista maybe a help for you.


Excuse simplistic style of the pages I wanted to be very easy to

As a conclusion:

I don't know how much time it takes installing 10 computers at same
time using FAI or how much work is need  to setup cfengine2.

So I believe is better to have one reference machine that is copied to
the 60 computers, using ghost to install Windows XP and Linux, because
after the first deployment is normal to produce two or more updates.
Possibly I will use other way to update only the Linux, because this
year Windows XP alread finished and I have more work to do on the
Linux part.  May bet is going to use ramind, I use it to update a lab
of 15 iMacs with OS X 10.2 and think it will feat well on Linux too.


FAI is a good way for the students to install Debian on there's personal
computers, already configured for the classes and for the network in
the University?

      Jose Calhariz

	Nao ha nada como o sonho para criar o futuro. Utopia hoje, 
	carne e osso amanha.
		-- Victor Hugo

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