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Re: Switchconf: Orphaning or removing?

Jose Manuel dos Santos Calhariz schrieb:

> 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.

I have no great experience with Windows, but if I remember correctly
someone (Holger Levsen, was it you?) used FAI to install XP as well. He
did not use an image, but a reference maschiene / installation and
copied the full directory structure to the install client.

> This year I made one Debian installation with the software for the
> classes using Linux plus GNOME and KDE. 


> 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.

the time you need for the installation depends a little bit on your
network speed and if the install server is in the same local net, but
mainly on the hardware in the install client. here are some times from
the fai poster on http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/

P4 2,8 GHz, 1GB RAM, IDE, 948MB Software installed => 5 Minutes
Athlon XP 1433 MHz, 896 MB RAM, SCSI, 1GB Software => 6 Minutes
P3 850 MHz, 256 MB RAM, IDE, 820 MB Software => 12 Minutes
P3 850 MHz, 256 MB RAM, IDE, 180 MB Software => 3 Minutes

When performing several installations at the same time the installation
time per machine is nearly the same.

It will take some time to setup FAI for your needs, but I am sure it can
be done.

> So I believe is better to have one reference machine that is copied to
> the 60 computers,

FAI uses a reference installation rather than a reference machiene. This
is best described by

"Plan your installation with FAI, and FAI install your plan"

Obviously you need one machiene to test the installation, but after that
it does not matter how often or when you want to perform the
installation. You can keep an existing fai setup and perfom an identical
installation whenever you want.

> after the first deployment is normal to produce two or more updates.

there is more than one way to do this (in fai). I would recommend to
perform a new installation, because
* it does not take long time
* you can offer your users a fresh and clean system, even if some
students tried to screw it up / installed spyware, or whatever. (I am a
student and I know what we sometimes do ...)

> 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.  

FAI can preserve partitions, so you can install windows once and fai
will not touch it's partition(s).

> May bet is going to use ramind, I use it to update a lab
I don't know this one.

I would really recommend to just try FAI out, take two PCs , download
the fai-iso image from http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/ and
install the first PC with it. This will show you how fast a FAI
installation can be.
Then use that PC as you FAI server, configure it as described in the
manual and install the second PC. If you have any problems doing this,
don't hesitate to contact us!

Have Fun,

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