[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Configuring 100 identical Debian Laptops

On Tuesday 30 January 2001 05:57, Nathan Bockrath wrote:
> I have this lovely task of configuring a large number of identical laptops,
> and I am hoping that someone knows a way to do the install without running
> through the gazillion dialog boxes on each one. Basically, the only
> difference on each laptop is the IP address and the Hostname, all the other
> configuration info should be the same.   I just do not want to do this
> install one by one...
> Has anybody done this?  If so, please enlighten me...

The problem with network installs is that laptops have slow network 
connections.  If you get a recent model high-end laptop and a new/good 
CardBus Ethernet card then you can get 8MB/s at the cost of most of your CPU 

For that number I suggest using adapters to put the laptop drives in a 
desktop machine.  However I suggest the following proceedure:

Install the first machine with all required software.
# this fills all unused space with zeros - easily compressed
cat /dev/zero > /foo ; rm /foo
Then do gzip -9 < /dev/hdb > file.gz
Then for each hard drive do zcat file.gz > /dev/hdb
Where /dev/hdb is the laptop drive mounted in a desktop.
Gzipping usually helps because most machines have slow IO and fast CPUs.
To make the OS notice the new partitioning do:
echo w | fdisk /dev/hdb
(should work, I haven't tried it - may need to use expect).

Then use sed to change the IP addresses, names, etc.  It should be easy to 
write a script to mount the new file system, run sed on the files, and umount 

Good luck!

http://www.coker.com.au/bonnie++/     Bonnie++ hard drive benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/postal/       Postal SMTP/POP benchmark
http://www.coker.com.au/projects.html Projects I am working on
http://www.coker.com.au/~russell/     My home page

Reply to: