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Best way to capture/deploy Ubuntu Server Images?

post #1 of 3
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I've got a ubuntu install just the way I want with the exact packages installed and settings I want. Is there any way to deploy this on a more grand scale instead of installing on each new machine and downloading updates, deb packages, ect?

This could be against dissimilar hardware, so using disk imaging software makes it more complicated.

In other words a WDS for ubuntu or something similar biggrin.gif
post #2 of 3
Well, a couple of questions, are the machines on identical/exceptionally similar hardware configurations? If so you can change /etc/fstab to reference /dev/sdX instead of UUID's and then use dd to create a raw image of the disk and use that for all the machines (for the most part, still gotta change hostnames and such)
If not, you can create unattended installation scripts and add them to the install disc and have it set everything up for you.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/UnattendedCD
It sounds to me like the Unattended install option is more likely appropriate, but this is more for multiple manual installations, for mass deployment via network you could make the image bootable via PXE.

Another great option, and actually a project tailored for this specific purpose is Fully Automated Installer (FAI) which is available in the repos. You can find more info here:
http://fai-project.org/
A lot of people seem to agree with FAI as the end-all solution to massive hands-free deployment. Pretty much unlimited scaling etc. Serverfault peeps like it, too.

Personally, my decision would depend on the project at hand, for my Raspberry Pi computing cluster I am using a full image of the primary system, modified for each secondary system in the cluster, and manually editing the hostname etc. If I was installing a pre-determined set of packages on vastly varying hardware at random intervals (i.e. producing Ubuntu based machines build-to-order) I would use an unattended install disc. If I was deploying Ubuntu to a larger cluster of servers or for a datacenter purpose I would use FAI. Especially since you can integrate other admin tools with FAI installs to fully automate creating remotely administrated systems very rapidly.

From the basic sound of it though - you want FAI.
    
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WD-VR 300GBx1, 2xWD 1tb,2x60gb Agility Some crappy combo burner... Arch x64 3xDell U2410f rev A02 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
X-Armor U9BL TT Toughpower 1200w (NTB more efficient) Mountain Mods Pinnacle 24 CYO Roccat Kone (R.I.P. A4Tech x7) 
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