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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of renting a server in a remote datacentre for a project or two. However, I would like to be able to create a "golden image" Linux installation at my desktop using VirtualBox or VMware, convert the disk image to raw and then image the remote server's hard disk with it.

Is this possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@cones

I've no idea.
tongue.gif
What I do know however, is that imaging a disk from a master image is far more consistent than most other options. I know you can install from ISOs using IPMI, so I'm wondering if imaging can be done as well, even if it's something as basic as using dd.
 

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I do not know server hardware well or how renting at datacenters work. My thought was that is going to take a lot of bandwidth to do and if you are missing any part it could mess the whole process up.

I thought they (some?) let you install the OS, if so I figured running a script "setting it up" to how you want would accomplish this better then imaging from your home PC. Hopefully someone with experience at renting servers will add more. Also posting a question like this in the Linux section may get some people who know the best way to accomplish what you want.
 

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I recently started using a VM on Amazon EC2 to create a tilde club (based on this one, along with some other "enthusiasts"; not sure how popular tilde club creation still is) and since then a few of said clubs have started setting up puppet to make it easier for people to create tilde clubs. That started after I created mine and I don't really know anything about puppet, but this might be what you're looking for.

It sounds like what you want to do is create a VM of a linux server that create an image of that VM and place it on your remote server. The main issue I think would be that you don't necessarily have a way to recover if the OS doesn't come back after you re-write the MBR. I mean I think most VPS system like that have a way to reset it back to default if you had to (through a web UI or whatever) but if you're going in via SSH I don't know how much recovery is going to be possible. Because you would be over-writing the OS partition. Right?

Instead of imaging you might actually be better off "pushing" a set of config files and settings to the remote server maybe tracking changes with Git.

There's a few different ways of doing this which varies from distro to distro. The RHEL derivatives, such as CentOS, have this sort of thing built in and makes it really easy, although I'm blanking on the name of the thing used right now. It's supposed to specifically for tracking changes and which packages are installed for re-creating OS installations.

In other words if your remote OS were Centos 6.x you would create your local VM of CentOS 6.x, set it up exactly the way you want it and end up with a script that performed all the changes on the remote system to make it an exact duplicate. Although I imagine things like the IP configuration would have to change.

Here's information on what Puppet is

And this is an instance of linux configuration via puppet (in the context of a tilde club). Maybe it will have some useful info.

Oh and let me know if you want a shell account on my tilde club (more info is on my OCN thread).
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@subassy

Many thanks for the info.
Quote:
It sounds like what you want to do is create a VM of a linux server that create an image of that VM and place it on your remote server. The main issue I think would be that you don't necessarily have a way to recover if the OS doesn't come back after you re-write the MBR. I mean I think most VPS system like that have a way to reset it back to default if you had to (through a web UI or whatever) but if you're going in via SSH I don't know how much recovery is going to be possible. Because you would be over-writing the OS partition. Right?
Basically yes, but since the target server will be dedicated hardware, I'm interested in using IPMI to reset it if things go awry. It may be easier to go the git & Ansible route and alter the config files instead of remote imaging; I'll probably experiment with the remote imaging anyway, considering the fact that the server in question is dedicated hardware (so it should be possible, if maybe convoluted).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@subassy

Many thanks for the info.
Basically yes, but since the target server will be dedicated hardware, I'm interested in using IPMI to reset it if things go awry. It may be easier to go the git & Ansible route and alter the config files instead of remote imaging; I'll probably experiment with the remote imaging anyway, considering the fact that the server in question is dedicated hardware (so it should be possible, if maybe convoluted).
I was actually about to post and recommend using Ansible for configuration management. Keeping those configs in git would also make things a little easier.

Alternatively, build your local system the way you want it, capture that image and convert it to an ISO. boot from the ISO via IPMI and copy the image down. I've never done this specifically with Linux, but have done this so many times with Windows (using DISM), so I'm sure it's possible with Linux. Still, I'd recommend using Ansible to manage configuration. Personally, I would't recommend Puppet, mainly because it requires installing a local client that talks to a server. You can make a Puppet client talk to itself as a Puppet server, but that seems convoluted, IMO. Honestly, I like Salt more than Puppet, but I also like Ansible if I can use it, since all communication is done via SSH. Super easy.
 
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