FOG, what can and can't it do?

  • Hello Forum!

    I’m investigating FOG for use managing a cluster of machines at work.
    After a lot of reading, I decided it’s best to ask some questions directly…

    Q1: Can FOG be scripted?
    I’ve noticed in other threads that FOG lacks APIs and that it doesn’t have a CLI either.
    Is FOG fully GUI based?
    Others have mentioned ‘snapins’ as an answer to this missing feature.
    Is it possible to script FOG actions so I can image a machine on command from a script?

    I’ll just start with that one.

    Thanks for your help,

  • Moderator

    @herb said in FOG, what can and can't it do?:

    Q2: Can Images be deployed that I did not capture?

    The short answer is No. You must capture the image from FOG to deploy it.

    There is no central repository for OS images. You must create your own, based on your own requirements from DVD. In my company’s case we use MDT to build our golden image then capture and deploy with FOG. A hardware agnostic design is surely possible. We have a single image that we deploy to 15 different models in our fleet of computers. The key/trick is to use a FOG post install script to copy the correct drivers to a defined location on the target computer just after deployment, but before the first OS boot. Once the drivers are at the precise location then windows will detect them and load them. Sometimes we find that we need to use dism in the the setupcomplete.cmd to finish injecting the drivers after oobe but before first login. It does take time to setup your environment but once done you can regenerate your golden image at any time with the latest windows updates if you use MDT.

  • Thanks all for the responses.
    I appreciate your help!

    I have now setup a very basic network with 2 hosts and 1 FOG/DHCP server.
    I have successfully registered the 2 hosts and have performed a simple task: fast wipe

    Things can take a long time at work : )

    This has led to my next question!

    Q2: Can Images be deployed that I did not capture?
    This may be a core misunderstanding I have with how FOG and disk cloning works.
    Is it possible to download an image for a new OS from the internet, and deploy to my hosts?
    Is there a repository of ‘golden images’ that I can use?
    It seems from the docs that I have to setup a ‘patient zero’ machine first, to capture its image.
    But since Hardware Agnostic images seem to be possible, an online store of them seems like it could exist.
    This seems roundabout, so I thought I would ask.

    If we find FOG to be just what we need, I hope we can contribute something useful to the project.

  • well fog saves you a lot of time therefore it may saves you from divorcement from your wife ;)

    Is FOG fully GUI based?

    yes it is today all the actions are done via the webif and some basic stuff can be done by the client itself when booting into the pxe menu.

    Others have mentioned ‘snapins’ as an answer to this missing feature.

    Snapins can for example used to deploy software to a client but you can use the snapin for whatever you want, its doing remote actions to the clients.

    Is it possible to script FOG actions so I can image a machine on command from a script?

    Today you will install the fog client to a host, if you then like to image that host you can start this via fogs web interface, then the client will be rebooted to boot from network and for example create an image.

    I’ll just start with that one.

    I would recommend to just install and start usage you will grow with that.

    Thanks for your help

    you are welcome :)

    @Wayne-Workman i am thinking of making some videos of fogs basic actions so newbies always have a quicker look of what fog is intended to do.

    Regards X23

  • Moderator

    I’m working on CLI for fog - I’m using the API as the backend. It’s nowhere near done, probably some several months out.

  • Developer

    @herb As you seem to want to use FOG at your working place, think about contributing some working hours to help improve and develop the API? Good for you and the community! :-)

  • Thanks Tom,

    Totally understand.
    Just excited to see what’s coming.

  • Senior Developer

    @herb There really isn’t a “feature list” or schedule persay.

    This being a 100% free (as in free food) software product, we developers work on FOG on our free time. Because of this, most features requested are added as feasible/suitable. There isn’t a specific list we’re striving to incorporate as FOG thrives from the community input/feedback. The schedule, due to this being 100% free, is kind of as we see things progressing. There may be years that go by without an update, or it might be days depending on needs.

    I know this isn’t an answer most people like to hear, but it’s the truth, and I personally think it’s ultimately better this way. (As long as active development is ongoing.) – (I don’t plan on cutting from the development anytime soon.)

  • Thanks for the link.
    Looks like the API development is still very fresh.

    I’ll read some more.

    Has anyone released a feature list or schedule?
    I’m wondering what things may be available when we’re ready to start using FOG.

  • Developer

    @herb You might wanna check out the forum search as well…

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