Boot Windows or Linux with FOG?



  • I manage about 20 PCs in a maker space. I would like to be able to boot them to either Windows or Linux from clean images. Can I do that with FOG?


  • Moderator

    @mron said in Boot Windows or Linux with FOG?:

    I’ll set three PCs aside.

    Also be aware you can do your testing with 2 systems (1 fog server, and 1 system to load virtual box on). Then with virtual box you can create as many target systems as needed. Some people develop their golden image in a virtual environment to take advantage of snapshots (moment in time backups) while they perfect their golden image. Its easy to rewind your configuration to a snapshot point then reinstalling from DVD. (for example if you forget to make a modification before you sysprep the image).


  • Moderator

    Sounds fine, you’re in charge of your stuff. We just try to help you do what you want to do as we are able and give our opinions or advice.



  • I think I have enough information now. I’ve decided to go forward. I’ll set three PCs aside. One will be the FOG server, one will be set up to create the gold master for dual boot. The third will be a guinea pig.
    I’ll fool around with this little cluster until I think I understand what’s going on and then set it free.

    How does that sound?


  • Moderator

    @george1421 said in Boot Windows or Linux with FOG?:

    As for licensing, fog doesn’t manage licensing at all.

    FOG does manage licensing - there is the Windows Key plugin that does this. Screenshots are below. Also, keys can be assigned to hosts via groups and not just one by one. However - FOG doesn’t know what kind of keys you use, it doesn’t care. You must be responsible and comply with the terms of your license keys.

    0_1511113101220_windowskey plugin.png

    0_1511113111127_Windows Key Management.png


  • Moderator

    @mron said in Boot Windows or Linux with FOG?:

    I want to clarify your answers.

    1. It would be difficult to create a single image that would allow multiple machines to dual boot.
    2. It would be easier to create separate Linux and Windows images and select one for loading from a server.

    Creating a dual boot system requires skill. Can it be done, yes. Knowing both operating systems will help you achieve your goal. FOG can clone this environment once you have it setup. You have 3 different issues.

    1. creating your golden image that both OS that dual boot.
    2. prepairing your golden image for cloning (i.e. syspreping windows)
    3. capturing and deploying with FOG

    As for licensing, fog doesn’t manage licensing at all. Fog does have the ability to assign windows activation key to systems during imaging by using the FOG client that is installed in the target OS. You have to assign the OS key on a host by host. Any application that support unattended installation can be deployed as a FOG snapin. Either way you must comply with all host licensing rules and track them externally to FOG. License counting is an external process to FOG. Remember FOG is an image cloning tool.



  • Thanks for the timely replies. This seems like a responsive and committed forum. That’s reassuring for a noob.

    I want to clarify your answers.

    1. It would be difficult to create a single image that would allow multiple machines to dual boot.
    2. It would be easier to create separate Linux and Windows images and select one for loading from a server.

    Another question that I need answered is how FOG handles Windows licensing or software licensing in general. Do you need an organization wide license? Does FOG keep track of licenses and provide them to individual machines?


  • Moderator

    @mron said in Boot Windows or Linux with FOG?:

    Is setting up dual boot so far out of the norm that I shouldn’t try it starting with so little experience?

    Just dual boot is pretty trivial. Dual boot being captured and deployed properly with FOG isn’t really supported - it’s never worked right in the past for people and I would not recommend trying it.

    To solve the problem of having Windows or Linux available quickly in your lab of 20 machines though, FOG can probably image those in a half hour if you had a half-decent gig switch to do it on.


  • Moderator

    @mron Not having much experience with either will be a problem for you.

    There was a thread last week where the user was installing Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04 on the same system dual booting with a UEFI bases system. And then imaging with FOG: https://forums.fogproject.org/topic/11054/dual-images-windows-10-and-ubuntu-16-with-uefi

    So it is possible, he even outlines the order he installed the OS’ to create this system.

    Is it possible to create a dual boot system, yes. Can you clone it to more computers, yes. It is complicated to setup, mostly yes. Its getting both Windows and linux to live happily on the same hardware. Once that is done, FOG can duplicate it.



  • Lurking behind most simple “yes’s” is a very complicated “but”. I have never used FOG. I have no experience with windows, a fair bit with Linux. Is setting up dual boot so far out of the norm that I shouldn’t try it starting with so little experience?


  • Senior Developer

    Probably the simplest answer, yes.


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