Question abou speeding up Fog server.

  • Hi!
    \We have fog server currently installed in our location. We deploy dozens of computers. Mainly we use fog to install Windows on computers. And my question is. … To use network boot we have to change BIOS/ UEFI settings to enable network stack/ IPv4 protocol and after we can actually deploy fog. After entering network-boot we see fog default page, we have to select deploy image, then type password and at the end select desired image. Is there a way to skip these steps? Once we have changed BIOS settings, the rest of the configuration should be automatic with the default image. Is that possible ?

    I would be so thankful for some help or ideas.

  • @george1421

    Thanks for some advise what to look and search for. I will dig into CCTK for sure. I unserstand there are many things to do and there is no time 🙂 Good Luck and Thanks !!!

  • Moderator

    @r-pawlowski For Dell computers…

    There is a utility called CCTK or Dell Command and Configure. We use this on the windows side to make changes to the Dell bios configuration from within windows. We can push out a package with cctk/CaC commands and the bios will be updated.

    There is CCTK (old name for Command and Configure) for linux. Its on my roadmap to look into integrating that within FOS linux so that CCTK commands could be issued during a FOG post install script, or I imagine a post init script too. There is just not enough bandwidth in my schedule to dig into that. But that would be one way to make bios settings during imaging.

  • @george1421 said in Question abou speeding up Fog server.:

    Are we talking bios settings as in enabling pxe booting or changing the uefi boot order? What hardware vendor is in question here?

    About BIOS settings. To my mind there is no way to automate that. We mostly deploy Dell and Minix computers. But on the bright side, half of the job go away becaouse of “hands off deployment menu” 🙂

  • Moderator

    @r-pawlowski said in Question abou speeding up Fog server.:

    GUI there is an option to choose this menu as a default

    Yes you found the next step here. First is to make sure the menu works as needed then to move it into the default position so it always happens.

    I have not use this bit, but I think there is a fog setting to hide the ipxe menu to. I’m not sure of the interaction between hide menu and the default action timeout. The default selection might not work with a hidden menu. If that visible 1 second time out bugs you, you can look to see if hide ipxe menu works as you need it.

    Are we talking bios settings as in enabling pxe booting or changing the uefi boot order? What hardware vendor is in question here?

  • @george1421

    Hi. The solution works great. In a manu appears “Hands off deployment” to which is assigned image :). But you have to still choose by moving arrows and pressing enter. But i have figured out a way to omit that. In the fog GUI there is an option to choose this menu as a default so after deploying image always the chosen one going to be " hand off deployment". And after 3 secunds image is deployed. I can reduce from 3 secunds to 1 secund. 😄 So now is almost “hands free” except BIOS settings. Well I think the initial idea has been completed succesfully 🙂 Thanks

  • @george1421

    Hi George, thanks for help and engagement. I will give it a try in the next week an see if it works. 🙂

  • Moderator

    @r-pawlowski said in Question abou speeding up Fog server.:

    Is that possible ?

    Yes. You can automate it to as soon as it hits the FOG iPXE menu a default image can be deployed hands free. IMO this is a bit dangerous approach, but if you want to do it you can.

    The path to get the answer you need will take a little research on your end.

    historically I’ve done this the hard way. Lets see if we can actually make it a bit more concise.

    If from a web browser you go to this URL you will need to set the username and password values to proper ones for your FOG server


    The FOG server will give you the text behind the iPXE Deploy menu. Look it over a bit. If you can read programs there should be some logic to the scripting language.

    If you go to this URL it will give you the boot code to deploy image #3 (the id is listed in the FOG images menu in the web ui).


    So now if we create a new fog iPXE menu item (FOG Configuration -> iPXE New Menu Entry and fill it out this way.

    Menu Item: fog.zipdeploy
    Description: FOG Hands off Deployment
    chain -ar ${boot-url}/service/ipxe/boot.php?mac0=${net0/mac}&arch=${arch}&username=fog&password=password&qihost=1&imageID=3 ||
    goto MENU
    Menu Show with: All Hosts

    Now before you save the settings make sure:

    1. You have set the username and password values correctly for your fog server deployment
    2. you have enter a proper imageID value. This number can be see in the image definition list.

    Now save your settings.

    PXE boot into FOG iPXE menu. Select this menu item and see if we have it right where it will send the proper image to the computer by just picking the menu item.

    If that works then we can do the next bit.