Multiple images for one host



  • Hello,

    Is it possible to assign multiple images to 1 host or group ? For instance create several tasks to deploy one or other image on the same host



  • @george1421 I’ll try with the Quick Image first and if it does not work I’ll look with this methode more deeply.

    @Wayne-Workman I keep these solutions in mind if Quick Image is not for me.

    @Tom-Elliott Ok, I will upgrade the server to try this.

    Thank you all for you replies ! :)


  • Moderator

    @Wayne-Workman OR, some carefully crafted php pages to call the mysql stored procedure. These pages would be hosted in just some other apache path than /fog.

    But using quick image in 1.3.0-rc1 would be a consistent solution and not have to build something special. If quick image is not usable in this situation then someone with php skills could create a simple page to call this yet non-existent mysql stored procedure.


  • Moderator

    @robin You could setup DeepFreeze or SmartShield, and just dual-boot whatever OSs you need. That’s another option.

    A cron script could do what you want, easily.


  • Senior Developer

    @george1421 the image selection on quick image is only in trunk/rc fog not 1.2.0.


  • Moderator

    @robin said in Multiple images for one host:

    @george1421 I need to have the people that will teach classes able to launch the deployement task themself, they need to be as much as possible autonomous when then want to do their classes. They are not IT people, so I have to configure everything beforehand. They will be the ones that choose which images they need.
    Then It would be possible but from the database side… Would it be easy to do this ? Then the Cron will do everything depending of variables that will determine which images deploy. Interesting.

    So we are not talking about an hourly change, that is good. If the teachers want to visit each machine, they can always select quick image from the iPXE menu. In quick image it gives the user an option to select whatever image they want to deploy to the target computer. This can be the same image that is defined by default or a different one. Then you can leave the default defined image as what ever you want for your base image. The teachers can go into the console and reset all systems in group X back to their default image.



  • @Tom-Elliott Sorry, I am using FOG 1.2 on a Debian 8

    @ITSolutions That is my problem, I need differents OS / Softwares / Configuration on the same computer but at different times for training purposes, let’s say 1 week students will worked on Windows 7 on a specific software with a clean database. Then next week Windows XP on another software, etc… So when student comes, the teacher will “just” have to launch the deployement task.

    @george1421 I need to have the people that will teach classes able to launch the deployement task themself, they need to be as much as possible autonomous when then want to do their classes. They are not IT people, so I have to configure everything beforehand. They will be the ones that choose which images they need.
    Then It would be possible but from the database side… Would it be easy to do this ? Then the Cron will do everything depending of variables that will determine which images deploy. Interesting.

    @Wayne-Workman The thing is I have NO budget, even for HDD, that’s why I want to switch from Acronis to a free solution. Plus, for each training the computers needs to be clean of every configuration made by students during the previous class (so, re-imaging…)


  • Moderator

    @ITSolutions Just pondering this a bit (using your workflow concept), I think the reimage on schedule could be done on the sql database side since FOG doesn’t support this out of the box.

    based on a cron job a sql stored procedure could be called to find all hosts in group X. Once a know list of devices have been created then we can reassign all host to image A in sql. Then the stored procedure would create a deployment task for each computer in that group. In theory you would have one procedure that takes 1 variable to do image A or B. Cron could be scheduled to run this procedure multiple times per day if needed.


  • Testers

    @Wayne-Workman True, I get that. I am just hopefully clarifying what the OP seems to be asking for. Like I said I can see merits in both ways of doing things.


  • Moderator

    @ITSolutions You could also just use external USB hdds, boot to those. You could run an installation of linux from a 8GB flash drive.


  • Testers

    @Wayne-Workman Yeah, I had classes like that too. But it all depends on what is needed. I can see merits to both ways of doing it. With some of the labs today though I have been seeing the micro desktops, so removable trays may not be an option any longer. Plus you have a higher risk of HDD failure with the removable trays, due tot he moving of them.


  • Moderator

    @ITSolutions I managed a classroom like this in College, we had removable HDD bays. Students got assigned HDDs for the semester, they stayed in the labs with their name on it. Removable bays are quite cheap.


  • Testers

    @george1421 @robin correct me if I am wrong, but I have heard of a similar situation. It was a lab in a school that taught both Linux and Windows based classes. It was a poor man’s deep freeze/avoiding having students go into an OS that isn’t needed.

    Class A needs Windows, so scheduled task at 7 am is image computer with Windows.
    Class B(same lab) needs Linux, so 11am image lab with Linux.

    This results in the lab always ready for the class and has a clean image each time.

    This could be different software packages, versions of Windows, etc. But this is what I think the request as asking for.


  • Moderator

    @robin said in Multiple images for one host:

    Task 1 --> Deploy image 1 to host 1
    Task 2 --> Deploy image 2 to host 1

    If you’re going to image it twice with two different images, why not just do ONE imaging task with image 2? I don’t understand at all.


  • Moderator

    @robin said in Multiple images for one host:

    @george1421
    Task 1 --> Deploy image 1 to host 1
    Task 2 --> Deploy image 2 to host 1

    OK this is a start. My question is how do we know / when to execute task 1 or task 2 or deploy image 1 vs image 2? What determines when a task should be executed. I want to understand the process to see if FOG has the resources to go about doing what you need. Its not clear what you need just yet in my mind.


  • Senior Developer

    @robin What version of are you running?

    See We need basic information as I’m just guessing on the thread.



  • @Tom-Elliott Wait, what is the “Deploy Image” menu item ? Tried to find it on my FOG test server but I found nothing…



  • @george1421
    Task 1 --> Deploy image 1 to host 1
    Task 2 --> Deploy image 2 to host 1

    @Wayne-Workman
    Even if switching images is easy, I’m looking for something that does not need to be modify after everything is setup.

    I want to replace Acronis Snap Deploy so that’s why I’m looking for similar features.
    But I have my answer, it is not possible. I will see if this feature is really necessary then.

    Thanks !


  • Senior Developer

    Hosts should only ever be assigned one image. If you need to change what image, you can do so using the “Deploy Image” menu item (without changing the host’s assigned image) or just update the host and/or group to use the image and create the task.


  • Moderator

    If you had this ability, how would you decide what image to apply to the target computer?


  • Moderator

    You can deploy a group which has members with different images assigned to each, fog can handle that. But for an individual host, you may assign 1 image.

    Keep in mind, it’s very easy to change the assigned image. You can do it with groups, with individual hosts, or select the image you want in the boot options at the computer (in FOG 1.3.0).


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