Is it possible to image a client from USB, without the FOG server?



  • Well, the title kinda states it already. We want to service a remote site with just a few machines. We’d like to use USB for this, is that possibile?



  • @utopia Thanks for your ‘essay’ (reply). I tried the other way around not very long ago (a ConeZilla image to FOG) but that did not work out very well and I ended up restoring the CZ image to a device and capturing in with FOG so I don’t think that FOG and CZ are interoparable yet.

    I will likely use your method to provision our engineer at the location, thank you.



  • I agree with @george1421 about using Clonezilla for this. However, if you have a competent technician on-site at the remote location to perform the imaging tasks, then there is no scripting necessary. This is a good thing because the documentation related to scripting Clonezilla is a bit thin in places. So there can be some trial-and-error guesswork before you get it working the way you want.
    To summarize the overall process without scripting:
    Use Clonezilla to capture the image to be deployed. Depending on your requirements (for example sysprep if it is a Windows image) you may or may not need to deploy the image to a host from FOG first in order to capture the image from that host using Clonezilla. The reason for this (at least the last time I checked - which has been a while) is that while both FOG and Clonezilla use PartClone to capture/deploy images. The requirements for the files within an image are different between the two methods and so the images are not directly inter-operable. If anyone knows whether this has changed and can verify that they are now directly inter-operable, please correct me.
    Also, you can capture a Clonezilla image directly to a USB flash drive. But I almost always use a local hard drive or network file share / NAS instead due to the relatively slow write speed when capturing to a USB flash drive. Once captured, then copy the Clonezilla image folder to flash drive(s). Also, I like to keep the images on a separate flash drive than the one used to boot Clonezilla. But that’s just my preference. Doing so will allow you to remove the boot media before the imaging job completes so you don’t have to wait to get started on another host. You will still need multiple flash drives containing the image, and you will need to use Clonezilla’s “to RAM” option in order to do it that way.
    Lastly, of course, you will need Clonezilla boot media. The Clonezilla web site has various versions available along with recommendations on making the bootable media. Some of the tools I have used are: UNetbootin (to make single boot media), YUMI (to make multi-boot media), or if you have the time to dig in and do it manually go to the Syslinux project site to learn how it actually works.
    So yes, while it is possible to script Clonezilla for automation, depending on your skills and intuition it may be simpler to train someone at the remote site to do it manually. For example, provide step-by-step instructions with screen shots of the various Clonezilla deployment steps.
    I hope this helps.



  • @george1421 Thanks!


  • Moderator

    You will want clonezilla then. USB boot clonezilla and have it copy the image file from the USB stick. It will take a little scripting but can be done.

    http://clonezilla.org/liveusb.php



  • @abos_systemax said in Is it possible to image a client from USB, without the FOG server?:

    No, I meant a device with no access to a FOG server; so it has a local image on the USB from where it ‘fogs’

    Can I ‘just use’ the PartClone command to initiate that?

    oh okay, i can’t answer this, but i don’t think that there is something prepped laying around, as long as you know howto restore with partclone you should fix to manage to restore just an image file with partclone binary.

    Regards X23



  • No, I meant a device with no access to a FOG server; so it has a local image on the USB from where it ‘fogs’

    Can I ‘just use’ the PartClone command to initiate that?



  • Hi,

    @abos_systemax said in Is it possible to image a client from USB, without the FOG server?:

    Well, the title kinda states it already. We want to service a remote site with just a few machines. We’d like to use USB for this, is that possibile?

    you mean devices that only have usb ports and no dedicated network port? If yes you should try usb nic that support network boot, this is maybe bios related regarding to the hw you are using.

    Just imaging via a USB Connection is not possible.

    Regards X23


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