Deploy wim images with fog

  • I have 400 machines, half linux, half windows and fog is a nice tool to deploy all types of system.

    Wim files are easy to create but not easy to deploy without sccm and I don’t have any AD in my network.
    Would it be possible to deploy wim image with fog.

  • Senior Developer

    @eseelke - @george1421 covered many of my initial reactions. With that said, I would be interested in seeing a benchmark of any performance loss (or even gain) of WIM vs FOG’s sector-level clones. As of right now the latest benchmark we’ve seen is that FOG is capable of deploying Windows 10 in about 2 minutes with well configured images, high network bandwidth, and fast hosts/clients.

    I believe that we likely wouldn’t integrate WIM into the 1.X series. We are hoping to make some key architectural changes to FOG with the 2.X series, and as @george1421 mentioned, 1.X is “locked into” partclone, as the entire codebase is built around the assumption of its usage. FOG 2.X would have the potential to support non-partclone formats, as we are hoping to make it more agnostic in terms of what it ties into, so it may be worthwhile to investigate.

  • Moderator

    @eseelke The short answer is, it isn’t going to happen. The WIM files are windows centric. You have to remember that FOG is based on linux, and the engine that writes the image files to disk [i.e. FOS] is linux based. FOG/FOS uses partclone to capture image files, that can be expanded or compress dynamically (to a certain point) based on the size of the target media. I do agree that there would be value in integrating the WIM file format into FOG, but not enough for the developers to spend their time on. FOG has a very fast working solution today.

    But, yes, if you want to tweak the golden image you can’t do it from the captured file like you can with a WIM format. The other thing you have to be aware of is that FOG supports more operating systems than just windows. The wim format is (very) windows focused.

    Well after the above response I did a little google-fu and found there are linux libraries that support reading and writing wim files. ref: Briefly looking at the document it appear it is possible. I guess I’ll leave it up to the developers if they are interested, possibly for FOG-too. As for me my initial reaction still stands.

  • I know this is an old post, but I wanted to clarify one thing. A WIM file is much more powerful than just being an install media. A WIM file basically holds all of the information for the “C” drive. Case in point, the Kace K2000 (an Enterprise deployment appliance) uses WinPE to deploy WIM images to systems. It allows you to inject software and drivers without having to re-capture the entire drive. This allows for a faster deployment and more options.

    I would love to see FOG integrate WIM images for Windows deployment. I would even be willing to donate to a fund to make this happen.

  • @lebrun78
    My fog server is used to boot winpe and then launch setup with unnatended xml file to automatically install windows…
    i think that you can boot winpe environmnent from your fog and then deploy wim image with dism command automatically too.

  • Moderator

    @lebrun78 You post confuses me a bit, typically FOG is uses to deploy copies of complete systems and not just the install “media” for systems. A wim file on its own is not very useful, you need the installer program to do something with the wim file.

    I created two tutorial for doing what I think you want, but I’m not sure.

    1. PXE booting a MDT ISO file (which MDT uses a WInPE environment to deploy a wim image)
    2. PXE booting into the Windows setup program