Mass Installation

3.5" Adapter

If you have a 2,5" to 3,5" drive adapter you can install one of the laptops, and with a desktop computer clone this harddisk to the disks of the other 99 laptops. You can use the DOS utility GHOST (works pretty with ext2) or with tar if the desktop works in linux. You only need an aditional boot disk for the reinstall of the lilo in each laptop and change the hostname and IP address.


VA SystemImager is software that makes the installation of Linux to masses of similar machines relatively easy. It also makes software distribution, configuration, and operating system updates easy. You can even update from one Linux release version to another! VA SystemImager can also be used for content management on web servers. It is most useful in environments where you have large numbers of identical machines. Some typical environments include: Internet server farms, high performance clusters, computer labs, or corporate desktop environments where all workstations have the same basic hardware configuration.

Debian/GNU Linux

You might want to take a look at FAI - Fully Automatic Installation.


The package ALICE - Automatic LinuxInstallation and Configuration Environment, offers CVS base configuration files and configuration templates.


Replicator is a set of scripts to automate the duplication of a Debian GNU/Linux installation from one computer to another. Replicator makes an effort to take into account differences in hardware (like HD size, video card) and in software configuration (such as partitioning). After the initial configuration, the scripts will create a bootdisk that allows you to completely (re)install a Debian box by booting from the floppy and answering a yes/no question.


Also bpbatch seems to be a good alternative.


Partition Image is a Linux/UNIX uility which saves partitions in the ext2fs (the linux standard), ReiserFS (a new journalized and powerful file system) or FAT16/32 (DOS & Windows file systems) file system format to an image file. The image file can be compressed in the GZIP/BZIP2 formats to save disk space, and splitted into multiple files to be copied on amovibles floppies (ZIP for example), ...