Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking into a solution for our QA department that allows them to create a set of operating system images and deploy them to multiple machines from a central server without using virtualization.

Does anyone have any recommendations on a solution for this? (paid or otherwise)

share|improve this question
is there a reason you are ruling out virtualization? – Zypher Apr 22 '10 at 11:11
We already have a virtualized environment. We need to test both. – Mark Apr 22 '10 at 11:29
FYI we are planning on using Linux and Windows images – Mark Apr 22 '10 at 13:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Along with the others mentioned there is FOG. A network based solution that uses images stored on a central server and pxe boot for deployment.

share|improve this answer
it's the only one mentioned so far that i know can dump a whole OS image from a server. centrally managed too. – Javier Apr 22 '10 at 15:34
Fog is Perfect. Thank you David. – Mark Apr 28 '10 at 11:39

Windows? WDS - works perfectly. The good thing is that it is not a disc image, it images on the file system level (like a zip file, with all attributes), so the disc size is not important.

"ImageX" is the command you look for to make an image copy from an existing disc.

share|improve this answer

Ghost, Acronis, WDS (formerly RIS), Altiris

share|improve this answer
Except that RIS is now WDS – mfinni Apr 22 '10 at 13:06
@mfinni - I guess you can pick which option I listed that I haven't used in a while :) – MDMarra Apr 22 '10 at 13:26

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.