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I have a project for a cyber coffee shop; i have 10 pc's that I need to reinitialize at boot (by downloading the image and booting from it).

I'll be using Linux for the image deployment server and think of a 'multicast' capable switch.

What software and hardware you recommend ?

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Ah - EVERY (!) switch is multicast capable. Per definition. – TomTom Nov 10 '10 at 15:19
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Clonezilla will happily do the imaging for you. It has a great server edition that does multicast imaging.

For the switch, I'd recommend the cheapest Gigabit switch.

There's an argument that a cheap switch won't be particularly efficient doing multicast as it will just treat it as broadcast traffic and forward it to all ports on the switch, slowing down the network for other users, but it's not really a big deal for a daily imaging of 10 PCs

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You should really look at FOG (Free Open-Source Ghost). Don't let the low version number scare you.

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Don't forget to make sure the network interfaces of the PCs support PXE Boot.

Test it before buying when possible. I've seen to much hardware that pretended to be able to do this, but only showed the annoying waiting for PXE boot message.

Clonezilla is good at distributing through PXE boot.

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