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I have a bunch of identical PCs that I need to restore to factory default hard disk images as easily as possible. By default, they have network boot enabled, so it seems like the easiest method would be to network boot in such a way that a hard disk image would be written to the hard disk without user intervention.

This seems like a problem that there should be a really simple solution to - maybe something I can install and execute like:

netboot-image-restore my-local-image.img.gz

And then any computer that network-booted would automatically download and write the given image to its hard disk.

Or perhaps there is a simple way to netboot to bash and run a command like:

ssh bar@fooserver -c "cat /home/bar/image.img.gz" | gzip -dc | sudo dd of=/dev/sda bs=64k

But I'm not finding anything - there's Clonezilla and FOG but I can't see an easy way to do what I want... Does anyone know of something?


share|improve this question
Define "Without User Intervention" - because having a machine automatically PXE boot and wipe the hard drive sounds more than a little bit dangerous. – Dan Apr 5 '13 at 11:33
I've done exactly that with FOG. I thought it was pretty easy. What problem are you having? – HopelessN00b Apr 5 '13 at 12:29
I mean: plug computer in, turn it on, have it automatically install OS and then shut down - without need to plug in a keyboard – Gordon Williams Apr 8 '13 at 9:53
Yes - it would be dangerous on a company network - but it's a home network and all my PCs have netboot disabled - except the ones I want to apply the image to, and I would only run the server when needed. HopelessN00b - thanks, I will give FOG a go. I was just expecting to find a simple tool that could be used like above. So I need to install FOG and then create a 'deployment task' through the web interface? – Gordon Williams Apr 8 '13 at 10:04

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