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I want to be able to install a base server (CentOS) and configure with some custom apps, then package that into an image file. I'll then use that image file to install duplicate servers. How can I do this?

Post-close edit: It appears that people making assumptions about what I want to do felt this was off-topic. No, I don't need configuration management. This was intended to be used to install a pre-configured system on appliance-like hardware (which changes per install) on many multiple sites (think: Elastix) People might want to make an attempt to answer the question asked instead of assuming something different.

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Ward, Dennis Kaarsemaker, Dave M, cole Nov 11 '13 at 3:49

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3 Answers

Simplest solution:
dd if=/dev/sdX of=./NewCentosServerImage.img bs=1M sdX being the hard drive to get the image off of, then:
dd if=./NewCentosServerImage.img of=/dev/sdX bs=1M sdX being another hard drive to write it to.
In your case it doesn't matter img or iso, so this should work out just fine.

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You don't. At first this seems like a great way of creating identical servers, but you only solve 10% of the problem: the initial install. You will need to keep the servers identical as well, so even if you do this, you still need some kind of configuration management (puppet, chef, cfengine).

So instead of creating an iso, use pxebooting and kickstart to install a minimal OS and configure all your applications with your chosen configuration management system. No hassle with iso's and CD's, just simple consistent servers.

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I don't want to harp - you have received a negative enough reaction - but the process of building a custom is spin is well documented if not particularly easy to do.

Instead if these are servers that you maintain some degree of administrative control you should look at a centralized management (e.g puppet) or scripted / managed install (e.g kickstart).

In most modern environments it just isn't necessary to custom spin a new distro.

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