Thursday, January 20, 2011

CloneZilla on Ubuntu 10.10

Install Ubuntu Base
Install Ubuntu Server AMD64 as a virtual machine in VMware ESXi. Take default options and when get to the software selection screen only choose 'OpenSSH Server'

References following are some of the sites I pulled ideas and info from. None of these sites had all the information I needed in one step by step formula plus I setup in virtual environment with 2 network cards.

Network Configuration
When completed type [sudo ifconfig] and discover IP address. The default of getting IP address from DHCP server is acceptable. Write down MAC address and IP address of eth0. I wanted to assign a specif IP address from my router, so I made the entry there then ran the following commands to renew IP address
  • [sudo dhclient -r]
  • [sudo dhclient]
  • or I could have used [sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
In VMware I had provisioned 2 Ethernet cards. Eth0 is setup to access my main office network using the default setup. Eth1 is setup to manage the DRBL environment as DHCP server. First, I add the following lines to the network setup configuration file.
  • [sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces] then add the following:
    • #eth1 used for DRBL / Clonezilla environment
    • auto eth1
    • iface eth1 inet static
    • address
    • network
    • netmask
    • broadcast
  • ctrl-O to save, ctrl-X to exit
  • [sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart] to restart networking
  • [sudo ifconfig eth1] to verify changes

DHCP Server
Now to setup the DHCP server on eth1
  • [sudo apt-get install dhcp3-server] installs DHCP server
  • [sudo nano /etc/default/dhcp3-server] edits the server config file
  • change interface line to read 'INTERFACES="eth1"'
  • save and exit
Now configure DHCP server to dole out addresses from an address pool for any computer connecting to it.
  • [sudo cp /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf.bak] creates backup of configuration files just in case
  • [sudo nano /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf] opens configuration file for editing
  • uncomment the 'authoritative;' ine
  • add the following lines
  • option subnet-mask;
  • option broadcast-address;
  • option routers;
  • subnet netmask {
  • range;
  • }
  • save and exit
Well, now that I am reading ahead, I find out that Clonezilla automatically installs DHCP server.... oh well.. the above may not have been needed, let's see what happens.

Install DRBL
  • [sudo -i] allows me to stay as super user without retyping sudo each time
  • [nano /etc/apt/sources.list] edit the sources to add the clonezilla repository to it via addition of the following two lines to the file
  • # needed for clonezilla
  • deb drbl stable
  • then save (ctrl-o) and exit (ctrl-x)
  • [wget] downloads the GPG key for the clonezilla source
  • [apt-key add GPG-KEY-DRBL] adds the key
  • [apt-get update] updates the available packages list
  • [apt-get install drbl] installs DRBL
  • [apt-get upgrade] updates all packages
Setup drbl
[/opt/drbl/sbin/drblsrv -i] starts the setup process, then answer the following questions
  • [n] network installation boot images? [n] since I intend to only suck up and spit out pre-configured machines
  • [n] serial console output on client computers?
  • [n] upgrade the OS? [n] since I just did that

Configure Clonezilla
[/opt/drbl/sbin/drblpush -i] starts the clonezilla configuration, then answer the folowing questions
  • defaults used for the first several questions
  • Clonezilla determined (or guessed) correctly that my Internet connection was through eth0
  • for the eth1 DRBL environment, I received a warning that my IP address was a class A or B private network. It wanted me to use the class C private network of 192.168.*.* and warned me that performance of multicasting clone "will be terribly worse!" with current configuration. ... interesting.... I'll leave it alone for now and see what happens or read up a bit more.
  • Collect MAC addresses of clients? No
  • Offer same IP address? No since this is related to last question
  • Initial number in the last digit set? 11
  • number of clients? 20
  • accept setup? y
  • Diskless Linux service? 2, since we are only using DRBL for cloning, not for providing diskless linux services to client computers
  • Clonezilla mode? 1 [box mode] since it uses less server resources and is adequate for cloning
  • default directory to store your images? /clonezilla --since this is easier to remember than /home/partimag
  • pxelinux password? no
  • boot prompt for clients? no
  • graphic background for PXE menu when boot? yes
  • DRBL server as NAT server? no, since clients do not need to access the Internet through the DRBL server... just using for cloning and not for live usage
  • ready to deploy? yes
  • I now get a message that "The config file is saved as /etc/drbl/drblpush.conf. Therefore if you want to run drblpush with the same config again, you may run it as: /opt/drbl/sbin/drblpush -c /etc/drbl/drblpush.conf"
Starting Clonezilla
[sudo /opt/drbl/sbin/dcs] this starts clonezilla
  • 1st screen: select All
  • 2nd screen (switch the mode): select clonezilla-start
  • 3rd screen (mode): select Beginner mode as I am doing normal system cloning
  • 4th screen(clonezilla mode): select select-in-client which allows choosing of save or restore from client.
  • 5th screen: leave default
  • 6th screen: choose poweroff - shut down client when the clone finishes
  • Working... able to PXE boot on computers connected to second NIC
  • Problems... cannot PXE boot computers which don't support x64
  • Resolution... reinstall 32 bit server to be backward compatible with the older computers I need to image
FOG Server
  • Decided to try FOG server as well, so install on Ubuntu server image 32 bit
  • Generally following these two guides but without the GUI:
  • I had a bit of a challenge setting up a seperate lan on eth1 as I did for Clonezilla, so abandoning for now.
  • I think I will even consider setting up FOG on the same network. There are a couple ways of having FOG coexist with your current DHCP server and network. The preferred method is to have your existing DHCP server forward PXE requests to the FOG server. An alternate method is to setup FOG as a DHCP proxy server which pickups on PXE requests.
  • I'll leave this for another project for now, but go back to the more familiar clonezilla with easy dual NIC setup. FOG does look otherwise polished and promising so definitely worth a revisit.

Clonezilla on 32 bit Ubuntu server

    • Again based on Ubuntu 10.10, but 32 bit version.
    • Follow similar steps for Installation as listed above
    • while setting up the DRBL server was also asked which archetecture to install, I chose i486 (instead of i386 or same as DRBL server options)
      • Add second ethernet settings
      • [sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces] then add the following:
        • #eth1 used for DRBL / Clonezilla environment
        • auto eth1
        • iface eth1 inet static
          • address
          • network
          • netmask
          • broadcast
        • ctrl-O to save, ctrl-X to exit
        • [sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart] to restart networking
        • [sudo ifconfig eth1] to verify changes
  • Needed to perform steps under network configuration (above)
  • But did not need to perform steps listed in DHCP server configuration (above), this was setup automatically during the DRBL and Clonezilla server setup

  • Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Offline Encyclopedia Content - Spanish

    For the last couple years I've been looking for a good source of encyclopedia content in Spanish for Linux with pictures included. In the past I've used downloaded wikipedia dumps, but these did not include photos and did not include smart searching functionality.

    I then stumbled across CDPedia in Spanish. I downloaded CDPedia project and found it worked well on Win XP machines, but did not work on the Ubuntu or Linux Mint machines I had. Additionally, it took days to download the CD version and weeks for the DVD version as there were limited torrent seeders with limited bandwidth.

    Most recently a couple new programs with a lot of promise have shown up: Kiwix and Okawix. Both of these are opensource with free content. Both are relative newcomers.

    Kiwix uses the open source ZIM format. It can be installed in Ubuntu derivative OS's natively from a personal package archive as follows.
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kiwixteam/ppa
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install kiwix
    • download ZIM file from
    • Open ZIM file after moving to desired location.
    • Before performing first search the system will ask you to index the file which will take a while.
    Kiwix shows a lot of promise and seems to be quite stable and simple to use. Tested version is 0.9 alpha. After opening the Spanish wikipedia for the first time, it reopened the same file then next time it was launched. I am excited to see how this will progress. The one drawback is that there seems to be limited zim files created for Spanish content. There is the Spanish Wikipedia, but none of the other wiki content that I have yet found, but I imagine that is just a matter of time. This is definitely a strong contender for inclusion on my remastered DVD.

    Okawix is similar to Kiwix. I tested version 0.7. You need to download then run its executable. If you want to access this program from the menu you need to manually make make the entries which makes setup more labor intensive and not for the novice. However, adding content is easier than Kiwix since it is literally point and click first language then type of content desired. This is a huge feature and there is much broader Spanish language content available. Also you actively choose whether to include photos or not and the files include indexes so the indexing step of installation is not required. Once a okawix wiki is included (by downloading or linking ot local source) it is included in the list of available corpus and switching between the installed wikis is simply point and click. In my last test, Okawix froze up a couple times over several days for unexplained reasons.

    I'm excited to watch both of these. For Kiwix I like that is installs easily with a menu entry, seems quite stable, and has slightly simpler controls when only a single corpus is desired. For Okawix I like the broader content available. Since Wikipedia is the principal content desired, for now, I will be moving forward with Kiwix and watching Okawix waiting for a little further development.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Games not chosen for Spanish Distro

    Here is my list of games that had good reviews or seemed promising but I decided not to include in my distribution for Spanish kids. I am including names and reasons so I don't have to revisit my work here again.

    • einstein - logic game quite challenging, but perhaps too much so
    • flight of the amazon queen - very dos like cheesy game
    • freecol - like colonizatioBulleted Listn but was more complicated than other similar turn based strategy games included
    • freedink - all English and not very entertaining
    • micropolis - city sim but complex and no Spanish language
    • singularity - too complex
    • widelands - not the best rts available... currently not polished enough
    • teeworlds - not sure how to setup LAN server otherwise fast, cartoon like multi-player shooter
    • yofrankie - very processor intensive