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Old 05-08-2014, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

Hey guys. So I am just interested as to how everyone's workplace images their machines. At my school we use an open source software called FOG fogproject.org that is controlled via a web interface on a portable server running Linux. We used to have an old machine in each classroom on the server rack or in the corner of the room but only a few rooms now have that. We mainly use it reimage our desktops that are stored in the support center that teachers can use for a class or practicals.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

We use Microsofts SPC to image all of our computers
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

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Originally Posted by BK_123 View Post
Hey guys. So I am just interested as to how everyone's workplace images their machines. At my school we use an open source software called FOG fogproject.org that is controlled via a web interface on a portable server running Linux.
+100000000000

I setup a FOG (Free Open-source Ghost) at my job when I got here. It's the best thing I've ever done. I run it on Ubuntu.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

I meant SCCM. ..

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Computer Forums mobile app
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

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I meant SCCM. ..

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completely unrelated topic but I love your avatar lol
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

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completely unrelated topic but I love your avatar lol
Appreciate that! I like it too
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

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+100000000000

I setup a FOG (Free Open-source Ghost) at my job when I got here. It's the best thing I've ever done. I run it on Ubuntu.
The web interface is great and very user friendly and lots of good features.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

Forgive me for grave-digging but I just want to share our little portable FOG server. We have a HP Microserver that is being fixed due to problems so we currently use an ole HP Probook 6450B for our portable FOG server that we got donated. The computer on the right which is a HP Compaq Pro 6000 Small Form Factor (Also donated) I am currently preparing a new Windows 8.1 Enterprise image for and this will replace the current 2 PC's on front desk for our Student IT Support Centre and we have a stack full which were also donated. Nearly every classroom has a dedicated FOG server with an image for the PC's in that room but the portable one is very handy and is equipped with a 24 port gigabit switch which makes and uploading downloading images super fast.

Don't mind the messy cables on the carousel of PC's



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Old 05-14-2015, 12:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

The school that I went to had an extreamly interesting trick, and I am still not completely sure how they did it.

All of the computers seemed to be networked to one server. And I do mean ALL. Every machine in the school. The reason that I say this is because all that you had to do is sit down in front of any computer in the school, type in your Username/Password, and all of your files where in place. You couldnt install anything, they where not running any sort of security, and even if you changed the wallpaper it was changed back between sessions. As far as I know, that school never had a single security problem. Ever.

Oh, and the school had mixed classrooms. Some running Windows, others running Mac, depending on the needs of the classroom according to software. Using photoshop in a web mastering class? Mac. Running CAD? Windows. No matter what, you could log in to any machine with the same information, and your files (from any class) would always be where you expected them to be.

I have a few theroies as to how they did this, but I have never been able to replicate the results on Virtual Machines so I am not completely sure.

Any ideas?


P.S. I dont mean to hijack the thread BK_123, this just reminded me of that setup and I have been wanting to ask this question for a while.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

The computers were being used as terminals off the server. Your account followed you not the terminal. So when you logged in the server read the log in and the terminal it was coming from and adjusted your package to fit the terminal.
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Old 05-14-2015, 12:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

Our dev team developed our own custom software, it's also sold to our customers as part of a support package.

One Deploy | The Definitive Windows Deployment Solution

That's just a basic Active directory domain Dray; your user account is on the domain and not on any of the PCs. Permissions are locked down by group policy and security software is run hidden in the background

when you log on, it transfers your roaming profile onto the PC from the server, giving the illusion that any PC you log onto looks exactly the same for you. there are other things in the background usually (DFS, profile servers, logon servers, user data servers etc)

Active Directory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

you can put both Windows and apple computers onto a domain, and even some mobile devices. This allows for remote administration of user permissions and such from the Active Directory MMC on the server.

Also bolts on to Microsoft Exchange.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

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The computers were being used as terminals off the server. Your account followed you not the terminal. So when you logged in the server read the log in and the terminal it was coming from and adjusted your package to fit the terminal.
Thats better than anything I have come up with so far. It also explains why I have never been able to fully replicate it in VM's.

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Originally Posted by ~Darkseeker~ View Post
Our dev team developed our own custom software, it's also sold to our customers as part of a support package.

One Deploy | The Definitive Windows Deployment Solution

That's just a basic Active directory domain Dray; your user account is on the domain and not on any of the PCs. Permissions are locked down by group policy and security software is run hidden in the background

Active Directory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

you can put both Windows and apple computers onto a domain, and even some mobile devices. This allows for remote administration of user permissions and such from the Active Directory MMC on the server.

Also bolts on to Microsoft Exchange.

So, both of these solutions will work for multiple platforms, adjusting your documents to fit the OS? That has been the most difficult question I have been trying to answer. How my (and every other students) documents managed to end up in the correct folders no matter the OS. Oh, and the login time was crazy fast. Enter your password, and boom everything is in its place and the system was always ready to go in less than a few seconds. Also, despite most of the computers having very low specs on the HW range, they ran faster than any personal computer I had ever seen. Those systems at the time could still race the computer that I am sitting in front of now and win. This system is about mid range for speed, but its specs are at least double what those computers where.

Also, considering the amount of trouble these people went through, I do not think that I had given the school IT department enough credit.
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Old 05-14-2015, 01:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

A good, fast and robust Domain environment is very hard to set up, there are a lot of variables.

In essence this happens:-

when you log onto any PC for the first time, Windows copies your roaming profile (which contains your desktop icons and such) down from the server into the C:\Users (in Windows 7 that is!) folder, this is now a locally held copy of your profile. The first logon takes a bit longer, but as long as you have a local profile next time you log on, it will be pretty quick. This also depends on the quality of the hard disk.

Your documents and shortcuts are held seperately, and IT guys will set up a logon script or something to map these onto your desktop and documents folders. Logon scripts can also map network drives. Logon scripts range from simple batch files to custom created executables.

The location of the logon script is set in active directoy and attached to each users profile, so you can have a different logon script for each different user if you really want to push the boat out. Simple enough for 10 users but for nearly 10,000 like we look after, we use a custom logon executable that is linked to a database and controlled using active directory groups.

some stuff from technet on logon scripts:-

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...=ws.10%29.aspx

(This is very basic, they run up into hugely intricate databases for large companies with lots of different apps and shares)

The speed was probably achieved with clever partitioning and a proper strip-down of Windows, turning off everything unecessary and running very little in the background.


While apple machines will join and authenticate to Active Directory, it takes a bit of jiggery pokery to get it to map to SMB network shares holding data and documents, but it's easily enough done using the Windows file Sharing option built into OS X. Active Directory is a Microsoft proprietary tool, but apple also make a version just for Macs called Open Directory, but this only works when being run from an OS X domain controller running OS X Server.

This is all pretty advanced stuff to set up, though relatively easy to maintain. I spent 4 years looking after this kind of environment but the implementation of it was a thorough nightmare through and through
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Old 05-14-2015, 06:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

In the first stage of the course I am doing we covered Windows Server 2012 and I've had a go at doing what DarkSeeker described. The one thing that FOG doesn't like when creating an Windows image is selecting single partition as it not image the client so instead you select multiple partition (single disk not re-sizeable)..
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: How Do You Image Computers In Your Workplace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Darkseeker~ View Post
A good, fast and robust Domain environment is very hard to set up, there are a lot of variables.

In essence this happens:-

when you log onto any PC for the first time, Windows copies your roaming profile (which contains your desktop icons and such) down from the server into the C:\Users (in Windows 7 that is!) folder, this is now a locally held copy of your profile. The first logon takes a bit longer, but as long as you have a local profile next time you log on, it will be pretty quick. This also depends on the quality of the hard disk.

Your documents and shortcuts are held seperately, and IT guys will set up a logon script or something to map these onto your desktop and documents folders. Logon scripts can also map network drives. Logon scripts range from simple batch files to custom created executables.

The location of the logon script is set in active directoy and attached to each users profile, so you can have a different logon script for each different user if you really want to push the boat out. Simple enough for 10 users but for nearly 10,000 like we look after, we use a custom logon executable that is linked to a database and controlled using active directory groups.

some stuff from technet on logon scripts:-

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...=ws.10%29.aspx

(This is very basic, they run up into hugely intricate databases for large companies with lots of different apps and shares)

The speed was probably achieved with clever partitioning and a proper strip-down of Windows, turning off everything unecessary and running very little in the background.


While apple machines will join and authenticate to Active Directory, it takes a bit of jiggery pokery to get it to map to SMB network shares holding data and documents, but it's easily enough done using the Windows file Sharing option built into OS X. Active Directory is a Microsoft proprietary tool, but apple also make a version just for Macs called Open Directory, but this only works when being run from an OS X domain controller running OS X Server.

This is all pretty advanced stuff to set up, though relatively easy to maintain. I spent 4 years looking after this kind of environment but the implementation of it was a thorough nightmare through and through
Wow! Thanks for the explanation .
Now that you mention it, it suddenly makes sense that for all 4 years of highschool we had the same login details, and with that explanation, it makes since that we still had our documents from the last year.
Up until this point, all I knew for sure was that our information was being held on a server somewhere, but now I can see how it delivered that information at such a rapid rate.

Thanks for the detailed response friend.
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