Currently we are busy building a way to deploy Windows XP client installs using a Linux bootstrap. Using Linux solves a few problems you normally would encounter using a DOS bootstrap:
- Driver support, Linux supports more NICs, IDE, SCSI and SATA controllers.
- Speed, Linux has a better TCP/IP and IO stack then DOS
- Features, All Linux tools can be used, DOS tools are getting more and more limited
- Cheap, Most tools used are free, we don't need Ghost Licenses
Normally one would use DOS and Symantec Ghost to deploy workstation installs. We use a new tool called DriveSnapshot
, the main benefit of this tool is that it has Windows, DOS and Linux clients. (NB. The Linux client isn't linked from the site but it can be downloaded here
). The only problem that DriveSnapshot has and might be a problem is the fact that DriveSnapshot doesn't resize the partition that's inside the image to the real partition size as on disk. We solved this by making the image as little as possible. After we are done imaging we use parted to resize the partition to the maximum size. We bootstrap this way to make all necessary changes to the image before booting the client (think sysprep.inf, and adding drivers).