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Coming into a large number of old PCs that I want to be able to wipe the drives and reload with a "Factory" install of Linux on the HDD.

These machines have no CD-ROMs, so I am looking for something similar to a SysPrep in Windows, and then use FOG to capture the image and redistribute.

Anyone know the preferred method to take an existing system and clone it but have it boot up as if it were a brand new install? IE - ask for username, password, etc.

Specifically, is there a process for RHEL\CentOS & Ubuntu? Procedures for [Open]SuSE and other distros would be nice, but these are the two (three) most pertinent to my current situation.

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Depends on the distro. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Aug 17 '12 at 20:27
@Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams - please see edit\update – warren Aug 17 '12 at 20:34
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For Ubuntu this looks like it could do what you want

Haven't tried it myself but the descriptions fit your request

"Reset or unconfigure a virtual machine so clones can be made"

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For RHEL / Fedora, you probably want to look at PXE booting and using kickstart to install. Using a "golden image" (i.e. doing what SysPrep does) isn't really the best way of deploying new machines on RHEL / Fedora (in my opinion). It (Kickstart) lets you distribute identical images without having to take up the space for that image - and lets you update new machines by simply editing the kickstart file/template instead of having to update the golden image, then re-prep it,then re-verify it. I'm told Ubuntu has a "pre-seed" functionality that is substantially similar, but I'm not familiar with it so I can't say anything more than "I know the name".

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I agree the kickstart method is better - just like unattend.xml is better on Windows: so far the closest I've seen is VMware's cloning and Custom Specifications – warren Dec 6 '12 at 4:49

Take a look at Spacewalk:

It is to satellite as fedora is to red hat.

Overview: Satellite/Spacewalk always you to configure an image for installation over the network.

I am not familiar with FOG or Windows but if you are looking to have a master image and install that on multiple machines over the network you should check out Spacewalk.

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