January 14, 2010

FOG: An IT Imaging Solution

For the ones of us who have to reformat a Windows computer almost monthly due to our IT jobs. FOG is the software for you. FOG stands for Free Open-Source Ghost. It works a lot like Symantec's Ghost software. But, FOG is free and easy to use. FOG allows you to create a image on a Windows PC, sysprep the computer, and then upload that image to a server that you have created. It sort of works like creating a virtual machine except this image runs as the host OS instead of the guest OS. FOG works for Windows XP, Vista, and 7. FOG can be found at their website www.fogproject.org. It was created by Chuck Syperski and Jian Zhang in 2007. It is currently on version 0.28.

The website to where the installation package for FOG can be found is this website http://sourceforge.net/projects/freeghost/files/. Click on the file that ends in .tar.gz under the Newest Files. Make sure to download it to the /opt folder. After you have downloaded it, cd into the folder. Unzip the folder by using the following command, tar -xvzf fog_0.28.tar.gz.Cd into the newly created fog_0.28. Once you are inside this folder, cd into the /bin folder. Run the script that is in the /bin folder by using ./installfog.sh. If you are using Ubuntu or installing using an account beside root, do not forgot to sudo or su to root.

After running this command, you will get a question asking what distro of Linux you are running. You will only have two choses, either Ubuntu or some kind of Ubuntu and the other is a flavor of Red Hat(Red Hat, CentOS, and Fedora). It will ask you a set of questions about setting DHCP up on your sever and what the IP address of your server will be. After this, you will see FOG installing itself. When it gets to the end of installing, you will need to run the command passwd fog. Change the password to something that you will remember.

When you have completed this, open a browser and type in the IP address of your server or you can use It will want you to click a button to finish the installation process. You will have to change the password in the FOG settings so that FOG will be able to work. Click on the "Other Information" link at the top of the page. Click the "FOG Settings" button. Scroll down to the TFTP Settings Section and change the FOG_TFTP_PASSWORD to the same password as the one set in the change passwd fog command above. You will also have to change to password under the Storage Management button at the top. Scroll down and find where it says Storage Node Password and change it just like you did under FOG_TFTP_PASSWORD.

Now you are ready to use FOG. After you have made an image exactly like you want it with all the software and updates you want, you can upload this image to the server. You will need to sysprep (which will be explain in a blog that will be publish later today) the computer to get it ready for uploading it. Now, go to FOG's web interface and create the image under image management button. Name the image what you want to name it. I name it by what model computer I am uploading the image from.

First, you have to click the host management at the top, then click the add new host button on the left. You will have to enter the name of the host, Mac address, and the image. After this, click the star button at the top, then click the list all host on the left. Chose the host for which you just created. Make sure to click the up arrow that says upload. Reboot that computer and PXE boot it. When you have done this FOG will take over.

To deploy an image is the same as uploaded except you do not have to sysprep and be sure to click the down arrow that says deploy when you list all of the hosts.

I have created a script that does all of this for you. If you would like to ha ve a copy message me and I will share it will you.

Click Here!