How to use Ghost in Altiris Linux Preboot Environment
I ran into a problem today. I needed to image a Windows 7 client, but for the life of me couldn't get the Mass Storage Device drivers working in WinPE. I decided to use Linux instead, which worked fine with the included drivers. Unfortunately the only supported method for imaging in Linux is RDeploy, which does not support imaging Windows 7 without running scripts. More unfortunately, said scripts would require being executed in WinPE, and if the drivers aren't working, that route isn't possible. I tried changing the BIOS option for the Mass Storage Device to Legacy IDE mode hoping that would nullify the need for additional drivers, but for some reason that didn't work. I even tried to add the chipset drivers, no luck.
Getting Ghost to work in LinuxPE:
First off, if anyone can figure out how to get this to work in ImagingTools.ini please leave a comment telling me what you did. I tried to get this to work in ImagingTools.ini so I could use Create/Distribute Disk Image tasks, but it wasn't working for me. Instead, I resorted to using Run Script tasks.
- Create a new job
- Create a new Run Script task within the job
- place the following in the body of the script:
# Create disk image using Ghost in Linux
/mnt/ds/Ghost/ghost -clone,MODE=create,SRC=1,DST="/mnt/ds/Images/path-to-image/image.gho" -sure -Blind > /dev/console
or for a deploy
# Deploy disk image using Ghost in Linux
/mnt/ds/Ghost/ghost -clone,MODE=restore,SRC="/mnt/ds/Images/path-to-image/image.gho",DST=1 -sure -Blind > /dev/console
- Change what OS to run in to Linux
- Click Next
- Change to Automation, verify automation environment is set to Linux - out of precaution I change mine to Linux Managed (Auto-detect)
- Click Finish
- Schedule the job
Here's a quick breakdown of the command so you can customize it as necessary:
/mnt/ds --> path to the eXpress share. This can be found in the Boot Disk Creator
/mnt/ds/Ghost/ghost --> path to the Linux ghost executable
-clone,MODE=<create/restore>,SRC=<1/"path to image file">,DST=<1/"path to image file"> -sure --> command-line parameters found in Create or Distribute Disk Image task when using Ghost for Windows
-Blind --> command-line parameter which allows Ghost to work in Linux with no GUI, such as the Altiris LinuxPE
> /dev/console --> displays Ghost on the screen. Without this the image process will work fine, but if you look at the client it will appear to be sitting at a prompt because Ghost will be working in the background.
While this is unsupported by Symantec, I hope this article proves to be of use to anybody hoping to image Windows 7 clients and either really want to use Linux, or must due to circumstances beyond their control. Good luck admins!