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Ghost for Unix

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the sysadmin-toolkit dept.

Unix 285

junyoung writes "Hubert Feyrer released the latest version of g4u ("ghost for unix"), a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM image that allows one to easily clone PC harddisks by using FTP. Since it reads the disk bit by bit, it can create an image of any operating system and any file system. Besides, it's free (under BSD style license)."

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blah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584587)

hi

Ghost (-1, Troll)

Reikk (534266) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584589)

Linux sucks. BSD is dead. FTP is dead. News only for you fucking communists!

hmms (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584594)

maybe this will work better than the dd way I've been using so far.. gotta give it a try

Re:hmms (5, Informative)

Student_Tech (66719) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584624)

they are using dd as well, just running it through gzip -9 before uploading it to the server (distrib/i386/floppies/ramdisk-g4u/uploaddisk in the source)

frost pist? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584596)

Could this be the frost pist? I'm eating stuffed chicken for lunch. And I just got a haircut. And later on I'm going to nail the hot chick across the hall.

Clones (1, Funny)

CatWrangler (622292) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584600)

First there was Dolly, then that George Lucas fiasco, and now this?

Stop the world. I want to get off!

Re:Clones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584875)

Have you seen the commercials for the Episode 2 DVD (coming Nov 12)?

[black screen with lettering] Who da man?

[picture Yoda with lightsaber] Yo Da man!

[fight scene with Dooku] etc, etc, etc.

*groan*

Alternatives (4, Insightful)

Huff (314296) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584614)

When i was reading the article i was thinking 'why do we need another bl**dy disk copier/ghoster/whateverer' But the link states that it can be used with all file systems, which is something i have yet to see in other utilities.

Good on the chap who wrote it.
I definantly will be using this in future.

Huff

Huh? (5, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584659)

Ghost handles all file systems as well. They call it a sector by sector disk copy. In this case Ghost does not care what is on the disk, it copies the DISK rather than the filesystem or partition as it does by default. But as with g4u you can't resize and so forth with a sector by sector copy.

The only problem with Ghost is the licensing cost.

Ghost doesn't work with non-PC's... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584749)

Ever try using Ghost on a Sparc station? Ghost can't handle any file systems at all if they aren't sitting on x86 hardware, which is a problem g4u can solve. So that's two problems with Ghost.

Re:Ghost doesn't work with non-PC's... (2)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584767)

Plug your Sparc disk into the SCSI controller of an Intel box and Ghost can image it just fine. However, you are correct, having a native Unix version is good.

Re:Ghost doesn't work with non-PC's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584798)

I don't want to have to pull disks in and out of the numerous Sparc servers I deal with every time I want a clean box. That's really not a solution in my mind - too labor intensive and a very expensive solution in sheer wasted time.

Re:Alternatives (3, Insightful)

alsta (9424) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584751)

As previously mentioned, copying bit-by-bit is something Ghost already does. The problem, and ultimately unfeasibility with this utility is that it DOESN'T recognize filesystems and structures.

That means that you can only restore an image to a disk in equal or larger size than that of the dump. It also means that if you have a larger disk you'll find that you'll end up with unused space or perhaps worse, a boot sector in the wrong place so that you can't even boot your system.

I do believe that this project has the ability to go further at some point, but right now, I see it as a NetBSD boot floppy with network drivers and a ramdisk which has dd(1).

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584846)

You misspelled defiantly.

Does anyone have first hand experience? (2)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584615)

I'd really like to know what the performance is like. Ghost can be very fast sometimes.

It's too bad that it won't allow you to resize partitions, as you can with Ghost but, it looks like a great start, so long as it isn't too slow.

Re:Does anyone have first hand experience? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584727)

Ghost is pretty slow when reading/writing a raw partition, which is exactly what g4u is doing. Next time you use ghost give it a try and you'll see it's quite slow.

Re:Does anyone have first hand experience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584755)

Does it matter from a consumer's point of view? Ghost is faster for all practical purposes...

g4u source code mirror (5, Funny)

vidnet (580068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584618)

server.sh:
cat /dev/hda | nc -l -p 5030

client.sh:
nc server 5030 > /dev/hda

Re:g4u source code mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584645)

????

i dont get it..

man nc

NC - Client program for NEdit text editor

is that what you meant?

Re:g4u source code mirror (2, Informative)

Smthng (71777) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584670)

root@localhost$ rpm -qi nc

Name : nc Relocations: (not relocateable)
Version : 1.10 Vendor: MandrakeSoft
Release : 15mdk Build Date: Wed 11 Jul 2001 07:30:43 AM PDT
Install date: Sun 03 Feb 2002 01:39:29 PM PST Build Host: bi.mandrakesoft.com
Group : Networking/Other Source RPM: nc-1.10-15mdk.src.rpm
Size : 117756 License: GPL
Packager : Mandrake Linux Team <bugs@linux-mandrake.com>
URL : http://www.l0pht.com/~weld/netcat
Summary : Reads and writes data across network connections using TCP or UDP.
Description :
The nc package contains Netcat (the program is now netcat), a simple
utility for reading and writing data across network connections, using
the TCP or UDP protocols. Netcat is intended to be a reliable back-end
tool which can be used directly or easily driven by other programs and
scripts. Netcat is also a feature-rich network debugging and exploration
tool, since it can create many different connections and has many
built-in capabilities.

You may want to install the netcat package if you are administering a
network and you'd like to use its debugging and network exploration
capabilities.

Re:g4u source code mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584693)

mandrake?

u is teh l4m3st. hohohoho

Re:g4u source code mirror (4, Informative)

taviso (566920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584673)

hes talking about netcat [atstake.com] , the general purpose network swiss army knife.

you should install it, its probably one of the most useful netowrk utilities ever written.

Re:g4u source code mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584701)

Thanks a lot, you saved my day!!

:-)

although I'd prefer dd if=/dev/hda over cat..

Re:g4u source code mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584648)

Does it work?

Assume the client was running Knoppix without using /dev/hda.

Re:g4u source code mirror (2)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584650)

I sure hope you don't have /dev/hda mounted when you do that. Do you have a spare Linux boot drive on every computer you want to ghost? It can't be just a separate partition, since you're copying the entire physical drive.

Re:g4u source code mirror (2)

zrodney (253699) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584810)

one of those bootable unixes or rescue cdroms would be fine. they run the os out of the ramdisk they copy during bootup.
That leaves the hda free to be repartitioned, etc.
I'm pretty sure that's how the orginal author intended

Re:g4u source code mirror (2, Insightful)

DrZaius (6588) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584668)

tar with the appropriate flags works much better. Also, if you run it on a system that doesn't write to the disk much (ie webservers) you can generally take a somewhat reliable backup without taking the system down to init 1.

Re:g4u source code mirror (0, Offtopic)

peterpi (585134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584688)

I was going to write a sensible response, but I haven't trolled in ages, so first post or something.

Re:g4u source code mirror (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584745)

a reply to a reply to a post cant be first post you 14m3r tr0ll

Seems like a good idea. (1)

EverStoned (620906) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584619)

But isn't is too slow, and isn't there a big chance that some bits would get corrupted?

Re:Seems like a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584632)

Both of those are problems that can be overcome.

Low level error correction (3, Insightful)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584681)

isn't there a big chance that some bits would get corrupted?

Modern storage devices use error correction at a very low level. For instance, CD-ROM has three error-correcting codes: two in the CD layer [washington.edu] and one in the sector layer. In addition, a partition could be written to multiple discs in a manner similar to RAID 5, such that every fifth disc stored an xor of the four previous discs.

Re:Seems like a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584772)

Good point! We should also be very careful when running big programs because there's a bigger chance that some bits will be corrupted!

Oh no! (-1, Redundant)

gnillort (617577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584620)

First there was Dolly, then that George Lucas fiasco, and now this?
Stop the world. I want to get off!

look at this smug bastard (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584623)

smug bastard [nwsource.com]

what the bastard is so smug about [nwsource.com]

Make that "old skool BSD license" (3, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584628)

From the article:

3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement:
This product includes software developed by Hubert Feyrer .

This form of the BSD license has a minor problem [gnu.org] .

Re:Make that "old skool BSD license" (1)

vesamies (240247) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584699)

I don't think this is very bad with this kind of a product, but take the whole NetBSD os. There are hundres of these stupid notes. I'd like to see these
go away but who will do it. That shit is everywhere!

Re:Make that "old skool BSD license" (3, Informative)

Arandir (19206) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584825)

If those notices are regarding the Regents of tht University of California, then they have already been rescinded.

Re:Make that "old skool BSD license" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584721)

Indeed, I don't know what a fullpage ad in Dr. Dobbs or similar costs, but I bet NetBSD can't afford all the pages they'll need.

Re:Make that "old skool BSD license" (3, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584873)

Yes, that is a major problem.

GPL gets around this by asking that you give them the copyright and give them all the credit leaving you with none.

I **HATE** when someone wants credit for the stuff they've created. The nerve of them. Especially after telling you that you can do anything you want with the software only you better give credit where credit is due.

I'm glad you cleared this up for us so none of use that restrictive BSD licensed crapware.

PS. This ain't a troll or funny. Its fucking sarcasm.

clif

Exellent! (4, Insightful)

muixA (179615) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584631)

The thing I dislike the most about Norton Ghost, is hat it's DOS based. Getting networking working, for SMB image transfer is not always easy...

Cloning PC-Unix boxes (Linux, etc), doesn't really require any special software though... When I need a new node for our EDA cluster, I boot tomsrbt, and run fdisk, and then kick off a script that pulls down an .tar.gz, and takes edits various /etc files to change hostname, IP, etc. Chroot, run lilo, and your done.
--
Matt

Re:Exellent! (3, Informative)

slaker (53818) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584736)

It's less of a big deal than it was, with the new version. Ghost 2003 makes several different bootdisks, including a LanMan client (which can be a PITA for modern NIC drivers) and, IIRC, FTP.

Ghost 2003 also handles local CD-R, USB, USB2 and Firewire disks, and can write an image file to a local NTFS disk, which is a neat trick for a DOS program.

The bigger challenge with the latest version of ghost is remembering where the hell you put the bootdisk you need, since you can't get all the features on the same disk (e.g. no LanMan client + USB2 support).

Ghost is what lets me do other things while I'm at work besides fix PCs.

I license ghost @ something like $11 a copy for all the PCs I'm in charge of, and given the time-savings, it paid for itself in about two weeks.

Still, this looks really good. I like free. I'll probably give it a try next week.

Symantec Ghost is platform independat (1)

hfastedge (542013) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584633)

My school's computer lab uses symantec ghost to clone ANY style of machine.

Regardless, if u want a non-commercial version, there is "ubercopy".

Here is an email i had with the developer:

> What this email is over: http://www.linuks.mine.nu/ubercopy/
> Question to developer: does ubercopy work over networks, similar to
> Symantec's ghost? IF not, do you have any plans of implementing this
> feature? I would be interested in helping, maybe martin too.
not yet, i've had the plan to do that, but then the problem arises:
how?
using tcputils... i'd need to make client floppy diskets/or cd's..
i'd even know how to do that! but the problem is to make floppy disks
with the tools i need: see www.linuks.mine.nu/ubercopy/TODO
(i'd like to support as much archs as possible!)

i noticed there's another tool to clone systems over network already,
something with "clone" in the name, see freshmeat.net

regards
gürkan

This is very nice (2, Insightful)

K8Fan (37875) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584635)

Ever since Symantec bought Ghost, they've been changing it from a simple, easy to use, small, beautiful and most of all SMALL utility to a typical bloated pile of junk. It's so nice to see someone develop an open and free version that recaptures the original idea - just copy the fricken hard disk already!

Anything you copy with it is also free! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584636)

It's true.

Paramount (5, Funny)

Trusty Penfold (615679) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584641)

Ghost is a trademark of Paramount Pictures [imdb.com]

You should do a trademark search at the patent and trademark office [uspto.gov] before releasing infringing software.

Re:Paramount (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584662)

This is a troll, so I shouldn't even respond to it but here goes. Since they are in two entirely seperate categories, linux software and shitty movies, they chance of somebody confusing them is slight. Therefore there is no infringement. Now fark off.

GHOST in the SHELL (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584734)

Since they are in two entirely seperate categories, linux software and shitty movies, they chance of somebody confusing them is slight.

Then what about GHOST IN THE SHELL brand computer data backup (ghost) software with a command line (shell) interface? Would that clash with GHOST IN THE SHELL® [uspto.gov] brand video games?

Re:Paramount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584687)

Looking Ghost in all fields, Paramount in Owner
Only instance of Ghost:
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
(Ok, I see this is a little ironic that the Paramount's trademark for Ghost is dead...)

GHOST trademark (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584725)

I went to TESS [uspto.gov] and ran a query for live U.S. trademark registrations matching the word GHOST, and got eyewear, a removable LCD panel, cosmetics, force-feedback joysticks, and loudspeakers.

I'd be worried about a trademark lawsuit from Symantec more than anything.

Re:Paramount (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584704)

You are an idiot.

Had to be said... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584643)

Now there really will be a ghost in the shell :)

*BSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584644)

It is official; Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Only if it's the same size disk (5, Insightful)

j3110 (193209) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584646)

If the target is 1 sector less, you aren't going to be able to use this tool. I still think tar and netpipes is the only way. (unless you use XFS, in such case the best way would be xfsdump, tar, and xfsrestore) I'm trying to write a multicast fileserver for just this purpose. I have a lab of hetrogeneous machines(I take what I can get from the university) that need to be clones(btw, don't forget to run lilo if you use tar/xfs, and don't forget to change the site-key for ssh). I'm ending up using a homebrew solution. There are other good ghost utilities out there that boot from a cdrom(BART perhaps isn't bad), but I still need my own custom solution because I'm not gonna be here forever to make this lab work, and it needs to be "put this in the floppy drive and select options from the menu" easy.

Re:Only if it's the same size disk (1)

Student_Tech (66719) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584729)

http://www.udpcast.linux.lu/
Using UDP over an ethernet for multicasting to a bunch of machines. They kinda mention doing machine cloning on their webpage as well. What you could do would be to use the g4u to make the inital image and then use this to flush it out to the machines.

Re:Only if it's the same size disk (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584771)

Hey dont knock Barts [nu2.nu] boot disk. Its rather nice to have a boot floppy(or cdrom) that will boot almost any nic card. Top it off with Ghost i can backup/restore my laptop and workstations over IP. And dealing with partitions not whole HD's make it easier to move OS's around.

Hey, and SSH with barts disk works great, thou you miss multiple ttys.

In other news... (4, Funny)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584651)

...RMS is set to release gnu4u, "GNU's Norton Utilities 4 Unix". Wow...

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

Graspee_Leemoor (302316) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584739)

" ...RMS is set to release gnu4u, "GNU's Norton Utilities 4 Unix". Wow..."

Ugh, RMS in a pink shirt and a smile. Thanks for sticking that image in my brain.

graspee

Re:In other news... (1)

BlueGecko (109058) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584759)

...RMS is set to release gnu4u, "GNU's Norton Utilities 4 Unix".
Shouldn't that be "GNU's Gnorton Gnicknacks for GNU/Linux"? :)

speed increase? (2)

zoombat (513570) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584657)

I've never used g4u personally, but I did some research on disk cloning back awhile ago and a common complaint about the software was that even though it was rock-solid for all kinds of different operating systems, it was really slow. Anyone have any idea how reasonable the speeds are now?

Re:speed increase? (1)

Zzootnik (179922) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584789)

I suppose it would depend on the speed of your network...

I know at work, the network really crawls during the daytime, and isn't much faster at night...It's just gotta be too much traffic over too few pipes.
But here at home on my own private lan, I get blazing fast speeds...Which would only increase with things like gigabit enet, etc...

Anyway, that's the bottleneck as far as I've ever been able to tell...

Re:speed increase? (1)

chriswaco (37809) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584808)

Seems to me that the server should send a set of MD5 hashes first and then the client could request only those blocks that have changed.

It would probably be much faster, especially to multiple clients, since you wouldn't have to send the entire image over the network multiple times.

You'd have to do the math to figure out the best block size to use without letting errors creap into the transfer, though. Seems like 512KByte blocks would work well.

There used to be a Mac utility that did this that used AppleTalk broadcast packets and then individual clients could request whatever data that they missed during the bulk transfer. This was really important when your network was 400Kbps.

Ghost is worth the money (5, Informative)

DrZaius (6588) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584661)

I think it's worth it to pay for enterprise ghost and the win2k box it needs to run on if you really need ghost.

The multicast console kicks ass -- I can ghost a tonne of workstations at one time and not kill the network.

Symantecs' support infrastructure is wicked too. We haven't hit a problem that wasn't documented on their website yet.

Also, ghost understands filesystems and not raw blocks. I don't understand why reading the raw data is an advantage -- you get images the size of your hard disk or partition instead of the size of the data. Ghost 7.5 can understand fat/ntfs/ext2 and ext3. It can also do raw reads of the hard disk.

btw, I don't work for symantec.

Wipe every free block for great compression (5, Interesting)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584750)

I don't understand why reading the raw data is an advantage -- you get images the size of your hard disk or partition instead of the size of the data.

Shouldn't matter. If you have wiped your drive's free space (trivial; use a program that creates thousands of 1 MB files filled with a repeating pattern) first, an "image the size of the hard disk or partition" will compress much smaller.

Ghost 7.5 can understand fat/ntfs/ext2 and ext3.

But does it grok ReiserFS or any of the other more obscure filesystems in use on servers?

Re:Ghost is worth the money (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584779)

There are far more than four filesystems in use today on intel/unix boxes... ghost might get these four pretty good but what about xfs, jfs, ufs, reiserfs, etc.... ? That's why it needs the ability to do raw partition copies.

Re:Ghost is worth the money (4, Informative)

Ektanoor (9949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584869)

Well I once tried ghost and sincerly it was a great product. But since Symantec bought it, I forgot about that thing. Because Symantec wacked it to the impossible. After a few tries I dropped any idea to use the product altogether. And one of the problems was with multicast. It would die after some minutes and leave all stations in a dead end. Besides, on multicast, I couldn't ghost a tonne of workstations. Yes, could ghost a lot more than unicast but not a tonne.Well if Symantec solved these problems, then, I'm happy for them. But it is not good to make much hype of it. Ghost was a great product, probably still is a great product. But it is a product that it is oriented in one of the most critical segments of the market. Hypes here are too bad.

Yes, it is good that ghost understands filesystems. But it is also good that ghost would work nicely on raw data. Why? For forensics, to copy unmovable data (in relation to the disk itself), to mirror disks where data is partially damaged. At the time I tried, Ghost was "acceptable" on this level but it had some problems.

Anyway, for those who would like to work nicely without caring for many hassles about how these things work, ghost is probably the best choice.

What we can learn from BSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584664)

What We Can Learn From BSD
By Chinese Karma Whore [slashdot.org] , Version 1.0

Everyone knows about BSD's failure and imminent demise. As we pore over the history of BSD, we'll uncover a story of fatal mistakes, poor priorities, and personal rivalry, and we'll learn what mistakes to avoid so as to save Linux from a similarly grisly fate.

Let's not be overly morbid and give BSD credit for its early successes. In the 1970s, Ken Thompson and Bill Joy both made significant contributions to the computing world on the BSD platform. In the 80s, DARPA saw BSD as the premiere open platform, and, after initial successes with the 4.1BSD product, gave the BSD company a 2 year contract.

These early triumphs would soon be forgotten in a series of internal conflicts that would mar BSD's progress. In 1992, AT&T filed suit against Berkeley Software, claiming that proprietary code agreements had been haphazardly violated. In the same year, BSD filed countersuit, reciprocating bad intentions and fueling internal rivalry. While AT&T and Berkeley Software lawyers battled in court, lead developers of various BSD distributions quarreled on Usenet. In 1995, Theo de Raadt, one of the founders of the NetBSD project, formed his own rival distribution, OpenBSD, as the result of a quarrel that he documents [theos.com] on his website. Mr. de Raadt's stubborn arrogance was later seen in his clash with Darren Reed, which resulted in the expulsion of IPF from the OpenBSD distribution.

As personal rivalries took precedence over a quality product, BSD's codebase became worse and worse. As we all know, incompatibilities between each BSD distribution make code sharing an arduous task. Research conducted at MIT [mit.edu] found BSD's filesystem implementation to be "very poorly performing." Even BSD's acclaimed TCP/IP stack has lagged behind, according to this study [rice.edu] .

Problems with BSD's codebase were compounded by fundamental flaws in the BSD design approach. As argued by Eric Raymond in his watershed essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar [tuxedo.org] , rapid, decentralized development models are inherently superior to slow, centralized ones in software development. BSD developers never heeded Mr. Raymond's lesson and insisted that centralized models lead to 'cleaner code.' Don't believe their hype - BSD's development model has significantly impaired its progress. Any achievements that BSD managed to make were nullified by the BSD license, which allows corporations and coders alike to reap profits without reciprocating the goodwill of open-source. Fortunately, Linux is not prone to this exploitation, as it is licensed under the GPL.

The failure of BSD culminated in the resignation of Jordan Hubbard and Michael Smith from the FreeBSD core team. They both believed that FreeBSD had long lost its earlier vitality. Like an empire in decline, BSD had become bureaucratic and stagnant. As Linux gains market share and as BSD sinks deeper into the mire of decay, their parting addresses will resound as fitting eulogies to BSD's demise.

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 54 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584678)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

byte by byte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584707)

One of the nice features of ghost is that it reads the filesystems and backups the files themselves rather than the filesystem in a byte by byte fashion. By backing things up that way you could easily take a filesystem from one drive and place it on a drive of a different size. While it would be nice to be able to host things from unix it seems as those g4u may not yet meet the needs of many ghost users who are using primarily windows filesystems and dropping the images into various systems with a range of drive sizes. Another important thing that is lacking is multicast. In any case it's a good start and hopefully this project will turn into something far superior to ghost.

Why is this needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584710)

I've been using "dd if=/dev/hda1 of=imagefile" for years now.

Re:Why is this needed? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584799)

Now make the data fly over the network to some server so that you can just boot from a CD and restore your setup -- on, say, a laptop with no second hard disk.

Ghost will not work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584722)

Beware of using this utility on NT4/2000/XP partitions, you need to prepare the installation using sysprep otherwise your exact image just won't work.

2000 and it's ilk keep a hardware key stored on the partition as part of the SID, ghosting bit by bit will not usually work.

Just thought you'd like to know before you go losing all your data...

Re:Ghost will not work... (5, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584777)

Wrong. Don't believe everything that M$ tells you. The only problem with ghosting the SID is that it breaks security since all subsequent images have the same SID, the OS still works fine. To resolve this security issue though, execute ghstwalker which locates and changes the SID to a new unique SID. Then all is well.

Re:Ghost will not work... (2, Informative)

Timodious (178572) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584859)

Actually, the SID is only used for Workgroups (which you'll never see in a corporate environment)--in the Domain model, computers have domain accounts that are almost exactly like user accounts.

In fact, you can see the computer accounts using ADSI (point your ADSI browser to WinNT://yourdomain). They just have $ at the end. The account gets created when someone with Account Operator privs adds the machine to the domain.

Anyway, the computer and domain negotiate a new random password every x weeks... you'll see this if you ever ghost a machine and then restore the ghost image several weeks later--you'll have to re-add the machine to the domain, because the password is expired and the machine's account gets locked out.

fli4l and ncftp (2, Interesting)

WolfgangR (622323) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584731)

I should have learned about ghost 1 week earlier! In between I found another solution: fli4l to generate a linux boot floppy containing ncftp.

Note: ncftp can directly read and write /dev/hda, hda1 etc. Maybe other FTP clients can too, but ncftp was the first one I found. (Hint: When writing, use option A=append)

The rest should be easy to set up. You could automate it by writing scripts with ncftpbatch.

Now SC: Ghost on UNIX too? (1)

The Moving Shadow (603653) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584746)

I thought they were only going to release it on the X-Box. Darn, we Windows fanboys are getting passed by even by the UNIX guys. *sniffles* ;)

Penises (-1)

Asdfghanistan (590625) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584761)

Penises.

Good for clusters (2)

whovian (107062) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584769)

Thank you thank you thank you!!! I am just about to install a cluster, so instead of installing RedHat for the nth time, I can make all the nodes' disks off-site -- and probably while unattended somewhat -- and then bring them in, pop in the drives, and go.

Re:Good for clusters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584817)

http://www.systemimager.com/

Partition Image (5, Informative)

tseng_mike (207554) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584770)

There is also partition image [partimage.org] which is more advanced imo.

Re:Partition Image (2)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584788)

I second this.

Partition image is also nice as a rescue disk.

Anyone remember DDD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584774)

Dalton's Disk Disintegrator?

Cold feet (0, Troll)

dazdaz (77833) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584778)

I'm opposed to the idea of cloning UNIX workstations. 5 years I said the same thing. It creates a new breed of system administrators who've
never seen a UNIX prompt.

Should a UNIX install be rushed en masse? I'd be interested to see if anyone can justify this, I just don't feel overall comfortable with the concept of UNIX cloning.

Re:Cold feet (3, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584796)

Try an OS upgrade on >2000 machines and then tell me this. Better yet, try an OS replacement, say Windows 95 to Linux on >50 machines and then tell me you don't see the point of cloning workstations.

Re:Cold feet (1)

MetricT (128876) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584833)

Two words: Beowulf clusters.

I'm the admin of a medium size cluster, and we currently use SystemImager (www.systemimager.org) to make backup images of our nodes. SystemImager is a really sweet program. Unfortunately, the stable version is a little behind the times when it comes to XFS, which we are pretty eager to use. Cloning software which works below the filesystem level is pretty helpful.

Re:Cold feet (1)

dazdaz (77833) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584854)

Beowulf clusters yes. Windows workstations yes.
Windows Servers hmmmm. UNIX servers no. UNIX workstations hmmm.

Re:Cold feet (5, Insightful)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584863)

I'd be interested to see if anyone can justify this, I just don't feel overall comfortable with the concept of UNIX cloning.

Okay, here's a few, and there's many more from whence these came:

  1. You're the lab manager for a large university. You just bought seven hundred identical PCs. You have one week to install a customised kernel, a variety of applications, and lots of site-specific settings onto each machine.
  2. You're the above lab manager and several hundred of those machines will sit in a public lab with no grown-up to police them. Experience tells you that student pranksters will do stuff to these machines on a pretty regular basis. Each student is supposed to keep all their work (on an ongoing basis) purely on their network-mounted directory. So you want to periodically (ideally nightly) have the machines return to a known software state.
  3. You're the lab manager for the QA department of a large software company. A lot of the tests that the testers perform involve installing new software, performing the necessary patches - these must be performed on machines with exactly the correct software setup, otherwise the test is invalid. Generally, running each test takes less than an hour. You don't want testers sitting waiting for their (rare) test machines to reinstall any longer than absolutely necessary.
  4. You're the production manager for a large PC company. You make production runs of thousands of identical machines each day. Time is short, and the production engineers won't let you specialise a given harddrive on the line until its actually inserted into a machine (very common), so you want to very quickly have production machines netboot and pull down their software image. Every minute a machine spends on the production line cost the company a dollar.

Disk to Disk Cloning? (1)

1stflight (48795) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584790)

Anyone know if this utility will do small disk to large disk cloning too?

It can't support Windows (0, Troll)

utahjazz (177190) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584793)

Even Ghost never worked well with windows. The problem is, MS puts SIDs all over the place in the OS. You'll think it worked, but then try putting 2 clones on the same network...

Ghost supposedly had some magic tool that fixed this, but it never quite worked, and if MS found out you used it, they wouldn't answer your support questions.

Now MS has some tool that will fix SIDs for you, but you have to agree to some licensing scheme that I think involves giving them a blood sample and locks of hair from your children.

Bzzt! Ghost walker works great!! (3, Informative)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584811)

I have installed thousands, yes thousands of images of Windows 95 - 2000, as well as restored Windows 2000 domain controllers from backup images with Ghost and Ghost Walker. It works great.

Thanks for playing.

Re:It can't support Windows (2, Informative)

Jugomugo (219955) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584821)

All you have to do is run 'sysprep' before you make your images. Makes it pretty easy from there.

Works For Me (2)

autechre (121980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584837)

I've still got several Win98 clients in a lab setting (the main room of my school newspaper, where all editors/writers can use them). I use Ghost to reimage them weekly, and gwalk does a fine job of changing the SID/machine name/whatever it is under Windows.

I'm interested in this, because at the moment, I need to use one of the Windows clients to generate/push images. I'd also like something that could work for MacOS (9.x, unfortunately, since we use Quark).

Why Windows is Superior (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584795)

I am always amused by the folks who liken Windows to a virus on your
computer. Then it occurred to be the Linux is really the Super Virus. When
you fall for the propaganda and try Linux it immediately wipes out all of
your software. Am I right or wrong about that ? Then it wipes out all of
your hardware support. It is a nice trick by the Linux advocates to suggest
that you do not know what you are missing until you try Linux for at least a
few months. Very funny. They forget to mention that what you will be
missing is your software and your hardware support.
And if you use a digital camera,PDA,MP3 device,camcorder,or have your TV
attached to your computer you have just screwed yourself over that many more
times. And unless you chose to build your PC from components you also have
wiped out a copy of Windows that you paid for. All of that put together is
a lot to sacrifice just to tell yourself that you are finally out of MS's
evil grasp.
Linux sucks, it always has and it probably always will. Let the TRUTH be with you.

This is the perfect backup tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584806)

I never cease to be amazed at the quality and quantity of Open Source work. This is absolutely the perfect backup tool

Disk -> FTP Server

FTP Server -> Disk

Awsome job guys. The world needs this.

Re:This is the perfect backup tool (2)

cscx (541332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584820)

I'm waiting for the day when some d00d will run both on the same b0x! Then, he can like, back up his stuff through FTP, FTP it back through localhost, and it will be l33t!

Kind of like a Rube Goldberg contest for doing mundane day-to-day system maintenance tasks!

Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584807)

Why is it that now *every single* large, square ad is a M$ ad? Please explain, you hypocritical fucks.

Welcome, but I still screwed it up (2)

augros (513862) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584851)

Just a few days ago,after hours and hours of frustration and failure with Ghost and DeployCenter and other commercial products, I decided to use g4u on my college's CS lab for dual boot (RH80 and W2K). I just popped the floppy in and the image copy was underway. Too bad it corrupted both OS's filesystems. It was so simple and straight-forward I was sure it would work. Is this realease any different from the one available a few days ago? Out of all the other solutions I tried this was the closest to helpful. (Most other FOSS failed to even get DHCP up)

Quick File Distribution Challenge on Advogato (2, Interesting)

teqo (602844) | more than 11 years ago | (#4584853)

There has been this post [advogato.com] at advogato couple of weeks ago which is about distributing huge amounts of data to many machines within a hilarious time... Though the solution implied by the author has not been revealed on there, it's quite an interesting read. The challenger excludes multicasting in order to make his question harder, but some posters there refer to multicast anyway...

Personally, I agree with UDP multicasting being the way for multiple network-based clones... For only a handful of clones Mondo+Mindi [microwerks.net] might be an alternative, too... No network, but CD-ROMs over sneakernet though... :)

ghost trailer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584865)

Does this have anything to do with the "ghost trailer"??

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4584880)

What is this, /. meets the Art Bell show?

Come on people, there's no such thing as ghosts. Grow up.
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