I had promissed my 120 students that I will install ubuntu 10.10 on their laptops but failed to do it.The laptops were dell vostro 4014. All have same hardware. I took one laptop and installed ubuntu and all the necessary packages, and also wine to run some windows software. I selected the default ext4 file system.

Then I tried to use clonezilla server to clone the installation. Clonezilla server shows boot menu splash screen, but later on it says that I might be having a latest NIC unsupported by the kernel. But the NIC of the laptop on which I had installed ubuntu works fine. Later I tried to use the clonezilla live cd to boot the laptop which has ubuntu. But when I press 'Y' to start cloning, it says 'something went wrong'. Again I tried the 'dd' command to save as disk image. But it copies empty space. So it is not feasible for me as it takes really long time.

I have made my students to wait for many days, daily they are coming and asking whether my setup is ready. Today I realized I can't do it. I have in a way convinced them not to go for windows. So they are waiting for me to have ubuntu installed on their laptops. Today evening some of them will come to collect the laptops I took from them to install ubuntu. Don't know how and what to tell them.

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    The problem seems to be that the version of clonezilla you're trying to use does not support your NIC. See below for a solution that only needs ubuntu.
    – jneves
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 11:52

1 Answer 1



  • change /etc/fstab on your gold-client (the one you prepared), by replacing UUIDs with device names (/dev/sda1 and /dev/sda5 on each device).

On each machine:

  • Install Ubuntu directly on each machine.
  • Replicate your configuration with: rsync -avx --exclude=/etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules --exclude=/etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-cd.rules --exclude=/etc/hostname --exclude=/etc/hosts --exclude=/etc/X11/xorg.conf --delete-after root@${host}:/ / (replace ${host} with the ip address of your machine in the network.
  • grub-install /dev/sda
  • update-grub
  • reboot

As what to tell the students, "Sorry, I thought I could install all machines, but I needed more time, want to help?". Explain the steps and help them learn.

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    I can't validate whether your solution will work. However, +1 for the spirit of the answer. I really hope this works for user2968
    – koushik
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 11:15
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    Thanks koushik, I've taken that from an installation done at a couple of schools. Hopefully it'll also work for user2968.
    – jneves
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 11:58
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    Thanks. I've changes my username from user2968 to nixnotwin. @jneves, the solution you gave, will it copy the custom installed packages, wine and windows apps installed within wine, and also the various conf files within the /home/user directory (the hidden directories created by apps). Should I give same username on each newly installed laptops so that they will have a home directory with the same name as on my first ubuntu installed laptop.
    – nixnotwin
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 16:28
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    I should run the rsync command you gave on laptops having new ubuntu installations (and not on the master installation), right? And I should be in / while running that command, right?
    – nixnotwin
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 16:48
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    Yes, on each machine that has a fresh install, run the rsync command, and in "host" put the IP of the already-done system. It'll copy over everything you've manually installed and configured on the already-done one.
    – maco
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 17:00

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