What is FOG?FOG is a Linux-based, free and open source computer imaging solution for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Linux (limited) that ties together a few open-source tools with a php-based web interface. FOG doesn't use any boot disks, or CDs; everything is done via TFTP and PXE. Your PC boots via PXE and automatically downloads a small Linux client. From there you can select many activities on the PC, including imaging the hard drive. Also with FOG many network drivers are built into the Linux client's kernel, so you don't really need to worry about nic drivers (unless there isn't kernel support for it yet). FOG also supports putting an image that came from a computer with a 80GB partition onto a machine with a 40GB hard drive as long as the data is less than 40GB. FOG supports multi-casting, meaning that you can image many PCs from the same stream. So it should be as fast whether you are imaging 1 PC or 20 PCs.
How should FOG be implemented?FOG is best implemented on a dedicated server, any spare machine you have. We recommend that you have sufficient hard drive space as each image you make is usually between 5 and 10 GB. Using a RAID array allows imaging multiple computers simultaneously without much performance degradation. A gigabit NIC is recommended. For faster image compression and decompression, provide as much processor and RAM as you can make available.
What features are included with FOG?FOG is more than just an imaging solution, FOG has grown into an imaging/cloning and network management solution. FOG now performs tasks like installing and managing printers, tracking user access to computers, installing applications remotely via snap-ins, automatic user log offs and computer shutdown on idle timeouts. If a computer is badly infected with a virus or malware, you can boot FOG in AV mode and have it remove the viruses. You can wipe your disks, destroying all information that was on them, restore deleted files, or scan the disk for bad blocks.
How much does FOG cost?FOG is an Open Source project and licensed under the GPL which means that you are free to use FOG on as many computers as you like for free. This also means that if you want to make any changes to the source code you are free to do so. The creators of FOG make no profits from this project with the exception of donations. FOG comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY and the creators of FOG are in NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE OR LOSS CAUSED BY FOG! Please see the license file included with the FOG release for more information. With that being said we attempt to do a very good job of supporting our users, in fact it is one of the goals of FOG to have better support than most commercial products. All support requests should be placed through the FOG's forum which is located at: http://fogproject.org/forum/ Thanks for supporting open source software and enjoy!
Links to Get Fog & Help Guides
- FOG - Website & Download: https://www.fogproject.org/
- Ubuntu 14.04 Server (Command Line): http://www.ubuntu.com/download/server
- Make sure to download the Stable Release and enable LTS
- Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop (GUI): http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
- For those less familiar with Command-Line driven Linux
- Virtual Box Download: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
- Runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, & Solaris
- School IT Expert's Guide: http://schoolitexpert.com/network-tools/fog/306-install-fog-server
- Excellent source of guidance on more than just FOG.
- Fog Wiki: https://wiki.fogproject.org/wiki/index.php/FOGUserGuide