** Newbie – HELP **

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Hi ALL, Sorry for this if it is a stupid question, but:

Is it possible to native boot CentOS from a VHD/VHDX file in a similar way to Windows 8.1?

I am hoping to dual ‘native’ boot Windows 8.1 and CentOS; but then I want to Image the disk to deploy it to other classroom machines.

Any help advice would be appreciated.

I’ve had an unsuccessful play with easybcd’s neogrub; and I have a working CentOS VM in Hyper-V – but it’s the native boot I’m really interested in.



8 thoughts on - ** Newbie – HELP **

  • Hey Darren,

    Perhaps I’m not understanding your needs but I have to ask why you are not setting up a normal dual boot system where you install Windows first on half your hard drive, then CentOS on the other half? That would give you two systems with native boot ability. When you have that set up and running you could clone that disk for the other machines in the computer lab.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    The idea of using a VHD(X) was to enable use to use disk imaging tools such as ghost, wds etc to deploy images of this type of system to over 500 machines.

    We have not found an imaging solutions that can image and deploy via multicast a system set up in the standard way you describe.


    Darren Williams

    —–Original Message—

  • Hi Darren,

    Any reason you cant use virtualisation and / or thin client kind of action?

    If for instance you have a linux hypervisor installed on each machine you could kick up a virtual machine with the required environment. dirty up the image and then replace the image with a clean CentOS /
    windows whenever you need it.



  • Using VM’s was a suggestion I put forward but some of our staff didn’t like the idea!

    We can’t virtualise Windows as we run many CAD and Media app’s that require high end graphics card utilisation.

    The Linux image is mainly used for coding type activities and so virtualising that would seem sensible – unfortunately that is not my call..


    Darren Williams

    —–Original Message—

  • *sigh* technology politics is annoying. good luck with that.

    Yes you can with PCI passthrough.

    In fact, if your processors, motherboards and graphics cards support VT-d then your graphics card can be shared across upto 12 virtual machines. Standard PCI passthrough has been supported for quite a while in the KVM

    I know a lot of design people that use virtualised design environments on chunky servers sat in racks. Its quite easy to set up for a basic implementation.

  • Yes, the clonezilla server with drbl can multicast – or manage several concurrent clone operations even without multicasting. However, it does require all the hardware to be pretty close to identical with the target disk the same size or larger than the master. You might be better off with cobbler or something similar to PXE boot into an automated install instead of loading a prebuilt image. It is easy enough to test clonezilla, though – just boot a clonezilla-live iso and save/restore to some existing network share or over ssh. If you like the results, then set up the multicasting server.