SCCM have recently launched service pack 1 with Linux agent for management of Enterprise Linux distributions. People ask me about OS deployment as it’s not supported, but still you can kind of do it.
Think of this, you have Windows PE and the ability to run commands in a task sequence. So if you have the tools you can do anything you want. SCCM does it in the same way With .wim files, it’s all about the Tools like dism or imagex. Regarding Linux i’ve tested two scenarios.
- Distribute a Linux Live ISO: Most Linux distributions allows you to run a Live OS from a DVD, for troubleshooting or trial of the operating system. With the BootLoader Grub4Dos you can boot from ISO files. So the only thing you have to do is install this bootloader while in windows pe, copy the Live ISO to your local drive and configure boot loader to boot from it. Reboot to local disk and your Linux Live OS will be loaded.
- Actually deploy a image: In Linux you can use DD to create a image of your harddrive. There also is a DD version for DOS. So you can actually create a valid image of your Linux installation and deploy it with SCCM. Please read more on dd here: http://www.linuxweblog.com/dd-image
Be aware, this is kind of stoneage technology, and you need to put some effort into creating your Linux distribution. You will not be able to run task sequence engine within the operating system. But if you are skilled with Linux you may be able to script the agent installation on first boot, then you will have control again 🙂
1. Create a package in Your environment this package should contain Your Linux Image and DD for dos. (download it here). Do not create a program for the package as it’s not needed. But I recommend you to enable “Copy the content in this package to a package share on distribution Points” this will allow you to run the task sequence directly from DP later. Please read previous blog post regarding this: http://systemcenter.no/?p=331
2. Create a command line task sequence step, this will run diskpart /s diskpartscript.txt.
The diskpart script looks like this:Select disk 0 clean
The task sequence step looks like this (notice i’ve added the Linux deployment package as Reference for the command line step):
3. Use DD (for dos) to extract the image to disk.
4. Deploy the task sequence to unknown or known computers, run ts directly from DP and enjoy.