eWeek: Tools aim to ease Linux distribution

“The rsync program is an FTP developed for Unix-based systems
that provides rapid file transfer with a number of very handy
characteristics that lend themselves to operating system
installation. First, rsync can update whole directory trees and
file systems. Second, the protocol can preserve file ownership and
permissions. This combination enables administrators to set up
model machines with customized file permissions, which can be
replicated across a group of newly minted servers.”

“SystemImager provides more robust security than the rsync
utility on its own. SystemImager, however, cannot overcome the
inherent bandwidth use limitations of its rsync foundation.

Even on a Fast Ethernet connection, SystemImager tends to max out
at 20 simultaneous systems, according to a speaker at the
conference. This is because rsync sends all the image data to each
server instead of using IP multicast technology.”

“This second area is where new, interesting work is under way on
SourceForge, the open-source development network spearheaded by VA
Linux. Using a paper by Sally Floyd and others about reliable
multicasting, a small group of volunteers–with no time frame for
project completion–has begun work on Vaccine.
Although the
name implies an anti-virus concept, the project gets its name from
the VA Cluster Computer Install Engine
(sourceforge.net/projects/vaccine). The project is still in its
infancy, but eWeek Labs believes developers are on the right

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