Deployment strategy with pre configuration and selected preset of apps

Hi, I 'm completely new to EndlessOS, I read yesterday a bunch of pages in the Support section though, but I’m at least familiar with older Debian or Ubuntu installations and the like.

A friend of mine who uses Windows asked me how to use a Linux distro to deploy it on older laptops with a set of defined preinstalled options.

He is working with older people and emigrants. He wants to offer them such a laptop for a little amount of money (?) or even for free.

I already know that 32bit was never supported, but legacy BIOS or CSM are.

So I’m asking for a deployment strategy with either the formatter tool or with clonezilla to get EndlessOS on multiple computers, with a defined configuration, e.g. chrome, Firefox, libre office, Spotify, Facebook and WhatsApp preinstalled and some other components and configurations too. All predefined by my friend.

He isn’t familiar with Linux at all, but I got the impression yesterday that EndlessOS will fit the best for his purpose to work with older people and emigrants to get them on computer despite their lack of experience.

With clonezilla I could help him to get it working. But I’m curious if the formatter approach will already fit to the requirements above. I can assist him with that approach too, but I think he would cope with that process himself.

Which strategy suits him the best?

Thanks for considering Endless OS for this initiative!
The “proper” way to do this would be to build a custom image with your preferred apps etc. using this tool:

Once you have an image, you can then use the reformatter tool to mass install it.

However the image build is a rather technical process, with not as much documentation as would be ideal. We can try to answer questions via this forum if you want to try it.

Personally though, I’d encourage you and your friend to start with some kind of manually created clonezilla setup for the first bunch of units. This will let you get started quicker. Once you are sure that Endless OS is the right option for you, and you have an idea of the number of laptops, you can consider investing the extra effort in building a ‘cleaner’ image setup by using the image builder and reformatter.

Thank you very much for providing a workflow and path to get into mass deployment!

Unfortunately I 'll leave the north of Germany tomorrow to go home, but maybe I can prepare the approach with clonezilla and instruct my friend online to achieve a test deployment.

In spring we might be able to create an image for the formatter tool and test it on a bunch of older computers and also bring it to the people. I’m curious on their reactions then.

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