Difference between revisions of "esesen"

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Of course problems can arise between the scheduled re-imaging, such as accidental deletion or updates that cause unintended consequences.  Pick up some [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware malware] or get hit with [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware Ransomware] where your computers' contents are completely encrypted by a malicious attacker?  How about a hardware failure?  All of these would cause serious downtime for a home or business, but devices utilizing Esesen do not have to worry about a thing!  The user has the ability to go into Esesen at any time in order to restore back to a known working state.  For situations such as a drive failure or ransomware, booting off of an Esesen live CD or flash drive (after a hard drive replacement if applicable) will quickly get you back up and running - in some instances, within minutes!
 
Of course problems can arise between the scheduled re-imaging, such as accidental deletion or updates that cause unintended consequences.  Pick up some [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware malware] or get hit with [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware Ransomware] where your computers' contents are completely encrypted by a malicious attacker?  How about a hardware failure?  All of these would cause serious downtime for a home or business, but devices utilizing Esesen do not have to worry about a thing!  The user has the ability to go into Esesen at any time in order to restore back to a known working state.  For situations such as a drive failure or ransomware, booting off of an Esesen live CD or flash drive (after a hard drive replacement if applicable) will quickly get you back up and running - in some instances, within minutes!
  
So who would benefit from using this software?  As we have mentioned above, home users and business owners would definitely benefit from having this software installed on their networks.  Additionally, labs, schools, or any other organizations that may need to have equipment restored to an unmodified state after testing or usage by unknown users or third parties.
+
So who would benefit from using this software?  As mentioned above, home users and business owners would definitely benefit from having this software installed on their networked computers.  Additionally, labs, schools, or any other organizations that may need to have equipment restored to an unmodified state after testing or usage by unknown users or third parties.
  
How are you different from other imaging software.
+
Lastly, there are several points to mention that distinguish Esesen from other imaging software:
- it can also be configured to retain any saved user data!
+
: * Imaging can be scheduled to perform automatic restores per device
- it can be scheduled to perform restore automatically
+
: * Instead of just a single image available for restore, there can be up to nine manually created images as alternatives per device
- there can be manually created images that can be used instead of just a single image to restore
+
: * The software can be configured to retain any saved user data (under /home or C:\Users)
 +
: * Works with Linux and Microsoft Windows file systems natively: ext2/3/4, Fat16/32, NTFS (uses 'dd' for all other formats)
  
 
===<u>Caveats</u>===
 
===<u>Caveats</u>===
As of the 2018.12.x.x version of the software, there are a couple of caveats that should be brought to your attention.
+
As of the 2018.12.x.x version of the software, there are a couple of caveats that should be brought to your attention. As future versions are released, most of these will be resolved:
# - if creating a local storage partition, the total number of partitions beforehand needs to be 3 so all will be primary (for mbr partition tables); gpt is not affected
+
 
# - even though GPT tables are backed up, their backup at the end of the disk is NOT!!!
+
: * If the device uses legacy MBR for its boot media and a local storage partition is desired, the total number of partitions beforehand can not exceed 3 primary (no logical); GPT does not have any limitations
# - when using .squash files, ntfs partitions do a fair amount of post-processing so be patient!!!
+
: * When using .squash files to retain users data, NTFS partitions have a fair amount of post-processing so be patient
# - analytics are not yet available
+
: * Analytics are not yet available
# - the progress meter when dealing with ext/vfat file systems is just an approximate and may not go to 100%
+
: * Interaction with Ext/Fat file systems, the progress meter is just an approximate value and may exceed or not reach 100% even though it did process everything correctly
# - this has only been tested with traditional, single-disk computers.  if Esesen is installed on a different disk other than the OS, results may not be desired.
+
: * Esesen has only been tested with traditional, single-disk computers; mileage may vary with different configurations so let us know
# - currently only identifies and works with grub (legacy) and syslinux on the Linux OS - patches for other bootloaders are welcome!
+
: * Currently only identifies and works with (patches for other bootloaders are welcome):
# - when creating the initial image, do NOT include any user data since any files that are in the image overwrite what exists on the drive.  If data is introduced afterwards, it will not be touched!
+
:: Linux: (legacy) grub(2), syslinux
# - windows updates will have to be reinstalled
+
:: Windows: ntldr (up to Vista), winload (Vista and after)
# - can not re-image different sized disks
+
: * All software updates will have to optionally be reinstalled after re-imaging since the device will be completely reverted to its state at the time the image was made
 +
: * After a drive failure, the disk must be replaced with the same size or larger since Esesen can not re-image different sized disks currently
 +
: * The partition containing the <u>Windows</u> OS must be MBR, not GPT due to limitations of the bootloader; storage disks (e.g. DATA) can be GPT however
 +
 
 +
===<u>Best Practices</u>===
 +
Below we will outline several best practices to keep in mind when using the software to give you the best experience as possible.  Since this software is still in beta, these will be updated as time goes by.
  
===<b>Best Practices</u>===
 
 
- do not leave the drive known as your DATA plugged into a computer (malware/ransomware could infect that too causing you problems)
 
- do not leave the drive known as your DATA plugged into a computer (malware/ransomware could infect that too causing you problems)
 
- implement a good backup strategy (see our backup software)
 
- implement a good backup strategy (see our backup software)
 
- utilize network shares when possible
 
- utilize network shares when possible
 +
: * when creating the initial image, do NOT include any user data since any files that are in the image overwrite what exists on the drive.  If data is introduced afterwards, it will not be touched!
  
  
 +
===<u>History</u>===
 +
Prior to version 2018.12.x.x, this software was used exclusively by [https://www.digital-pipe.com/ Digital Pipe Inc] (the parent company to Cliquesoft) with its own customers.  Its abilities were very basic and lacked most of the feature set brought about in the 2018.12.x.x public release.  As a result, the baseline for any information here will start with that release up to the present.
  
 +
: <u>2018.12.x.x</u> The first public release
  
==Roadmap==
+
 
 +
===<u>Roadmap</u>==
 
To address some of the caveats described above and to expand the software as time progresses, we have outlined some items below that we would like to accomplish.
 
To address some of the caveats described above and to expand the software as time progresses, we have outlined some items below that we would like to accomplish.
 +
 +
- add Mac support
 +
- add gpt bootdisks (see gldr project)
 +
- expand the number of file systems that can be processed natively including: exFat, HPFS (Apple), etc
 +
- possibly move to using partclone
 +
- add analytics
 +
- get Esesen to automatically install the OS updates
 +
- add disk-to-disk imaging
 +
- add the ability to image different sized disks
 +
- add graphical interface and installers
  
  

Revision as of 12:44, 15 December 2018

With all the daily activities that users have their computers go through, one could expect that over time the software on these devices usually becomes cluttered with unused and/or unwanted files, settings, and data as well as some kind of problem just waiting for the opportunity to halt your progress when you have to get something done yesterday! And what is the normal fix? Call your support staff and wait for them to work you into their schedule for the repairs. What if there was a way for you to fix the problem easily? Introducing Esesen. This software can return the device to an out-of-the-box state so that your productivity is as high as it was on the first day it was unpackaged! Not to be confused with the Windows restore feature, this software replaces your entire system with one that you choose to restore instead of a couple of files that Windows restore will replace (but often times does not actually resolve the problem and occasionally creates new problems).

Administrators will enjoy the variety of configuration options that pertain to this software including local and/or remote storage of images, optional WAN connectivity, and the ability to schedule automated restores in order to keep your home or business network in a constantly pristine state. And for those admins that are familiar with ssh, this software provides a way to remotely gain access into a workable system to perform any detailed modifications to the device that may be required.


License

This project's codebase is licensed under the CPLv2 unless a valid CPLv1 license has been purchased. More information about both of these licenses can be found under the "Our Licenses" link of our homepage.



Overview

Esesen was designed to keep a device working at its optimal performance at all times by periodically re-imaging it back to a fresh state as defined by the manufacturer, your administrator, or support staff containing little or no "contamination". With the use of this software on all the computers in your home or office, along with implementing the automated scheduling aspect, the result should end up becoming a self sustaining network (SSN aka Esesen)!

Of course problems can arise between the scheduled re-imaging, such as accidental deletion or updates that cause unintended consequences. Pick up some malware or get hit with Ransomware where your computers' contents are completely encrypted by a malicious attacker? How about a hardware failure? All of these would cause serious downtime for a home or business, but devices utilizing Esesen do not have to worry about a thing! The user has the ability to go into Esesen at any time in order to restore back to a known working state. For situations such as a drive failure or ransomware, booting off of an Esesen live CD or flash drive (after a hard drive replacement if applicable) will quickly get you back up and running - in some instances, within minutes!

So who would benefit from using this software? As mentioned above, home users and business owners would definitely benefit from having this software installed on their networked computers. Additionally, labs, schools, or any other organizations that may need to have equipment restored to an unmodified state after testing or usage by unknown users or third parties.

Lastly, there are several points to mention that distinguish Esesen from other imaging software:

* Imaging can be scheduled to perform automatic restores per device
* Instead of just a single image available for restore, there can be up to nine manually created images as alternatives per device
* The software can be configured to retain any saved user data (under /home or C:\Users)
* Works with Linux and Microsoft Windows file systems natively: ext2/3/4, Fat16/32, NTFS (uses 'dd' for all other formats)

Caveats

As of the 2018.12.x.x version of the software, there are a couple of caveats that should be brought to your attention. As future versions are released, most of these will be resolved:

* If the device uses legacy MBR for its boot media and a local storage partition is desired, the total number of partitions beforehand can not exceed 3 primary (no logical); GPT does not have any limitations
* When using .squash files to retain users data, NTFS partitions have a fair amount of post-processing so be patient
* Analytics are not yet available
* Interaction with Ext/Fat file systems, the progress meter is just an approximate value and may exceed or not reach 100% even though it did process everything correctly
* Esesen has only been tested with traditional, single-disk computers; mileage may vary with different configurations so let us know
* Currently only identifies and works with (patches for other bootloaders are welcome):
Linux: (legacy) grub(2), syslinux
Windows: ntldr (up to Vista), winload (Vista and after)
* All software updates will have to optionally be reinstalled after re-imaging since the device will be completely reverted to its state at the time the image was made
* After a drive failure, the disk must be replaced with the same size or larger since Esesen can not re-image different sized disks currently
* The partition containing the Windows OS must be MBR, not GPT due to limitations of the bootloader; storage disks (e.g. DATA) can be GPT however

Best Practices

Below we will outline several best practices to keep in mind when using the software to give you the best experience as possible. Since this software is still in beta, these will be updated as time goes by.

- do not leave the drive known as your DATA plugged into a computer (malware/ransomware could infect that too causing you problems) - implement a good backup strategy (see our backup software) - utilize network shares when possible

* when creating the initial image, do NOT include any user data since any files that are in the image overwrite what exists on the drive. If data is introduced afterwards, it will not be touched!


History

Prior to version 2018.12.x.x, this software was used exclusively by Digital Pipe Inc (the parent company to Cliquesoft) with its own customers. Its abilities were very basic and lacked most of the feature set brought about in the 2018.12.x.x public release. As a result, the baseline for any information here will start with that release up to the present.

2018.12.x.x The first public release


=Roadmap

To address some of the caveats described above and to expand the software as time progresses, we have outlined some items below that we would like to accomplish.

- add Mac support - add gpt bootdisks (see gldr project) - expand the number of file systems that can be processed natively including: exFat, HPFS (Apple), etc - possibly move to using partclone - add analytics - get Esesen to automatically install the OS updates - add disk-to-disk imaging - add the ability to image different sized disks - add graphical interface and installers



Installation

Just like the rest of our software, we have engineered our installation process to be as simple as possible. After downloading the desired version from our website, you can begin the installation process. Currently this process only has a text-based installer, but we will be adding graphical capabilities in a future version. Below we will cover the steps necessary to get the software installed.

File Types

Before we continue with the individual steps, it is important to define what the various file types are and the intended application for them. Currently there are four different downloads that are available for this software with each containing advantages and disadvantages.

windows only (easy to get going [additional step to get into software and configure], no LSB, have to update the software and reimage) linux only generic/live (can do LSB, depending on install method you do not have to reimage upon updating) standalone application (just the shell script itself)


  • Extract This step is accomplished by right-clicking the downloaded file (Esesen_x.x.x.x.x.zip) and selecting the "Select All..." menu option. Clicking the "Extract" button on the follow-up prompt will extract the software into a folder name Esesen_x.x.x.x.x in your current location.
  • Install Double-clicking the 'install' file (or typing 'install.bat' and pressing the ENTER key at the command line) will show a popup with all the current processes taking place. Any final message other than "Esesen has been installed successfully! Press any key to continue . . .", indicates a failure and you will need to consult your support staff or visit our forums.

NOTES:

  • we are currently working on a graphical installer
  • the a default administrators password will be the word 'password' (without quotes)



Uninstallation

Hopefully your choice to uninstall the software isn't a permanent one, but in the event that you do need to perform this function, simply go into your 'Control Panel' and click the "Add/Remove Programs"/"Programs and Features" icon or the "Uninstall a program" link. This will bring up a screen showing all the currently installed software. Scroll through the list until you find the 'Esesen' entry and click it. You should then see an "Uninstall" or "Uninstall/Change" button in the window to which you should click. This will open another popup showing you all the uninstallation tasks taking place. For any final message other than "Esesen has been uninstalled successfully! Press any key to continue . . .", then you should contact your support staff or visit our forums.


Network Designs

If your office consist of a room in your house, or actually is an office but only houses a handful of employees, then most of the time any servers in use are mainly for authentication and file sharing. While it is irrelevant whether the server is configured as a domain controller (DC) or a simple workgroup server, we do recommend having the clients of the network NOT be connected to a domain. Currently there are instances after a restoration where the client will need to be dropped and then re-joined to the DC. Not only will this step be prevented if the clients are never joined to a domain, but in the event that the server has to be replaced, the clients do not have to go through the process of migrating to the new server.



showing/hiding of the boot menu and how to get it to show if you hide it (e.g. grub2 using shift key)