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How-to: MS-to-Linux desktops with Alacos' migration tool

In this how-to, find out how to complete a mass Windows-to-Linux desktop migration using Alacos Linux Migration Agent Network Server Edition.

When a new product is announced, the word goes out about its features. If the product sounds like a good thing, then you wonder, "What would it be like to use it?" Our new product how-to series answers that question. Each how-to starts out with the basics -- product and vendor name, price, etc. -- and then gets down to business with a short how-to. This how-to was written by Luis Aguilar, vice president, technology and development, for Alacos of Seattle, Wash. - Jan Stafford, editor

What: Linux Migration Agent Network Server Edition

Type of product: Desktop migration software

Vendor: Alacos provides software and consulting services for companies and organizations migrating servers and desktops to Linux and thin client environments.

Value proposition: Linux Migration Agent simultaneously migrates documents, e-mail, and personal settings from multiple desktop computers from Windows to Linux using a centralized, programmable server. The software is customizable to an organization's specific desktop and network migration needs.

Price: Prices range from $15 to $40 per user, depending on the number of users migrated and the optional modules used.

Partners/allies: Alacos is partnered with Sun Microsystems Inc. (iForce, Java Desktop), Novell Inc. and Red Hat Inc. and IBM Corp. The product can also migrate to TurboLinux, Red Hat Fedora, and MandrakeLinux and works in conjunction with standard systems management tools from several vendors.

How to use Linux Migration Agent Network Server Edition: This "how-to" will explain, step-by-step, how to complete a mass Windows-to-Linux desktop migration using Alacos Linux Migration Agent Network Server Edition. The complete migration process using Linux Migration Agent is divided into three phases.

Phase I ­ Installing the Linux Migration Network Server on the the Linux Computer

A) Log in as root on the Linux computer.

B) Insert the Linux Migration Agent Network Server Edition CD into your Linux computer.

C) The CD will auto-mount. If it doesn¹t auto-mount, then mount the CD on your computer.

D) Open the CD on your desktop and start the ³install.sh² file.

E) Wait for the Welcome message and follow the instructions to finish the installation.

F) Once the installation is done, a Migration Icon will appear on your Desktop.

G) Execute that Icon to start the Migration Control Center.

H) Start migrating by opening the communication center on the Control Center.

I) Go to any Windows® machine and execute the migration.

Phase II ­ Selecting and Migrating Data from Your Windows Computer

A) Make sure the computer is connected to the internal network.

B) Log in to the Windows computer as the user you want to migrate.

C) Insert the CD in the Windows computer.

D) LMA starts automatically. Read the Welcome message and press Next to continue.

E) Read the End User License Agreement, accept the license and press Next to continue.

F) LMA sets up your Windows computer to receive files from the Linux computer. This can take up to 3 minutes based on your computer. If you have Windows 98, ME, or NT, you may need to restart your computer. If you are asked to restart your computer, do so and start LMA again.

G) At the User Selection screen, choose the user you want to migrate and press Next to continue.

H) Choose Automatic or Personalized migration. Automatic moves all documents, email, and settings that LMA can migrate. Personalized allows you to choose specific files and folders to migrate. After selecting a migration method, press Next to continue.

I) Automatic: If you chose automatic, LMA starts the migration of data to the Windows computer.

J) Personalized: If you chose the personalized method, select the type of data to move. If you want to choose specific files or folders press Advanced. If you are finished selecting data to migrate, press Next to Continue.

K) Advanced: If you selected the Advanced button, choose the files or folders you want to migrate. Once you finished, press the Next button to continue.

L) LMA now prepares the data for migration. This process can take up to 30 minutes depending on the amount of data selected for migration. If you are prompted by Windows during this phase, accept the requests.

M) After preparing the data, LMA sends it to the Linux computer. This can take several hours based on the amount of data you selected and the speed of your network card. LMA usually takes 10 minutes per gigabyte of data.

N) After LMA completes the transfer process, press the Finish button to continue.

O) LMA now restores the Windows computer to its original communication settings. In the case of Windows 98, NT and ME, LMA restarts your computer to restore the original settings.

P) Eject the CD and go to the Linux Migration Server.

Phase III ­ Installing Data on Your Target Computer

A) Once the Information is on your Migration Server, you can finalize the Migration.

B) To do so, select the user in the Migration Control Center you want to migrate and start the Migration Command.

C) The Control Center will ask you if you want to move the User to a new user or to an existing User.

D) Based on your decision, you may have to fill in the information for the new user.

E) Once you are done filling in the Information, just press the Next button and the migration process will start.

F) Once the migration is done, you can insert the migration data from the server to the Target Computer.

G) To Insert the migration data in the Target Computer, press the Add a New System button in the Migration Control Center.

H) The next screen will ask you for the Target Computer IP and the password.

I ) Once you submit the information it will start building the new Target Computer. It can take several minutes based on the amount of data.

J) Once it is finished, the migration is done and the user can start using the Computer.

K) If you are finished migrating data, press the Finish button to close the Control Center.

For more information: Demos

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