I have 3 mobile-classrooms. This means there are 10 Laptops (DELL M4300) with one of them working as a server. These machines can be used by "non-computer-people" who need everything to be easy. OS is Fedora 15, but they have VMs with Windows XP. We use VirtualBox.
The computers are "clone-fool-proof". I have set them up with 5 partitions (boot, root, home, swap).
We use DHCP.
Boot has grub from where they can choose either Fedora or G4L (Ghost for Linux). G4L loads into RAM and can then be used to clone the computer.
Root has OS.
Home has all the VMs I use for the course. We use VirtualBox!
What I need is this: When the user starts the computer a dialog comes up asking if he wants to use wired or wireless communication. Then, very important, there has to be a stress-test of the communication-canal they choose in case it is not working properly. If for instance wireless is not working there needs to be a message to the user that they HAVE to use a cable - and then set everything up with wired-communication.
All the VMs have a setting for which network-card to use. There is a VBoxManage command to change the network-card.
After a classroom-clone all the MAC-addresses of the VMs will be the same. So there has to be a "auto-create-MAC" for all VMs. There is a VBoxManage command to set the MAC, but I do not know how to create a new one. Maybe use part of the IP that the DHCP-server gives the computer?
I have made everything "clone-fool-proof", but the users still have problems with the communication. Mostly it has been user error, but I cannot blame them :)
With this startup-script I hope to eliminate all possible problems. The user starts the computer, answers what card to use, and starts the VM for the course.