I am studying the PXE tutorial:

PXE was an important technology allowing hands-free imaging of desktops and servers.

I can not understand the "imaging of desktops and servers" there.

1 Answer 1


This is IT terminology. "Imaging" is the process of installing a pre-built operating system on a computer. The operating system is installed once with all the options and preferences selected and then the build is captured. This digital capture of the installation is referred to as an "image" and can be applied to other machines. It is a faster and less manual method of installing software on computers in bulk and preferred by many large organisations.

Outside of this context, "imaging" can mean any other process by which images (or pictures, photographs) are captured, for example, thermal imaging.

A desktop is a computer that would sit on your desk.

A server is a central computer that provides a service on a network of computers.

Imaging can be used for either of these.

The service you are studying, PXE, allows a computer or a server to boot from a remote source instead of from a local hard disk, allowing the hard disk in the machine to receive the image over the network.

  • 1
    thanks your answer and how to understand the imaging of desktops and servers?
    – aircraft
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 10:36
  • @aircraft Both desktops and servers use operating systems; they are both types of computers. Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 15:02

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