We create images with the free VMWare server, and compress them to upload to ReAssure using the following script:

This one decompresses:
Note: the scripts rea_compress and de_rea_compress are available on each experimental PC in /usr/local/sbin for your convenience, for example if you wish to recompress and store an updated image.
Typical settings when creating a VMWare image are to use bridging for the network interfaces (ReAssure doesn't allow NAT to outside of the experimental testbed, although we're considering setting aside some machines to make updates easier). The following bridged networks are available on the experimental machines: vmnet 0, 2, 3, 4, 5. These respectively correspond to topography NICs # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and eth1, eth2, eth3, eth4 and eth5. The gap is due to VMWare assigning a special meaning to vmnet 1. Vmnet 1 is not available on these machines. Images are usually configured with up to 2 GB of RAM (the machines have 4 GB). We also usually map CDROMs to ISO images.
We also have found the following sites useful for creating or obtaining images: