I settled on 64-bit Gutsy Gibbon Server, as it was the latest and greatest. I built my generic image, which worked great. But then I built my clone.
The clone’s ethernet card never showed up. I used every tool; I could see it on the PCI bus, and I could examine it to my hearts’ content, but ifconfig just wouldn’t see eth0.
Finally, today, I found the culprit. I’d rebuilt the image again, cloned it, told the clone to create a new ID, and immediately the Ethernet interface disappeared.
/etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules, which relies on the MAC address of the network card to assign ethernet devices. Changing the ID changes the MAC address, which breaks the existing rule.
Solution? Delete the rule for the old card, on eth0, and change the eth1 in the rule for the new MAC to eth0.
That’s it. Wish it hadn’t taken me days of messing around to figure that out. Makes me feel old and not very bright.