Preparations for installing a Farm
I'm currently in the process of preparing to install several Debian boxes
which will be used to form a processing farm. I'm therefore looking for ways
to ease the installation so that it's not going to need lots of hand
tweeking along the way.
The general setup of the machines will be:
2-4GB of Memory
IDE drive (20-40GB),
3Com 3c905C network card,
Video card for instalation only, general running will be with the only
access by network.
"Woody" Based (needed for the software they'll be running).
2.4 Kernel (for ReiserFS, Large File, and High Memory support)
Currently I've set-up a local RSync mirror (updated nightly) of the UK
Debian Mirror (our local one), so that installations can occur without going
out to the Internet, and therefore should be a lot quicker. I've decided to
mirror Woody and Sid (i.e. the two package pool dists), i386 binary only.
I'm also planning to do a custom kernel package which will be installed
across all the machines. This will be placed on a network drive somewhere so
it can be pulled in during the install.
Now, the last couple of days I've been playing with the first box to try to
streamline the install procedure. My thinking is that if we're going to be
installing several boxes identically it would be nice is I can get so that a
muppet can install it just by following a set of instructions. I've hit a
couple of issues though.
1) I'm booting the machine off the current woody rescue/root images
(ReiserFS ones). Everything works great until it tries to install the
base distribution. Because my mirror is of Woody and Sid, the
installation fails because there are still several packages linked over
to Potato. One of these is "at", which is part of the base distribution.
My mirror is already 8G and I really don't want to add another 5 to that
to mirror Potato as well. Does anybody have any idea how to get around
2) Once the base installation is complete (by pointing it to an outside
mirror), I want to be able to select a particular set of packes and have
them install. I was planning to tweak the package set-up on the first box
until I have exactly what I want, and then use "dpkg --get-selections" to
The problem is that when I use "dpkg --set-selections < [file]" it
appears to add the extra packages I've chosen, but not remove packages
I've gotten rid of of the first machine. Does anybody know of a method to
get a package selection list from machine A to machine B, so machine B
ends up with exactly the same packages installed regardless of what was
Also, any other pointers that people may have if you've ever attempted this