Re: Vision of new installation method using webserver
In your email to me, Christoph Lameter, you wrote:
> Since we were talking about including a web-server in the base system here
> some thoughts.
> I often maintain headless servers. I always have to attach a screen for
> the initial install or if something is seriously wrong with the machine.
> Lets say I have a new machine fine tuned by the dealer (who put 95 or
> something else we dont need on it) in front of me. I'd like to do the
> 1. Insert Floppy disk and boot
> A) The installation disk will detect frequently used ethernet boards
> and configures an IP address obtained using BOOTP or DHCP. I can
> then usually locate the IP address either via the BOOTP logs on a
> Linux machine or via the NT DHCP display.
> B) The web-server will start running
> C) There is NO user interaction up to this point. Video is not used at
> 2. I can then use my laptop attached to the ethernet or a nearby
> workstation with any web-browser and connect to the webserver on
> the new machine
> 3. Use a web-driven configuration process
> - initial partitioning and formatting
> - running dselect (dwebselect?)
> This would simplify the installation process extremely. I could just sent
> the installation disk to a customer far away and tell him to insert that
> disk into a new machine and I could remotely set it up from home!
> I have a customer in Minneapolis for example and I needed someone to do
> the initial install before I could take over the system. He put RH on it
> since he knew nothing else..... I then had to upgrade the system to Debian
> via telnet. Uggh.
> If the base disks also would include a small textbased web-browser then we
> might be able to use the same user interface both for remote and local
> Another benefit would be that those machine actually could be ordered
> without any video board at all leaving room for more expansion. Right now
> we leave a cheap video board in for emergencies.
> This move would give us a tremendous advantage over RH in the business
> world. If anything is wrong just tell the customer to put in the rescue
> disk and we can remotely fix things worldwide (hardware willing to
> cooperate of course).
This is a GREAT idea! A few years ago, I took a look at Plexus
(I think it was written by Tony Samders). It's a complete server
written in Perl. Since we have perl on the resc disk.... I'll have
to see if I can find another copy. Being all text source based, it
should compress fine to save space.
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