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Re: kickstart (autoinstall)? Was: Planned packages for sarge

Do sysadmins want kickstart? maybe
Do sysadmins want FAI?  maybe

I can tell you what would really push debian over Red Hat/SuSE/Mandrake. 
And auto install that comes off of a floppy.  If I could put a single
floppy in the FD and reboot the computer and it would automatically
install everything to the specs (defined either on the floppy or a
centralized server), doing whatever configuration that is needed.  Here is
a few cases to make a point:

1)  School computer lab (University or even a K-12 school), when a machine
gets "hosed up", the student assistant needs to be able to "fix the
problem" fairly easily.  In the windows world they use Ghost and a NT or
Novell server.  And just relay the ghost image down.  But if Debian could
put in a single floppy, boot and 20 minutes* later be up and running with
little if any interaction from the user, that would make the SysAdmins &
lab coordinators happy.

* depending on network speed/congestion.

2)  A small but geographically disperse company.  The SysAdmins would hate
to have to drive/fly around to fix someone's machine.  If the End User
could put the floppy in and boot and the magic happens, that would make
the SA very happy and so as the CFO for saving a ton of money on travel

3)  Large company.  The SysAdmins would be swamped with rebuilds, whereas
a single floppy install for the average Joe workers (not your uber-geeks)
to install their desktop with a single floppy would make large fortune 500
companies really look at Debian.

As we all know the IT budgets have been slashed and are probably going to
be slashed again and again before it gets better for us.  So anything that
we (as Debian developers) can do to make their life easier (and cheaper)
the better they like us and the more they will use us.

As as sidenote:  Maybe the idea of having a CDRom that you can boot off of
and have the configuration info on.  Or maybe just enough info to get
going and the rest of the centralized server.  Most machines used in
business today are able to boot off the cdrom and cdr discs are getting
pretty damn cheap.

Now that I have thrown my 5 cents in the ring, lets see how far off I am.


Reverend Scott Boss                   email  : scott@sboss.net
janitor                               website: http://www.sboss.com
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