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Re: [idea] debian auto-configuration (like sysprep)

On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 12:45:20PM +0000, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
> i have an idea which i would like to share with you, in the hope
> that either it already exists (and someone will kindly tell me where)
> or that it will be considered, implemented, or someone says "oh
> that's easy, go away and add code here here and here, and send me
> the patch".
> the idea is based around the configuration text file which is used
> by sysprep.exe.
> background of sysprep.exe: it's an NT tool used by OEMs and sysadmins
> to roll out [nearly identical hardware] multiple machines.
> what you do is you set up a machine, you run sysprep with a config.txt
> file, and then you shut down the machine.
> you then make an image of the hard drive, copy it onto [one or more]
> other machines - the size of the hard drive is irrelevant, it just
> must be bigger - with identical hardware (hard drive being the exception
> to that rule).
> and on a boot of these clones, you will get a machine as if you had
> just bought it and switched it on for the first time (now you know
> what tool OEMS use to do that :)

You'll be interested in FAI, I suspect. FAI, for Fully Automatic
Installer, is a system that allows you to set up configuration templates
and set up hundreds of clones over a network, using a netboot image and
an installation server.

Although not really easy to learn (it took a week in my case to get it
working to the point where I was happy with it), FAI is *far* more
flexible than sysprep.

see http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/ for more information.

     smog  |   bricks
 AIR  --  mud  -- FIRE
soda water |   tequila
 -- with thanks to fortune

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