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Re: Debian vs Red Hat??? I need info.

On Wed, May 17, 2000 at 05:28:54PM +1000, Craig Sanders wrote:
> On Tue, May 16, 2000 at 10:43:20PM -0400, Chris Wagner wrote:
> > At 07:29 PM 5/16/00 -0400, Jeremy Hansen wrote:
> > >Autoinstall (Red Hat's kickstart)
> > > This is also something fairly important.  We need this as we do a
> > > lot of mass installs.
> >
> > For mass installs, just make a standard issue CD, boot from that CD,
> > and copy over the OS.  Or you could even make a disk image and dd it
> > onto the hard drive.  That assumes you have the same hard drive in all
> > the machines.  You can turn a 20GB drive into a 10GB drive. :) But
> > even if you have 4 or 5 different hard drives in your organization,
> > using disk images will still save you tons of time.
> even better, you can make a tar.gz image of your "standard install",
> stick it on an nfs server and then create a boot floppy with nfs
> support.  
> when building a new box, boot with the floppy, partition the disk
> (scriptable using sfdisk), mount the nfs drive, untar the archive, and
> then run a script which customises whatever needs to be customised (e.g.
> hostname, IP address, etc). then run lilo to make it bootable from the
> hard disk.

This is what I did at BNL for maintaining the 'black wall' of 150 VALinux
boxes. I built 1 box like I wanted, and made a tarball of it and put it
out on a NFS server. Then I created a kernel with nfsroot and bootp
support. As long as I know the MAC of the NIC in the maachine, you can
boot, get all the network stuff assigned by the bootp server, and 
it nfs mounts a small root partition with a hacked up rcS script.
This script partitions the disk using sfdisk, formats the partitions,
mounts them, then nfs mounts the old image, untars it, then fiddles 
with the config files, runs lilo, and reboots. On the 350MB install,
this takes about 5 minutes for the whole procedure. Now, with the
bootp kernel, we never have to touch the machines again. If we
update the image, we run a command on each box via ssh that copies the
bootp kernel over the normal one, runs lilo, and reboots, and the
whole thing runs by itself. We only have to touch the machine 1 time,
to get it to boot off the floppy for the initial install.


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