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Re: Mass install / Autoinstall (Was: Re: Debian vs Red Hat??? I need info.)

Most of the answers I've been getting on this subject seem like total
hacks, which may work but really are tricks to doing this.  I was really
looking for something within debian that's built to do "kickstart" type

Although what you suggest may work, it leave little flexibility between
machines and also takes a lot more work then I was hoping to do.

For example, I have 20 machines at a co location I need to go install.  
Right now with Red Hat I can take my laptop, slap a floppy in each
machine, turn 'em on, 5 minutes later I have 20 fully configured machines
ready to rock.  Also if I use DHCP and place my kick start config file on
the server, I could literally have 20 different configurations for each
machine and never have to touch a key.  This is a part of Red Hat, no
tricks have to be done, all you need is a proper ks.cfg file and a central
place where the distro comes from, usually over nfs for convenience.  YOu
can't beat that when doing large installations.  To do what I need to do
in Debian seems that it would take a very long time, even hours, which is
not fun if you've ever spent time at a co location.

It seems a lot of Debian users are developers and in this case I'm sure
Debian is perfect, but Red Hat's kickstart allows me to see my wife at
night (not really, but you know what I mean).


> >>>>> "Jeremy" == Jeremy Hansen <jeremy@xxedgexx.com> writes:
>     Jeremy> Autoinstall (Red Hat's kickstart)
>     Jeremy> 	This is also something fairly important.  We need this as we do a
>     Jeremy> 	lot of mass installs.
>  The best way to do that that I've found so far is to set up a box
>  with two removable hard drive racks, install and _configure_
>  everything on one drive, then use `cfdisk', `mkswap', and `mke2fs' to
>  partition and format the second drive.  Use `cpio' from a script to
>  copy everything from the master drive to the copy, then run the
>  appropriate Lilo command to make that copy bootable.  You can then
>  mount it in another machine and it's ready to go.  You have to filter
>  some things out when you copy.  See below.
>  Another way to do it would be to create a tar archive, useing "find |
>  grep -v -f exclude-patterns | cpio", name it `base2_2.tgz' and put it
>  in place on an intranet web server where you can point the Debian
>  installer's netfetch...  Then you can install several machines at
>  once over the LAN... in theory.
>  This is just a starter... I have not done this much yet myself, since
>  I don't have extra hardware to work with and really need to spend my
>  time on reading and studies.  I have done it from drive to drive
>  using `cpio' to install the filesystem snapshot, but have not done it
>  by naming a tar format archive as base and using the debian-boot
>  installer.  It might just work.  NFS mounting the server directory
>  where the `cpio' or `tar' archive sits might work fine also.
>  You could burn a bootable CD with the archive on it, and on the
>  bootable's root.bin, have `sfdisk' etc. and a script that automaticly
>  partitions, formats, and installs the archive.  It might be simpler
>  to try the netfetch/dbootstrap approach though.
>  You can make a copy of the system like this... it will create a
>  `cpio' archive... substitute `ustar' for `crc' to make a `tar'
>  compatible archive.  RTFM's... you're on your own.
> 8<-------------------------------------------->8
> #!/bin/bash
> find / -print0 |
>  grep --invert-match --extended-regexp --null-data --file=/root/make-tarball.exclude-patterns |
>  cpio --create --format=crc --null --reset-access-time --block-size=10 |
>  gzip --best > /tmp/system-snapshot_$(date +%Y.%m.%d).cpio.crc.gz
> 8<-------------------------------------------->8
>  You may need to tweak this some.  (NO WARRANTEE)
>  "make-tarball.exclude-patterns"
> 8<-------------------------------------------->8
> ^/proc/.*
> ^/tmp/.*
> ^/lost+found
> ^/boot/lost+found
> ^/var/cache/apache/.*
> ^/var/cache/apt/.*\.deb
> ^/var/log/.*\.log
> ^/var/log/\(amanda\|apache\|gdm\|ksymoops\|mailman\|news\|sendfile\|wu-ftpd\)/.*
> ^/var/log/\(syslog\|smb\|nmb\|messages\|mail\|lpr\|debug\|dmesg\).*
> ^/var/lock/\.LCK.*
> ^/var/run/.*\.pid
> ^/var/run/\(ndc\|utmp\)
> ^/var/samba/.*
> \.bash_history
> \.gnome-errors
> .*~
> /\.saves-.*
> /\.#.*
> /\.netscape/cache/.*


http://www.xxedgexx.com | jeremy@xxedgexx.com

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