NetInstall: Deploying workstations by PXE boot
many discussions have been made what tool to use if we want to deploy an
entire classroom. As not all workstations own a local CD device, and it
might be tiring anyway to walk from PC to PC with your Install CD,
suggestions had been made to use FAI or M23 or any other tool.
During our last "Lern- und Arbeitswochenende" (Learning and Working
Weekend) [1,2] at the German Skolelinux Testcenter, Geert Stappers from
Breda joined us, in order to check for a more straight forward way: How
to tune a raw mainserver (Tjener) to empower him for net-install.
As Geert put it: Everything is already there, it only lacks the glue.
The idea is to forward the debian-installer on the install-CD to
(assigned) clients via TFTP/PXE. A report of first steps towards such a
"Super-Tjener" can be found in our Wiki . It includes detailed
instructions, so you can test it yourself.
Sunday, high noon, we watched a wokstation booting Skolelinux-Venus via
PXE, asking for profiles and language, which all went very quick.
Now, there is not an end, but a bend on the road: The initramdisk
forwarded to the client is hardcoded to install from local CD drive.
AFAIK, Geert already asked for its location in CVS, because adapting
the source is better than hacking the image itself.
[BTW: What is the contact address for the new Debian-Edu Release team?]
We ask you kindly for comments and tests plus further steps ;)
Have a nice day
 Weekend; http://skolelinux.de/wiki/ArbeitsTreffen0507
 Results: http://skolelinux.de/wiki/ArbeitsTreffen0507/Ergebnisse