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RE: diskless workstations / setup

Hello Mike,

I don't quite understand your questions,
it may be that I'm completely un-informed,
but it's possible the confusion isn't all mine.
So I'd try to explain what and why I don't understand.

[Mike Gabriel - Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:53 PM]

> Hi all,
> I would like to bring up a topic that I already adressed to Klaus Ade
> off-list and that confuses me.
> In the German lenny Skole manual:
> http://maintainer.skolelinux.org/debian-edu-doc/de/debian-edu-lenny-manual.pdf
> there is a hint that diskless workstations can be fed from the first
> LTSP server with there boot envs. The diskless workstation will be
> located within the 10.0.2-network. That is also similar to the
> information Klaus Ade gave me.

First I don't understand German so I can't reference that. Since your
English is good I would suggest you consult the English manual at the wiki
for translation mistakes.

> My questions are:
>   o does this not interfere with the PXE installer on tjener?

I don’t understand what you mean by PXE installer.
I believe PXE is a boot mechanism that may boot a debian installer
or another system, so it may interfere but not necessarily.
There are ways to resolve or divert this.

>   o does the first LTSP server also have a dhcpd on the 10.0.2-NIC?

I don't understand why would there be an dhcpd on an LTSP?
I believe there should only be one - system wide.
For all I know tjener (what ever that means, I take it for main) has been
serving dhcp for both segments and why should that change? It does provide 
some other central services besides LDAP.

If I'm not mistaken LTSP servers provide a bridge for clients on
side to services at, but they can also serve clients on that side.
However, heavy traffic may saturate this segment which I believe was the motivation
to separate statelesses from the rest in the first place.

Could you provide a diagram of your network topology?
I suggest you consult the one in the manual for the topology designed for Skolelinux and
is default in Debian-Edu. There should be a lot more related content there.
Look for "architecture" in the manual.

>   o are diskless clients handled via MAC addresses? Possibly in GOsa?

I don't understand what you mean by handled.
I guess the short answer would be yes, here is a longer one:

At first PXE is referred by dhcp's options 'next-server', 'root-path' and 'filename'
to the appropriate TFTP location to load it's pxlinux or nbi image.
At that stage it can only be resolved based on it's MAC or by the interface it
calls on (subnet), if the options are defined for a certain MAC they take precedence
over those defined for the subnet.

Next, at that location (used to be at tftp://tjener.intern/var/lib/tftpboot/...)
other diversions may be made if using PXE, by files in pxelinux.cfg/ this time
based either on IP or MAC maybe even host name, these may include GRUB menu options
to farther divert based on user input.

As to the second part of the question, I would rephrase it as:
Is DHCP configured by GOSA?
Since I'm quite sure TFTP, PXE and GRUB aren't, yet.

> I am not really clear about the diskless workstation concept for
> squeeze. My favourite would be:
>    o provide a GRUB to the 192.168.X-network
>    o allow boot as Thin Client or Diskless Workstation

I believe these two are already there.

>    o maybe make this configurable via MAC address in Gosa

I think all you need to do is control DHCP in GOSA and support
The relevant options.

> Any help and thoughts appreciated...

That is all I thought I once knew, but I'm not sure I know
anything anymore, Petter should know much better.

Hopefully it will help you setting up GOSA. Odd.

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