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Re: "kickstart" for debian needed

On Tue, Mar 27, 2001 at 09:58:27PM -0800, Duane Powers wrote:
> 30+ similar machines with debian, life sucks, eh? :o)
> discussion on the list before... I don't know if anyone has the details
> on redhat's kickstart program,
> and whether that is something that could be ported to debian... Any
> suggestions?

I am not sure how much of the base install could be automated.  But have
you thought of making a task package?  That way you can keep the
packages that are installed on each machine consistant.  I'm not sure
how task packages work or how you can make them, but I think it's as
simple as depending on all the packages you need.

> Most (of our) engineers are not linux-compliant.
> Need centralized login, (can't use NIS+, we've already got a NIS+ system
> for Solaris... don't wanna confuse the issue,)

You might like to look into using LDAP for this.  Another alternitive is
using an SQL database.  This issue is pretty flexiable considering there
are many PAM modules and quite a few Name Service (libnss) modules.

> May need to be reinstalled occassionally due to high tech network
> engineers hosing

You mean they'll have root access?  If that is the case there is not
much they can do.   If that is the case though maybe they should be
given machines with nothing on them to start with.  Or ones that can be
mucked up.   If they don't have root access then I don't see it as a

> various applications (these are going to be workstations, not servers...
> accessed frequently by different users... stuff will get broken)

You might be able to update your task packages and either come up with a
system to start upgrading of all machines or schedule them to run
apt-get update && apt-get -y dist-upgrade every 24 hours or so.  I am not
sure how debconf can handle with sitewides defaults yet either, but I do
recall something being considered for this.

Jeremy Lunn
Melbourne, Australia

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