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Re: Mass installation procedure for Debian?


We install/reconfigure re-install almost on a daily basis via a local
network, which is far the fastest way, better than any CD.

On Mon, Feb 04, 2002 at 06:09:54PM +0200, I. Forbes wrote:
> Hello Oliver 
> We use this installation procedure.  It is not really "mass" but can 
> generate a debian stable machine tailored for our customer's 

We use a similar aproach and I can recommend it.

I have played Fai once and actually I'm fiddling with bootcd.

With Fai I came in closer contact with Cfengine and I started to like
it that much, that I started to experiment with a generalized Cfengine
setup, that will be casted into debian packages.

These define setup-strategies with cfengine, mail-server, web-server,
print-server, print-client, etc, etc, then I *only*:

1) install a minimal/moderate standar Debian System with a unique
   private IP number or with an IP number which is a "handle" for a
   predefined installation.

2) define the special caracteristics of the new computer by adding it
   to the corresponding cfengine classes on the "Cfengine
   Master"/Debian Mirror

3) Let Cfengine do the rest by running it from the newly installed

Note that this is (almost) a vapourware description, while it is true
that I handle a home/Internet-Café/development network of about eight
randomly assembled Debian boxes, it's not brewn out.

A note about the mirror:

There is one machine with a webserver and a 33.6 :-) Modem line to the
Internet, where I upate my packages frequently.  After each
download/install/update I run "apt-move update" to get new packages
into a www-mirror on the local harddisk.

Each other computer only uses this local mirror.  Big advantage:
instead of browsing 9000 packages y only manage about 1000 most needed
on the local computers, which are browsed manually rather quickly.
Tip: don't make this computer a production server (as I do) since the
update regularly breaks the machine.  If you use an individual "update
server" you can play around with software and then decide if you want
to install or upgrade on the local network.

Also jablicator has not been mentioned in this thread.  It creates an
empty Debian Packages which depends on all packages that are installed
on your computer.  So if you create various jablications for different
computer setups and put them on a local debian-mirror you just install
on a new computer the jablicated packages according to the needs of
this machine.

Best Regards,


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