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Re: Mass installation procedure for Debian?

Chris Zubrzycki wrote:

very good idea, but I was wonering if anyone one the list has every made a custom boot cd, with specific packages and a custom kernel image/modules (xfs support, etc.)

I've done some work on mass-installing debian for a lab here, what I've come up to now is a modified set of boot floppies, (which someday I'll 'port' into a CD :). Basically a rescue floppy with a custom kernel with all netcards that we have compiled in, and a modified root floppy (added mkreiserfs and wget) with an init script that does the following:

-prompt for IP or DHCP.
-set up networking
-invoke fdisk to partition manually or use 'auto partition'*.
-create swap and filesystem (using reiser here),  mount/swapon 'em.

after this, the script:
+wgets a tarball from the 'install server' and untars it upon /target
+writes the IP configuration from the past prompts or dhcp into /etc/network
+runs lilo if needed*.
+reboots with a configured box running X ready to be used.

The tarball at the server is made of an installed prototype. All the machines have the same hardware (as far as net/video cards goes). The server is apache with basic authentication, (wget sends login/password), for truly 'basic security'. All the installed boxes have an init script that check if there are 'updates' on the install server, which are scripts which apt-gets for security updates or new packages asked for by the students, and copy conf files into the boxes.

* 'Total' automation can be achieved if there's a dhcpd on the network and an image of the boot sector on the server that (w)gets dd'd into hda, which assumes all boxes have the same harddisk setup.

I can provide these tools if someone whishes to play with them.

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