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Re: Network installation from a centralixed server

Vijaya S wrote:

hi ,
I was thinking of creating a server that holds all images of Linux
distros with updated packages
For ex: Debian (sarge)
           Debian (woody)
And people should able to connect to it and download and instlal the
images in few mintures rather than me installing on each machine

Any tool that can be recommended for this?

The installers are different for each.

Red Hat is trivial. The CDs contain instructions for creating a suitable structure for network installs, and the Red Hat documentation for setting it up is very good.

Woody's standard installer is a pain and not to be recommended. You could
a) Take a look at www.progeny.com - somewhere in there they've ported Anaconda to Debian, and Anaconda beats the new debian-installer hands down* b) Take a look at FAI. FAI is a non-standard but highly customisable installer of Debian. I don't think it comes close to Anaconda though. FAI is a debian package. c) Take a look at systemimager. It can install pretty much anything, and has a companion package for configuring things.

Also, rather than create your own mirrors, consider configuring Squid as a transparent proxy. Make sure it will cache pretty much all files.

What will happen is this:
First time someone installs a particular package, it's downloaded into your Squid cache as it's served to the installer.
Second and subsequent times, it's served directly from the cache.

The advantage is that, instead of storing three ISOs of each RHL/Fedora of interest, plus seven CDs of Woody and a dozen or so of Sarge, plus Mandrake, SuSe etc if you support them too, you only store the files people actually use.

* The new debian-installer doesn't do hands-off installs. Anaconda does.



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