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Old 02-18-2010, 10:10 AM
"Simon Billis"
 
Default best practice: how to setup a central "network installation server"?

Hi Rudi,

Rudi Ahlers sent a missive on*2010-02-18:

> Hi,
>
> I want to setup a central installation server, but haven't done this
> before, so I want to find out what would be best practices for this?
>
> The server I have already runs as a central repo, which is updated
> from one or our local centos mirrors, and the other CentOS servers
> (both i386 & x64), as well as CentOS VPS's get their updates from this
server.
>
> But, now I want to allow a client to perform a quick network
> installation, using either a netbood CD, or preferably with the
> server's network bootrom. I understand this can be done with bootp, or
> am I on the wrong track?
>
> the server is a general file server and also acts as our in-office
> internet gateway, and has Webmin installed for convenience sake. I
> don't know if this is of any use?
>
> Generally we would be (re)installing CentOS servers & desktops, but I
> guess it could be useful for other distro's like Fedora Core / Debian
> / FreeBSD? / etc. What would be a good option to go for, or could
> someone point me to a good documentation? Doing a google search I
> found a lot of instructions on how to perform a network installation
> on the client PC's, but not how to configure the server. Maybe I used
> the wrong key words?
>

I'm not suggesting that this is "best practice" but this works in my
environment for unattended installations or reinstallations.

1) The first thing that I did to get this to work was to have a web server
hold the distribution of Centos needed. This was accessible to the servers
that I was building using a boot CD and specifying network install.
2) I then automated this installation using kickstart files also held on the
web server.
3) I then setup a PXE boot server using tftpd and configured the server to
be built to boot via PXE (using dhcp options to point to the correct pxe
boot server and boot file) and then to connect to web server to built
itself.
4) I also use koan on existing systems to enable me to rebuild them
remotely. Using koan I am able to reboot the machine and it will then pxe
boot (without the need to have bios set) and complete the installation.

I hope that this points you in the right direction.

Rgds

Simon.


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Old 02-19-2010, 04:33 PM
"Ausmus, Matt"
 
Default best practice: how to setup a central "network installation server"?

If you want to invest a little extra time you can install Spacewalk (the
open source version of Red Hat's Satellite) which has Cobbler built into
it plus it provides centralized management of your devices both for
monitoring services as well as being able to deploy config files,
updates , etc. It provides a nice clean interface for Cobbler and it is
fully integrated into it.

Installing just Cobbler is definitely the quick way to get this going
but taking the time to deploy Spacewalk (especially if you manage lots
of servers) is worth the effort. We've been running it for less than a
year and we're very happy with it.

____________________________
Matt Ausmus
Network Administrator
Chapman University
635 West Palm Street
Orange, CA 92868
(714)628-2738
mausmus@chapman.edu

"What the gods get away with, the cows don't."
-THE AQUINAS AXIOM
-----Original Message-----
From: Fernando Gleiser [mailto:fergleiser@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 11:13 AM
To: CentOS mailing list
Subject: Re: [CentOS] best practice: how to setup a central "network
installation server"?

----- Original Message ----

> From: Marcelo M. Garcia <marcelo.maia.garcia@googlemail.com>
> To: CentOS mailing list <centos@centos.org>
> Sent: Thu, February 18, 2010 7:16:45 AM
> Subject: Re: [CentOS] best practice: how to setup a central "network
installation server"?
>
> Rudi Ahlers wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > kickstart file, if you are familiar with text based
configurations?
> >
> > Is kickstart REALLY the only way?
> >
> > How do I configure the server so that the client can use network
boot,
> > without a CD?
>
> Hi
>
> You can use PXE. You have to set up a tftp and a DHCP server.
Sometimes
> you have to enable PXE in the BIOS - I always to do this with Dell
machines.


Install cobbler, it makes building a netinstall server as easy as 1 2 3

cobbler handles pxe, dhcp, http repo setup, kickstart and such.

I've used it many times, it takes less than 15 minutes from "yum install
cobbler" to the start of the network installs of the client machines.

Once you set it up, just power on the client machine and watch it
install automagically


Fer




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Old 02-19-2010, 04:46 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default best practice: how to setup a central "network installation server"?

On 2/19/2010 11:33 AM, Ausmus, Matt wrote:
> If you want to invest a little extra time you can install Spacewalk (the
> open source version of Red Hat's Satellite) which has Cobbler built into
> it plus it provides centralized management of your devices both for
> monitoring services as well as being able to deploy config files,
> updates , etc. It provides a nice clean interface for Cobbler and it is
> fully integrated into it.
>
> Installing just Cobbler is definitely the quick way to get this going
> but taking the time to deploy Spacewalk (especially if you manage lots
> of servers) is worth the effort. We've been running it for less than a
> year and we're very happy with it.

Does it give you a way to add additional things to boot? That is, could
you patch in the clonezilla boot that drbl has for the times you want
image copies while still using its native facilities for Centos targets?

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com

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