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Old 05-02-2008, 02:29 PM
Michael DeHaan
 
Default Installing without PXE, and without the live CD -- "cobbler buildiso"

For a while Cobbler has had a solution based on koan and the live CD to
enable network provisioning of bare metal in environments that either do
not have DHCP, or do not have control over DHCP that is sufficient
enough to set up a PXE environment. Naturally, if you can set up a PXE
environment with Cobbler, it's very useful to have, and you'll want it.


So, along came the live CD.

The live CD was built using a recent Fedora, and it had the magic
ability to install any distro -- /except/ you had to use Fedora to build
the Live CD, and the build process was slow, and the live image was a
bit bigger than it needed to be. However, due to driver constraints,
it didn't always support the latest in storage technology -- that was a
problem.


We have finally implemented the low-tech solution, thanks to various
folks in Red Hat GPS, and some hacking I've done to integrate that
closer into cobbler.


Using 0.9.X or later (it's checked in now into the git "devel" branch)
you can do:


cobbler buildiso [--iso=] [--tempdir=] [--profiles=]

This will automatically generate an ISO that allows for menus just like
Cobbler's PXE boot menus, for installing new systems. I also plan to
allow a configurable default profile for those who want to mass deploy
this image using remote management processors, etc.


The menu will contain an entry for each bare metal bootable profile,
with the current data set in Cobbler. Given that Cobbler now
generates kickstarts in real time, changes to the kickstart templates
can be made without reburning the CD!


Again, the live CD is more dynamic, but this is much smaller, faster,
and easier to build.

The one thing the live CD still offers is simulation of the MAC address
detection feature of PXE, but if you don't need to use cobbler system
records to provision your lab/datacenter/etc, this will also get you
there -- and is probably the perfect fit if the Live CD was not working
out for you.


Test release will be available soon, git is available now.

--Michael



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Old 05-05-2008, 02:35 AM
"Aaron Lippold"
 
Default Installing without PXE, and without the live CD -- "cobbler buildiso"

Hi Michael,

This is a great feature! Thanks for putting the work in on this. I am working on the apache lockdown items for my organization and look forward to building a "Live Provisioning CD" that meets our requirements.


Thanks again!

Yours,

Aaron

On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 10:29 AM, Michael DeHaan <mdehaan@redhat.com> wrote:

For a while Cobbler has had a solution based on koan and the live CD to enable network provisioning of bare metal in environments that either do not have DHCP, or do not have control over DHCP that is sufficient enough to set up a PXE environment. *Naturally, if you can set up a PXE environment with Cobbler, it's very useful to have, and you'll want it.




So, along came the live CD.



The live CD was built using a recent Fedora, and it had the magic ability to install any distro -- /except/ you had to use Fedora to build the Live CD, and the build process was slow, and the live image was a bit bigger than it needed to be. * However, due to driver constraints, it didn't always support the latest in storage technology -- that was a problem.




We have finally implemented the low-tech solution, thanks to various folks in Red Hat GPS, and some hacking I've done to integrate that closer into cobbler.



Using 0.9.X or later (it's checked in now into the git "devel" branch) you can do:



* cobbler buildiso [--iso=] [--tempdir=] [--profiles=]



This will automatically generate an ISO that allows for menus just like Cobbler's PXE boot menus, for installing new systems. *I also plan to allow a configurable default profile for those who want to mass deploy this image using remote management processors, etc.




The menu will contain an entry for each bare metal bootable profile, with the current data set in Cobbler. * *Given that Cobbler now generates kickstarts in real time, changes to the kickstart templates can be made without reburning the CD!




Again, the live CD is more dynamic, but this is much smaller, faster, and easier to build.

The one thing the live CD still offers is simulation of the MAC address detection feature of PXE, but if you don't need to use cobbler system records to provision your lab/datacenter/etc, this will also get you there -- and is probably the perfect fit if the Live CD was not working out for you.




Test release will be available soon, git is available now.



--Michael







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Old 05-06-2008, 03:34 AM
"Aaron Lippold"
 
Default Installing without PXE, and without the live CD -- "cobbler buildiso"

Hi,

One other option that would be useful is what if my cobbler server has a whole lot of profiles but I only want a few or the situation where - since we have module ownership now - I only want "my profiles" on the iso.


From what I read before, createiso basically mirrors the cobbler server onto the livecd right? ( if error, please correct ) That's cool, but what if I have a whole lot of media - like 10 distros - I may only want to put my "Fedora X x86 desktop profiles" on the cd right? Secondly, if I did have 10 distros, no way that all fits on my one dvd...


Also, this might be a dumb question but does the livecd know how to "install to self" as well?

Yours,

Aaron

On Mon, May 5, 2008 at 10:47 AM, Michael DeHaan <mdehaan@redhat.com> wrote:

Subhendu Ghosh wrote:


Michael DeHaan wrote:


For a while Cobbler has had a solution based on koan and the live CD to enable network provisioning of bare metal in environments that either do not have DHCP, or do not have control over DHCP that is sufficient enough to set up a PXE environment. *Naturally, if you can set up a PXE environment with Cobbler, it's very useful to have, and you'll want it.




So, along came the live CD.



The live CD was built using a recent Fedora, and it had the magic ability to install any distro -- /except/ you had to use Fedora to build the Live CD, and the build process was slow, and the live image was a bit bigger than it needed to be. * However, due to driver constraints, it didn't always support the latest in storage technology -- that was a



*problem.




We have finally implemented the low-tech solution, thanks to various folks in Red Hat GPS, and some hacking I've done to integrate that closer into cobbler.



Using 0.9.X or later (it's checked in now into the git "devel" branch) you can do:



* cobbler buildiso [--iso=] [--tempdir=] [--profiles=]



This will automatically generate an ISO that allows for menus just like Cobbler's PXE boot menus, for installing new systems. *I also plan to allow a configurable default profile for those who want to mass deploy this image using remote management processors, etc.




The menu will contain an entry for each bare metal bootable profile, with the current data set in Cobbler. * *Given that Cobbler now generates kickstarts in real time, changes to the kickstart templates can be made without reburning the CD!




Again, the live CD is more dynamic, but this is much smaller, faster, and easier to build.

The one thing the live CD still offers is simulation of the MAC address detection feature of PXE, but if you don't need to use cobbler system records to provision your lab/datacenter/etc, this will also get you there -- and is probably the perfect fit if the Live CD was not working out for you.




Test release will be available soon, git is available now.



--Michael






If the iso(s) can be made available through the web infrastructure, and accessible via a predefined or calculated path, then a external rules engine could drive the provisioning process through the remote management processors's virtual media capabilities.





It can



mkdir /var/www/html/foo

cobbler buildiso --iso=/var/www/html/foo/kickstart.iso

I just need add the flag for setting what the default is and making the timeouts variable.




Perhaps the profiles module could be extended to define whether a iso should be generated or not. An easy way to automatically generate boot isos.






Right now there's some basic code to keep paravirt "-xen" distros from showing up on the ISO since they have no chance of being bootable. * *Though that is a good idea.



Another possibility is to add it as "cobbler profile edit --name=foo ... --menu=foo" to do submenus, and if we really wanted that. * *We could allow

--menu=hide as part of that syntax.




-sg



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