[nycbug-talk] PXE/TFTPd Sanity

N.J. Thomas njt at ayvali.org
Wed Dec 30 17:02:48 EST 2009

* Isaac Levy <ike at lesmuug.org> [2009-12-30 14:33:48-0500]:
> - Has any unified software/packaging come about for doing network
> installs, or is it all still all just a matter of setting up TFTPD and
> a DHCP server?

The thing I've seen done at most places is something similar to the

    - use PXE/DHCP/TFTP to have the box grab an IP and fetch
      the OS install files

    - use sysinstall/cobbler/kickstart/jumpstart/FAI to install a 
      minimal OS and the configuration management system

    - use the configuration management system (cfengine, puppet, bcfg2,
      etc.) to install everything else 

The key here is to keep the first two steps as simple and as
small/minimal as possible. I would strongly suggest that you avoid the
temptation to have it do more than this. They all have capabilities that
will do far more (Cobbler especially), but cfengine/puppet/bcfg2 are far
better suited to handle this task, so you want to give that job to them.

The basic idea is you want to get to the point where your automated
install is done when the configuration management system package/port is
installed. Everything else is done by the latter.


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