[nycbug-talk] PXE/TFTPd Sanity

Isaac Levy ike at lesmuug.org
Thu Dec 31 13:18:37 EST 2009

On Dec 30, 2009, at 5:02 PM, N.J. Thomas wrote:

> * 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
> following:
>    - 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.
> Thomas

This is exactly the sentiment I was looking for- and as our aim is to continue to maintain very homogeneous groups of software servers, we may not even get into the cfengine/puppet/bcfg2 etc... apps for quite some time- our scripted installs and updates should hold us for at least the next year.

It's the boot and install parts we need to focus on- perhaps months from now I'll post back with notes on what we did.

Now it's up to us to go sort out the tools' options!

Thanks Thomas, and Dave!


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