[CentOS] Using Centos on both server and client systems a private network

Wed Jul 5 16:41:12 UTC 2006
Benjamin Smith <lists at benjamindsmith.com>

On Monday 03 July 2006 09:26, rance at frontiernet.net wrote:
> I'm open to nfs, ftp, or http content delivery to clients in case one 
> or the other makes a difference.

If I wanted to set up and then support a large number of workstations, my 
answer would perhaps be "hackish" but would work. YMMV. 

1) Set up a yum repo webserver on the local network. This makes workstation 
installations go much faster, and allows me to control the rollout of 

2) Set up a single workstation with all the packages that you want. 
	-> Set up yum on the workstation to use the yum repo. 
	-> Use rpm -qa and make a stupid-simple "yum install `rpm -qa`" script out of 
	-> Put the yum files (/etc/yum*) and the yum install script on the yum repo 
webserver as a .tgz file. 

3) Install new workstations with minimal installs of CentOS (only the first CD 
is needed if you choose "custom" and then uncheck all packages) which takes 
just a couple minutes per system. 

4) wget the setup script that you built in #2, and run. Since it's all local, 
it will install very fast. 

With this method, I could probably set up 5-10 workstations per hour if they 
were pre-built and had a fast network. This method has an additional 
advantage of leaving the systems preconfigured to get updates that I could 
control the rollout of. 

I would additionally recommend setting up a cron script on each workstation to 
do updates automatically ("yum update") every night at 3 AM. Grep for 
"kernel" in the output to toggle an automatic reboot, if it makes sense. 

I similar methods to set up Porn-filtering web-proxy servers. (that we sell to 
schools) Thus, I can roll out security updates automatically for the entire 
organization in < 24 hours while performing only a few minutes of work. 

Again, there may be "better" ways to achieve the above, but the shell 
scripting to support the above would take me about 4 hours to cook up, and 
would work quite well. 

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
- XEROX PARC slogan, circa 1978