[CentOS] best practice: how to setup a central "network installation server"?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 13:49:10 UTC 2010

Rudi Ahlers wrote:
> 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?

If you want to do disk cloning (any OS, including windows) or PXE boot into a 
running, look at drbl and clonezilla http://drbl.sourceforge.net/.  You can find 
a yum repository for Centos in the list at http://drbl.sourceforge.net/one4all/.

It has a menu configuration that I think can be made to boot into an installer 
but I've never used it that way since our machines are mostly identical and a 
lot of them are windows based.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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