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

Scot P. Floess sfloess at nc.rr.com
Thu Feb 18 16:05:56 UTC 2010

Have you looked at Cobbler and KOAN?  Great tools...

On Thu, 18 Feb 2010, Les Mikesell wrote:

> On 2/18/2010 8:58 AM, Toby Bluhm wrote:
>>>> 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.
>> +1
>> This is how I have it setup. Reboot any PC, hit F12, PXE boot a menu of
>> selections: Clonezilla backup/restore, Centos5 install/rescue, DBAN,
>> memtest, systemrescuecd, etc.
>> WARNING - drbl/clonezilla server should probably be tested/installed on
>> a standalone test box as it likes to overwrite several conf's. Also, if
>> you have a mix of 32bit&  64bit client hardware, use a 32bit server.
>> Your 32bit machines will work&  you can still PXE boot into 64bit stuff.
> That's going to be true of any installation that involves your DHCP
> server since you typically have only one and it has to be set up
> specifically for your subnets.  For the moment at least, we run drbl in
> a lab setting using its DHCP/PXE booting only on a separate subnet that
> we use for cloning.  If we want access to the images from other networks
> we use a CD or USB boot to clonezilla and connect to the other interface
> on the server.  If I did that more often, I'd probably set up the drbl
> box to handle all dhcp or configure the main dhcp server to have the
> same booting options.

Scot P. Floess
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Louisburg, NC  27549

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