[et-mgmt-tools] Cobbler Live CD -- success!
mdehaan at redhat.com
Tue Jul 10 20:30:06 UTC 2007
Eureka! I have build and tested a working Cobbler/koan LiveCD. This
CD allows for baremetal installation in a PXE-manner, without needing a
PXE server setup. So, if you have machines to install/reinstall and
can't run PXE due to either (A) some software in the way, or (B) an evil
network admin, this is for you. This CD also works for any
distribution, meaning if you have a CD defined to install profile "foo",
and foo is one day "Fedora 7" and the next day the cobbler server changes
to Centos 5, it all works, without having to reburn the CD.
This also works with Adam Wolf's recent "autodetect-system" patch. So
imagine a lab full of machines where you know the MAC addresses. You
stick a CD in one, it finds out the MAC address, and then installs (from
cobbler) the proper distro for that machine. You no longer need
media that matches the target distribution -- one CD works for everything.
- install livecd-tools (I built my CD on Fedora 7)
git clone git://git.fedoraproject.org/git/hosted/livecd
- check out the latest koan and build it, as we're going to build that
into the CD
- build a LiveCD with the koan parameters of your choice
build.py --server=bootserver.example.com --koan="--profile=foo" #
takes a few minutes
# use nautilus, k3b, or your favorite app to burn the koan-live-cd.iso
This produces a CD that, when inserted into any machine, will provision
that machine to "foo". You can pass in any additional arguments you
like to koan.
By default, it will add the value you gave for "--server" and
You'll notice that I don't have any CD images up for download. Why?
You'll want to pick the koan parameters yourself -- especially the
server address -- at least
until we add some zeroconf detection to koan.
Things that should be eventually fixed:
The output image needs to be pared down. Right now it's around 200
MB. I think that can be cut in half.
CD should run from RAM by default, have a low grub timeout, and
eject when done to prevent boot-looping.
(Right now, log in with root/cobbler, and manually
eject/reboot ... or just cycle the power and hit the drive button)
Third party hardware support could be better (drive discovery)
Would be nice to have koan's autodetect-system support be modified
to also check for known IP's
Note that you should also be able to build a USB-key image of the above
using "/usr/bin/livecd-iso-to-disk" -- which is better than burning
coasters and also more pocketable :)
Comments/questions/ideas? Fire away.
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