[et-mgmt-tools] Cobbler features

Michael DeHaan mdehaan at redhat.com
Fri May 25 18:51:52 UTC 2007

Michael DeHaan wrote:

> Based on recent list activity, and a talking with everyone at Summit 
> and IRC, here's my list of the top 4 things I'd like to see added to 
> cobbler in the near term:
A few updates on these ideas...
> -- Virt support for deploying additional virt types
>    KVM, etc
>    Fullvirt Xen

Incidentally, this is going to happen a bit differently than I thought, 
so if you want to deploy other types of virtualization in an automated 
way, here's the deal ...    It's good.  Work is being done to make Xen 
fullvirt be able to PXE itself, so you'll be able to get everything you 
can get from Cobbler bare-metal PXE to work here -- presumably PXE menus 
and all.  

This is actually simpler and more powerful.   However, if your 
environment can't use PXE (not friends with the guy who sets up the DHCP 
server, or some other software owns it?), this could cause problems.   
Getting a next-server address set for the MAC's in question would need 
to be done, I'm fairly sure the virt-install tools that allow you to set 
up the machine for PXE will allow you to set a MAC address of tell you 
what it will be.

koan will still exist for helping out with paravirt installs and setting 
up redeployments.    I'd like to see virt-install and virt-manager 
become aware of cobbler and be able to install from Cobbler servers 
automatically (pick the profile from a list), and we're looking into how 
to best make that happen.  

> -- Extend the repo management code to deal with older non-yum content 
> (RHN), like mrepo can do, such that running mrepo as a seperate tool 
> for older distros is not required.

This is going to happen via the new "surfr" project, which cobbler can 
later integrate at it gets further along.   Should be goodness.

> -- Build a netinstall CD from cobbler for environments that don't do 
> PXE.    Tie the CD to a specific profile (or better, eventually, 
> provide a boot menu).   Lots of folks need baremetal provisioning and 
> due to aspects beyond their control can't use PXE.
Just now starting to look at options here...
> -- Support either om_shell or DNSMasq, to avoid the dhcp reload wait 
> time when manage_dhcp is enabled and systems are updated.   (Some 
> folks I believe are looking at both of these?)
DNSMasq support is in the upstream code, as I've sent out in a previous 
email.   If you are using dnsmasq you do need to /sbin/service dnsmasq 
reload (sighup) the service to make it apply changes, which also happens 
automagically if you run "cobbler sync" -- but yes, you should get 
hostname control for free -- which is something several people were 
looking for.

I played around with omshell for dynamic control of ISC dhcpd (OMAPI) 
and had some issues getting it to connect (no luck) -- but if someone 
wants to submit a patch that contains their omshell knowledge, that 
would be great.   The cobbler triggers mechanism would also be good for 
this...  http://et.redhat.com/page/Cobbler_Triggers.    All that would 
be required would be writing a hook for the "system add" trigger that 
sent the appropriate omshell command(s), and a corresponding one for 
"system remove".


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