hard to create a server version

Story: Comment of the Day - November 19, 2005 - Novell impressionsTotal Replies: 5
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Nov 20, 2005
9:23 AM EDT
Obviously you haven't heard of kickstart.

It is unbelievably easy to create a repository that has the files you want to install, then create a kickstart config file and install on a thousand PCs the same packages.

Could it be that YOU know how to use SUSE, so it is easier (and faster) for you to do it ... but that a similarly experienced person who knows RHEL can do the same for RedHat.

SuSE is good, RedHat is good ... both cost money to use.

CentOS ... now there is a Free Enterprise OS for you :)


Nov 20, 2005
1:13 PM EDT
Quoting:"CentOS ... now there is a Free Enterprise OS for you :)

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that essentially RH Enterprise, with all the Red Hat logos taken out? Moreover, a free copy does not grant the user necessarily competent support of a system the distributor has expended so little effort to dispense. Hence, the gain may be ephemeral.

Nov 20, 2005
2:43 PM EDT
I use CentOS and have been quite pleased with the community support. CentOS gets you free security updates via Yum for 5 years. I don't think they guarantee that, but its a hell of a lot better than the planned obsolesence that so many distros these days give you right up front.

Nov 20, 2005
3:22 PM EDT
What? hughesjr, why do you assume that a major software ISV that supports RHEL and SLES on everything from x86 to z-Series has never heard of kickstart. Did I say something that made it sound like I hadn't heard of kickstart? What is your point? Administration is not limited to the very simple act of cloning systems. That's easy to do... with or without kickstart.

Kickstart is not going to configure your Samba, is not going to configure your NIS, is not going to configure your DNS, is not going to configure your DHCP, is not going to configure your SMTP, is not going to configure your databases.... etc.... etc... etc...

Nov 20, 2005
5:12 PM EDT
cjcox: not to rain on your parade, but KickStart can actually do everything you list, either directly using scripts you define in KickStart for the purpose, or by including an "uberpackage" RPM with suitable preinstall and post-install scripts, plus dependencies for every package that you're going to want on all machines of the class.

The way I typically set up a machine is with a canned (fire-and-forget) KickStart CD to get the lowest-common-denominator in place, then urpmi $(cat list-of-needed-packages).

If I wanted to get fancy I could add a handful of packages to the local repository with names like "ck-server" and "ck-workstation" to make that a one-liner, and/or make the KickStart read keywords from the KickStart's initial append= line. That way I could have one KickStart CD and type something like "linux requires=domain base=mycorp.com.au,othercorp.net.au@" at the boot prompt to get a "blank" (no users or content defined but otherwise fully functional) DNS/web/email server.

Nov 20, 2005
5:38 PM EDT
...also, forgot to mention than Mandriva writes a KickStart image to /root/drakx/replay_install.img by default. If you've set a machine up, and want to set up another just like it, simply boot from that, no foresight required.

If you want to set up something slightly different, edit the auto_inst.cfg.pl file -- yes, that is PERL, with all of the scope implied.

To head off any angst, this kind of flexibility is not unique to Mandriva, nor to RPM-based distros. DEB packaging, forex, has lots of hooks for this kind of stuff.

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