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We are using Debian installer preseeding along with Debathena's config-package-dev infrastructure (see ConfigurationManagement) to automate the installation of new nodes.

The machine template git repository stores the current preseeds and post-installation scripts. The preseed sets reasonable defaults for things like openafs and kerberos, and then installs common configuration packages needed for a minimal machine that accepts MitKerberos logins from AndrewFileSystem users. After install, a post installation script is used to personalize the machine for its specific purpose and extract things like the host key (admin node, user node, web server, etc.).

For concrete information on installation using the preseed, see InstallationProcedure.

1. Partitioning Scheme

TODO: explain the automatic partition scheme, recommended disk sizes, etc.

2. Installing with Preseed

Boot the installer using the command line:

auto url=http://hcoop.net/~clinton_admin/preseed-wheezy.cfg

You'll have to enter a few questions about language and keyboard (the defaults of English are ok), and then configure the network. Afterward, the installer will complete itself and reboot. You should then see something like:


3. Long Term Goals

Adding a new machine to our existing infrastructure has a number of points where manual intervention is needed. Some, but probably not all:

Not all of them can be automated, but at least some of them could be scripted together.

The post installation procedure also a few warts. Chief among them is that it's done using a hacky shell script. Ideally, we would support automatic re-installs too (recording things like installed packages, node specific information, etc.).

For fully automatic installs (including network setup), we should use something like "Hands-off" to generate our boot media.


AutomatedSystemInstall (last edited 2014-04-29 05:28:18 by ClintonEbadi)