Quickly Deploy SLED10 Workstations
Once you get your workstations "tweaked" to your liking, you have to find a way to quickly "roll-out" your Desktops. This section will cover a few options you could consider.
One of the quickest ways to Multiply client workstations is to simply "Clone" the hard drive from one computer to other computers. This sometimes has it's drawbacks, but if your workstations have similar hardware specifications this is probably the quickest way to roll-out a network of computers.
If you decide to "Clone" an image to multiple computers you must keep in mind that there are a few settings that you will want to adjust. Fortunately Linux based Operating Systems are very forgiving when switching hardware, usually there is little adjustment needed to get everything working on different hardware.
- Computer Name - You will definitely want to adjust the computer name after cloning
- Network Settings - If you do not use Network Manager, you must re-setup the network interface as SLED (by default) uses the MAC Address to identify the network card.
- Video Settings - After Cloning if you are using a different video card or monitor run SaX2 before launching the Graphical Display
- SSH Keys - Definitely remove the SSH Keys before cloning ( rm /etc/ssh/*key* ), once SSH is (re)started it will generate new keys
- ZMD Secret file - Remove the /etc/zmd/secret file after cloning
- Master Boot Record - Most of the time you will need to re-write the Master Boot Record After cloning (note to self - link to another page with instructions)
Partition Image is a utility that allows you to backup and restore various hard drive partitions. It has support for various partition types including reiserfs, ext2/3, fat32, ntfs, etc. It is licensed under the GNU GPL.
Partition Image is a linux program, because of this it cannot be run from floppy disks. However there are quite a few LiveCDs that include it, such as:
- No Licensing Fees
- Runs extremely fast over the network
- Supports nearly all Filesystems
- Does not backup to CDs/DVDs
- Partition to restore must be same size or larger than original partition
- Only backs up partitions, not entire drives (must backup each partition separately)
- Must restore entire partition to restore any files
The firstboot software is much like sysprep for Windows and can bring additional convenience to creating SLED images. Once a machine is flagged for firstboot, a setup wizard will run next time the machine is rebooted. What settings can be modified during the setup wizard is determined by the firstboot.xml file.
Steps for Configuring firstboot
- Install the yast2_firstboot package using YaST software management.
- edit /etc/YaST2/firstboot.xml to run the desired configuration modules
- You may want to use /etc/YaST2/control.xml as a model for modifying firstboot.xml
- rm /etc/ssh/*key*
- Remove any network cards as they are listed by a MAC that will be specific to that machine
- edit /etc/fstab so the mount points are pointing directly at a partion instead of by the drives full ID and then the partition. (/dev/sda1)
- edit /boot/grub/menu.lst so the references to the hard drive point directly to the partition instead of using the full device ID first.
- run chkconfig firstboot on in the terminal.
- touch /etc/reconfig_system to flag the system for reconfiguration on the next boot.
- Upload the image to your image server and it is ready to deploy on any machine with that type of drive controller.
Additional notes on firstboot
- It may be preferable to make an image for machines with IDE controllers only and another for machines with SATA/SCSI controllers.
- You can install multiple kernels and configure the boot loader during firstboot to use the appropriate kernel.
- Some machines may display a graphical firstboot setup while others will display a text setup. This is due to differences in display cards and the slot in which the card resides. Using the vesa driver on your original image may be helpful.
Authors Listed Below