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Re: Kickstart and roles

David Lutterkort wrote:
On Thu, 2006-04-13 at 22:47 -0500, Mike McGrath wrote:
So I've been kicking around this idea for a while and wanted to see
what others thought.  Who knows maybe someone will be interested in

More than interested. That's actually right down the road me and some
others have been thinking lately.

This may already exist so if it does please let me know but I would
like to setup a bunch of kickstart scripts for server and workstation
roles using only official Fedora software.  For example, lets say
someone wants a xen workstation.  We could setup a kickstart script
with everything they need, only the minimals and at the end, yum
update, configure what we can and on reboot, that user has a working
xen machine.

We are working on a tool to simplify the very basics of keeping track of
provisioning setup, both for bare-metal and domU provisioing. Our focus
so far has been on the mechanics of keeping kernel/initrd/ks.cfg on a
central server and using PXE boot (for bare-metal) and a separate script
(for domU) to start the provisioning. It's just a tad early to inflict
this on the world, but we'll make a prototype available in the next week
or two. For domU's, the idea is that it should be easy to publish
special-purpose kickstart files and use them with the tool.

Seeing I'm the one writing this puppy, I'll chime in briefly. David is, of course, right on -- including the part about inflictions! The basics are that in the end PXE provisioning is ultimately very similar to Xen provisioning, and we're creating a tool to allow both to be simultaneously or independently managed from a central boot server. At first, this will likely be a command line tool (with an optionally hand-editable config file), though we may see GTK interfaces later. Ultimately, this should allow a new bare-metal machine to be easily PXE provisioned to be a Xen host, and then from the kickstart for that machine, any number of domU images can be automatically installed (and provisioned with their own kickstarts, in turn, if neccessary) in one pass. So things like "make this machine a Xen workstation with these 2 specific Xen guests" will be possible -- with a minimal amount of kickstart hacking. Advanced configuration of services though things like puppet is something I'm excited about, as it's a step beyond kickstarts. Ultimately I'd like to see kickstart creation and system setup demystified as much as possible. Handrolling of custom boot/provision solutions is always going to occur, but it needs to be easier. Minimal kickstarts followed up by "make it so, number 1" orders ultimately make it less work for SA's for automated deployments/rollouts. Some integration with or evolution of yam is also likely a good add. In general, I like the minimal install ideas Mike points out as well.

Comments definitely welcome.

--Michael DeHaan

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