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LinTech 10-06-2004 10:31 AM

Installing Linux from a Separate Partition
 
I am trying to create a setup where I can install Linux over the network without requiring either a boot diskette or a boot CDROM.

We do a great deal of reinstalling Linux on servers for testing purposes and we are trying to eliminate the manual steps of loading diskettes and CDROMS.

While there is provision to install over the network, it assumes a boot diskette kicks off the process. We do use the network install, but are trying to find a way to eliminate the manual step of going to each server and loading boot diskettes.

We came up with the idea of installing Linux using a separate partition of the hard drive of the server as if it were the boot diskette. We would preserve this partition during install in the kickstart routine.

What we are unsure of is how to get the server to remotely boot using the harddrive partition in a way identical to booting off the install diskette.

Any ideas or suggestions?

Tinkster 10-06-2004 01:44 PM

I'm not quite sure I understand why you want to boot
the server to install something on another machine ...

What you're after is ethernet cards with BOOT-EPROMs
and a BIOS that allows to boot of those.
.... it's easy enough (relatively speaking) to assign any
given image to a specific machine if you know it's MAC
address.


Read those:
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Clone-HOWTO/index.html
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Remote-Boot.html


Cheers,
Tink

LinTech 10-06-2004 03:33 PM

I actually don't want to install something on another machine. I want to boot the server to install Linux in another partition on the same machine using a bootable image of the install diskette on the harddisk rather than on a diskette.
That is, there is one partition on the harddisk with an image that mimics the Linux boot diskette (and is always kept). There is another partition on the harddisk where Linux will be installed (perhaps many different times for testing purposes).


Standard Network Install using an Install Diskette

Manually boot Linux install diskette -> Loads Linux network install image from another server -> Installs Linux in a partition on this machine


Proposed Remote Install using a Hard Disk Image of the Install Diskette

Remotely boot Linux install diskette image in another hard disk partition on this machine -> Loads Linux network install image from another server -> Installs Linux in a partition on this machine


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