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Old 01-17-2008, 09:42 AM   #1
perlabsrat
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Registered: Jan 2008
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Question Single CD to perform multiple NFS installs


Hello all,

I am very new to linux but slowly getting there.

I work in a testing lab where we are constantly doing NFS installs of RHEL and SLES. Because of this repetition I have been playing with Kickstart files and have a working template that will suite my needs in most cases.

In the case of redhat, we install many different versions from rh3 to 5 and both 32 and 64 bit.

Early on I discovered that you can not just boot to say a 32bit rhu1x32 cd and perform say a 64bit install on a 64bit machine. The boot cd appears to be tied to what version of os you are about to install.

So for example if I boot off of a 32bit version and try to do a 64bit nfs install of even the same build of RH I get an error like:

"The red hat enterprise linux server installation tree in that directory does not seem to match your boot media"


I am trying to find a way to create 1 unified red hat cd with some common kickstart files on it that can be used no matter what os version I need to install. Does anyone know of a way to accomplish this?
 
Old 01-18-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
damonhart
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Registered: Nov 2007
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what about a PXE network boot setup?

I haven't tried a unified CD, but I can suggest what works here. We've set up a series of install kernel/initrd images that are served via PXE. A target machine boots to the network and the relevant pxelinux bootloader presents a set of choices. It's a bit of effort to get the pxelinux configuration correct and the tftp setup right, but if you've already had some success with NFS installs and kickstart it sounds like this isn't out of the realm of your capabilities. If dealing with machines that won't boot from the NIC, you can still go this route via floppy or CD to get the process started and still use pxelinux to load from the network.

The best thing is that it's almost trivial to add a new option - download the new options's ISO(s) to its own (NFS-exported) directory. Mount the ISO as a loop device and copy the kernel and initrd from the ISO image to unique names in the tftpboot directory. Update the pxelinux config to offer the new option and you're done. PXE boot the target machine and you're off.

You might be able to do something similar with CDs and the isolinux boot loader. It's outside my experience, but the concept would be the same - collect the relevant kernel and initrd files (renamed uniquely of course) from various distributions into a unified ISO of the same form, maybe a simple as copying into a filesystem built from one of the ISOs and rebuilding the ISO. You would have to make menu selection additions to the isolinux configuration to offer the added kernel/initrd options.

Kickstart files can be referenced via the kernel boot arguments either route (i.e. either NFS or local CD.)
 
  


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