HD cloning

Drake Diedrich Drake.Diedrich at anu.edu.au
Mon Dec 4 15:42:18 PST 2000

On Mon, Dec 04, 2000 at 01:37:39PM -0800, Richard Rogers wrote:
> so I've been looking for a better Linux distribution to use on my 'wulf. Are
> there any others that have a scripted install mechanism?

   For a beowulf of full fledged Debian systems (local disk, no shared /usr
or anything like that) you'd need to use

 dselect  (install and configure everything you want)
 dpkg --get-selections > selection.file

second node:

  dpkg --set-selections < selection.file
  apt-get install dselect-upgrade
  [log any questions and answers]
  [create an expect script with your responses to any questions]


   dpkg --set-selections < selection.file
  expect -c "apt-get install dselect-upgrade" -f expect-script

   Some alternatives would be to just clone your prototype node (faster,
easier); dpkg-repack all .debs so that they end up configured as the
prototype packages without prompting; clone just /etc and only install
packages that don't ask stupid questions when preconfigured; use only
question-free or debconf'd packages and clone the debconf database;  apt-get
--yes (to all questions) and hope yes was the correct answer; run using one
of the diskless debian environments.  All of the alternatives are a bit more
restricted (packages or configuration defaults) than the general method
outlined above (which to my knowledge has never actually been used), but any
simple configuration scheme is going to end up less flexible than a more
difficult generalized configuration scheme.
   So I guess Debian doesn't have "a" scripted install mechanism, but
several, depending on how much work/flexibility you want.  And hence "it"
isn't well documented or advertised.  There were rumors of a Debian Bwowulf
HOWTO, but for now the archive at debian-beowulf list archive at
http://lists.debian.org/ is as good as it gets.


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