[Beowulf] small distro for PXE boot, autostarts sshd?
tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Fri Feb 27 01:18:56 PST 2009
On 26 Feb 2009, at 11:00 pm, David Mathog wrote:
> There are a million distros, and many "small" distros, but these
> seem to
> be optimized for desktop use. Surely there are a few out there that
> do the following:
> 1. pxe boot (easily)
> 2. autostart sshd, allowing root ssh login (there is no
> keyboard on the remote machine).
> 3. contains smartmontools, parted, fdisk, etc., but not any desktop
The system we use for Debian deployment, FAI, does this. As soon as
the machine PXE boots, FAI starts an ssh server on the machine. If
the machine's being PXE booted to a rescue target, this is all that
happens, and you can then log in and fix whatever needs fixing. If
it's PXE booting an install target, then the ssh server allows you to
monitor and debug the installation process; very useful when you're
PXE installing a new type of hardware that you haven't done before.
If you're already using Debian or Ubuntu, you can just 'aptitude
install fai' to get the whole thing up and running. Some
customisation is required of course, particularly in your DHCP
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