[Beowulf] small distro for PXE boot, autostarts sshd?

stephen mulcahy smulcahy at atlanticlinux.ie
Fri Feb 27 02:17:06 PST 2009

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 can
> 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 pieces.

Hi David,

+1 on what others have said about FAI if you're using Debian or Ubuntu 
(afaik, at least Ubuntu has some support now for using Red Hat's 
kickstart style approach to automatic installation also but it may not 
be as full featured as on RPM based distributions).

In terms of starting with a minimal base - I'm pretty sure you can do 
this with any of the mainstream distributions but you can definitely 
install very minimal Debian or Ubuntu systems (with Debian, just don't 
select anything other than what you want during install, it won't try to 
pull in the kitchen sink with dependencies unless you ask for something 
like a GNOME tool, with Ubuntu there is an option on the first 
installation screen to select a "Minimal system" - I think it's the F4 
key but I'd have to verify this).

You might find the following links useful starting points





Stephen Mulcahy     Atlantic Linux         http://www.atlanticlinux.ie
Registered in Ireland, no. 376591 (144 Ros Caoin, Roscam, Galway)

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