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Re: Is there a way to install DragonFly via network (w/o CD) ?

From: Scott Ullrich <geekgod@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 13:19:55 -0400

This keeps getting better and better! I've got the necessary bits in the installer and I'm working on testing this all out now. Still need to implement the pfi bits but that will be a task for this weekend. I'll post more information once I have some of the bugs out ;)


Matthew Dillon wrote:

:> (Simon)
:> yea, that rocks. Now the installer team could set the last polish by
:> adding a way to do a remote install from the nfs server (or else) as
:> controlling terminal :) Then you don't even need a head to install a
:> box, interactively.
: (Emiel)
:There is a caveat though... In the new installer, where you configure the :network, it should realize that it's already running with a network and :should not attempt to run dhclient or mess with ifconfig since that will :bring on a whole different world of pain (talk about having the floor :disappear from under you). I found this out the hard way when I was :netboot/pxe-installing my laptop (which doesn't have a cd-rom drive) with :dfbsd a few months back. (yes, it worked back then too).

Oh my. I guess that's a form of self-lobotimzation :-)

    For headless access, the target box could simply give ssh access for
    whomever the root NFS mount is coming from.  This neatly solves the
    issue of otherwise having to assign a well-known password for remote
    access that anyone can use.

    And, as a bonus, one can simply run 'showmount' on the nfs server
    looking for 10. addresses to see who has PXE booted using that server.
    Even more reliably, the /var/db/dhcpd.leases file can be checked
    (since showmount almost always has all sorts of stale mounts listed).

    If we really wanted to get sophisticated we could ship a public key
    out via DHCP (since we control the DHCP server and the pxeboot code and
    the target filesystem).  The headless box could then install the public
    key for root access via ssh.

    And then we make a control panel on the server, or allow the server to
    slave to another machine a chain its pxebooted 'children'...  and then,
    and then...  This is one of those things that could easily snowball into
    a seriously cool interface while at the same time maintaining the KISS
    principle of always being able to ssh into the target box as 'installer'
    or 'root' directly.

Matthew Dillon <dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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