[arch-releng] Archlinux automated via PXE

Charles Vejnar ce at vejnar.org
Sat Apr 2 08:26:25 EDT 2011

Le 02/04/2011 00:10, Nico Schottelius a écrit :
> Good morning devs,
> I'm running a big pool of Linux installations in the ETH Zurich [0]
> and from time to time I am interested in giving Archlinux a try
> for a big installation.
> But the lack of a very easy automated way to retrieve networking
> images, like provided with OpenBSD or Debian&  variants, makes
> me drop back (cuni [0] got a list of easily netinstallable Os).
> I'm aware that I can download the ISO, grab the kernel + initrd
> and have it running, but it's a pretty cumbersome approach.
> Thus I'd like to discuss whether there is no easy way to provide
> kernel + initrd in a standard location?
> Secondly I'd be interested in seeing a standard way on how to
> automate the installation, which could probably a wikipage
> "Archlinux in big environments".
> I'm wondering what your opinions are regarding those two topics
> and whether there'll be some changes mid term that may make
> archlinux able to be a canditate for automatic installations.
> Have a nice evening,
> Nico
> [0] cuni: http://www.nico.schottelius.org/software/cuni/
Hi Tom,

I haven't completely understood what you want to do. But it seems you 
want to install a bunch of computers automatically via PXE and that you 
already have some framework to do it for multiple distributions.

This latter constrain isn't one of mine: I am managing a small cluster 
of machines (all x86_64, but not identical machines). Btw we are almost 
neighbour as I am at the University of Geneva. Over the past few weeks, 
I tried to implement a simple solution (strongly inspired by Cobbler for 
Redhat and with the help of Dieter and Gerardo) to install Archlinux 

As you mentioned, I also already have a dns/dhcp (dnsmasq) running. So I 
patched archiso-pxe-server 
(https://github.com/djgera/archiso-pxe-server) to avoid starting dnsmasq 

For the installation itself, a small web app is serving the AIF 
script/profile. You can find it here: http://hg.vejnar.org/trapezium

The 2011.03.23 version of the iso isn't yet a functional version. But 
normally the next one should be (I submitted a patch yesterday to fix I 
hope the last bug). I will try then to make an effort for documentation.

I am sure this isn't the best solution but it is very simple, plays well 
with the existing archiso/AIF architecture. But you seem to have some 
more experience and I will be happy to test if you submit patches.


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