DHCP / build / tftp / cfengine server setup for Debian and/or Ubuntu.

Discussion in 'Suggest HOWTO' started by maconulaff, May 26, 2009.

  1. maconulaff

    maconulaff New Member

    I have seen organizations who have used this type of arrangement (DHCP / build
    /tftp/ cfengine) to configure and maintain workstations throughout an organization via PXE boot. A tutorial on this type of setup would be helpful to those interested in deploying and maintaining Debian/Ubuntu clients. I have googled and tried many variations of this theme, including FAI, but have not found the perfect recipe that offers management after install as well. I have created similar using local repos and kickstart in Fedora, but did not like the rpm package managers as well as using the apt package management offered by Debian/Ubuntu.
  2. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

  3. maconulaff

    maconulaff New Member


    Thanks for the reply. That's a real good start for deploying systems. But would it be appropriate for maintaining the systems after initial deployment? The end goal is to create an environment where a central admin can determine what is installed on different workstations in the environment. I am researching currently and have found articles about puppet and cfengine that seem to offer this functionality.

    I would like to be able to develop a system for controlling the software configuration on the Debian workstations for different departments. I can use static IP assignments by department as needed.

    I think your HowTo is a great place for me to start, but I need to learn more about the long term maintenance of systems installed in this manner before I know if this solution will work for me.
  4. Heeter

    Heeter Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Would this be sort of like active directory from Windows?


    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  5. maconulaff

    maconulaff New Member

    In terms of the ability to deploy, update, or remove applications based on the class criteria (probably using IP address range - based on what I have read so far about cfengine, FAI, and puppet), it could be considered to be similar to Active Directory in that one single regard. Active Directory offers much more functionality than just maintaining software deployments.

    Falko's excellent howto is a great way to deploy vanilla installs, but I want to be able to do more customization and to use the same system to maintain the software versions on all desktops based on their classification after installation. That's really what I am looking for.

    I have seen systems that do just this for web servers and rendering farms. Put in a new box, attach it to the network, fire it up, and in less than 20 minutes, they had a production ready server entering service. But in each case, they were only adding web servers or in a separate system adding rendering servers.

    I was hoping to expand on this idea to use the technology to manage a network of Linux desktops. A system where I could designate specific desktop software deployments depending on the role of the user/department.

    I have a holiday and a couple of books on the subject coming up in the near future. We'll see what I can learn - and if I learn much, what I can share with the rest of the users at this site.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009

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