Place Ghantoos

Cocktail of PXE, Debian, preseed, IPMI & puppet

A couple of days ago, I had to quickly setup around 60 machines with a standard GNU/Debian install.
The first shot was done using Razor. Razor is a very neat piece of software, developped by puppetlabs, that lets you setup an “intelligent” PXE installation by booting a mini-linux kernel and getting information from the physical machine using facter; giving you the possibility to install/configure the machines depending on their disk configuration/CPU model/RAM size/Model/Serial number/etc. Unfortunately, this project depends on the ipxe project which did not support, at the time of the install, all the network cards that were used (Broadcom and Intel). So I decided to go with an old school PXE/preseed installation coupled with DNS, IPMI and puppet configuration.

The whole idea was to:
1- boot and install the machine
2- reboot on the installed OS
3- use the IPMI ip address of the machine in order to set the hostname
4- launch puppet to setup the machine
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