I am not going to cover the installation of Spacewalk in this article as there are nice articles on the spacewalk site detailing most of what you need to install it properly. Yes, it’s tricky and yes, if you have any install questions I’ll do my best to help with those. However, the goal of this document is to talk about using Spacewalk after you have it installed and configured it. So this is more of and end user’s guide. The links directly below are how I got were I was going.
# Installing Spacewalk – The installation
# Setting up DHCP in Windows
# Setting up Spacewalk – Post install
IN A NUTSHELL
There are three ways to force a system rebuild.
- Interacting with the PXE menu – Yes, actually touching the system.
- Using the System Record in Cobbler
- Using Koan from the system to rebuild the system.
Cobbler – Uses DHCP, TFTP and DNS to enable network-based installs. Spacewalk does a lot of writing to cobbler to get things done, but there is a handy command line too.
Koan – A traditional koan is a story told by a Zen master to help enlighten a student. Little things like “What is the sound of one hand clapping, grasshopper?” In our case koan is an RPM package that is installed to enable us to request a system rebuild from within the system.
PXE – is the Preboot eXecution Environment that loads on any decent server prior to the OS. With PXE we can boot from the network and give cobbler and spacewalk a chance at guiding the installation
Spacewalker – Spacewalk is an open source system management system that is upstream from the Redhat Satellite Server. This means that you and I can run the same software distribution system they use at Redhat which is nice. For one thing you get a web interface, and a robust system that was built for work in vary large organizations.
HOW TO DO IT
Assuming you have Spacewalk all setup and working this is all pretty simple, but I’ll be editing this article a bit until I’ve worked out all the issues. Please help me to learn for your experiences as well.
From the PXE Menu – On my Dell servers generally hitting the F12 key on boot will invoke the PXE menu. Once you invoke the PXE menu and having done nothing else you will see a menu of potential profiles. Select one and you system will rebuild with that kickstart.
Using Cobbler – This can be done remotely, but you’ll need to ……
sorry, I have to work on other things at the moment. No more documentation time.
cobbler system add –name <nameOfYourSystem> –mac <mac addr of netboot interface> –profile <a profile from ‘cobbler profile list’>
If you have already added the system to cobbler and simply want to have it rebuild on the next boot use this command:
cobbler system edit –name <nameOfYourSystem> –netboot-enabled=1
koan –replace-self –server=cobbler.example.org [--profile=profile-name] [--system=system-name]
About Jay Farschman - Jay currently works as a Senior Systems Administrator for an asset management company in Colorado where he works with companies that produce hardware, telecommunications software and financial services. Jay previously owned a consulting company and provided training and consulting services for three Fortune 500 companies and numerous small businesses where he leveraged Linux to provided exceptional value.
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