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User's Guide (Obsolete Documentation) (Obsolete Documentation)
Appendix A - Automating Multiple Installs


This portion is specific to the Progeny Installer. Install pgi and autoinstall.

Once you have installed Debian on a single system, you can automate other installs by creating an automated install floppy. The automated install floppy is inserted in the floppy drive when you start an install.

Making the automated install floppy consists of two steps:


A.1 Creating Configuration Files

The configuration files are created on an existing Debian system, then copied to the floppy for use during the install.

You should know that:

Place all finished configuration files in a directory named /conf. This directory can be a sub-directory any place on the system. Commands to create the automated install floppy are run from this directory.

Examples of configuration files are available in /usr/share/doc/ autoinstall/.


A.1.1 Creating the Global Configuration File (global.cfg)

The global.cfg file contains the master information for the automated install. One option is entered per line. When an option requires a value, leave a space between the option and the value.

                        Options for the global.cfg File                   
     +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
     |Option |                       What It Does                        |
     |-------+-----------------------------------------------------------|
     |       |The url for the minimal system's tar file.                 |
     |       |                                                           |
     |baseurl|The url can be a cd (cdrom:) or a web address (http://).   |
     |       |                                                           |
     |       |This option is required.                                   |
     |-------+-----------------------------------------------------------|
     |       |The password hash for the root user.                       |
     |rootpwd|                                                           |
     |       |This option is required.                                   |
     |-------+-----------------------------------------------------------|
     |nosafe |Continues the install, even if a filesystem exists on the  |
     |       |target machine.                                            |
     |-------+-----------------------------------------------------------|
     |       |Allows the automated installer to configure the network.   |
     |       |Possible values are:                                       |
     |network|                                                           |
     |       |  * dhcp: Use dhcp .                                       |
     |       |  * netdb: configure using the network.cfg file.           |
     |       |  * none: do not configure the network.                    |
     |-------+-----------------------------------------------------------|
     |cdinst |Install using a cd , instead of a network.                 |
     |-------+-----------------------------------------------------------|
     |nfscd  |The path to an nfs -mounted cd image that will be used for |
     |       |the installation.                                          |
     +-------------------------------------------------------------------+

A.1.2 Creating the debconf Configuration File (debconf.cfg)

Make a copy of the debconf database. Type: /usr/sbin/autoinst-read-debconf /conf/debconf.cfg.


A.1.3 Creating the Network Modules File (netmod.lst)

The netmod.lst file lists the scsi kernel modules to load. Modules are listed one per line.

Look at the example provided. Type: less /usr/share/doc/autoinstall/ examples/netmode.lst on an existing Debian System. The file must be configured to fit your hardware.


A.1.4 Creating the SCSI Module File (scsimod.lst)

The scsimod.lst file lists the scsi kernel modules to load. Modules are listed one per line.

Look at the example provided. Type: less /usr/share/doc/autoinstall/ examples/scsimod.lst on an existing Debian System. The file must be configured to fit your hardware.


A.1.5 Creating the Network Configuration Database (network.cfg)

The network.cfg file describes the network and all machines on it. The file consists of pairs of stanzas.

The first stanza in a pair is the global stanza. Global stanzas may be added for any network or routers. Global stanzas contain the following entries, with one characteristic per line:

Leave a space after each characteristic, then add the value for characteristic.

The second stanza in each pair is a local stanza. It defines local machines attached to the network or to the router. Each line defines a single machine. Each machine is defined by three columns:

Columns are separated by a single space

At the bottom of a local stanza, you can add a default entry. The default entry is used if a machine cannot be otherwise connected to the machine. The default entry uses default for the mac address and unassigned for the host name.


A.1.6 Creating the Partitioning Information File (partinfo.cfg)

The partinfo.cfg file describes how the install program should partition each system during an automated install.

One line is used for each partition. Each line has the same format:

partitiontype filesystem size mountpoint size

The size is either m (megabytes) or % (percentage of total disk space).

In most cases, you want at least a root partition and a swap partition.

                            Entries in partinfo.cfg                       
     +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
     |   Entry   |                        Choices                        |
     |-----------+-------------------------------------------------------|
     |partition  |  * primary.                                           |
     |type       |  * logical.                                           |
     |-----------+-------------------------------------------------------|
     |filesystem |  * ext2: Linux native.                                |
     |           |  * swap: Linux swap.                                  |
     |-----------+-------------------------------------------------------|
     |size       |Any size, given in megabytes.                          |
     |-----------+-------------------------------------------------------|
     |           |The file should include at least one partition mounted |
     |           |as root (/).                                           |
     |mountpoint |                                                       |
     |           |A swap file has no mount point, but is entered as swap |
     |           |.                                                      |
     +-------------------------------------------------------------------+

A.1.7 Creating the Package Selection List (select.cfg)

The select.cfg file lists the packages to install. To create the file, type: dpkg --get-selections > /conf /select.cfg on an existing Debian System, then edit if desired.


A.1.8 Creating the Post Installation Script (postinst)

The post installation script is a series of commands that are run after installation is complete. The script can be written any language supported by the fully installed system.

The post installation script is optional. It is not needed for an automated install.


A.1.9 Creating the Sources List File (sources.lst)

This file is a list of sources for apt . It can be copied from any sources list for apt . You can create it by:


A.2 Creating the Automated Installer Floppy

Before creating the floppy for the automated installer, you must create all configuration files and place them in the /conf directory. Only the postinst file is optional.

img/appendix-a.png

Enter the same kernel version as you did in the first step.

The automated install floppy is created.


A.3 Starting an Automated Install


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User's Guide (Obsolete Documentation) (Obsolete Documentation)

Version: 1.00p00, 2009.07.21-11:14

Progeny Linux Systems, Inc.