HD cloning

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Mon Dec 4 14:47:43 EST 2000


On Mon, 4 Dec 2000, Rich Grenyer wrote:

> Has anyone had any experience with cloning hard drives for cluster
> installations? Our cluster needs fully functional disk-based nodes
> unfortunately, and I don't feel like running through the RedHat
> installation procedure that many times - any suggestions, or am I
> just being lazy?

You're possibly being lazy, but not the way you think.  This is why Red
Hat's "kickstart" was created, and the thing you need to do is expend
the energy required to learn to use it constructively.

See

  http://www.phy.duke.edu/brahma/beowulf_online_book/node19.html

for a still regrettably brief overview of the process.  I'd also (as of
RH 6.2) recommend using mkkickstart on a single node that you set up by
hand to create the original node kickstart file.  Eventually I'm hoping
for an even more detailed description here including sample kickstart
files and so forth.  There are other clever tricks that are now
possible, including systems that reboot themselves when the install is
finished (don't forget to remove that boot floppy!) and network-only
kickstart installs (no need for a floppy, but you will need a bootp/PXE
aware NIC).

Kickstart facilitates extremely good scaling of installation effort over
a large collection of homogeneous workstation entities, be they nodes or
desktops.  It also greatly facilitates minimizing INhomogeneity -- it is
easy to put just what you need into a common kickstart file and keep all
your systems the same.

   rgb

-- 
Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu




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