kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

General support questions
Post Reply
phil.e
Posts: 36
Joined: 2018/02/13 20:28:14

kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

Post by phil.e » 2018/03/15 12:14:47

Hello All,

Would like to tap into the collective wisdom of this forum. 8-)

What is the best way to build lots of CentOS desktops quickly and with the least amount of hands on effort? i.e. beyond the initial CentOS install, we need to add several 3rd party apps, which need their own configurations, and add a bunch of security settings.

I've built a couple of kickstart servers, which is great for the basic OS install - totally hands off installation effort, but that only gets us maybe 40-50% of the way to a production desktop system. We've also got a spacewalk server in the environment that probably isn't being utilized to its full extent too (it's currently used primarily to push out small numbers of patches, and to have a graphical tool to track the inventory of workstations)

The desktop hardware is pretty standard across the board - same model Dell workstation, NVIDIA video cards, 1 terabyte drives, same amount of memory in each

Ideally it would be great to just run a command and, voila, 30 minutes or so later, there's a desktop ready to be deployed. Even better would be a method where we could push a new image out to a machine remotely - say, for instance, an upgrade to CentOS 7 from CentOS 6.9

Currently we are using a hard drive cloner, and cloning a hard drive of a production image. Maybe the hard drive cloner is already the most efficient way to do this.

I'm trying to see if there is an out of the box way of achieving the same goal that I haven't thought of before. That's where the "collective wisdom" part comes in. :-)

Phil.e

User avatar
TrevorH
Forum Moderator
Posts: 24046
Joined: 2009/09/24 10:40:56
Location: Brighton, UK

Re: kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

Post by TrevorH » 2018/03/15 15:06:59

What else other than the o/s install do you need to do?
CentOS 5 died in March 2017 - migrate NOW!
Full time Geek, part time moderator. Use the FAQ Luke

phil.e
Posts: 36
Joined: 2018/02/13 20:28:14

Re: kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

Post by phil.e » 2018/03/15 16:26:12

Apply some 3rd party apps that need their own configurations, install an NVIDIA graphics card driver, and apply a bunch of security settings ....

User avatar
TrevorH
Forum Moderator
Posts: 24046
Joined: 2009/09/24 10:40:56
Location: Brighton, UK

Re: kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

Post by TrevorH » 2018/03/15 17:12:44

ELRepo ship kmod-nvidia packages that you can place in your own repo or set up your systems to point to ELRepo too. The "Some third party apps" needs clarification - you'll need to go into a lot more detail about what they are, how they're packaged and shipped before anyone can help you. Same thing goes for the security settings though those probably need you to look at a configuration management package like puppet/chef/ansible etc.
CentOS 5 died in March 2017 - migrate NOW!
Full time Geek, part time moderator. Use the FAQ Luke

phil.e
Posts: 36
Joined: 2018/02/13 20:28:14

Re: kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

Post by phil.e » 2018/03/15 19:01:49

I've tried the elrepo NVidia drivers but couldn't get them to work correctly. Maybe I'm missing a step somewhere - had to roll back to NVIDIA's driver.

phil.e
Posts: 36
Joined: 2018/02/13 20:28:14

Re: kickstart and/or spacewalk capabilities

Post by phil.e » 2018/03/16 16:54:19

I was approaching this from more of a high level view than trying to work out the technical details of a specific issue.

In the Redhat installation documentation, there's a few other options for deploying servers other than just using kickstart and spacewalk. (i.e. installing into a disk image).

I was hoping someone that has had a lot of experience deploying lots of desktops might have come up with an out of the box method for deploying systems quickly and efficiently, and be willing to share their approach.

(I know that's kind of vague and open-ended, sorry!)

Post Reply