Feeds

Cobbler pieces together mass Red Hat Linux installations

Deploy Windows and then obliterate it

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Summit One of the main community-driven projects that prompted Red Hat to open source its Satellite code today was the Linux boot server, Cobbler.

Cobbler is a nifty piece of code that assembles all the usual setup bits needed for a large network installation like TFTP, DNS, PXE, installation trees etc. and automates the process. It can even generate DHCP configurations to assign specific IPs to MAC addresses.

The tool can be configured for PXE (preboot execution environment), reinstallations, and virtualized installs using Xen or KVM. However, the operating systems supported are limited to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Fedora, and CentOS.

"Community ideas helped make it what it is," said Red Hat's Michael DeHaan, author of Cobbler. "It started off small and has grown in a lot of interesting ways. Now we're talking about large scale data center management."

Cobbler uses a command line to do its work, but there's also a web-based application for those who prefer the comfort of a GUI. The web-app, however, doesn't yet have all the functions that can be done through command line. It's at about 90 per cent, according to DeHaan.

Users can set up custom installations hands free using a Kickstart template system based on Cheetah.

Cobbler also comes with a helper tool called koan, which locates the differences between virtualized and non-virtualized systems.

"I could install a virtual system based on the same profile of a physical system, and track it all in one place," said DeHaan.

Cobbler's future roadmap includes wider OS/distribution support.

"There's some more stuff we can do for other distributions. There's that OS from Redmond, right — it's an unfortunate reality that it exists, but we can help people deploy it, up until the point they wipe it completely off the face of the Earth."

Future releases will also include improvements to the web-app. DeHaan invites anyone with good ideas for Cobbler to join the community and pitch them.

That group may expand with the launch of Spacewalk. DeHaan expects Cobbler to be a part of the enterprise Satellite service by Q1 of 2009.

Cobbler's community site, with the software and a project Wiki, is available here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.