For people who are involved in administrating networks of Linux computers installing or configuring computers is an everyday task. Whenever manual interaction is involved to set up and configure a computer, it is likely that you miss something which will lead to mistakes. Moreover, it is rather boring to perform the same task again and again. Thus it is clear that a system that lets you perform a non-interactive, network based automatic installation will surely save you a lot of time in the long run. That is what NAIS lets you do for ix86-architectures.
This document is Copyright © 2000 by Mattias Gärtner, Lech Nieroda and Jens Rühmkorf. Please see section Disclaimer and Copyright at the end of this document for information about redistribution of this document and the usual `we are not responsible for what you manage to break...' type legal stuff.
Most Linux users should never have to even look at this document because many Linux distributions do a pretty good job at aiding the user to set up and configure his system. The information in this document is aimed at users who have experience with administrating Linux machines and wish to set up a network automatic installation system using Debian GNU/Linux as distribution. Everything is ONLY tested to work for ix86-architectures.
Just a short list of features NAIS has we thought an automatic installation system should have. Feel free to mail us if you miss something:
initrd.gzwe use does not support PCMCIA as it is, you have to add the needed binaries and modules yourself to make it work.
setup_harddiskslets you specify general rules for partitioning and formatting the client's local hard disks; preserving already created partitions is possible as well.
sysinfomode that just gathers some significant information about the client and gives you a shell (remember,
telnet client 2323instantly reboots the client, so you can care less about the shell). Other modes possible but not implemented yet.
installmode let you establish a secure terminal session to the "install-client" using ssh (once
sshdis up and running). Idea from Thomas Gebhardt.
Just some features we thought an automatic installation system should have which we did not have the time or resources to implement yet.
setup_harddisksto work with reiserfs.
You can always find the latest version of NAIS as well as the most recent version of this document on the World Wide Web via the URL http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/nais/.
If you have questions or comments about this document, please feel free to mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome any suggestions or criticisms. If you find a mistake within this document or experience any problems using NAIS, please let us know so we can correct it in the next version. Thanks.