[Linux-aus] hardware

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Wed Sep 21 07:58:20 EST 2011

On Wed, 2011-09-14 at 09:22 +1000, john_cullen wrote:

> What I need is a hardware provider that can have Ubuntu OS pre-installed 
> so that all I have to do is configure them into the network.

All of the major manufacturers offer machines delivered with disk images
pre-installed, although some limit this service to their "business"
oriented models. Simply supply them with your Linux image. If you hunt
through manufacturer's websites there's a lot of machines aimed at thin
client use that have form factor and heat suitable for a kiosk.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend pre-installation. I've found that
installing the OS on the fly works, allows for more consistency, and
avoids placing an outdated system on the network. We boot the machine,
the DHCP server responds with the PXE information, PXE loads the OS
installer, the OS installer uses kickstart or equivalent, and runs yum
update and puppet as the last step to configure the box. Takes about 20
minutes from raw hardware to running system and can be done on a
unfiltered internet connection with no security exposure.

In your application I'd strongly recommend puppet and storing puppet's
configuration in Svn. Because you can rebuild the machine exactly you
need not back it up. Using Svn allows you to log and to revert changes,
as well as buying nice features such as e-mails and RSS for every
configuration change, and giving you a revision identifier you can refer
to in your issue ticketing system (ie, when you want to revert a change
and want to find out why the change was made in the first place).

 Glen Turner <http://www.gdt.id.au/~gdt/>

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