Novell Connection Magazine: Tech Talk #6 – Tick Tock
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Hands-Free Installations
by Nathan Conger
Novell Connection Magazine – Q3 2007
Here’s an excerpt:
So you’ve installed SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and have discovered the power and flexibility of the OS. The desktop comes loaded with the applications you need to be productive, such as OpenOffice.org, Evolution and Firefox. The OS has seamlessly integrated with your existing network infrastructure and collaboration environment. Now you’re ready to make the push to a wider audience in your organization, but where do you begin? In this article, we’ll explore in detail how to set up and configure a Network Installation Server paired with PXE Boot and AutoYaST for speedy, hands-free installations.
Network-based, scripted installations are great for any environment where installations need to be uniform such as classrooms, labs and call centers. Of course an automated installation environment could also be used for standard desktops and laptops within your organization, adding any required “personalization” after the installation. An advantage over disk imaging, scripted installations (leveraging AutoYaST) are more device-agnostic, allowing you to leverage the same script across a variety of hardware models and disk geometries.
While this solution requires only one machine to set up, you’ll need a second machine to test the configuration. To implement the full solution, you’ll need to modify DHCP on a given subnet or private network. For all of the following configuration steps and exercises we’ll assume the user is root. In this example, I’ve used SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP1. You can download the latest CD and DVD ISO images here from novell.com/linux/download_linux.html.