Cobbler is an install server; batteries are included
Cobbler is a Linux installation server that allows for rapid setup of network installation environments. It glues together and automates many associated Linux tasks so you do not have to hop between lots of various commands and applications when rolling out new systems, and, in some cases, changing existing ones.
With a simple series of commands, network installs can be configured for PXE, reinstallations, media-based net-installs, and virtualized installs (supporting Xen, qemu, KVM, and some variants of VMware). Cobbler uses a helper program called 'koan' (which interacts with Cobbler) for reinstallation and virtualization support.
Cobbler is a small and lightweight application (about 15k lines of Python code). It tries to be extremely simple to use both for very small and very large installations -- as well as easy to work on, extend, and hack. It avoids being "enterprisey" (as in complicated) whenever possible, but is highly useful in all sorts of enterprises by having a lot of advanced features and doing small things to save a large amount of time in repeated tasks.
Cobbler can also optionally help with managing DHCP, DNS, and yum package mirroring infrastructure -- in this regard, it is a more generalized automation app, rather than just dealing specifically with installations. There is also a lightweight built-in configuration management system, as well as support for integrating with configuration management systems like Puppet. Cobbler has a command line interface, a web interface (screenshot), and also several API access options. That sounds like a lot, but it's really pretty simple. New users may like to start with the web app after doing the initial setup steps on the command line (cobbler check; cobbler import) as it will give them a good idea of all of the features available. Advanced features don't have to be understood all at once, they can be incorporated over time as the need for them arises.
You can read more at the various links below to understand all that Cobbler can do.
Start HereRead More...
How to create a PXE boot menu password ¶
There are two different levels of password:
MENU MASTER PASSWD passwd
Sets a master password. This password can be used to boot any menu entry, and is required for the [Tab] and [Esc] keys to work.
MENU PASSWD passwd
(Only valid after a LABEL statement.) Sets a password on this menu entry. "passwd" can be either a cleartext password or a SHA-1 encrypted password; use the included Perl script "sha1pass" to encrypt passwords. (Obviously, if you don't encrypt your passwords they will not be very secure at all.)
If you are using passwords, you want to make sure you also use the settings "NOESCAPE 1", "PROMPT 0", and either set "ALLOWOPTIONS 0" or use a master password (see below.)
If passwd is an empty string, this menu entry can only be unlocked with the master password.
Creating the password hash ¶
If you have sha1pass on your system (you probably don't, but it's supposed to come with syslinux) you can do:
If you do _not_ have sha1pass, you can use openssl to create the pasword (the hashes appear to be compatible):
openssl passwd -1 -salt sXiKzkus mypassword
Files to edit ¶
- for master menu password: /etc/cobbler/pxe/pxedefault.template
- for individual entries: /etc/cobbler/pxe/pxeprofile.template
Sample usage ¶
In this example, the master menu password will be used for all the entries (because the profile entry is blank). I have not looked into a way to dynamically set a different password based on the profile variables yet.
DEFAULT menu PROMPT 0 MENU TITLE Cobbler | http://fedorahosted.org/cobbler MENU MASTER PASSWD $1$sXiKzkus$haDZ9JpVrRHBznY5OxB82. TIMEOUT 200 TOTALTIMEOUT 6000 ONTIMEOUT $pxe_timeout_profile LABEL local MENU LABEL (local) MENU DEFAULT LOCALBOOT 0 $pxe_menu_items MENU end
LABEL $profile_name MENU PASSWD kernel $kernel_path $menu_label $append_line ipappend 2
- Installation And Basics
- Manpage documentation
- If You Need More Starter Information
- Physical Machine Installation
- Virtualization Automation
- Kickstart Templating
- Package Update Mirroring Features (Optional)
- Network Management Features
- Usage with Red Hat Enterprise Linux
- Continued Management of Installed Systems
- Firmware Updates
- Power Management
- Simple Tips And Tricks
- Advanced Section: More Tips And Tricks
- Advanced Section: Cobbler Server Migrations
- Advanced Section: Security Choices (for WebUI / XMLRPC )
- Advanced Section: Internals
Learn more about Cobbler. See how to set it up and perform tasks. Explore advanced features that may be useful in your environment.
Installation And Basics ¶
Start here to learn about what Cobbler can do and how to set it up.
- DownloadInstructions -- Download instructions for RPMs and DEB files, and how to set up yum to be able to get Cobbler updates.
- Getting Started With Importing Content : Guide on how to import distributions from DVD or mirrors and get going quickly
- Web Interface: using the Cobbler Web interface, and how to set it up
Manpage documentation ¶Read More...