Auto OS Install Process

Pete Travis lists at
Thu Dec 26 18:32:25 UTC 2013

On Dec 26, 2013 10:52 AM, "bruce" <badouglas at> wrote:
> Hey Suvayu,
> Not to be insensitive.. but I've had left-post/right-post/top-post
> args etc for damn near 30 years...
> My motto - if I create the post, I'll post/add to it as i see fit.
> Everyon else is welcome to reply, or not!!
> Now that that's out of the way...
> My need is in the case a system gets hacked/corrupted. If the system
> is remote, I want a method of being able to get into the hacked
> system, and to have it then restore the running/corrupted partition
> from the "clean" partition.
> This means I need to be able to install dual OS, as well as have a
> method of being able to switch the boot process as required.
> No, this isn't foolproof to eleminate hacking, but it does allow me to
> then be able to more easlity/quickly recover in the event the process
> detects the master partition as being hacked.
> So, in my mind, I'll have dual OS/partitions
> paritionA
>   -minimal OS
>   -used to do a netinstall/reinstall of a clean OS into partitionB
>   -so when the system boots up into this partition, it will auto
>    perform the netinstall process into the partitionB for the
>    reinstall
> partitionB
>   -the master partition/OS
>   -contains the working/real OS/env of the system
>   -also able to invoke a netinstall process to reinstall partitionA as
>    required
>   -has the ability to toggle between the partitions
>   -has the ability to set itself as the default OS/partition
> So in my mind, this really should be a matter of doing a dual
> install/boot process, and then determining how one can
> programatically/automatically set whatever function/switch has to be
> set to switch between the partitions/OS on reboot of the system.
> Keep in mind, once the system is created/provisioned, all of this is
> being handled remotely, via ssh.
> thanks

If we assume that you have functioning ssh access to the machine, you can
change the default boot option for grub in /etc/default/grub (and run
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/path/to/grub.cfg)

With ssh access and a UEFI system, you can use `efibootmgr` to set the
firmware boot order or next boot.

If you don't have functioning ssh access, you'll need hardware with remote
access firmware ie. IPMI. Alternatively, you can get a KVM with remote
access features - usually vnc, look for KVM over IP - or some remote hands
to operate a keyboard for you.

If the goal is to reinstall from the alternative environment, you want the
installer , not a minimal install.  You should read about medialess
installs or pxe installation in the Fedora Installation Guide. These can
also be used in rescue mode. Either way, kickstart sounds like a good idea
for you.

BTW, mailing list guidelines have existed as long as mailing lists.  You
are more likely to get good help if you follow those guidelines that make
it easier for your helpers to follow the discussion, but the choice between
your convenience and clarity for your readers is your own choice.

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