Right now, to do a remote re-install or upgrade on a running Fedora system, you could do something like this:
- Copy images/pxeboot/vmlinuz and images/pxeboot/initrd.img to the target system and massage /boot/grub/grub.conf to include a section for them with the appropriate anaconda options.
- Reboot the system.
- Either remotely control the install with VNC, or pray that kickstart works correctly.
HP-UX has a tool called Ignite-UX which, among other things, can be used to start and monitor remote installs. It makes it possible to easily manage dozens of installs. http://docs.hp.com/en/B2355-90970/ch04s03.html explains how, with screenshots.
Fedora currently has kickstart support in anaconda for automating installs and the system-config-kickstart GUI for building kickstart configs. All that Fedora is lacking to have a tool like Ignite-UX is a basic GUI (that probably could be based on system-config-kickstart) and some way of getting status from anaconda remotely. A way to also control anaconda remotely (to do things like abort an install/upgrade, answer certain prompts, etc.) would be ideal.
With a system like this, a remote re-install or upgrade would be as simple as this:
- Add the system to the GUI as a target.
- Select install/upgrade in the GUI.
- Answer some basic questions (for example, pick a install type such as server/workstation/whatever).
- Sit back and watch.
It seems like there should be a way to manage (or at least monitor) random PXE installs (not started from the GUI) as well.
It might be interesting to look into sharing ideas/code with some of the Xen provisioning tools.