Boot.fedoraproject.org and you
- So boot.fedoraproject.org got its start from the boot.kernel.org website. What does boot.kernel.org do exactly and who created it?
- BKO provides a network based install system to users who have downloaded a pre-configured gpxe image which comes in ISO, disk, USB, etc formats. It was started as a Google Summer of Code project done by Pravin Shinde and sponsored by John 'Warthog9' Hawley.
- What attracted you to the idea of making a version of this site for use in the Fedora Project? What are your goals for it?
- During our last FUDCon I attended a talk on BKO John put together. The technology was something I'd been thinking about for a while sitting in front of me done and functional, I immediately liked it. John and I both share a general hatred of CD/DVD media. I decided the best course of action was to put a site together for Fedora to help showcase the technology as well as letting Fedora easily control settings and config defaults.
- What was involved in actually setting up the site, apart from the web pages themselves?
- The site itself pulls together a few technologies that only recently became viable. Most seasoned sysadmins are familiar with PXE booting, a method of booting via the network and your network card. PXE itself is generally fragile and only supports tftp. gPXE on the other hand is a more feature rich version of PXE, and it's completely open - http://etherboot.org/wiki/index.php These new features make it possible to do remote booting via iscsi, http, etc.
- To build our site I had to build gpxe with a few options that point it to our public configs. Ever time you boot, your computer downloads those configs. This also means we can change those configs as often as we want, and you don't have to burn new gpxe media. You just boot what you have and it will automatically download the latetst configs.
- Who do you see using the site primarily, and why will they find it useful and interesting?
- I suspect people with fast, reliable network connections will use BFO the most. It is particularly compelling to create your own local site. People will like being able to carry only a small image around with them and be able to boot any current Fedora release. You'll never have to burn DVD media again. Also though, there's a lot of integration features here, you can boot BFO in a lot of ways, only a few of which have been tested and documented on the site.
- How do you see Fedora making use of boot.fp.o down the road? Are there features that will replace or augment the way users do Fedora installations in the future?
- gPXE is a great technology. For the first iteration of boot.fedoraproject.org we're sticking almost entirely with Fedora, but as you can see on boot.kernel.org there are lots of little apps available. I suspect you'll see some of those creep their way into Fedora's install.
- One feature I have yet to test myself but I know is possible is burning gpxe images to BIOS or your network card's firmware. This would allow you to boot any Fedora installer without any install media at all. You'd just need a network connection. Perhaps in that future John's dream of destroying the DVD will finally come true :)
- Tell us a little about yourself beyond your work in Fedora.
- I'm an operations guy based out of Chicago. I like to cook, garden and compute.
- Thanks for your contributions, and for telling us about some of your latest work!