Calling all debian guru's (custom net-install CD's and custom repo's)

Brendan Curran brendan.curran at
Sat Sep 3 23:27:41 MDT 2005

We are running 14+ linux servers in 3 different countries - each with
different hardware specs. Some are ibm blades, some are generic machines,
all are rack mounted dual / quad xeon machines.


We are using debian sarge with great success in terms of stability,
performance, and reliability. We now would really like to simplify our
organization from an administrative point of view.


The ibm machines have network controllers that aren't supported by default
in the kernel - and so they won't work with the typical net-install CD's. We
are interested in creating a custom net-install CD that loads a
cusom-configured kernel to run the install, and also in setting up a custom
debian repository that we can use to automatically keep all of our systems
in sync software wise. Ideally we would like to have some custom software
(not available in the debian main/contrib/etc.. repo's) as well as the
latest available copies of certain debian sarge repo software.


Basically - we want to do two things:


1.	create a custom net-install CD that uses a custom-configured kernel
2.	create a custom debian repository that will automatically load
certain software directly from the stock debian repositories (or just filter
the rest out), as well as letting us load custom configurations of other


The hope is that we can just run "aptitude dist-upgrade" on each machine, or
enable automatic apt retrieval to keep our systems in sync, and just
manipulate the repository from that point on.


After a lot of googling, we can't find anyone who has done either 1 or 2 and
generated a useful how-to. Has anyone been able to find some docs on the web
that are a good guide to doing something like this?


Thank you,


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