"For node installation we at SARA used SystemImager. We switched to SALI for all our clusters. SALI allows you to create a clone of your running system. This clone can be distributed by various protocols (aria2) eg: rsync, Bittorent, ftp, http/https, metalink
SALI is created due the fact that on the moment of starting SALI:
- Systemimager kernel/initrd and BOEL utilities are outdated. New hardware was not detected/supported
- no grub2 support
- no ext4 support
The trigger for us was that there is no grub2 support. We thought this could be easily added, but during this process we decided to upgrade all software to the newest levels and replace some software components. The biggest hurdle was detecting of which hardware is in the system (udev). We believe that SALI is better in detecting which hardware is in the system than the SystemImager setup. The focus for this project is/was:
- Easily create a new kernel/initrd when a new kernel is released or one of the software components is updated, eg: busybox.
- The SALI initrd contains all kernel modules and software utilities. In SystemImager this software is distributed as a separate package (BOEL binaries).
- Drop support for flamethrower/multicast and floppy disk support.
- With some minor adjustments you can use your old generated SystemImager scripts. These scripts uses /etc/init.d/functions which is included in the initrd. We have added/changed a lot of functions to hide the complexity. We have reduced the code of the SystemImager scripts significantly, See masterscript.new. Read the Functions Documentation
- For detailed overview of the changes read this changelog
- For now you must set SCRIPTNAME=<script_name> in the pxelinux file
- If GRUB2=yes is set then we expect a seperate grub2 partition:
- Added diskscrub, Diskscrub overwrites hard disks, files, and other devices with repeating patterns intended to make recovering data from these devices more difficult..."