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2. Document Structure

This document is split up into various sections that are designed to make it easy to read and learn from. There are major sections that allow the reader to skip to parts of the HOWTO that will be relevant for them. The entire document is not designed to be relevant to every reader and you may wish to skip out entire major sections of it. Each major section will consist of a set of subsections, so if you think a major section is relevant to what you are reading this HOWTO for then please read ALL the subsections.

This HOWTO covers different distributions of Linux and I try to be generic across different versions of a particular distribution. It contains two basic high-level structures to it for each distribution that it contains, these are (a) sections on setting up Linux install server server machines, and (b) sections on setting up clients using an install server. In addition to these two types of main section there are also a few other sections that are designed for reference purposes to other documents, and how to use this document.

2.1 Server Setup Structure

This is a rough list of points that you will need to follow in order to setup a Linux machine as a network install server. The HOWTO sections on setting up servers roughly adhere to this list:

  1. Install a machine with Linux to be a server machine
  2. Check you have enough disk space free to serve Linux installs
  3. Set up the filespace you want to use to serve the Linux installs
  4. Copy the install media to your filespace
  5. Enable one or more remote access methods to your filespace
  6. Customise your server images

2.2 Client Install Structure

This is a rough list of points that you will need to follow in order to install a Linux distribution from a network install server. The HOWTO sections on installing client machines roughly adhere to this list:

  1. Install config program on a machine
  2. Use config program to create config files
  3. Edit the config file to include customisable options
  4. Create a bootable media
  5. Provide access to the config file
  6. Boot your machine and read the config file
  7. Client contacts server machine
  8. Manually supply any requested arguments
  9. Client installs and reboots to new operating system

2.3 Reading plan

Although this is not the biggest reference guide in the world you can still help yourself for quicker reading by following the guidelines below. I have tried to write the HOWTO in such a way that it will be useful to all skill levels in Linux.

Expert

(aka the elite). If you are familiar with Linux as well as installation over networks then you will probably be able to do most of your setup using the quick guide section, you will also find some useful references in the appendices for further reading purposes. For distribution specific details of a network install then you should be able to reference the appropriate subsection.

Experienced

(aka competent). If you are familiar with Linux but new to network installations then you should be able to make good use of the various distribution independent sections. Read carefully through the sections that you think are relevant for your purposes but you should be able to skip through the commands quite easily. You will also find good references in the appendices for further reading.

Newbie

(mostly harmless). You will find some excellent installation references listed in the appendices that I would thoroughly recommend reading before attempting network installations. Make sure you are completely happy with a basic non-network Linux installation before you attempt networked installs. Once you think you are ready then read very thoroughly through the sections for the distribution you are interested in and make sure you read the non-distribution specific sections carefully too. You should find the command references in this HOWTO very helpful.


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