The QuickDep SystemFormerly Hammer
By Sebastian Weigand : Design and Development
AboutQuickDep (officially the Quick Deployment System) is an enterprise-oriented image-based deployment system, specifically designed for easy Linux installs. It uses block-level imaging (with or without compression) comparable to proprietary "Ghosting" systems to efficiently store partition data.
It exists as a bootable Linux environment, based off of SLAX v6.09, with custom modifications to enable rapid deployment either locally (off the bootable medium) or from the network. Traditionally, QuickDep exists as a recovery partition (usually the first partition on the disk at 1 GB - Q-PART), a USB image (Q-USB), and optionally as a CD (Q-CD).
Mechanism of DeploymentIt works by booting a small yet effective Linux environment entirely in memory (as such, it requires more than 512 MB of RAM to function properly). It then runs a script which establishes a connection to a QuickDep imaging server via SSHFS and FUSE. It then reads in the "QuickDep Profile", which instructs it on how to set-up and deploy a system. Optionally, pre and post-install scripts can be used to fine-tune deployment.
The QuickDep ProfileThe largest change in moving from Hammer v1 (now deprecated) to v2 is the creation of the user-centric "QuckDep Profile". It exists as a human-readable and editable Pythonic collection of variables. In it, a user will specify all the necessary information needed to completely deploy a Linux system to a computer.
ScriptsV2 reorients the direction of QuickDep, focusing on the ease-of-use for image creation, while keeping existing functionality and adding in a few features. As such, all the old bash scripts have been replaced with a single Python script, '''blaster'''. Blaster will perform all the magic necessary, including integrity checking and reporting, networking, partitioning, formatting, and so forth.
TerminologyHammer: The Hammer Linux Deployment System (now outdated, use QuickDep) Blast (to blast sthg): To use QuickDep to deploy a system Nail: A USB thumb drive containing the Q-USB QuickDep environment, needed to use QuickDep on a machine which does not have a QuickDep Partition (Q-PART). Image (to image sthg): To create the QuickDep images from a machine for use with deployment. Image (noun): The actual file containing block-level partition information for use with '''partimage''' Partimage: The program which manages the imaging of partitions (3rd-party FOSS) System Requirements
For QuickDep to function properly, the target system must have at least 512 MB of memory, and be able to be booted from a USB device. If it cannot, a separate Q-CD can be created, although this process is not preferred.
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