Introducing the Brightbox Bootstaller

Brightbox Cloud provides standard images for Windows and several Linux distributions. That’s great if you want to get going quickly or have systems that are designed to work on standard images.

But sometimes you need to build something bespoke and that can be a bit fiddly on a cloud.

To get help get around that I’ve put together the Brightbox Bootstaller.

Bootstaller screen

Bootstaller allows you to launch the standard installer for CentOS, Debian, Fedora and Scientific Linux and configure the server just as you like it.

Simply find the Bootstaller image for your chosen architecture:

$ brightbox images list | grep Bootstaller

 id         owner      type      created_on  status  size   name                                                     
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 img-itn4a  brightbox  official  2013-05-02  public  1      Brightbox Bootstaller (i686)                             
 img-6xgf1  brightbox  official  2013-05-02  public  1      Brightbox Bootstaller (x86_64)                           
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then build whichever size server you require using that image:

$ brightbox servers create -t large img-6xgf1

Creating a nano (typ-4nssg) server with image Brightbox Bootstaller (img-6xgf1)

 id         status    type   zone   created_on  image_id   cloud_ip_ids  name
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 srv-fz85p  creating  large  gb1-b  2013-05-02  img-6xgf1                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Activate the console:

$ brightbox servers activate_console srv-fz85p

Activating console for server srv-fz85p

 url                                                             token     expires         
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 https://srv-fz85p.console.gb1.brightbox.com/?password=dksgiqp0  dksgiqp0  2013-05-02T13:06
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fire up the console from the url. Then pick the required distribution and version from the menu and away you go.

But that’s not all.

You can automatically configure servers via the standard automated script systems built into the installers.

Simply include the Kickstart or Preseed script as user data when creating the server:

$ brightbox servers create -f debian-6-preseed.jeos img-6xgf1

Fire up the console as before and then select the appropriate distro and version from the Automated Install section of the menu.

Bootstaller will then supply your script to the installer and your server will build automatically to your exact specification.

The code is available on Github. If you know how to PXE net boot any other distribution’s installer then please log the details in an issue or better still send a pull request.

Here’s a quick screencast showing Bootstaller in action:

UPDATE: Installing CentOS 7.0 with Bootstaller

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