Getting started

Example inventory

To configure the Preseed server, you can add a host to [debops_service_preseed] group:

[debops_service_preseed]
hostname

Default configuration will prepare Preseed files for Debian Wheezy and Debian Jessie, which system administrator account named after either ansible_ssh_user or the username present on Ansible Controller host.

Example playbook

Here's an example playbook which uses debops.preseed role:

---

- name: Provide Debian Preseed configuration files over HTTP
  hosts: [ 'debops_service_preseed' ]
  become: True

  roles:

    - role: debops.apt_preferences
      tags: [ 'role::apt_preferences' ]
      apt_preferences__dependent_list:
        - '{{ nginx_apt_preferences_dependent_list }}'

    - role: debops.ferm
      tags: [ 'role::ferm' ]
      ferm__dependent_rules:
        - '{{ nginx_ferm_dependent_rules }}'

    - role: debops.nginx
      tags: [ 'role::nginx' ]
      nginx_servers: '{{ preseed__nginx__servers }}'

    - role: debops.preseed
      tags: [ 'role::preseed' ]

How to use Debian Preseed configuration

debops.preseed will use debops.nginx role to set up a webserver for the Preseed files. They will be served on a separate subdomain, by default seed. The FQDN given the example.org domain will be for example:

debian.seed.example.org
debian-vm.seed.example.org

You will need to define these subdomains in your DNS server, preferably as a CNAME records pointed to the Preseed server.

If you have correctly configured DHCP server, which advertises your domain, you will be able to access the Preseed configuration using a shorter form:

debian.seed
debian-vm.seed

The Debian Installer will automatically add your domain to the specified URL to get the Preseed files.

To enable Preseeded installation, after starting the Debian Installer (tested with Wheezy and Jessie), navigate the menu to "Advanced options" -> "Automated Install".

Next, press the <Tab> key, this will let you enter additional boot options. Now you can specify the URL of the Preseed file.

An example boot command line in Debian Installer:

auto=true url=debian.seed hostname=<host>

After you press <Enter>, the Debian Installer should start the installation process. If you specified debian.seed as the Preseed file, the Debian Installer should pause during the installation and let you configure the disk partitions as you see fit. After configuring the partitions, the automatic installation will resume and when it's finished the host will be automatically rebooted. After that you should be able to SSH to it using the configured admin account.

The alternative Pressed configuration, debian-vm.seed is configured to automatically partition and format the first hard drive with its full capacity, without asking the user. This Preseed configuration is designed primary for virtual machines, which usually have 1 partition stored in an image file or a block device.

If you are not able to add *.seed to your DNS, you might use preseed__base_domain to make the server listen on a hostname available via DNS. For this case the boot command line in Debian Installer would require a different URL, like in this example (for jessie):

auto url=<myhost>/debian/d-i/jessie hostname=<host>