Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If one has access to a console server providing serial port access to a server, is it possible to reformat and re-install an OS on the server remotely?

Note that creating partitions under the existing OS and booting from an alternate partition is not an option.

Currently running RHEL6 on the server, if that makes a difference.

share|improve this question
how about trying jumpstart server? – rajeev Jul 16 at 2:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It entirely depends on your hardware and what can be done via the serial connection - and I hope you're not going to try to mount a DVD over serial: you've almost got to have a working NIC or some form of local media.

If you're running RH on Sun hardware, I bet there's a lot you can do. If you've got Intel server hardware from a top-tier vendor, look at their docs to see what you can do via serial after bootup before the OS loads from the disk; although IME, most Intel server vendors offer better remote management through their OOB management cards (Sup II, DRAC, iLo, etc) than via serial.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.