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How can I execute a process on a remote machine running Linux without SSH. Since the machine is scheduled to PXE-boot periodically, the SSH key will be changed and executing a process through a script using SSH is ruled out. Any idea on how it can be done?

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Regular re-installing via pxe does not preclude the use of ssh.

I don't know what distro you're using but it could be trivial to have the pxe install add public halves of ssh keys to the system's authorized_keys file. (I'm most familiar with Red Hat / Fedora and I always do this with my pxe setups.)

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ssh would be safest with keys in place; but you can setup a webserver on remote box and execute commands by sending them to some php or cgi script that will then run command for you. why is ssh a problem? What kind of command are you running?

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Crontab will help you. Add your script in crontab that will automatically run your script.

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If the process must be execute every time the machine starts, the solution suggests by Sandeep is perfect. – lg. Feb 27 '12 at 9:26

If your SSH problem related to SSH keys known_hosts file, you can disable host key verification. Have a look at this post. However, you need to be sure that you are safe from MITM attack.

A web interface can be created to execute the command, but you need to grant the web server process user the enough permissions to execute the needed commands (possibly using sudoers).

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What about using /etc/rc.d/rc.local file? This is executed at boot time.

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