I have setup a cobbler and puppet and they are working fine (quite). I am still in a testing phase, so all testing are performed on a single client server. However, in the real environment, this cobbler+puppet setup will run against multiple clients. With the current setup, say if I have 10 clients), I will have to get all of their MAC addresses in order for cobbler to work.

My question:

Is it possible to run cobbler without providing a mac address of the client? I have tried this by omitting the host stanza and it failed. But, if there is a way to exclude the mac address in cobbler, then I will have to create separate cobbler profiles for all the clients so that each of them will get a unique hostname for the purpose of puppet certificate handshake. The thing is, I can't tell which hostname will get what IP, so that is another problem for me to add the clients inside the DNS.

What would be the best solution to implement cobbler+puppet on multiple clients? I am guessing there are more elegant solutions than what I have stated above.



Cobbler runs just fine without a system definition, but it won't do so completely unattended, as it will show a menu of all profiles defined in Cobbler and IIRC, will default to boot to the hard disk instead of the installer, so you have to be present with a screen and keyboard (or remote console).

You can then supply the client with an IP address via DHCP and pre-add generic host names into DNS, like dhcp060 or something like that and it should be used as the client name during install.

But really, gathering the MAC addresses of 10 clients is not all that difficult. For unknown MAC addresses, I usually end up booting the system into PXE, pausing it right when it begins it's DHCP request, read the MAC address from the screen there and feed it into a "host generation" script that adds entries for DNS, DHCP, Cobbler, Puppet and whatever else is necessary to my environments. After that, I continue the boot and it works without any further interaction.

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  • Well actually it is more than 10, but anyway let's put that aside. If I were to do it your way, booting it up and get the MAC address and feed it through script that will add the entry into cobbler setting, then I will need to run cobbler sync for the changes in settings to take place. That will also restart my DHCP and DNS services, which I think will cause my PXE booting to hang maybe? Well come to think of it of course I can configure cobbler to not restart the DHCP and DNS services when I sync it. Say if I have two NICs, guess I should add both MAC addresses in the setting? – gidot Dec 27 '14 at 10:50

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