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Large Scale Linux Configuration with LCFG

Paul Anderson <>
Alastair Scobie <>

Division of Informatics,
University of Edinburgh

This paper describes the automatic installation and configuration system currently being used to manage several hundred Linux machines in the Division of Informatics at Edinburgh University. This is a development of the LCFG system which has been used successfully for several years under Solaris. The introduction provides some background on the general problem of large-scale configuration, together with a short comparison of typical solutions, and a brief description of the original LCFG system.

The specific changes required to support Linux are then discussed; in particular, the issues of installation bootstrapping, and the updaterpms program. This automatically synchronises client software packages with a specification in the central database. We describe how the system is used in practice, and how it enables us to automatically maintain large numbers of machines with very diverse and evolving configurations.

Some future plans are then discussed, including a major reworking of the LCFG implementation, LDAP integration, and our intention to make the technology more widely available.

Paul Anderson & Alastair Scobie

This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the 4th Annual Linux Showcase and Conference, Atlanta, October 10-14, 2000, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Last changed: 8 Sept. 2000 bleu

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