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Xandros Desktop Management Server Illustrates a Maturing Linux Market - page 4

The Need for Enterprise Desktop Administration

  • January 6, 2005
  • By Bill von Hagen

The xDMS Console application enables you to define the Installable Units and updates that your xDMS server provides within your enterprise environment. To do this, you start xDMS Console, select the Schedule tab, and click the new icon. This displays the wizard shown in Figure 4.

The characteristics of a scheduled job are its name, what you're doing (OS deployment, updates, etc.), what you're installing to do that, the MAC or IP addresses of hosts on which this can be installed, and the period of time that the job is valid for. If you're scheduling an operating system deployment, the wizard also prompts you for the root password on the remote systems, and how the installation should interact with the disks on those systems.

The ability to specify a range of IP addresses on which a distribution can be installed or updated and the time frame for those installs makes it easy for a system administrator to remote install certain distributions on specific subnets, schedule updates to occur at off-peak times, and so on.

After scheduling a job, you can go to any system with a valid MAC address or within the range of valid IP addresses, insert the boot media you created in the Repository Builder, and boot the machine from that media in order for xDMS to do its installation. Figure 5 shows a sample boot screen when booting from an xDMS boot image. Figure 6 shows a sample screen shot taken while a remote installation is taking place.

Information about the status of each remote installation is displayed in the window at the bottom of the xDMS console. This makes it easy to see what systems have been installed successfully, and any systems on which installation errors occurred.

Once a remote installation has completed successfully, you simply remove the boot media and reboot the system. All systems installed using xDMS include a desktop icon for the xDMS console, which makes it easy for authenticated administrators to retrieve updates and other packages from an xDMS server in the future.

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