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Preseeding is a beautifully built technology but it isn’t very relevant today.

It helps answer questions like partitioning and encryption that is hard to do on a running OS, but really everything else can be done once the OS is installed and running. The development cycle in creating a preseed config that actually does everything you want is painfully slow compared to writing shell scripts / playbooks / cookbooks for a running system.




> Preseeding is a beautifully built technology but it isn’t very relevant today

I think preseeding is still relevant with the advent of container / immutable operating systems such as CoreOS, and perhaps Nix too. The technology has changed and overlaps with configuration management tooling, but only handles a small part of a servers lifecycle giving room for a proper cm tool.


Can you compare the time required to generate a preseed file and a playbook?

Also, how often do you rebuild a playbook and a preseed file?

Honestly asking, no traps here.


When you’re at the end of the week and you know what you want to do, the two are equivalent.

When it’s Wednesday afternoon and you are still riffing on some ideas as to how to configure a new service, the preseed edit-test-edit cycle is in the order of minutes instead of seconds, compared to a script run via ssh on a stable running system.

That makes a huge difference to productivity, for me.


Oh, I understand now.

I generally do service configuration at the post-install stage and if I have a working configuration just get that from our central storage. Or just write a small script and add to the post-boot steps of XCAT to run the commands and configure that stuff.

I configure the service by hand at one server, polish it, get the file (or steps) and roll it out.

So, preseed file stays very stable. We only change a line or two over the years.

Thanks for the answer BTW.

Edit: It's late here. There's packet loss between my brain and fingers.




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