FAI (fully automatic installation) is a non-interactive system to install a Debian GNU/Linux operating system on a group of PCs or a Linux cluster. After installation, the systems are fully configured and ready to run. It is a scalable method for performing unattended installation and updating. Changes to the configuration files of the operating system are made by cfengine, shell, and Perl scripts.
A simple and trivial to use utility for keeping various 3rd party application packages installed on multiple machines. It leaves flexibility for making packages local to a host or remotely served from a central server. It is not the same sort of tool as RPM; rather it serves a related but different purpose. In particular, unlike most package systems, it can run independently of your main system (RPM, pkgadd, etc) and lets you install multiple versions of an appplication at the same time.
SystemImager automates the installation of Linux to masses of similar machines. Software distribution, configuration, and operating system updates are made easy, including updates from one Linux release to another. It can also be used for content distribution on Web servers. It is most useful in environments with large numbers of identical machines. Some typical environments include Internet server farms, high performance clusters, computer labs, and corporate desktop environments where all workstations have the same basic hardware configuration.
Dpsyco is a automated system to distribute system configurations to several computers. It is written mainly for the Debian distribution but should be portable (without too much difficulties) to other distributions or Unixes as well. It consists of a number of shell scripts to perform the desired actions. With it you can handle users, add ssh-public-keys, patch the system, update things using cfengine, install files (overriding other package files), and more.
Clusters and server farms often have many nodes and very little hardware support for locating and diagnosing problems, especially if the problem involves the network interface. Helpme is a small stand-alone program that allows a node to use the standard PC speaker, both to signal that a problem has been detected and to render arbitrary alphanumeric text using either Morse code or the NATO phonetic alphabet. The input syntax allows repeating messages and more.
The Finishing Scripts for Cluster Installations handle specific post-installation configuration that might not be convienent nor possible using existing cluster installation methods. The usual installation process is used to build a reasonably configured node, and the system then reboots into normal mode, achieves network visibility, and executes the finishing script. The finishing script handles all of the finer details of installing packaged or non-packaged software, tweaking installation, setting host/net specific parameters/files, etc. It is controlled via a single, easily modified script.