July 8, 2002

rxlinux: the Ready to eXecute iso cdrom distribution

Author: Benjamin D. Thomas

jean laganiere writes "The concept behind rxlinux, is to centralise configuration and management of multiple linux
servers. New servers can be deployed in minutes. A web interface is used to build custom
iso cdrom dedicated for specific servers. Server, also called rxnodes, boot up from that
cdrom and get the rest of configuration and software from a master server. No administration
is done directly on nodes. Everything is controlled from the master servers.
Well almost everything.

rxlinux masters (rxmasters)

An rxmaster is a machine used to configure and build iso cdrom images for rxnodes. The
rxmaster holds a database for all nodes. Each rxnodes can be managed, configured and
updated from the rxmaster. The rxmaster also served as software distributor for the rxnodes.
An rxmaster is a simple web server running the rxmaster cgi.

rxlinux nodes (rxnodes)

An rxnode is a physical machine running one or more server applications. It is typically a
low-end machine dedicated for a specific task. Rxnodes, always boot from a custom cdrom made
especially for him by the rxmaster. The root file system is small (about 32Mb) and stored in
ramdisk. At boot time, the rxnodes connect to an rxmaster and download configuration files
and all necessary software packages. Those packages are automatically deployed and executed in
ramdisk. When the machine reboot, all software and configurations will be fetched and deployed
again. When the rxnode has finished booting-up and all software are running, it is completely
independent from the rxmaster until next reboot.


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