Forester delivers bare metal remote provisioning to Fedora

Golang project also works with the CentOS Linux replacements Forester is a new network-based unattended OS provisioning tool for Fedora and Red Hat family OSes, still being implemented – in Go.

Lukáš Zapletal's talk at was entitled "Anaconda kickstart with superpower," which is possibly a little less than enlightening to people outside the RH ecosystem. It may help to know that Anaconda is Red Hat's installation program, and Kickstart is the company's tool for automating unattended installations.

There are already a number of open source remote-provisioning tools out there, and the talk name-checked several of them, as you can read in the slides [PDF]. Zapletal called out Beaker and Tinkerbell specifically, and also mentioned Canonical's MaaS offering. It is somewhat unusual to hear people from the Big Purple Hat admitting that external offerings have an edge in any department, so this struck us as noteworthy.

Forester is an effort to address this. It supports the Redfish management standard that we've mentioned in the past. Although several companies' tools do already support RHEL, CentOS and the like, right now Forester is expressly targeted at the community-driven Fedora and newer CentOS Linux replacements such as Alma Linux. It also targets relatively modern hardware or VMs: he expressly mentioned that it wouldn't support BIOS systems, due to issues with using HTTP.

The code is on GitHub, and he's implementing it in the Go programming language. So far, it integrates with Anaconda and Kickstart, but Zapletal has an ambitious roadmap for the project's future, including adding support for libvirt, IPMI, VMware, Terraform and Foreman plugins, and integration with various Red Hat tools and projects such as Ansible, Pulp, Image Builder, its Hybrid Cloud console, and so on.

Refactoring and enhancing the existing installer to give it new abilities in this way reminds us of SUSE's ongoing effort to modularize its YAST2 installer.

This kind of tool is a little outside of the comfort zone of The Reg FOSS Desk, but it sounds like an interesting project. If it does to you too, you can watch the talk on YouTube. ®

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