On Sun, 12 Apr 2009 20:45:11 -0400, Steve Lake <steve.l...@raiden.net> wrote:
>          So I want to leave behind a cd that's setup in such a way that all 
> he has to do is pop it in, boot it up, and maybe answer a couple questions 
> prior to install.  After that the cd does the rest.  And when it's 
> finished, the system ends up with a fresh copy of the server as it was when 
> the snapshot was created, including all settings and applications. 

If any data loss is okay then (due to reinstallation a common
observation), you could easily create a bootable DVD (a CD would
be too small I think) that runs a simple shell script that

        1. slices and partitions the disk,

        2. newfses the partitions and

        3. restores a dump onto the partitions.

These dumps you can generate from the server before you leave,
read: in the state that is desired for best operation. (Go into
SUM, unmount the partitions of the server and do a full dump.)

If you set up everything correctly, no interaction should be

PRO:    exact 1:1 copy of a running system
        no interaction

CONTRA: need extra disk to save dump files
        system in the state exactly prior dump

> It's 
> fine if the software isn't the latest. 

The software will of course have the date of the dump.

> I just need to make sure he can get 
> it up quickly and easily and then I'll handle the rest of the stuff 
> remotely from overseas, such as bringing it up to date.

Then my suggestion would be fine. I usually go the same route,
but without a custom boot CD. I use FreeSBIE to boot the system,
have a second hard disk with the partition images on it (e. g.
root.dump, var.dump, usr.dump, home.dump) and use sysinstall from
the CD to slice, partition and newfs the disk, and then restore
the backups onto the partitions (ad0s1a, ad0s1d-g). I think it
would even be okay to use the live file system of a FreeBSD disc
instead of FreeSBIE.

But I think in your case, involving a live system CD would be
too complicated (allthough it is not *that* complicated), so
the automated approach would be okay.

>          So, is there something like this for Freebsd, or would I be forced 
> to use something like Clonezilla to create an image and go that route? 

No. FreeBSD is an excellent operating system that brings everything to
accomplish this task. The basic tools are dump, restore, a bit of
shell scripting, and a CD / DVD burning application.

> I'm 
> not very found of the disk image idea myself, but I can go that route if 
> need be.

It's not that bad, but be sure to make more than one of these
installation discs, just in case one gets damaged. :-)

If this isn't what you're searching for, maybe the "make release"
from the FreeBSD /usr/src tree will help you. You can furthermore
create a custom installation file for sysinstall. That's possible,

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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