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It is possible to install Fedora over the serial line and without physically using any CD or DVDs.

Download the files in "os/isolinux/" to a directory in /tftpboot. Now fixup "serial.cfg". Attached is my serial.cfg for reference.

Figure out the mac address of the ethernet interface for the control net and then add a symbolic link in /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg to serial.cfg. For example my link looks like this:

01-00-11-43-e4-96-40 -> ../fedora8-installer/serial.cfg

If you have not already, make sure there is no way your experient can get swapped out accidentally or by emulab.

Now modify the nodes table so that the pxe_boot_path is "/tftpboot/pxelinux.0", for example:

  mysql> select node_id,pxe_boot_path from nodes where node_id='pc392';
  | node_id | pxe_boot_path        |
  | pc392   | /tftpboot/pxelinux.0 |
  1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Once modified run:

  /usr/testbed/sbin/dhcpd_makeconf -ir

Now reboot the node, and you should be able to install Fedora via the serial console.

Before rebooting you need to set "pxe_boot_path" to NULL and rerun dhcpd_makeconf.