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I have an old cluster [30 nodes, specs on each node[2GHz processor, 512MB RAM]]. The nodes have Debian 2.0 installed and I want to upgrade all nodes to Debian 5.0 stable version.

Is there a painless way to do it other than taking each node out, attaching it to a monitor to it and installing by DVD ?

The cluster is used mainly for computation purposes, so we don't need any desktop packages on it, only development libraries and programming languages.

Can anybody point me in a helpful direction to proceed.

Thanks a lot.

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You may want to look into PXE booting the nodes into the installer from the network. I'm not a linux user so I don't have any specific experiences to offer but the debain manual has a chapter dedicated to network booting.

The basic process is that you setup one node to manage the installation and act as a DHCP server to give the other nodes an address. The node must also run a TFTP server as TFTP is used to distribute the boot code for the installer to all the other nodes

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