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Appendix C. Upgrading Red Hat Linux from a serial console

Table of Contents
C.1. Select boot disk
C.2. Configure the BIOS to use the serial port
C.3. Configure modem to ignore DTR and assert DCD
C.4. Prepare a network install floppy diskette
C.5. Prepare HTTP server
C.6. Record network configuration
C.7. Record LILO configuration
C.8. Upgrade Red Hat distribution
C.9. Create boot disk for serial console
C.10. Further references

Upgrades to Linux distributions are frequently released. A machine is not remotely manageable unless these upgrades can be installed without needing to physically touch the machine.

This section examines the remote installation and remote upgrade of Red Hat Linux.

Red Hat Linux can be installed over the network from a HTTP server using an install diskette. We modify this diskette to use the serial console. If we can control whether to boot from this diskette or from the hard disk then we can remotely upgrade the Red Hat Linux distribution from the serial port. If a blank diskette is placed in the drive when the machine is deployed then no on-site intervention is needed to upgrade the operating system.

If you have upgrade procedures for other Linux distributions please contribute them to the HOWTO maintainer.

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