Why we're using GRML in the datacenter

grml basically is a live Linux CD optimized for text-tool users and sysadmins. We are using it in the datacenter, and here's why:

  • It's a breeze to use for unprepared tasks: it contains a lot of useful tools, and it's just a CD you need to carry. Got a broken machine? Suddenly some box is acting strange? Fire up grml and check what's going on.
  • It's easy to integrate into your existing infrastructure. You probably already have some PXE server for network booting, and you can boot grml off it after following a few simple steps.
  • It's easy to extend. We've just recently replaced our old preseeded debian installer for deploying new machines with grml (from PXE boot) + a simple script I wrote in an hour or so.
  • It supports all our hardware.
  • The grml64 variant is a true 64-bit Linux, which is great if you want to deploy 64-bit installations.
  • It's based on Debian, so our people are already familiar with the environment.
Try grml out - grab your copy of grml or grml64 from here.

Also, grml provides a nice pre-configured zsh (and related shell environment). If you like it, you may want to use it permanently for your workstation (or even servers). Get the instructions from http://grml.org/console/