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DBAN via PXE: Automagically Wipe a Drive via Network Boot


One of my first assignments when I signed on with my new job was to rebuild and improve the internal repository server.  When I started it was quite a mess!  It only mirrored the last two revisions of Red Hat Enterprise, and didn’t have a whole lot of functionality.  Now that I’m done it supports Red Hat 3-5, both i386 and x86_64 as well as the respective CentOS releases.  It mirrors Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE and I added a few little tricks to the PXE server which allows us to build or destroy machines without needing to burn a CD.  One of the features that I really like is the addition of DBAN to the PXE setup, allowing us to securely wipe drives on multiple machines without the need for any CDs or other boot media.  Here is how I went about it:

Create Required Directories

mkdir /tftpboot/dban/

Download Latest Dban

wget -c

Extract Dban Kernel and Initrd

mount -o loop dban-1.0.7_i386.iso /mnt/<br /> cp /mnt/dban_1_0_7_i386.ima ~<br /> mount -o loop ~/dban_1_0_7_i386.ima /mnt/<br /> cp /mnt/{initrd.gz,kernel.bzi} /tftpboot/dban/<br /> umount /mnt/ && umount /mnt/

These instructions don’t outline how to actually setup the PXE functionality, but simply go over how to extract the required kernel and ramdisk image which will allow for network booting. It would be nice if the DBAN site would offer something like this directly, but until then its not much more work.  I’ll do another post soon on how to setup the actual PXE server and configure it to use this newly extracted kernel and ramdisk.