How do I automate network installation of many Ubuntu 18.04 systems with EFI and PXE?

In the past I’ve managed the installation of dozens of Ubuntu 18.04 servers with PXE boot and pxelinux. This worked well, as each system had its own file named after the mac address of the interface that would talk DHCP/PXE. These files would then point to their respective preseed URLs to get the installation going.

Our newer machines only do EFI booting. There is a http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/bionic-updates/main/uefi/grub2-amd64/current/grubnetx64.efi that can perform the same role, except it doesn’t look up the individual machine’s files anymore; it just calls for a common grub.cfg.

I’ve looked at the CentOS7 grub-x86_64.efi which does follow the old method of MAC address based lookups, but unfortunately this version is unable to boot Ubuntu install kernels (basically it hangs after loading the kernel and initrd).

How do I set it up so I can install all my machines automatically?

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Author: Dennis van Dok

Is it necessary to download UNetBootin or other softwares to create a live os on a usb?

I was trying to download Tails on a USB stick and as always, you have to download the file (in this case a .img), but then I was told that I had to use software to make it work (I was recommended to use UNeBootin). This is where I am confused. Why do I actually need it? And can I download tails without it?

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Author: John Doe

Ubuntu 20.04 cannot boot live CD in VirtualBox

I am trying to do some testing in Ubuntu, and need a fresh VM. I am at work running Windows 10. I downloaded the latest version of VirtualBox (6.1.10) and the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop 20.04. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to boot the live CD. I see the VBX splash screen, followed by an Ubuntu splash screen (briefly) but then the screen goes black with a blinking cursor (that does not appear to register keystrokes). Doing a bit of research, it appears that the issue is usually video adapter related, but I have tried maxing out the video memory, selecting all three different adapters, enabling and disabling 3D acceleration, and tried Ubuntu 18.04 and the latest Mint, all with the same result. I use VirtualBox regularly at home on Windows and Linux with no problems. Is there something obvious I am missing now?

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Author: gillonba