Puppet lets you centrally manage every important aspect of your system using a cross-platform specification language that manages all the separate elements normally aggregated in different files, including users, cron jobs, and hosts, along with obviously discrete elements like packages, services, and files. Its simple declarative specification language provides powerful classing abilities for drawing out the similarities between hosts while allowing them to be as specific as necessary, and it handles dependency and prerequisite relationships between objects clearly and explicitly.
UDPCast allows to send data simultaneously to many destinations on a local net. This can for instance be used to install entire classrooms of PCs at once. The advantage over using other methods (nfs, ftp, whatever) is that udpcast uses Ethernet's multicast abilities: it won't take longer to install 15 machines than it would to install 2. The tool comes with a busybox bootdisk for easy loading of the tool. However, udpcast can also be started from the command line of an already installed system, and can be used for other purposes than just system installation.
Rally is a software component with a user interface which allows a user to install, update, and remove packages on RPM based operating systems. Primary functions (downloading software packages from network repositories and their installation) may be performed in parallel. The user interface is split into two independent parts: a graphical one and a command line utility. The graphical interface contains package searching and category browsing functions. Rally assumes the Fedora project as a reference platform.
Unattended fully automates the installation of Windows 2000 and XP workstations. It is roughly an open source equivalent to RIS, but without the need for Windows servers. It allows you to install your OS, hotfixes, and applications all at once, after booting the installer from floppy, CD-ROM, or the network itself.
FAI (fully automatic installation) is a non-interactive system to install a Debian GNU/Linux operating system on a group of PCs or a Linux cluster. After installation, the systems are fully configured and ready to run. It is a scalable method for performing unattended installation and updating. Changes to the configuration files of the operating system are made by cfengine, shell, and Perl scripts.
Augeas is a configuration API and editing tool. It parses common configuration files like /etc/hosts or /etc/grub.conf in their native formats and transforms them into a tree. Configuration changes are made by manipulating this tree and saving it back into native configuration files.
mrepo (formerly known as Yam) builds a local APT/Yum RPM repository from local ISO files, downloaded updates, and extra packages from RHN (Red Hat Network) and 3rd party repositories. It takes care of setting up the ISO files, downloading the RPMs, configuring HTTP access, and providing PXE/TFTP resources for remote installations. It was primarily intended for doing remote network installations of various distributions from a laptop without the need for CD media or floppies, but is equally suitable for an organization's centralized update server.
List2pkg is a program to create Slackware packages in a simple way. More precisely, given a list of files, it will create a Slackware package containing these files. A user trying to install that package will see the same files installed at the same locations they were on your system.
Viper is a system for completely automated installation and configuration of Debian GNU/Linux-based systems. It uses a modern approach with debian-installer and puppet, works with existing Debian packages, and does not require any custom patching of either install media, client, or server. The basis of the whole system is an LDAP server containing all configuration data.