The IT Center runs a free installation and update server for various Linux distributions for the instituts and halls of residence of the RWTH Aachen. A distribution is a compilation of various programs, which are assembled with the core of the operating system, the so-called kernel, to a package. The various distributions differ by the selected programmes and the respective installation routines.
The installation server allows to install several Linux systems over the network without any installation CDs or DVDs. For this purpose the latest installation media are stored on the installation server and are available via the protocols
- FTP (file transfer protocol),
- NFS (network file system) and
- HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
over the network. The standard methods for a network installation of the most distributions are covered by these protocols.