Kickstart installations provide an automated alternative to the normal interactive installations of RHEL and Oracle Linux. The automation of installation and post installation configuration steps represents a considerable time saving in situations where many similar installations are performed. A kickstart installation requires a kickstart file that contains the answers to every question asked during an interactive installation. Kickstart files can be created in one of three ways:. The Kickstart Configurator program is installed from a yum repository using the following command as the root user. The Kickstart Configurator program allows you to answer most of the questions asked during an interactive installation process.

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Make the Kickstart file available on removable media, a hard drive or a network location. Creating a Kickstart File. The file name of your Kickstart configuration does not matter; however, it is recommended to use a simple name as you will need to specify this name later in other configuration files or dialogs. The recommended approach to creating Kickstart files is to perform a manual installation on one system first.

After the installation completes, all choices made during the installation are saved into a file named anaconda-ks. You can then copy this file, make any changes you need, and use the resulting configuration file in further installations. This tool will walk you through basic configuration and allows you to download the resulting Kickstart file. However, the tool currently does not supported any advanced partitioning. Kickstart Configurator , the graphical tool for creating Kickstart files, is still available.

Sections must be specified in order. Items within the sections do not have to be in a specific order unless otherwise specified. The section order is:. You must include the required options. Omitting any required item results in the installation program prompting the user for an answer to the related item, just as the user would be prompted during a typical installation.

Once the answer is given, the installation continues unattended unless it finds another missing item. Lines starting with a pound also known as number sign are treated as comments and are ignored. Maintaining the Kickstart File. Verifying the Kickstart File. When creating or customizing your Kickstart file, it is useful to verify that it is valid before attempting to use it in an installation.

This tool is a part of the pykickstart package. To install this package, execute the following command as root :. After installing the package, you can validate a Kickstart file using the following command:. For more information about this tool, see the ksvalidator 1 man page. Keep in mind that the validation tool has its limitations.

The Kickstart file can be very complicated; ksvalidator can make sure the syntax is correct and that the file does not include deprecated options, but it cannot guarantee the installation will be successful. Changes in Kickstart Syntax. You can use the ksverdiff command to display the differences between two versions of the Kickstart syntax. This is useful when updating an existing Kickstart file to be used with a new release.

The -f option specifies the release to start the comparison with, and the -t option to specify the release to end with. For additional information, see the ksverdiff 1 man page.

Making the Kickstart File Available. On a hard drive connected to the installation system. On a network share reachable from the installation system. Normally, a Kickstart file is copied to removable media or a hard drive, or made available on the network.

Placing the file in a network location complements the usual approach to Kickstart installations, which is also network-based: the system is booted using a PXE server, the Kickstart file is downloaded from a network share, and software packages specified in the file are downloaded from remote repositories.

Making the Kickstart file available and reachable from the installation system is exactly the same as making the installation source available, only with the Kickstart file instead of the installation ISO image or tree. Making the Installation Source Available. The Kickstart installation must access an installation source in order to install the packages needed by your system.

Starting the Kickstart Installation. To load your Kickstart file automatically without having to specify the inst. To start a Kickstart installation, use the boot option inst. When you configure the PXE server, you can add the boot option into the boot loader configuration file, which in turn allows you to start the installation automatically.

Using this approach, it is possible to automate the installation completely, including the boot process. Procedures in this section assume that you already have a Kickstart file ready in a location accessible from the installation system, as well as boot media or a PXE server which can be used to boot the system and begin the installation.

Starting the Kickstart Installation Manually. This section explains how to start a Kickstart installation manually, which means some user interaction adding boot options at the boot: prompt will be required. For architecture-specific instructions, see:. At the boot prompt, specify the inst.

In some cases, the inst. The installation begins now, using the options specified in the Kickstart file. If the Kickstart file is valid and contains all required commands, the installation is completely automated from this point forward.

Starting the Kickstart Installation Automatically. The following procedure explains how to completely automate the Kickstart installation, using a network boot PXE server and a properly configured boot loader. If you follow this procedure, you only need to turn on the system; no other interaction will be required from that moment until the installation finishes.

The name of the file and its syntax depends on your system's architecture and hardware:. In this case, add the inst. A sample append line in the configuration file looks similar to the following:.

In this file, append the inst. A sample kernel line in the configuration file will look similar to the following:. Boot the installation from the network server.

The installation begins now, using the installation options specified in the Kickstart file. If the Kickstart file is valid and contains all required commands, the installation is completely automated. What are Kickstart Installations? Kickstart Syntax Reference.

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Chapter 31. Kickstart Installations

Installing Red Hat based systems from physical or virtual media is easy enough when there is only one or two hosts to install. Beyond this, when an administrator needs to setup several Linux systems, Kickstart can provide a relatively easy way to accomplish mass deployment and can be totally automated. It is easy to have several different Kickstart configurations ready to go, each having a different deployment configuration. Most large companies use this technique to deploy a Red Hat base server image that can then be customized as required. What makes Kickstart even easier is that an administrator can configure Kickstart with nothing more complex than a web server, installation media and at least one Kickstart configuration file. Kickstart can also use other installation mediums, such as NFS and even local media if desired.


Kickstart - Automated Installations of RHEL and Oracle Linux

Starting a Kickstart Installation. To begin a kickstart installation, you must boot the system from boot media you have made or the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD-ROM 1, and enter a special boot command at the boot prompt. The installation program looks for a kickstart file if the ks command line argument is passed to the kernel. To do so, enter the following command at the boot: prompt:. With Driver Disk If you need to use a driver disk with kickstart, specify the dd option as well. For example, to boot off a boot diskette and use a driver disk, enter the following command at the boot: prompt:.

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