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Kickstart Cheatsheet

Create a new entry in /etc/grub.conf to pass Anaconda's command line options from GRUB. The following table describes some of the Anaconda command line options:

lowres Force GUI installer to run at 640x480.
vnc Enable VNC-based installation. You will need to connect to the machine using a VNC client application.
vncpassword=<password> Enable a password for the VNC connection. This will prevent someone from inadvertantly connecting to the VNC-based installation. Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.
vncconnect=<hostip>[:<port>] Once installation is up and running, connect to the VNC client on  <hostip> address (you can also use DNS if you are DHCP segment), and optionally use port <port>. Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.
ks=cdrom: Kickstart from CDROM
ks=nfs:<path> Kickstart from NFS.
ks=<url> Kickstart via HTTP.
ks=hd:<dev> Kickstart via harddrive (dev = 'hda1', for example)
ks=file:<path> Kickstart from a file (path = 'fd0/ks.cfg')
ks=ftp://<path> Kickstart from FTP.
ks=http://<path> Kickstart from HTTP.
lang=<lang> Language to use for the installation. This should be a language which is valid to be used with the 'lang' kickstart command.
keymap=<keymap> Keyboard layout to use. Valid values are those which can be used for the 'keyboard' kickstart command.
ip=<ip> IP to use for a network installation, use 'dhcp' for DHCP.
netmask=<nm> Netmask to use for a network installation.
gateway=<gw> Gateway to use for a network installation.
dns=<dns> Comma separated list of nameservers to use for a network installation.
method=nfs:<path> Use <path> for an NFS installation.
method=http://<path> Use <path> for an HTTP installation
method=ftp://<path> Use <path> for an FTP installation
method=hd://<dev>/<path> Use <path> on for a hard drive installation
method=cdrom Do a CDROM based installation.

The first step is to copy the initrd.img (RAM disk) and vmlinuz (kernel) files from the installation source (isolinux directory) to the /boot directory of the target remote server. You will need to be root to do this. You can find the isolinux directory in the root directory of the first Fedora CD.

Note
You may need to mount the .iso to get to these files.

Config file

You can also pre-set those parameters in config file:

default=0
timeout=5
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
hiddenmenu
title Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (2.6.9-5.ELsmp)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-5.ELsmp ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
        initrd /initrd-2.6.9-5.ELsmp.img
title Remote Install
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz_remote lang=en_US keymap=us method=http://<your_domain>/<path_to_tree>/i386/tree vnc vncconnect=<observing ip> ip=dhcp
        initrd /initrd_remote.img

We can reduce the amount of Anaconda options passed when performing a remote kickstart since most of the information Anaconda needs is already in the kickstart configuration:

title Remote Install
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz_remote ks=http://<domain>/<path_to_file>/<kickstart_config> vnc vncconnect=<observing_ip> 
        initrd /initrd_remote.img

Barebones demo remote kickstart configuration
# Barebones demo remote kickstart configuration
#

install
network --bootproto dhcp
url --url http://<domain>/<path_to_file>/i386/tree
lang en_US
langsupport --default en_US en_US
keyboard us
mouse none
zerombr yes
clearpart --all
part pv.01 --size=1000 --grow
part /boot --fstype=ext3 --size=200
part swap --size=1000   --maxsize=2000
volgroup myvg pv.01
logvol / --vgname=myvg --name=rootvol --size=1000 --grow
bootloader --location mbr
timezone America/New_York
auth --enablemd5 --enableshadow
rootpw --iscrypted <encryptedpasswdstring>
selinux --permissive
reboot
firewall --enabled --http --ssh --smtp
skipx

%packages --resolvedeps

@ Base

%post

# MOTD
echo << /etc/motd
echo "Remote kickstart on $(date +'%Y-%m-%d')" << /etc/motd
echo << /etc/motd

Note
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide contains an in-depth discussion of kickstart. You can insert the root password in a kickstart file as clear text or you can specify an encrypted password. To use an unencrypted password in the kickstart configuration file, use the rootpw keyword, followed by the clear text password:
rootpw mypasswd
If you would rather use an encrypted password, use grub-md5-crypt or the openssl passwd module to generate MD5-hashed passwords. For example, to generate an encrypted password using openssl enter the following,
openssl passwd -1 -salt "shaker" "your_password"
Entries in the /etc/shadow file also contain MD5-hashed passwords. Now add the --iscrypted option and encrypted password to the kickstart file as follows:
rootpw --iscrypted encryptedpasswdstring

Save the new grub.conf file without restarting the remote server. GRUB offers a safety precaution that we will take advantage of in the next section.

Fallbacks

GRUB boots one or more entries when a default boot entry fails. Usually the fallback entries are kernel entries that the system expects will boot successfully in case we boot to a kernel that does not agree with the system. For a remote install, GRUB only needs to set the default entry and boot to it once.

Rather then modifying the grub.conf file, save the default entry with the GRUB command line tool and then boot to it. As root, enter the command 'grub' from the command line. This will load a bash-like grub tool. GRUB entries are indexed from 0. If the remote install is the second entry in grub.conf, then enter the following commands:

grub> savedefault --default=1 --once

grub> quit

GRUB will now only boot to the remote install entry one time.

grub> help savedefault
savedefault: savedefault [--stage2=STAGE2_FILE] [--default=DEFAULT] [--once]
   Save DEFAULT as the default boot entry in STAGE2_FILE. If
   '--once' is specified, the default is reset after the next reboot.

So when we save the default grub entry to boot to, the --once flag will reset the default after the next reboot. This helps if the boot was not successful so we can go back to a known good boot entry.

Note
Resist the temptation to use GRUB's fallback mechanism as a substitute for testing your install. It's always a good idea to test your remote install in an environment where you are physically present. Your remote install could be waiting for an answer needed for the second stage that will never be provided if you have a misspelled or missing argument. Debugging these types of errors is much easier in a physically available testing environment.

 

Hacking Red Hat Kickstart

Listing 2. Modified syslinux.cfg File

default ks
prompt 1
timeout 60
display custom.msg
F1 boot.msg
F2 options.msg
F3 general.msg
F4 param.msg
F5 rescue.msg
F7 custom.msg
label linux
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img lang= devfs=nomount \
    ramdisk_size=9216
label text
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img lang= text devfs=nomount \
    ramdisk_size=9216
label expert
  kernel vmlinuz
  append expert initrd=initrd.img lang= \
    devfs=nomount ramdisk_size=9216
label ks
  kernel vmlinuz
  append text ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg initrd=initrd.img \
    lang= devfs=nomount ramdisk_size=9216
label nofb
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img lang= devfs=nomount \
    nofb ramdisk_size=9216
label lowres
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img lang= lowres \
    devfs=nomount ramdisk_size=9216



Etc

Society

Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

Quotes

War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D


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Last modified: October 03, 2017