[Novalug] Kickstart (was Re: Need some guidance)
James Ewing Cottrell 3rd
JECottrell3 at Comcast.NET
Mon Nov 2 15:57:04 EST 2009
American Dave wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 10:41:49AM -0500, Beartooth wrote:
>> Hmmm .... All I know of kickstart is that something by
>> that name exists.
> Kickstart is a way to automate the installation of Red Hat and other
> distros. You can quite simply install Linux, but Kickstart is flexible
> enough to do just about anything.
...that can be done in an automated installation. Actually, even without
the %pre and %post scripts, slightly more, as there seems to be a trend
towards simplifying the Interactive Install, pushing more and more to
the Firstboot code.
> Combine Kickstart with PXE-booting and you've got a pretty compelling
> imaging solution.
Yes, but there are some tricks that neither the PXE boot docs nor the
kickstart docs tell you about when you combine the two.
>> I run six or eight machines (all on a home LAN, at least
>> when booted), and never quite manage to get all the same things
>> installed on all the machines (or at least, on all but the
>> Would kickstart be good for what you might call
>> pre-synchronizing them?
> In short, yes, if you run pretty similar setups and you trash
> them frequently. If you like to image hosts once every year or so, it's
> probably not worth the effort.
Yes, altho then it's Education, and once you have the knowledge, you
will tend to find ways to use it.
Do a Manual Install first, then take the generated kickstart file
/root/anaconda-ks.cfg file and use that as the basis for editing.
Take Baby Steps...don't try and do too much too quickly.
I also recommend using text mode, so you can see the "speedometer", the
list of the packages, sizes, estimated timing going by. Alas, this seems
to have disappeared in Fedora, probably because it changes somewhat
oddly, often in a quadratic fashion. Later actions can take longer to
do, so it looks like you aren't making any progress.
> There's lots of experimenting with Kickstart, so weigh whether that's
> appealing. In many large Linux installations Kickstart is a must.
Agreed. But I'd like to also mention one other cool way to do
installations. Some HP or Compaq servers have a Hardware Mirroring
controller. We used to pull one of the disks out and swap it into
another machine and just let the two mirrors rebuild. Then re-IP the
other server and you have a clone!
> -A. Dave
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