35. Kickstart
35.1 Overview
1. Kickstart provides a way to do automated installations.
2. The Kickstart configuration file (ks.cfg) answers all the questions that are normally asked during a normal install.
3. Allows you to automate most of the installation, including the following:
o Language Selection
o Mouse Configuration
o Keyboard Selection/Configuration
o Boot Loader Installation
o Disk Partitioning
o Network Configuration
o Authentication (NIS, LDAP,Kerberos, Samba, and Hesoid)
o Firewall Configuration
o X Window System Configuration
o Package Selection
4. Packages
o mkkickstart – This package provides utilities that will create a kickstart file based on the current machine’s configuration.
o ksconfig – Provides a graphical interface for creating kickstart files.
35.2 Creating a Kickstart File
1. Manual
Copy the sample.ks kickstart file from the RH-DOCS directory on the documentation CD and modify it to meet your requirements. Be careful when editing it because the sections must remain in order. The order is:
o Command Section
o %package Section
o %pre & %post Sections
2. mkkickstart
Use the mkkickstart utility to create a kickstart configuration file based on the current system’s configuration.
3. ksconfig
Use the GUI tool ksconfig to create a kickstart file.
35.3 Kickstart Installation Types
1. Network
o Requires a DHCP/BOOTP server.
o ks.cfg file must be accessible from NFS, FTP, HTTP, or Samba (although I’ve only been able to get it to work when the ks.cfg file is on NFS).
o Can install from NFS, FTP, HTTP, & Samba.
2. Local
o ks.cfg file must be put on a floppy boot disk.
o Can install from a local CD-ROM or a local hard drive.
35.4 Kickstart Installation
1. Boot with a boot floppy. For a local kickstart installation, the ks.cfg must be located in the root of the boot disk.
2. When SYSLINUX installation screen comes up, specify one of the following options:
o ks=floppy – If ks.cfg is located on the floppy.
o ks=hd:fd0/ks.cfg – Same as ks=floppy above.
o ks=floppy dd – When ks.cfg is located on the floppy and you need a driver disk.
o ks=nfs::/path – ks.cfg file is on an NFS server.
o ks=http::/path – ks.cfg file is on an HTTP server.
o ks=ftp::/path – ks.cfg file is on an FTP server.
35.5 Additional Network Installation Info
1. When specifying “linux ks” at the installation prompt:
o The ks.cfg file must be available via NFS.
o By default, it is assumed that the ks.cfg file will be on the same server as the DHCP/BOOTP server. To specify a different server for the ks.cfg file, specify the following in the /etc/dhcpd.conf file:
o filename “/path/to/ks.cfg”
o next-server
If the path specified in the “filename” clause ends with a “/”, then the file that is looked for is: “/specified/path/-kickstart” where is the IP address of the machine making the request.
Note that the path specified in the “filename” clause must be the full path to the file and not the relative path from the NFS export. Kickstart will automatically try to mount the NFS export based on the path’s name. In the above example, it would first try to mount “/path”, then if that failed, “/path/to”.
2. If you don’t wish to use DHCP to specify the location of the kickstart file, you can specify one of the options listed above to point to the location of the ks.cfg file.
3. To install from NFS, the following directive must be used in the ks.cfg file right after the “install” directive:
4. nfs –server –dir

5. To install from HTTP or FTP, the following directive must be used in the ks.cfg file right after the “install” directive:
6. url –url http:///path
7. url –url ftp:///path

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