• Kickstart File Generation Process
  • Performing the kickstart installation
  • Expert kickstart options
  • Acr 12. 1/15. 1 Generate Linux Kickstart file Introduction

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    Kickstart is a Red Hat process that greatly simplifies the installation of Linux. You use a Windows, Linux or Mac OS X desktop to run a program (ks3.jar) that generates an installation script unique to the machine you are installing. When you install, the Linux installer follows the script rather than prompting you with many pages of questions. By using the kickstart script, you not only simplify installation, but assure a standardized deployment.

    If you are installing on new hardware for the first time, you will probably need to start a non-kickstart installation before creating the kickstart script. You need to discover the exact device names that Red Hat will give your NIC(s) and disk(s). Once you have discovered the device names cancel out of the interactive installation process.

    For example, this screenshot shows that Red Hat 7 will designate the two NICs in this server ens192 and ens224.


    This screenshot shows that Red Hat 7 will designate the single disk / RAID array in this server sda.


    Kickstart File Generation Process

    1. Copy the ks3.jar file to a Windows, Linux or Mac OS X machine. You must have Java Version 7 or higher installed.

    2. Check that port 8080 is available, and open port 8080 through the firewall. The target machine must be able to route through your network to the kickstart machine.

    3. Double-click the ks3.jar file.

    4. Select the appropriate version of Red Hat.

    5. Fill in the form with the following information:

      • Select the keyboard layout of the recorder server

      • Select or type in the timezone of the recorder server

      • If you have a corporate NTP server specify its IP address or fully qualified domain name. If you leave the entry empty the tool picks a suitable public server.

      • WARNING: Because good time synchronisation is so vital you must take care with this setting and test that it is working after installation.

      • Fill in the address and netmask for the first NIC.

      • Specify the address of the default router, which must be in the same subnet as the address that you specify for the first NIC.

      • Specify the hostname, preferably as a fully qualified domain name (e.g. acrmaster.bigcorp.com)

      • Specify the IP address of a DNS server

    6. Click Generate Script.

    7. Review the script carefully.

    8. (OPTIONAL) If you need to edit the script for any of the reasons below, check the Allow Edits box and make the changes.

    9. Click Run HTTP Server. You can test that the script is ready by using a browser on a different machine to connect to http://IPaddressOfDesktop:8080/ks.cfg.

    10. If you prefer to save the file, click the Save As button. You can then create a CD or DVD to store the ks.cfg file, or save it to a thumb drive if you wish

    Performing the kickstart installation

    1. Boot the target server using the Red Hat distribution disk. Make sure you have a supported Red Hat version.

    2. At the initial screen, select the Install Red Hat option.

    3. Hit the TAB key to bring up the default command line.

    4. Append ks=http://IPaddressOfDesktop:8080/ks.cfg to the command line and hit the RETURN key

    5. (OPTIONAL) If you do not have a DHCP server, you need to supply additional network information on the command line. Also append ip=x.x.x.x netmask=x.x.x.x gateway=x.x.x.x. Use the same addresses you supplied when generating the kickstart script.

    6. Wait for the automated install to complete. With Red Hat 6 you may need to choose a NIC to use and/or confirm that the disks will be completely erased.

    Example from Red Hat 7


    Expert kickstart options:

    NIC bonding (RHEL 7 only)

    Comment out the un-bonded network line and uncomment the bonded network alternative.

    Change the slave NIC names to match the hardware
    After installation review the files in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts. Delete any referring to ens0 or ens1. Leave the ifcfg-bond* files.

    network --device=bond0 --bondslaves=ens1,ens2--bootproto=static --ip= --netmask= --gateway= --nameserver= --hostname=acrmaster.bigcorp.com

    Second NIC in different subnet
    Uncomment the prototype second NIC line, and manually change the IP address, net mask and device name
    network --device=ens3--bootproto=static --ip= --netmask=

    Two or more disks (designated disks)

    You must designate a disk for each partition. The typical way to do this is to /calls on the largest disk and the other partitions on the smaller. Allow /var/lib/pgsql to grow to fill the smaller disk. Add the ondisk suffix to each partition

    Example - note how the default size of /opt/witness has been increased to allow for larger log files:

    part /boot --fstype=ext4 --size=200 --ondisk=sda
    part / --fstype=ext4 --size=5000 --ondisk=sda
    part /opt/witness --fstype=ext4 --size=33000 --ondisk=sda
    part /var/lib/pgsql --fstype=ext4 --size=50000 --grow --ondisk=sda
    part  swap --recommended --ondisk=sda
    part /calls --fstype=ext4 --size=1000 --grow --ondisk=sdb

    One or more disks (volume group)

    Red Hat can join multiple disks into one large volume. This allows greater flexibility going forward.

    To create a logical volume group, comment out one set of part lines and uncomment the others.

    Allow one part pv.xx line per physical disk. Set the ondisk to the device name for each one.

    Make sure that each pv.xx appears on the volgroup line. This joins them together into one large volume group

    Example - note how the default sizes of /opt/witness and /var/lib/pgsql have been increased to allow for larger logs and a larger database:

    part /boot --fstype=ext4 --size=200 --ondisk=sda

    part pv.01 --size=1 --grow --ondisk=sda
    part pv.02 --size=1 --grow --ondisk=sdb
    volgroup acrvg pv.01 pv.02
    logvol swap --recommended --vgname=acrvg --name=swap
    logvol / --fstype=ext4 --size=5000 --vgname=acrvg --name=root
    logvol /opt/witness --fstype=ext4 --size=30000 --vgname=acrvg --name=witness
    logvol /var/lib/pgsql --fstype=ext4 --size=100000 --vgname=acrvg --name=postgres
    logvol /calls --fstype=ext4 --size=1000 --grow --vgname=acrvg --name=calls

    Minimal package installation

    By default kickstart installs the Gnome desktop. If you do not want a desktop or the X windows system, delete the packages associated with the desktop, leaving just the minimal packages required. Note that lines starting "-" tell kickstart not to install a package. These can all be left intact.


    @ base
    @ core
    chrony/ntp depending on version

    ACR-12.1/15.1-Kickstart-V3.docx Page

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    Acr 12. 1/15. 1 Generate Linux Kickstart file Introduction

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