Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Setup Kickstart Server in Linux


Red Hat Linux operating system installations can be done via a network connection using a Kickstart server. It is frequently much faster than using CDs and the process can be automated.
Example Kickstart 
Get the kickstart cfg from http server and start the install
boot: linux ks=http://server.com/path/to/kickstart/file

Get the kickstart cfg from nfs server and start the install
boot: linux ks=nfs:server:/path/to/kickstart/file

Serving the Kickstart file from nfs server through dhcp /etc/dhcpd.conf
next-server 10.10.10.100;
filename "/export/rhinstall/kickstart/ks.cfg"

Setup a Kickstart Server

01. Install and configure the DHCPD server

02. Install tftp server and enable TFTP service
a. yum install tftp-server
b. Enable TFTP server.
vi /etc/xinetd.d/tftp and change disable to 'no'
c. service xinetd restart
03. Install syslinux if not already installed
a. yum install syslinux
04. Copy needed files from syslinux to the tftpboot directory
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /tftpboot
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/menu.c32 /tftpboot
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/memdisk /tftpboot
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/mboot.c32 /tftpboot
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/chain.c32 /tftpboot
04. Create the directory for your PXE menus
mkdir /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg
05. For each "Release" and "ARCH" Copy vmlinuz and initrd.img from /images/pxeboot/ directory on "disc 1" of that $Release/$ARCH to /tftpboot/images/RHEL/$ARCH/$RELEASE
mkdir -p /tftpboot/images/RHEL/i386/4.3
mkdir -p /tftpboot/images/RHEL/i386/5.5
mkdir -p /tftpboot/images/RHEL/x86_64/4.3
mkdir -p /tftpboot/images/RHEL/x86_64/5.5
For RHEL 5.5 x86_64, do the following
mount /dev/cdrom /cdrom
cd /cdrom/images/pxeboot
cp vmlinuz initrd.img /tftpboot/images/RHEL/x86_64/5.5
Do the above for all releases and ARCH you want to kickstart from this server.
06. Add this to your existing or new /etc/dhcpd.conf.
Note: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP address of your PXE server
allow booting;
allow bootp;
option option-128 code 128 = string;
option option-129 code 129 = text;
next-server xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx;
filename "/pxelinux.0";
07. Restart DHCP service
# service dhcpd restart
08. Create Simple or Multilevel PIXIE menu. Create a file called "default" in /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg directory. A Sample file named "isolinux.cfg" is found on the boot installation media in "isolinux" directory. Copy this file as default and edit this file as per requirement. A sample default file is given bellow.
default menu.c32
prompt 0
timeout 300
ONTIMEOUT local

MENU TITLE PXE Menu

LABEL Pmajic
MENU LABEL Pmajic
kernel images/pmagic/bzImage
append noapic initrd=images/pmagic/initrd.gz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ramdisk_size=100000

label Dos Bootdisk
MENU LABEL ^Dos bootdisk
kernel memdisk
append initrd=images/622c.img

LABEL RHEL 5 x86 eth0
MENU LABEL RHEL 5 x86 eth0
KERNEL images/RHEL/x86/5.5/vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=images/RHEL/x86_64/5.5/initrd.img ramdisk_size=10000
ks=nfs:xx.xx.xx.xxx:/ ksdevice=eth1

LABEL RHEL 5 x86_64 eth0
MENU LABEL RHEL 5 x86_64 eth0
KERNEL images/RHEL/x86_64/5.5/vmlinuz
APPEND initrd=images/RHEL/x86_64/5.5/initrd.img ramdisk_size=10000
ks=nfs:xx.xx.xx.xxx:/ ksdevice=eth1
09. Install the kickstart Configurator tool. This tool will be helpful to create the kickstart configuration file.
yum install system-config-kickstart
10. Create the kickstart config file. This file can be created using kickstart Configuration Tool. A Sample file anaconda-ks.cfg based on current installation of a system is placed in /root directory. We can also use this /root/anaconda-ks-cfg as the configuration file. Copy this file to the location specified in the default file. Make sure the directory is NFS exported if you are using NFS for installing the OS.
11. Modify the kickstart configuration file as per requirement. If you are using NFS for installation, Make sure to copy the ISO images of Linux disks to any NFS server and NFS export the directory. This server/directory details need to be specified in the jumpstart configuration file.
12. After creating the KS configuration files and copying the ISO images, the installation can be started.

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