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Kickstart Instructions

by Troy Dawson last modified 2012-02-17 12:56
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Publish Troy Dawson 2008-02-27 13:50 No comments.
Sample Kickstart with most everything included

Things of Note for SLF 51

  • If you want any of your workgroup packages or groups, you have to include a "repo" line, telling the installer where your workgroup repository is.

    repo --name=workgroup --baseurl=
    repo --name="SLF 57 Fermi base" --baseurl=

    You can add as many repo lines that you wish. This is useful is some of your packages happen to be in the contrib section.

  • Your workgroup post install scripts do not get run during a kickstart install. Your workgroup tree and tag also do not get installed unless you add your workgroup group.
    If you do add your workgroup group, then the post install scripts will be in /etc/(workgroup)/scipts/ area, and can be called during the %post section

Misc stuff

This is just some miscellaneous stuff that is good to know.
  • Kickstart entries do not have to be in order
  • If you want to be prompted for certain things, simply leave it off the kickstart and you will be prompted, but everything else will go as the kickstart asks it to.
  • You are able to put kickstart in a variety of places (see below)

Creating a Kickstart File

The installer automatically generates a kickstart file, and placed it in your /root/ directory. The file is called anaconda-ks.cfg
This file has everything that you did during the install, from your video mode, your root password (encrypted), your disk partitioning (commented out), to all the packages that you installed.
But, there is two things that the automatically generated kickstart file does not have. That is where to install from, and the post install scripts. So even if you don't do anything else with your kickstart file, you should add the following two sections.
Put the install from line at the top, though it can really go anywhere in the top section of the file.

  • url --url
  • repo --name=base --baseurl=
  • repo --name=security --baseurl=
  • repo --name=workgroup --baseurl=

And then put the post install script line at the bottom, before the regular %post section.
  • %post --nochroot
  • sh /tmp/updates/fermi/
The other two places people usually edit is the drive partition lines (They start with part), as well as the packages(everything below %packages).
Note: If you change monitors and/or video cards, you will want to double check the xconfig line in your kickstart

Using a Kickstart file

After you've gotten your kickstart file written, you've got to get the installer to use it. There is a wide variety of places you can put your kickstart, you just have to be able to tell the installer how to get at it.
The best page that tells how to use it is at /usr/share/doc/rhel-sag-en-3/s1-kickstart2-startinginstall.html
All of our following examples assume that you are sitting at the machine and are able to type at the keyboard.

Kickstart file on a floppy disk

This is one of the most common ways of doing a kickstart, so we'll put it here.

  1. Start with a dos formated floppy
  2. Copy your kickstart file onto the floppy, with the name of ks.cfg
  3. Reboot your machine with the installation CD-Rom in the cd-rom tray. You should put the floppy disk in the floppy drive. If your machine keeps trying to boot from the floppy drive, take out the floppy drive until it has booted off the cd-rom, but put the floppy back in before you do the next step.
  4. At the boot prompt type in
    • linux ks=floppy

Kickstart file on the network

Getting your kickstart file from the network is often alot easier than having to carry a seperate floppy disk around for all of your machines. It also makes things alot easier when your machine doesn't even have a floppy disk.

  • You're kickstart file must be able to be accessed from the machine.
    This seems like a no-brainer, but basically I'm saying to not put it where you need to type in a password. Or if the web area has limited access, make sure that the access includes whatever IP addresses your machine will have.
Using dhcp
Note:This does not mean that your machine will be setup to use dhcp, but that your machine must be able to ask for a dhcp address and get one. So if you are at fermilab, then you have to have your machine registered.
  1. get or make a network install CD
    or get or make network install floppies.
  2. boot the network install CD or floppies.
  3. At the boot: prompt type in
    linux ks=(full address to you kickstart config file)
    and example
    linux ks=
  4. away you go with your install, using kickstart
Using a static IP address
Before doing this, make sure you have your machines IP adress, Netmask, Gateway and name server ip address.
Note: For a complete list of all the command line entries that you can do, you can look at command-line.txt from the anaconda rpm.
  1. get or make a network install CD
    or get or make network install floppies.
  2. boot the network install CD or floppies.
  3. At the boot: prompt type in
    linux ks=(full address to you kickstart config file) ip=(IP address) netmask=(netmask) gateway=(gateway) dns=(name server)
    and example
    linux ks= ip= netmask= gateway= dns=
  4. away you go with your install, using kickstart


Serial Console

If you want your install to go through the serial console, you can do a

  • linux ks=(full address to you kickstart config file) console=ttyS0
  • and example would be
  • linux ks= console=ttyS0

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