Mar 6, 2010

KickStart Server Configuration

Automating Installation with Kickstart

operating system installations via a network connection using a Kickstart server. It is frequently much faster than using CDs and the process can be automated.

OS Details:

Kernel Version : 2.6.16-8.el5


1) RHEL5.0 Installed and following services should be running.

(a) dhcpd
(b) nfs
(c) portmap
(d) nfslock

2) The following files need to be edited

(a) /etc/dhcpd.conf
(b) /etc/exports
(c) /data/install/kickstart/ks.cfg

Test Setup Details:
IP address:
Subnet mask:
Hostname: station


1.Configure the network and provide the appropriate IP address and Host name. (In my case IP address:; Net mask: hostname: station)

2.Create the directories to copy the necessary files

#mkdir –p /data/install/ISO
#mkdir /data/install/kickstart
3. Create ISO images of the installation CDs and place them in the /data/install/ISO directory.
#cd /data/install/ISO
#mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
#mkisofs –J –r –T –o RHEL-disc1.iso /mnt
#umount /mnt

Second CD
#mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
#mkisofs –J –r –T –o RHEL-disc2.iso /mnt
#umount /mnt

Third CD

#mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
#mkisofs –J –r –T –o RHEL-disc3.iso /mnt
#umount /mnt

Fourth CD

#mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
#mkisofs –J –r –T –o RHEL-disc4.iso /mnt
#umount /mnt

Fifth CD

#mount /dev/cdrom /mnt
#mkisofs –J –r –T –o RHEL-disc5.iso /mnt
#umount /mnt

4.Add the following entries in /etc/exports file

#vi /etc/exports
/data/install *(ro,sync)

5.Make sure that the portmap, nfs, and nfslock daemons are all running to create an NFS server.

6.Run the exportfs command to add this directory to the NFS database of network available directories.

#exportfs –a

7.The installation client will prompt you for the IP address that should use for the installation process. This is done by using DHCP server.

#cp /usr/share/doc/dhcp-3.0.5/dhcpd.conf.sample /etc/dhcpd.conf

#vi /etc/dhcpd.conf

ddns-update-style interim;
ignore client-updates;

subnet netmask {

# --- default gateway
option routers;
option subnet-mask;

option nis-domain "";
option domain-name "";
option domain-name-servers;
option time-offset -18000; # Eastern Standard Time
# option ntp-servers;
# option netbios-name-servers;
# --- Selects point-to-point node (default is hybrid). Don't change this unless
# -- you understand Netbios very well
# option netbios-node-type 2;

range dynamic-bootp;
default-lease-time 21600;
max-lease-time 43200;
filename "/data/install/kickstart/ks.cfg";

# we want the nameserver to appear at a fixed address
host ns {
hardware ethernet 12:34:56:78:AB:CD;

8.Create a customized kickstart configuration file by using “ Applications  Systems Tools  Kickstart”. Save this file (File  Save) to /data/install/kickstart directory.

#vi /data/install/kickstart/ks.cfg

#platform=x86, AMD64, or Intel EM64T
# System authorization information
auth --useshadow --enablemd5
key --skip
# System bootloader configuration
bootloader --location=mbr
# Partition clearing information
clearpart --all --initlabel
# Use graphical install
# Firewall configuration
firewall --disabled
# Run the Setup Agent on first boot
firstboot --disable
# System keyboard
keyboard us
# System language
lang en_US
# Installation logging level
logging --level=info
# Use NFS installation media
nfs --server= --dir=/data/install/ISO
# Network information
network --bootproto=dhcp --device=eth0 --onboot=on
#Root password
rootpw eso123

# SELinux configuration
selinux --disabled
# System timezone
timezone Asia/Calcutta
# Install OS instead of upgrade
# X Window System configuration information
xconfig --defaultdesktop=GNOME --depth=8 --resolution=800x600
# Disk partitioning information
part /boot --bytes-per-inode=4096 --fstype="ext3" --size=100
part / --bytes-per-inode=4096 --fstype="ext3" --size=10000
part swap --bytes-per-inode=4096 --fstype="swap" --size=512
@GNOME Desktop Environment
@Text-based Internet
@Development Tools
@FTP Server
@Administration Tools

9.Need either a bootable CD or bootable diskette for client installation. Boot from CD or diskette and start the kickstart installation by “boot: ks”.

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