Various methods of linux  kickstart

Posted on 2007-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have successfully used a kickstart file by putting a boot cd in the cd drie, and pointing to the floppy for the kickstart.   The Kickstart was configured to read the linux files from an NFS mount on another machine.

Now, I have a new 1U Intel server that has  a CD but doesn't ( and cannot ) have a Floppy - because the floppy goes into the same spot as the CD.

I have tried a million different things to try to get linux to read teh kickstart from some other location, like a USB stick or from the NFS drive;

The command that works from floppy is this:

boot: linux ks=floppy:/ksv4.cfg

I have tried many other magic incantations, and none of them work:
 On my nfs machine, I have a drectory /centos_disks that is shared via nfs.
 boot: linux ks=nfs:123.45.678.999:/ksv5.cfg
 boot: linux ks=nfs:123.45.678.999:/centos_disks/ksv5.cfg

Trying to read from usb stick:
  boot: linux ks=hd:/media/USB_DISK/ksv5.cfg
  boot: linux ks=/media/usb_disk/ksv5.cfg

And many others that I did not write down.

Can someone tell me what is the right syntax to address a kickstart file on an NFS drive,
or on a memory stick?

Alternatively, and perhaps better, How can I set BIOS to boot from the USB?
My Bios gives boot options of
  IGA GE Slot 0320
  IGA GE Slot 0321
What are they?

Question by:bobtreu
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    I've always found it easiest to put the kickstart file on a web server somewhere, so then you'd do ks=  That way you can change it easily with out having to re-write a floppy, and web servers are easier to come by than NFS servers, not to mention easier to set up (especially since you probably already have one).

    You can pull the whole installation from HTTP too, which is really nice... so you just have to have a boot cd, or even do a network or flash boot - then just come back when its done - no putting in cd2, cd3, etc...
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    For NFS, just do:
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    For the flash instead of using the mount location like you were using tt needs the actual device location for the disk, so it would be
    boot: linux ks=hd:sda1/ksv5.cfg
    where sda1 is the flash drive - you'll have to watch your boot messages to see what it actually gets assigned to.

    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    One last note, sorry to keep adding more - one nice thing about doing this all over http/apache instead of NFS are the logs.  If you tell it ks= you can then watch the apache logs on the server and see exactly what the kickstart is doing - if it is pulling the correct file, if it is trying to get something that isn't there, etc... the kickstart process can be a bit of a black-box and back-end debugging has proven soooo helpful to me in the past (ex: to see that it is pulling ks.cfg from some other directory and getting a file-not-found error, which I'd never have known from NFS, and it doesn't tell you on the console).

    Hope that helps!

    Author Comment

      I was unable to see the boot messages .. they go by too fast and I don't know how to puase them

    I inserted a USB stick, booted, then  went to the linux disk manager tool after the existing OS booted and saw that the USB had been mounted on /dev/sdc1

    linux ks=hd:sdc1/ksv5.cfg   Worked perfectly

    I like your idea of using http.   Much easier.    I will try that too.


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