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RedHat Linux kickstart problem

Hello,

I'm trying to setup a kickstart server using which I want to install the servers (kickstart clients) located in various racks in our datacenter. But for some reason, after I initiate the kickstart installation on the client machine, it is not picking the ks.cfg file and it gives the error "Unable to download the kickstart file". Actually here am not trying to do the installation across different subnet. All the servers in our datacenter are configured with the same subnet 10.100.X.X/16 (all are in the same VLAN). So I can assign any IP in the subnet 10.100.X.X/16 to any server in our datacenter. However the kickstart client is not picking up the IP leased by DHCP server and establish the connection with the Kickstart server.

Interesting thing is, when I try to install the server which is in the rack where Kickstart server located, it works.

Please advice what is blocking the kickstart client to get the IP leased by Kickstart server and start the installation. Thanks !
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ashsysad
Asked:
ashsysad
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3 Solutions
 
Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
Hi,

If the problem is you can get the DHCP address in the same rack but not in other racks you might have problems with your switch configurations in other racks. This is a crucial problem that you'll need to solve before further investigating the kickstart issue. Just check other racks and switches if they allow you get an DHCP server from your kickstart server otherwise modify the setting in switches so that you are able to get DHCP address from all servers.

Cheers,
K.
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m0nk3yzaCommented:
Hi ashsysad,

My 2c,

We've also had endless issues with RedHat kickstart.

What sometimes works is if we use a CrossOver cable between the KickStart server and the new server that needs to be installed (I know this is a hassle, but often we're pressed for time, and just need to get the server installed ASAP).

Also, we need to restart the following services on the KickStart server each time we want to kickstart a new server:

nfs
nfslock
portmap
dhcpd

After that I do:

exportfs -av

During the installation, I do Ctrl+F3 or Ctrl+F4 to view the progress  (on the target box).

On the KickStart server I do:

tail -f /var/log/messages

To check if an IP has been assigned to the target server.

Cheers,

J
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your inputs. I checked the servers in other racks and confirmed that they are able to get the DHCP IPs. So only during the Kickstart installation, the server is unable to get the IP from Kickstart server. I'm wondering if we require to open any ports on the switches or servers, inorder to get the IPs leased by DHCP server during Kickstart installation. Any ideas ?
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Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
Hi,

Most L3 / L4 switches have a setting about which IP address to direct the DHCP requests. So all DHCP requests are directed to this server only which is generally a central DHCP server or and AD server.

You have two options in this case. You'll either change the DHCP relay setting to the kickstart install  server temporarily during the kickstart installation or you'll temporarily place the servers being installed by kickstart on the same switch with kickksart install  server using patch cables.

Another option is to use a direct cable attachment as m0nk3yza suggests. But you will only be installing one server at a time and  as far as I understand this would slow down your installation process.


Cheers,
K.
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ashsysadAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your suggestions. It helped me indeed to know where the problem could be.
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