Install Ubuntu with Kickstart and Save Precious Time
Automated or unattended installations are very useful when hundreds or sometimes thousands of installations have to be made. The common tools for this purpose are Kickstart, Jumpstart, Preseed, etc. This article discusses what Kickstart is and outlines th
In an environment where you have to install the Linux OS on hundreds or thousands of systems, doing manual installation is a tedious job and consumes lot of time for system administrators, effort and requires human intervention. The automatic or unattended or Kickstart based Linux OS installation saves lots of time for system administers.
With Kickstart, the user or administrator can create a single file containing the answers to all the questions that would normally be asked during installation. Kickstart will automate the installation, including:
• Basic configuration like language selection, location, time zone, etc.
• Installation methods like boot loader option and disk partitioning
• Network configuration
• User creation or configuration
• Package selection The following are the advantages of a Kickstart-based installation over manual installation:
• Saves time and effort for administrators • Avoids the errors of manual installation
• Manual installation is very tedious job when deploying on hundreds or thousands of systems or servers Kickstart or unattended installations can be done using:
• A local hard drive
• On a network via NFS, FTP or HTTP
How Kickstart-based installation works
The network-based Kickstart installation is widely used, as most installations are required to be performed on networked systems or servers.
In the usual set-up, there should be a system such as a DHCP/TFTP/HTTP server that provides the configuration information for installation over the network. To install on the server you will have to boot into PXE mode; the installation process starts and completes by retrieving all the requested packages from a repository server. See Figure 1 for the network-based Kickstart installation flow.
Kickstart-based installation can be configured through the CFG configuration file. The Kickstart configuration file can be created manually or through a GUI tool (i.e., system-config-kickstart) or by using the OS installer.
Let’s create a Kickstart configuration file using the GUI ( systemconfigkickstart) tool. Figure 2 shows the Kickstart installation options. Figures 3 and 4 show the Kickstart file’s partition information and network configuration using the GUI tool.
Figures 5 and 6 show the Kickstart file user and firewall configuration using the GUI tool.
Steps to install Ubuntu OS using the Kickstart file
After creating the Kickstart configuration file using the GUI ( system-config-kickstart) tool, let’s take a look at the
Figure 1: Network-based Kickstart installation flow
Figure 3: Partition information
Figure 2: Basic configuration, installation method and boot loader configuration options
Figure 5: User configuration
Figure 4: Network configuration