Many system administrators would prefer to use an automated installation method to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on their machines. To answer this need, Red Hat created the kickstart installation method. Using kickstart, a system administrator can create a single file containing the answers to all the questions that would normally be asked during a typical installation.
Kickstart files can be kept on a single server system and read by individual computers during the installation. This installation method can support the use of a single kickstart file to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on multiple machines, making it ideal for network and system administrators.
Kickstart provides a way for users to automate a Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation.
To begin a kickstart installation, you must boot the system from boot media you have made or the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD-ROM #1, and enter a special boot command at the boot prompt. The installation program looks for a kickstart file if the ks command line argument is passed to the kernel.
CD-ROM #1 and Diskette
The linux ks=floppy command also works if the ks.cfg file is located on a vfat or ext2 file system on a diskette and you boot from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD-ROM #1.
An alternate boot command is to boot off the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CD-ROM #1 and have the kickstart file on a vfat or ext2 file system on a diskette. To do so, enter the following command at the boot: prompt:
With Driver Disk
If you need to use a driver disk with kickstart, specify the dd option as well. For example, to boot off a boot diskette and use a driver disk, enter the following command at the boot: prompt:
linux ks=floppy dd
If the kickstart file is on a boot CD-ROM as described in Section 1.8.1 Creating Kickstart Boot Media, insert the CD-ROM into the system, boot the system, and enter the following command at the boot: prompt
Other options to start a kickstart installation are as follows:
The installation program looks for the file ks.cfg on a vfat or ext2 file system on the diskette in /dev/fd0.
The installation program mounts the file system on
The installation program tries to read the file
If ks is used alone, the installation program configures the Ethernet card to use DHCP. The kickstart file is read from the “bootServer” from the DHCP response as if it is an NFS server sharing the kickstart file. By default, the bootServer is the same as the DHCP server. The name of the kickstart file is one of the following:
If DHCP is specified and the boot file begins with a /, the boot file provided by DHCP is looked for on the NFS server.
If DHCP is specified and the boot file begins with something other then a /, the boot file provided by DHCP is looked for in the /kickstart directory on the NFS server.
If DHCP did not specify a boot file, then the installation program tries to read the file /kickstart/126.96.36.199-kickstart, where 188.8.131.52 is the numeric IP address of the machine being installed.
The installation program uses this network device to connect to the network. For example, to start a kickstart installation with the kickstart file on an NFS server that is connected to the system through the eth1 device, use the command ks=nfs: