Kickstart

Being able to deploy a linux host from a standard template is a valuable part of any sysadmin’s skill set. Used in conjunction with configuration management tools like Puppet, you can readily deploy numerous systems with the knowledge that they are documented and reproducible. With so much emphasis on disaster recovery with the shortest possible RTO, how can you really deploy by hand anymore?

I put together the most common pieces to get you started. Check it out: https://github.com/breauxaj/autoinst-kickstart

The new device naming convention aka eth0 is now p2p1

You may or may not have run into this yet. I’ve only seen it a few times and while I understand the reasoning behind it, it plays hell with kickstart (since you have to know the interface name and assume it’s eth0). The behavior can be disabled, apparently through a boot parameter:

biosdevname=0

I’ll test it when I run across a machine that does this to see if it can be handled gracefully in kickstart.

Kickstart without DHCP

Occasionally, you have to kickstart a host and you don’t have a DHCP server available on the network. To setup the network far enough to load a kickstart remotely (via http) change the boot configuration to:

linux text ip=192.168.1.127 netmask=255.255.255.0 gateway=192.168.1.1 dns=192.168.1.10 ks=http://192.168.1.5/kickstart/template.cfg

Alter the above to suit your environment, keeping in mind that the network specified will only be used long enough to retrieve the kickstart. Your template can redefine the values.