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Linux Journal: Hacking Red Hat Kickstart

Mar 11, 2003, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brett Schwarz)

[ Thanks to Thomas Chung for this link. ]

"Installing Linux is a relatively easy task. However, I was faced with the task of installing it on multiple machines repeatedly, which is time consuming and prone to errors. This problem affected our whole group and other groups that relied on us. So I started using Red Hat Kickstart to automate the installs. This helped, but there still was room for improvement. What I ultimately wanted was an automated installation that would fit on one CD, dynamically partition the hard drives and contain all of the updated packages. I wanted to be able to start an installation then walk away from the machine, returning only when it was done. To accomplish this, I supplemented Kickstart with a customized version of the Red Hat installation program, Anaconda.

"Although not officially supported, Red Hat has made available several tools and documentation to assist in customizing an installation. I describe a few of the possible ways to do this here, which should give the reader enough information to get started.

"The following topics are covered in this article: replacing packages with updates, reducing the installation size to fit on one CD, utilizing Kickstart in the custom installation and creating a custom message screen..."

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