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Hands-off kickstart methods outline.

From herrold@owlriver.com Tue Feb 25 01:13:38 2003 Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 00:54:25 -0500 (EST) From: R P Herrold <herrold@owlriver.com> Reply-To: kickstart-list@redhat.com To: kickstart-list@redhat.com Subject: Re: ks] Re: hands-off upgrade
On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, John wrote:
> On Mon, 24 Feb 2003, Jim Wildman wrote:

> > 3) Configure PXE boot so if the box is rebooted and a particular link is
> > in place it reinstalls, else boot from the local drive.
> This has possibilities, but needs some care and attention to work. AFAIK
> it only works if your NIC actually supports PXE.

naw -- no worries if your host cannot PXE, lacks a floppy, and lacks a CD drive, so long as you have a hard drive, or the capability to NFS boot no-root-squash (I cannot visualize how the last would be able to NFS boot, and yet not PXE -- maybe on an OpenBoot prom with rarpd -- it should be possible on a Sparc port. I'll ask Tom Callaway ...).

A. If it does not PXE and has a floppy, use etherboot

B. If it does not PXE and you don't want to use the floppy, use a CD based boot -- see the RELEASE-NOTES for RHL 8.0 to build the ISO; or the use the prebuilt in Phoebe-X

C. If it does not PXE and you don't want to use the floppy and you don't want to use the CD, you can:

1/ Copy the ./images/pxeboot/* content into, say, a newly created /boot/pxeboot/

2/ Update /boot/grub/grub.conf to have a stanza pointing to the kernel, the initrd, and passing along a proper ks.cfg source

------------- snip ----------------
# grub.conf generated by anaconda # # Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file # NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that # all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg. # root (hd0,0) # kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda2 # initrd /initrd-version.img #boot=/dev/hda default=1 timeout=10 splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-2.48) root (hd0,0) kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-2.48 ro root=LABEL=/ hdb=ide-scsi initrd /initrd-2.4.20-2.48.img # # RPH edits for John on the West Coast of .au # title Red Hat Linux Upgrade root (hd0,0) kernel /pxestuff/vmlinuz ro root=LABEL=/ hdb=ide-scsi initrd /pxestuff/initrd.img append ksdevice=eth0 load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 \ ramdisk_size=32768 network \ ks= # # note that the foregoing line uses backslash # continuation only for clarity -- don't use them # in production -- string the darn thing out ... # -------------- end snip -------------

I have not seen method C formally documented -- that is, simply booting from hard drive into a kickstart based upgrade -- (an install would work just as well).

Clearly method C is not a Red Hat supported model -- heck, while PXE file support is present, it is for advanced installers. The issues of having a working PXE clients, DNS, DHCP, TFTP, FTP and HTTP server make it really tricky to debug if one is not systematic. Red Hat support could not economically meet their commitment to purchasers to get supported hardware installed in finite time, because there is so much to go wrong. <g>

BTW: This is not theory. I am away from my office notes, and did this from memory. I just followed exactly the stated instructions, and used the install information here on a machine on the bench across the room.

This is a variation on my notes at:
which I developed with editorial review and 'bouncing ideas off' Jim Wildman. Thanks, Jim.

- Russ Herrold

-- end ======================================+ .-- -... ---.. ... -.- -.-- | Copyright (C) 2003 R P Herrold | Owl River Company herrold@owlriver.com NIC: RPH5 (US) | "The World is Open to Linux (tm)" My words are not deathless prose, | Open Source LINUX solutions ... but they are mine. | info@owlriver.com -- Columbus, OH gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-key 0x7BFB98B9 gpg --list-keys 2> /dev/null | grep 7BFB98B9

Kickstart-list mailing list

See also: PXE installation outline

Interestingly, and a 'tip of the hat' to Paul A. Sand <pas unh.edu> who notes:
One thing I had a slight problem with is with the 'append'
line in your grub.conf file. I'm not sure that 'append'
is supported in current versions of grub. (Although I
could well be missing it.) In my test, appending the
words to the 'kernel' line seemed to work better
for me.

... and indeed, the 'append' command directive is not in the Grub manual, presently found by chasing the following link. Some testing to see if one of the later boot stages is rescanning the calling line seems in order.

Other voices: Grub manual
Embedding Images - (local copy)
http://www.shabazian.com/lw2007.pdf Chip Shabazian's LW 2007 presentation (local copy) -- Highly recommended

rev 070824 RPH

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