Fedora Server automatic local installation

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An automatic installation starts Anaconda, the installation program, as usual, but additionally passes a configuration file that describes exactly the properties of the installation to be performed. This file, known as the kickstart file, specifies all the selections that a system administrator would otherwise choose from the installation menu. The system administrator does not need to intervene after system startup.

Kickstart installations offer a means to automate the installation process, either partially or fully. Kickstart files contain answers to all questions normally asked by the installation program, such as what time zone do you want the system to use, how should the drives be partitioned or which packages should be installed. Providing a prepared Kickstart file when the installation begins therefore allows the you to perform the installation automatically, without need for any intervention from the user. This is especially useful when deploying Fedora on a large number of systems at once.

The installation process can either initialized from a local installation media or via a network resource using PXE network based installation.

All Kickstart scripts and the log files of their execution are stored in the /tmp directory to assist with debugging installation issues.

How to Perform a Kickstart Installation

There are basically two options to perform a kickstart installation

  1. boot from a standard local installation media, either full dvd installation or nework installation, and provide a kickstart file either by an additional local media (CD, DVD, USB stick, harddiwk) or via a network resource via NFS, FTP, HTTP, or HTTPS.

  2. boot from a PXE network resource and provide the kickstart file as part of the PXE environmen.

Booting from a local media

To use Kickstart, you must:

  1. Create a Kickstart file.

  2. Create boot media or configure a network boot (PXE) server which will be used to begin the installation. Note that live media cannot be used for Kickstart installations - use installation media that can boot directly into the installer, such as the standard or netinstall ISO image from the Server edition.

  3. Make the Kickstart file available on removable media, a hard drive, or a network location.

  4. Start the Kickstart installation by booting the installer and using a boot option to tell the installer where to find the Kickstart file.

This chapter explains these steps in detail.

Making the Kickstart File Available

Once you create a Kickstart file, you can place it in one of the following locations:

  • On removable media, such as a DVD or USB flash drive connected to the installation system

  • On a hard drive connected to the installation system

  • On a network share reachable from the installation system

Normally, a Kickstart file is copied to removable media or a hard drive, or made available on the network. Placing the file in a network location complements the usual approach to Kickstart installations, which is also network-based: the system is booted using a PXE server, the Kickstart file is downloaded from a network share, and software packages specified in the file are downloaded from remote repositories.

Starting the Kickstart Installation

Once you have everything ready - you have created a valid Kickstart file and you have either local boot media or a PXE server available, you can start the Kickstart installation. You need to use the inst.ks= boot option either in the boot menu (when booting from local media), or add this option to your PXE server configuration. For information about boot options used in Kickstart installations, see [Kickstart Boot Options].

Booting from network

The guide Setting Up an Installation Server offers some additional information about preparing for a network-based installation.