Centos Kickstart (Unattended) Linux OS installation

Came by a great tech blog on my travels http://blog.chenhow.net I emailed Chen and asked if I could post some of his posts to which he agreed 😀

Fun starts below this line


Kickstart means automated OS installation. Most Linux OS installation can be done via Kickstart and it can be performed using local boot media or over network(FTP, HTTP, NFS and etc).

Here, we’re going to talk about using HTTP method to perform Kickstart.


  1. Boot media (for creating a USB bootdisk, you can refer to my earlier article)
  2. You should have the Centos installation CD/image to crate the installation tree
  3. Running Webserver for Kick Start OS installation
  4. Running DHCP server (Optional)

Setting Up Kickstart server:

  1. Create a directory name “Centos5.5″ in your webserver DocumentRoot.
    • eg: mount -o ro /dev/sdc /media/cdrom
  2. Insert the Centos CD-ROMs and copy all the binaries into that directory (copy the binaries from all the installation CD-ROMs)
    • eg: cp iVaf /media/cdrom/Centos /var/www/html/Centos5.5
  3. Create an answer file for automate the installation process.
    • You can use any kick start configurator tool or refer to the file /root/anaconda-ks.cfg in any of your Linux machine.
    • Or you may download my sample ks.cfg (18) as reference
  4. Copy the ks.cfg file to your Centos5.5 directory.
  5. You will have 1 new directory and 1 ks.cfg created like below:
    • For example /var/www/html is your DocumentRoot
    • You will have /var/www/html/Centos5.5 and /var/www/html/Centos5.5/ks.cfg
  6. Attached boot media and then boot up the machine that you want to perform Kickstart OS installation.
  7. Configure the BIOS setting to make your boot media as “First Boot Device”
    • For my case cause I’m using USB hard disk, so my “First Boot Device” should be Removable.
    • Save the BIOS setting then continue
  8. You will see OS installation menu screen, fro there type in below BOLD command
    • boot: linux ks=
    • is my Web server IP
    • ~/chenhow is my subdirectories (I’m using userdir module for lighttpd)
  9. Then, the installation process will start and everything should be automated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: