Understanding Automated Installation Solutions

Vagrant is used for automatic deployment of virtual machines

Cloud-init and other templates can be used in cloud environments

Kickstart can be used with a PXE-boot server to provide instructions for automatic installations of RHEL

PXE is a DHCP server, so instead of just providing an IP Address via DHCP, an installation image is provided as well

A kickstart file contains all installation instructions to set up a RHEL instance

Creating a Kickstart File

After installation, a anaconda-ks.cfg file is created in the root user home directory

This file can be edited manually for any required changes

The line beginning with rootpw should be removed if the installation requires a new root password

The %packages section includes the packages that will be installed during the initialization process

Using the Kickstart File for Automatic Installations

The kickstart file is typically provided on an installation server

Before the installation is started, the origin location of the file is provided

ks=http://[URL]/ks.cfg

Or an interface is provided by the installation program

To use the file during the installation phase:

Using Kickstart Files in Fully Automated Datacenters

  1. The PXE Boot process begins and a request is made to the Installation Server
  2. The DHCP service, which is connected to TFTP, provides the Boot Image to the client
  3. The installer process loads and requests the Kickstart File from the Installation Server
  4. The installation server provides the Kickstart File and the installation process begins
  5. During the installation process, the Installation Server provides packages via the repository

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