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Modifying ISO image to include kickstart file

 RHEL 6 install highlights

RHEL 6.8 Installation Checklist
Copying config files from one RHEL server to another Modifying ISO image Installation of Red Hat from a USB drive Creation of bootable USB with ISO for RHEL7 Kickstart Linux Disk Partitioning
Disabling useless daemons in RHEL/Centos/Oracle 6 servers Disabling RHEL 6 Network Manager Network Manager overwrites resolv.conf Creating a clone of current serv Bonding Ethernet Interfaces in Red Hat Linux Loopback filesystem
RHEL6 registration on proxy protected network RHEL5 registration on proxy protected network RHEL subscription management Burning CD and DVD on Linux Linux Swap filesystem RHEL handling of DST change
 Log rotation in RHEL/Centos/Oracle linux VNC-based Installation in Anaconda NTP configuration Managing Disks by UUID Linux Multipath Installing X11 and Gnome Desktop in RHEL
Partition labels Changing runlevel when booting with grub   Oracle Linux Installation Linux Disk Management udev
Redhat Network Configuration VNC-based Installation in Anaconda Installing X11 and Gnome Desktop in RHEL Copying config files from one RHEL server to another    
Red Hat Startup Scripts Network Manager overwrites resolv.conf RHEL NTP configuration Changing timezone in RHEL6 from the command line Installing Mellanox InfiniBand Driver on RHEL 6.5 Linux Software RAID

Booting from DVD problemMounting Linux filesystems

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Each flavor of Linux has its own installer with its strong and weak points. If you installing from DVD that you burned yourself, please check media before installation: it helps to prevent many nasty problems.  It is important to understand that if you have problems with installing from one source (for example DVD) it make sense to try another source. On modern computers you can always use a USB disk instead of DVD.

Please note that it make sense to use custom label for partitions if you use LVM. Also it does not make sense to put root partition on LVM -- if you screw /etc/fstab and your root partition is on LVM you are stuck.

RHEL 6.7 installer (anaconda) does a couple of stupid things that you need to aware of:

Installation of Red Hat, CentOS and Oracle Linux is using Anaconda and is covered in multiple documents on the Web

Installation of Suse using Yast is covered at (Yast can be used with Oracle Linux -- it was ported and supported by Oracle):

In this page we will limit ourselves to Red Hat installation.

Here is some information about anakonda adapted from Mark Sobell's book (Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux®: Fedora™ Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, A, 2nd Edition  2005 edition):

The boot: Prompt  You can give many different Anaconda commands at a boot: prompt. If you are installing from DVD or CD, you can press RETURN  without entering a command to start the installation. Or you can just wait; if you do not type anything for a minute, the installation proceeds as though you pressed RETURN.

Display problems If you have problems with the display during installation, give the following command, which turns off video memory, in response to the boot: prompt:

   boot: linux nofb

Non-CD installations If you are installing from media other than DVD or CD and that means  using FTP, NFS, or HTTP, give the following command in response to the boot: prompt:

   boot: linux askmethod

Booting As the system boots, text scrolls on the monitor, pausing occasionally. After a while (up to a few minutes, depending on the speed of the system), the installer displays a graphical or pseudographical display, depending on the system you are installing and the commands you gave at the boot: prompt.

Anaconda Boot Commands

All the commands should be types at the boot: prompt like. The fist word of the command is always linux. It can be followed by one of more augments  passed to Anaconda. Arguments can be combined. For example, to install Linux in text mode using a terminal running at 115,200 baud, no parity, 8 bits, connected to the first serial device, give the following command (the ,115200n8 is optional):

   boot: linux text console=ttyS0,115200n8

The next command installs Red Hat Linux in graphical mode (by default) on a monitor with a resolution of 1024x768, and get the prompt to specify the source of the installation data (CD, FTP  site, or other).

   boot: linux resolution=1024x768 askmethod
To specify an installation source, use the linux repo=  option. For example:
linux repo=cdrom:device
linux repo=ftp://username:password@URL
linux repo=http://URLlinux repo=hd:device
linux repo=nfs:options:server:/path
linux repo=nfsiso:options:server:/path
In these examples, cdrom  refers to a CD or DVD drive, ftp  refers to a location accessible by FTP, http  refers to a location accessible by HTTP, hd  refers to an ISO image file accessible on a hard drive partition, nfs  refers to an expanded tree of installation files accessible by NFS, and nfsiso  refers to an ISO image file accessible by NFS.

ISO images have an SHA256 checksum embedded in them. To test the checksum integrity of an ISO image, at the installation boot prompt, type: linux mediacheck

Following are some of the commands you can give at the boot: prompt.

For more information see Anaconda Boot Options - FedoraProject

Red Hat has well defined remote installation process using Kickstart.


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[Aug 06, 2017] uefi - CentOS Kickstart Installation - Error populating transaction

Aug 06, 2017 | superuser.com

I am trying to perform a network unattended installation for my servers. They are all UEFI systems and I have gotten them to successfully boot over the network, load grub2, and start the kickstart script for installation.

It seems to reach the point where it runs yum update , although I am not entirely sure. It downloads the CentOS image from the mirror fine and then continually tells me error populating transaction 10 times and then quits.

I've run through this multiple times with different mirrors, so I don't think this is a bad image problem.

Here is an image of the error.

Here is the compiled code for my kickstart script.

install
url --url http://mirror.umd.edu/centos/7/os/x86_64/
lang en_US.UTF-8
selinux --enforcing
keyboard us
skipx

network --bootproto dhcp --hostname r2s2.REDACTED.com --device=REDACTED
rootpw --iscrypted REDACTED
firewall --service=ssh
authconfig --useshadow --passalgo=SHA256 --kickstart
timezone --utc UTC
services --disabled gpm,sendmail,cups,pcmcia,isdn,rawdevices,hpoj,bluetooth,openibd,avahi-daemon,avahi-dnsconfd,hidd,hplip,pcscd




bootloader --location=mbr --append="nofb quiet splash=quiet" 


zerombr
clearpart --all --initlabel
autopart



text
reboot

%packages
yum
dhclient
ntp
wget
@Core
redhat-lsb-core
%end

%post --nochroot
exec < /dev/tty3 > /dev/tty3
#changing to VT 3 so that we can see whats going on....
/usr/bin/chvt 3
(
cp -va /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/sysimage/etc/resolv.conf
/usr/bin/chvt 1
) 2>&1 | tee /mnt/sysimage/root/install.postnochroot.log
%end
%post
logger "Starting anaconda r2s2.REDACTED.com postinstall"
exec < /dev/tty3 > /dev/tty3
#changing to VT 3 so that we can see whats going on....
/usr/bin/chvt 3
(



# eno1 interface
real=`ip -o link | awk '/REDACTED/ {print $2;}' | sed s/:$//`
sanitized_real=`echo $real | sed s/:/_/`


cat << EOF > /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-$sanitized_real
BOOTPROTO="dhcp"
DEVICE=$real
HWADDR="REDACTED"
ONBOOT=yes
PEERDNS=yes
PEERROUTES=yes
DEFROUTE=yes
EOF



#update local time
echo "updating system time"
/usr/sbin/ntpdate -sub 0.fedora.pool.ntp.org
/usr/sbin/hwclock --systohc


rpm -Uvh https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm


# update all the base packages from the updates repository
if [ -f /usr/bin/dnf ]; then
  dnf -y update
else
  yum -t -y update
fi


# SSH keys setup snippet for Remote Execution plugin
#
# Parameters:
#
# remote_execution_ssh_keys: public keys to be put in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
#
# remote_execution_ssh_user: user for which remote_execution_ssh_keys will be
#                            authorized
#
# remote_execution_create_user: create user if it not already existing
#
# remote_execution_effective_user_method: method to switch from ssh user to
#                                         effective user
#
# This template sets up SSH keys in any host so that as long as your public
# SSH key is in remote_execution_ssh_keys, you can SSH into a host. This only
# works in combination with Remote Execution plugin.

# The Remote Execution plugin queries smart proxies to build the
# remote_execution_ssh_keys array which is then made available to this template
# via the host's parameters. There is currently no way of supplying this
# parameter manually.
# See http://projects.theforeman.org/issues/16107 for details.









if [ -f /usr/bin/dnf ]; then
  dnf -y install puppet
else
  yum -t -y install puppet
fi

cat > /etc/puppet/puppet.conf << EOF


[main]
vardir = /var/lib/puppet
logdir = /var/log/puppet
rundir = /var/run/puppet
ssldir = \$vardir/ssl

[agent]
pluginsync      = true
report          = true
ignoreschedules = true
ca_server       = foreman.REDACTED.com
certname        = r2s2.lab.REDACTED.com
environment     = production
server          = foreman.REDACTED.com

EOF

puppet_unit=puppet
/usr/bin/systemctl list-unit-files | grep -q puppetagent && puppet_unit=puppetagent
/usr/bin/systemctl enable ${puppet_unit}
/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 puppet on

# export a custom fact called 'is_installer' to allow detection of the installer environment in Puppet modules
export FACTER_is_installer=true
# passing a non-existent tag like "no_such_tag" to the puppet agent only initializes the node
/usr/bin/puppet agent --config /etc/puppet/puppet.conf --onetime --tags no_such_tag --server foreman.REDACTED.com --no-daemonize




sync

# Inform the build system that we are done.
echo "Informing Foreman that we are built"
wget -q -O /dev/null --no-check-certificate http://foreman.REDACTED.com/unattended/built?token=REDACTED
) 2>&1 | tee /root/install.post.log
exit 0

%end

[Aug 06, 2017] Some basics of MBR vs GPT and BIOS vs UEFI - Manjaro Linux

Aug 06, 2017 | wiki.manjaro.org
Some basics of MBR v/s GPT and BIOS v/s UEFI From Manjaro Linux Jump to: navigation , search Contents [ hide ]

MBR

A master boot record (MBR) is a special type of boot sector at the very beginning of partitioned computer mass storage devices like fixed disks or removable drives intended for use with IBM PC-compatible systems and beyond. The concept of MBRs was publicly introduced in 1983 with PC DOS 2.0.

The MBR holds the information on how the logical partitions, containing file systems, are organized on that medium. Besides that, the MBR also contains executable code to function as a loader for the installed operating system!usually by passing control over to the loader's second stage, or in conjunction with each partition's volume boot record (VBR). This MBR code is usually referred to as a boot loader.

The organization of the partition table in the MBR limits the maximum addressable storage space of a disk to 2 TB (232 × 512 bytes). Therefore, the MBR-based partitioning scheme is in the process of being superseded by the GUID Partition Table (GPT) scheme in new computers. A GPT can coexist with an MBR in order to provide some limited form of a backwards compatibility for older systems. [1]

GPT

GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of the partition table on a physical hard disk, using globally unique identifiers (GUID). Although it forms a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard (Unified EFI Forum proposed replacement for the PC BIOS), it is also used on some BIOS systems because of the limitations of master boot record (MBR) partition tables, which use 32 bits for storing logical block addresses (LBA) and size information.

MBR-based partition table schemes insert the partitioning information for (usually) four "primary" partitions in the master boot record (MBR) (which on a BIOS system is also the container for code that begins the process of booting the system). In a GPT, the first sector of the disk is reserved for a "protective MBR" such that booting a BIOS-based computer from a GPT disk is supported, but the boot loader and O/S must both be GPT-aware. Regardless of the sector size, the GPT header begins on the second logical block of the device. [2]


GPT uses modern logical block addressing (LBA) in place of the cylinder-head-sector (CHS) addressing used with MBR. Legacy MBR information is contained in LBA 0, the GPT header is in LBA 1, and the partition table itself follows. In 64-bit Windows operating systems, 16,384 bytes, or 32 sectors, are reserved for the GPT, leaving LBA 34 as the first usable sector on the disk. [3]

MBR vs. GPT

Compared with MBR disk, A GPT disk can support larger than 2 TB volumes where MBR cannot. A GPT disk can be basic or dynamic, just like an MBR disk can be basic or dynamic. GPT disks also support up to 128 partitions rather than the 4 primary partitions limited to MBR. Also, GPT keeps a backup of the partition table at the end of the disk. Furthermore, GPT disk provides greater reliability due to replication and cyclical redundancy check (CRC) protection of the partition table. [4]

The GUID partition table (GPT) disk partitioning style supports volumes up to 18 exabytes in size and up to 128 partitions per disk, compared to the master boot record (MBR) disk partitioning style, which supports volumes up to 2 terabytes in size and up to 4 primary partitions per disk (or three primary partitions, one extended partition, and unlimited logical drives). Unlike MBR partitioned disks, data critical to platform operation is located in partitions instead of unpartitioned or hidden sectors. In addition, GPT partitioned disks have redundant primary and backup partition tables for improved partition data structure integrity. [5]

BIOS

In IBM PC compatible computers, the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), also known as System BIOS, ROM BIOS or PC BIOS, is a de facto standard defining a firmware interface. The name originated from the Basic Input/Output System used in the CP/M operating system in 1975. The BIOS software is built into the PC, and is the first software run by a PC when powered on.

The fundamental purposes of the BIOS are to initialize and test the system hardware components, and to load a bootloader or an operating system from a mass memory device. The BIOS additionally provides abstraction layer for the hardware, i.e. a consistent way for application programs and operating systems to interact with the keyboard, display, and other input/output devices. Variations in the system hardware are hidden by the BIOS from programs that use BIOS services instead of directly accessing the hardware. Modern operating systems ignore the abstraction layer provided by the BIOS and access the hardware components directly. [6]

UEFI

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) (pronounced as an initialism U-E-F-I or like "unify" without the n) is a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware. UEFI is meant to replace the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware interface, present in all IBM PC-compatible personal computers. In practice, most UEFI images provide legacy support for BIOS services. UEFI can support remote diagnostics and repair of computers, even without another operating system.

The original EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) specification was developed by Intel. Some of its practices and data formats mirror ones from Windows.] In 2005, UEFI deprecated EFI 1.10 (final release of EFI). The UEFI specification is managed by the Unified EFI Forum.


BIOS vs. UEFI

UEFI enables better use of bigger hard drives. Though UEFI supports the traditional master boot record (MBR) method of hard drive partitioning, it doesn't stop there. It's also capable of working with the GUID Partition Table (GPT), which is free of the limitations the MBR places on the number and size of partitions. GPT ups the maximum partition size from 2.19TB to 9.4 zettabytes.

UEFI may be faster than the BIOS. Various tweaks and optimizations in the UEFI may help your system boot more quickly it could before. For example: With UEFI you may not have to endure messages asking you to set up hardware functions (such as a RAID controller) unless your immediate input is required; and UEFI can choose to initialize only certain components. The degree to which a boot is sped up will depend on your system configuration and hardware, so you may see a significant or a minor speed increase.

Technical changes abound in UEFI. UEFI has room for more useful and usable features than could ever be crammed into the BIOS. Among these are cryptography, network authentication, support for extensions stored on non-volatile media, an integrated boot manager, and even a shell environment for running other EFI applications such as diagnostic utilities or flash updates. In addition, both the architecture and the drivers are CPU-independent, which opens the door to a wider variety of processors (including those using the ARM architecture, for example).

However, UEFI is still not widespread. Though major hardware companies have switched over almost exclusively to UEFI use, you still won't find the new firmware in use on all motherboards!or in quite the same way across the spectrum. Many older and less expensive motherboards also still use the BIOS system. [7]

MBR vs. GPT and BIOS vs. UEFI

Usually, MBR and BIOS (MBR + BIOS), and GPT and UEFI (GPT + UEFI) go hand in hand. This is compulsory for some systems (eg Windows), while optional for others (eg Linux).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table#Operating_systems_support

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#DISKDEVCOMPAT

Converting from MBR to GPT

From http://www.rodsbooks.com/gdisk/mbr2gpt.html

One of the more unusual features of gdisk is its ability to read an MBR partition table or BSD disklabel and convert it to GPT format without damaging the contents of the partitions on the disk. This feature exists to enable upgrading to GPT in case the limitations of MBRs or BSD disklabels become too onerous!for instance, if you want to add more OSes to a multi-boot configuration, but the OSes you want to add require too many primary partitions to fit on an MBR disk.

Conversions from MBR to GPT works because of inefficiencies in the MBR partitioning scheme. On an MBR disk, the bulk of the first cylinder of the disk goes unused!only the first sector (which holds the MBR itself) is used. Depending on the disk's CHS geometry, this first cylinder is likely to be sufficient space to store the GPT header and partition table. Likewise, space is likely to go unused at the end of the disk because the cylinder (as seen by the BIOS and whatever tool originally partitioned the disk) will be incomplete, so the last few sectors will go unused. This leaves space for the backup GPT header and partition table. (Disks partitioned with 1 MiB alignment sometimes leave no gaps at the end of the disk, which can prevent conversion to GPT format!at least, unless you delete or resize the final partition.)

The task of converting MBR to GPT therefore becomes one of extracting the MBR data and stuffing the data into the appropriate GPT locations. Partition start and end points are straightforward to manage, with one important caveat: GPT fdisk ignores the CHS values and uses the LBA values exclusively. This means that the conversion will fail on disks that were partitioned with very old software. If the disk is over 8 GiB in size, though, GPT fdisk should find the data it needs.

Once the conversion is complete, there will be a series of gaps between partitions. Gaps at the start and end of the partition set will be related to the inefficiencies mentioned earlier that permit the conversion to work. Additional gaps before each partition that used to be a logical partition exist because of inefficiencies in the way logical partitions are allocated. These gaps are likely to be quite small (a few kilobytes), so you're unlikely to be able to put useful partitions in those spaces. You could resize your partitions with GNU Parted to remove the gaps, but the risks of such an operation outweigh the very small benefits of recovering a few kilobytes of disk space.

Switching from BIOS to UEFI

See: UEFI_-_Install_Guide#Switching_from_BIOS_to_UEFI

Note

Switching from [MBR + BIOS] to [GPT + UEFI]

Switching from BIOS to UEFI consists of 2 parts-

i. Conversion of disk from MBR to GPT. Side effects- Possible Data Loss, other OS installed on same disk may or may not boot (eg Windows)..

ii. Changing from BIOS to UEFI (and installing GRUB in UEFI mode). Side Effects- Other OS (can be both Linux and Windows) may or may not boot, with systemd you need to comment out the swap partition in /etc/fstab on a GPT partition table (if you use a swap partition).

After converting from MBR to GPT, probably your installed Manjaro wont work, so you would need to prepare beforehand what to do in such a case. (eg, chroot using a live disk and installing GRUB in UEFI way)

And Windows 8 if installed in MBR way, would need to be repaired/reinstalled in accordance to UEFI way.

Feedback

Questions, suggestions, critics? Please post here: [8]

[May 21, 2011] TipsAndTricks-InstallOnExt4 - CentOS Wiki

This tip allows to use Ext4 on RHEL 5.6 and derivatives.

To allow anaconda to manipulate ext4 filesystems, it is enough to start the installer using the "ext4" parameter on the command line:

linux ext4

[*] Of course, any other additional options can be added to the command line.

Subsequently the ext4 filesystem will be presented by Disk Druid among all other filesystems. Mind that because of GRUB limitations, it is mandatory to use a separate /boot partition formatted as ext2 or ext3 if your root ( / ) partition is ext4.

For kickstart based installations, just use ext4 instead of ext3 as filesystem. No other change is necessary.

[May 20, 2005] Red Hat Linux Step-by-Step Installation by Mark G. Sobell

May 20, 2005 | InformIT

This chapter steps through the process of installing either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora Core. Frequently, the installation is quite simple, especially if you have done a good job of planning. Sometimes you may run into a problem or have a special circumstance; this chapter gives you the tools to use in these cases.

IN THIS CHAPTER

Chapter 2 covered planning the installation: requirements, an upgrade versus a clean installation, classes of installations, planning the layout of the hard disk, how to obtain the files you need for the installation including how to download and burn ISO (CD) images, and collecting the information about the system you will need during installation. This chapter steps through the process of installing either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora Core. Frequently, the installation is quite simple, especially if you have done a good job of planning. Sometimes you may run into a problem or have a special circumstance; this chapter gives you the tools to use in these cases.

[Jan 7, 2000] Linux Article -- Kickstart

  • Your company just bought 30 new machines, and it’s your job to install Linux on them. If you’re using Red Hat Linux, the kickstart install process can save you a lot of time.

    Kickstart automates the install process, so that it becomes as simple as putting the floppy in, turning the machine on, and coming back 15 minutes later. Kickstart is especially useful if you have a number of machines with similar configurations. In the simplest case, all you need is an up-to-date boot floppy, a kickstart config file, and an installation CD-ROM. For trickier installs, you might also need a DHCP or bootp server, an NFS server, and a DNS server.

    A kickstart installation requires that you predefine all necessary installation data in a kickstart config file. The kickstart config file can be split into three parts — the preinstall, the packages, and the post-install.

    The preinstall section of the config file is used to answer the questions that are usually asked before the install starts. The options, which will be described below, are: lang, network, {nfs|cdrom|url|harddrive}, {device|noprobe}, keyboard, zerombr, clearpart, part, {install|upgrade}, mouse, timezone, {xconfig|skipx}, rootpw, auth, lilo. See “Configuration Options” for a description of the preinstall section options.

    http://metalab.unc.edu/LDP/HOWTO/KickStart-HOWTO.html

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    The Last but not Least


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    Last modified: December 26, 2017