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I am installing a RHEL 5.5. I have seen one DVD that have a complex %pre script in ks.cfg and it used some customized python scripts in /mnt/runtime. It's cool and I wish to customize installation like that. I believe /mnt/runtime and its files are provided by anaconda, but how to add customized files in it (or some other directories that exist during installation)?

I read about anaconda / kickstart manuals but don't find much information regarding this.

Please comment

Thanks! XM

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Can you be more specific about the customization you want to perform? You probably DO want a kickstart file. – JeffG Mar 3 '11 at 1:51
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Procedure for custom install DVD:

  1. Create a custom kickstart file. (You can install the OS on a system interactively, once, then harvest the anaconda-ks.cfg file from /root to get started. You can modify that file to suit your needs.
  2. Copy the RHEL/CentOS install DVD to a working folder (we will call it /tmp/dvdroot), and don't forget the hidden .treeinfo and .diskinfo files.
  3. Copy your customized kickstart file (we will assume it's called ks.cfg) to /tmp/dvdroot.
  4. Edit /tmp/dvdroot/isolinux/isolinux.cfg. There are several blocks of label/kernel/append. Duplicate one, and edit one to resemble this:

label special

kernel vmlinuz

append ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg initrd=initrd.img

Run the following commands

cd /tmp/dvdroot

mkisofs -quiet -r -T -J -V "Special Install Disk" -b isolinux/isolinux.bin \ -c isolinux/ -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 \ -boot-info-table -o ../special-dvd.iso .

Do not forget that last dot on the previous command.

Now burn /tmp/special-dvd.iso to blank DVD media:

cdrecord -dao /tmp/special-dvd.iso

When you use the DVD to install a system and you get to the install prompt, enter special.

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These instructions were tested with RHEL5.4. They should work with any Enterprise Linux version 5.x (i.e. Centos5.x or RHEL5.x) and will very likely work with any Fedora since Fedora 7. – JeffG Mar 3 '11 at 14:18
I have not vetted these instructions, but at first glance, they look helpful:… – JeffG Mar 3 '11 at 14:21

The best thing to do is to provide the files via HTTP, either directly or via a yum repo.

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By HTTP, do you mean to have it look for the files on LAN with specific URL? – X.M. Mar 2 '11 at 2:10
Yes. HTTP as used by a browser, rpm, and yum. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Mar 2 '11 at 2:11
Thanks for the sound solution. However I realized we don't have a stable resource (to provide the files), nor connection to them; the server will be running in a existing, stable telecom topology. Do you have a solution that comes with single DVD and include all custom files on it? My guess is I need to modify some anaconda resources. – X.M. Mar 2 '11 at 2:32

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