I've build a local network where using DHCP, kickstart templating and local mirrors I can automate the installation of any RedHat-type operating system. It still requires me to go to the machine (or open a console if its a virtual machine), boot it from a boot media and type in the kickstart initialization commands (linux ks=http://server...).

I would like to have the boot media's boot loader add these parameters automatically so I just need to drop the boot media in the drive, power on the machine and get out of there.

I've seen some discussion on how to add a ks.cfg file to the CD image so that Anaconda will pick it up automatically, but I don't want to do that - because I use a kickstart templating server and sometimes tweak my kickstart files, and I don't want to have to recreate the boot media every time I change something in the kickstart template.

How can I change a RHEL boot media to just have a different boot command for the default boot option?


As Mircea mentioned setting up a PXE infrastructure would be the best choice if you are able.

You mention that you are using a kickstart templating system, if you are using Cobbler then I would suggest having a look at the command "cobbler-boo-iso" as you can build boot ISO images which can allow for network based installs. These boot iso images are designed to work in non-dhcp environments.

If all you are wanting to to is to change the ISO image you will need to mount it and copy the full contents. Then you will edit the boot/grub/boot.lst file. (I'm going from memory so I might be a little off.) Next you will need to rebuild the ISO disk and make it bootable. Here is an example:

$ mkisofs -o ~/rhel-6-disk.iso -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -J -R -V disks ~/rhel-6-disk
  • Thanks for the information. Eventually I found out the file I need to edit is isolinux/isolinux.cfg , after which the rest was very straight forward - thanks to your command line example. – Guss Dec 26 '11 at 15:22

You can configure a PXE server for this (DHCP, TFTP, pxelinux, iPXE) or use a out of box PXE server like FAI.

  • Eventually I want to move to PXE, but I'm not there yet and I just want to not have to type the long ks instructions on the boot loader screen every time. – Guss Dec 26 '11 at 15:23

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