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I've built a PXE install server which installs Ubuntu 15.04 using a Kickstart script and it's working fine on VMWare / Virtual Box VM's. 15 minute install at most.

I tried this on Dell R710's yesterday and the initial TFTP boot process isn't an issue and the installer runs and (only without the %posts) gives an install sucess message and reboots. The server then BIOS POST's then stuck on a black screen (VGA and DRAC). It appears to be getting an IP Address (DHCP) but no SSH (Kickstart script).

'Burning' the same ISO I'm web-installing onto a USB thumb drive installs and boots fine.

    #System language
    lang en_US
    #Language modules to install
    langsupport en_US
    #System keyboard
    keyboard us
    #System mouse
    mouse
    #System timezone
    timezone Australia/Sydney
    #Root password
    rootpw --iscrypted 
    #Initial user
    user foo 
    #Reboot after installation
    reboot
    #Use text mode install
    text
    #Install OS instead of upgrade
    install
    #Use Web installation
    url --url http://172.16.19.1/ubuntu
    #System bootloader configuration
    bootloader --location=mbr
    #Clear the Master Boot Record
    zerombr yes
    #Partition clearing information
    clearpart --all --initlabel
    #Disk partitioning information
    part swap --recommended
    part / --fstype ext4 --size 1 --grow
    #System authorization infomation
    auth  --useshadow  --enablemd5
    #Network information
    network --bootproto=dhcp --device=em1
    #Firewall configuration
    firewall --disabled
    #Do not configure the X Window System
    skipx

    %post
    #download server files
    wget http://172.16.19.1/files/authorized_keys -P /root/.ssh/
    wget http://172.16.19.1/files/authorized_keys -P /home/ordadmin/.ssh/
    chmod 600 /root/.ssh/authorized_keys
    chmod 600 /home/ordadmin/.ssh/authorized_keys

    #add normal apt source list
    (
    cat <<'EOP'
    ###### Ubuntu Main Repos
    deb http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid main restricted universe multiverse
    deb-src http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid main restricted universe multiverse

    ##### Ubuntu Update Repos
    deb http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid-security main restricted universe multiverse
    deb http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid-updates main restricted universe multiverse
    deb-src http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid-security main restricted universe multiverse
    deb-src http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ vivid-updates main restricted universe multiverse

    ###### Ubuntu Partner Repo
    deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu vivid partner
    deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu vivid partner
    EOP
    ) > /etc/apt/sources.list

    (
    cat <<'EOP'
    #!/bin/sh
    # Filename:     /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/hostname
    # Purpose:      Used by dhclient-script to set the hostname of the system
    #               to match the DNS information for the host as provided by
    #               DHCP.
    #
    # Do not update hostname for virtual machine IP assignments

    if [ "$interface" != "em1" ]
      then
      return
    fi

    if [ "$reason" != BOUND ] && [ "$reason" != RENEW ] \
      && [ "$reason" != REBIND ] && [ "$reason" != REBOOT ]
      then
      return
    fi

    sleep 3;
    echo dhclient-exit-hooks.d/hostname: Dynamic IP address = $new_ip_address
    hostname=$(host $new_ip_address | cut -d ' ' -f 5 | sed -r 's/((.*)[^\.])\.?/\1/g' )
    echo $hostname > /etc/hostname
    hostname $hostname
    echo dhclient-exit-hooks.d/hostname: Dynamic Hostname = $hostname
    EOP
    ) > /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/hostname

    apt-get update
    apt-get upgrade -y
    apt-get -y install python
    apt-get -y install openssh-server

Y U NO KICKSTART?

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if it works on different clients but it fails with a black screen on your Dell R710 you should think of a video driver issue.

  • That's what I was thinking but I should have mentioned that it worked with one of the 3 identical R710's. Does the installer kickout a log somewhere? – Alex Turner Oct 15 '15 at 3:19
  • you can see log messages from a console with dmesg – Pat Oct 15 '15 at 12:19

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