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Kickstarting a new image

Last modified by Mitchell on January 18, 2016, 8:02 PM

Jun 18 2015

I've decided to finally get around to set up kickstart configuration files for my system images, since I've started investigating migrating over to CentOS 7. Kickstart, if you're not familiar with it, is a method of automating Linux installation and configuration, and is largely centered around the Red Hat-based distributions. While I was setting all of this up, I decided to also investigate whether it was worth switching from CentOS to Ubuntu Server, seeing as Ubuntu usage has passed CentOS and RHEL usage according to W3Techs (I suppose I could have looked at Debian as well, but for whatever reason it doesn't particularly appeal to me - possibly because it's not as marketable a job skill, for all that I don't really do this for a career?).

That said, I decided not to, for a couple of reasons:

  • The difference in how well they're documented is huge. Red Hat has a tremendous amount of documentation on setting up a kickstart installation compared to Ubuntu's preseed documentation (which seems to boil down to: take this undocumented file and it should work). Somewhat ironically, Debian has considerably better documentation.
  • Red Hat's installation process generates a kickstart configuration file (/root/anaconda-ks.cfg) that you can immediately turn around and feed back into a kickstart installation to get the same result, whereas the Debian documentation notes that their equivalent (debconf-get-selections --installer; debconf-get-selections) doesn't actually quite work (and I would expect that Ubuntu would follow in the same footsteps).
  • And, of course, I'm still better and more comfortable with Red Hat-based distributions than Ubuntu distributions, which matters for what is effectively a production deployment.

P.S. Yes, Ubuntu can also support kickstart installations, but it's a hacky process. I don't care that much.

Created by Mitchell on June 18, 2015, 9:49 PM

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