Does anybody have some docs on "kickstart" for Suse?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by thingy, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. thingy

    thingy Guest

    ie automated builds....


    thingy, Jul 30, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. I think it's called "AutoYaST". Try Googling for that.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 30, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. thingy

    thingy Guest

    Yeah, saw that too, not sure if I can autoyast off a non-suse server
    (due to licence costs). Ive kickstart mentioned and I know I can
    kickstart a rh box off a debian server. Im hoping its very similar to rh
    so I can do both off the debian box, hence me asking.


    thingy, Jul 30, 2005
  4. Alternatively, how about doing a manual install on one machine, and
    simply using rsync from there to the other machines?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jul 30, 2005
  5. Because to rsync you have to first do an install. A kickstart file is a
    custom installer script that controls every aspect of the installation.
    I've done quite a bit of work with RH's kickstart system, and have managed
    to get a full install down to seven minutes, entirely unattended beyond
    putting in the CD and removing it again once the install is completed.
    Matthew Poole, Jul 30, 2005
  6. I don't see what difference it makes--choosing options in the installer
    directly versus setting them up in a script beforehand is going to take
    the same amount of time.
    Seven minutes--doesn't sound like you're installing much. My SuSE
    installs take more like 20 minutes off DVD, perhaps because they're
    quite full-featured desktop installs.
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Jul 30, 2005
  7. You only do the script once. Then you burn it onto every new CD you build
    and it's all there for you. If you do it in the installer, you have to do
    it every time. Did I mention that the kickstart script takes care of
    things like disk partitioning, too, including RAID1 in software if you so
    desire? That cuts a lot of time out of your install time.
    No, it's a base install that then gets installed with apache, MySQL and
    the other things required to turn it into a full server, via apt4rpm.
    Total install process is under 20 minutes, including a couple of reboots
    for things like enabling quotas - all done in the kickstart, as well as
    creating a non-executable /tmp directory.
    Does that 20 minutes include manual disk partitioning and package
    selection? My seven minutes is from the moment the installer starts
    loading to the moment it ejects the CD and reboots.

    You don't need to be so consistently condescending, y'know. You AREN'T a
    god, of any sort.
    Matthew Poole, Jul 30, 2005
  8. Let's see ... the OP had a question about automated SuSE installs. I
    tried to be helpful with a couple of suggestions. Then you came in
    boasting about how easily you could do a Red Hat install.

    Who was the one being condescending, again?
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Jul 30, 2005
  9. thingy

    Shane Guest

    Does the script have to install off CD?
    Isnt it possible to run the script from floppy/network?
    Maybe with pxe NIC's?
    Shane, Jul 30, 2005
  10. thingy

    thingy Guest


    I have custom scripting on RH to build each machine to completion. Also
    I have ES3, 4, AS3, 4 and the 64 bit verions so that's 8 builds
    depending on the OS alone let alone hardware and disk layouts plus
    applications. Kickstart works pretty well, I can have a fully built,
    hardened and patched machine in under an hour.

    From experience with RH KS i know the docs suck, just wondered if
    anybody had written their own.

    I will start googling this week anyway.


    thingy, Jul 30, 2005
  11. thingy

    thingy Guest

    Full install? @everything? in 7 minutes? seems to take me way longer....

    I do a minimal plus server tools in 2 mins 40sec, then the up2date
    patching which takes 20~40mins, then the custom scripts was
    a lot of work but re-building a box in under an hour is just neat.


    thingy, Jul 30, 2005
  12. thingy

    thingy Guest

    Yes in theory. I have tried to do that but not succeeded so far. I
    kickstart CD is mostly nfs copying anyway and pretty simple. Once all my
    servers come with dvd I shouldnt even need a nfs server as the dvd will
    hold all 4~5 cds contents.

    Also bootp isnt to happy over different subnets so its not that practical.


    thingy, Jul 30, 2005
  13. thingy

    thingy Guest

    see below

    RH Kickstart achieves a few things,

    QA the standard build means every box gets built the same every time.

    eg we have a prod, test and dev box, if the test box "blows up" we know
    we can rebuild it to the same build as the prod.

    So its also a neat disaster recovery proceedure and I dont have to be
    there a NT or DBA guy can insert the cd and its done for them, no
    thinking is needed.

    It is also un-attended minimum labour installs, I spend 10 minutes on a
    box, 2mins to put the cd in, 2 to take it out and 3 or 4 to register the
    box with RHN. I can build 6 ~ 8 boxes in a day, that is cost effective.

    What is not cost effective though is RH's pricing, their proxy server
    software has jumped 25% in one year, they dont give any academic
    discounts, they dont really have any enterprise level tools, they dont
    have NZ support as such and their distro has severe quality problems.

    So Suse is 50% cheaper, seems better put together and they have
    Enterprise tools, oh and NZ support (Novell), if I can kickstart boxes
    aka RH, we are swapping over.

    Plus the educational agreement just signed makes life interesting.


    thingy, Jul 30, 2005
  14. I can't give you much information about Suse, but I know Fedora Core Two
    comes with a Kickstart Configurator tool, called Kickstart Configurator
    which is a graphical interface for creating a Kickstart file. If you want,
    I can send you a file created with that tool if it helps.
    Waylon Kenning, Jul 31, 2005
  15. And cheaper no doubt?
    Waylon Kenning, Jul 31, 2005
  16. thingy

    Steven Ellis Guest

    You could autoyast off a windows server if you so wish. All you need is
    a server with either http/ftp/nfs support. I've had a RH box setup as
    both a kickstart server and autoyast server, plus with the appropriate
    network settings I can do full PXE based builds.

    The docs on Suse's website that describe how to setup autoyast are
    reasonably good

    Steven Ellis, Aug 1, 2005
  17. Do you mean a non-SuSE distro of Linux? Since YaST and AutoYaST are both
    open-source, licence costs shouldn't be an issue.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 1, 2005
  18. thingy

    thing2 Guest

    30~50% seems while people choose to leave MS land for
    Linux land due to cost, the commercial people in Linux land are really
    little better....IMHO.


    thing2, Aug 1, 2005
  19. My rsync idea can achieve that.
    It would be easy enough to build a minimal custom boot CD that goes
    straight into the rsync run.
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Aug 4, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.