Configure Kickstart Installations in Linux

This Configure Kickstart Installations in Linux IT Pro Challenge helps learners understand what a Kickstart file is, how to create a Kickstart file, and how to test the Kickstart configuration file. In the process, you will learn how to use the Yum and the Kickstart Configurator.

1 hour
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After taking this Configure Kickstart Installations in Linux IT Pro Challenge hands-on lab, learners will understand how to examine a Kickstart file, install the Kickstart Configurator and use it to modify and create a Kickstart file, and use the ksvalidator command to verify the installation of the Kickstart file.

Having an understanding of how to create and use Kickstart files and the Kickstart Configurator are important for those pursuing a career as a Linux system administrator.


The scenario for this virtual lab is that you’re a Linux system administrator who needs to automate the deployment of CentOS 7 Linux servers by using what’s called a Kickstart file. You will inspect the Kickstart file, install the Kickstart Configurator, and then create/validate your own Kickstart file.

A Kickstart file is just a text file (which can be created using a variety of text editors) that contains instructions for an installation. The way you use a Kickstart file is to first perform a manual installation on a single system and save all the choices made during that installation to a file (named anaconda-ks.cfg) that’s located in /root. Then you copy anaconda-ks.cfg, make whatever changes you want, and save that as a new .cfg file. You then use the new .cfg file for the rest of the installations.

Examine and copy the default kickstart file

Kickstart files are used to automate installations for large-scale deployments. Essentially, a Kickstart file contains all the required installation information that would normally involve user interaction during the installation process. Using a Kickstart file can greatly speed up the installation process.

Your first task in this lab is to copy and inspect the default Kickstart file, anaconda-ks.cfg.

Install the Kickstart Configurator

Now you’re going to install the Kickstart Configurator by using Yellowdog Updater, Modified (Yum). Yum is a command-line interface that’s used to automate the digital distribution of software on Linux systems.

The Kickstart Configurator is a graphical user interface (GUI) that lets you create or modify a Kickstart file without having to remember the syntax of the file itself.

Create a kickstart file by using Kickstart Configurator

The final step is to create a Kickstart file by using the Kickstart Configurator. In the process, you will confirm the following:

  • You created a Kickstart file
  • Your Kickstart file installs CentOS 7 from a cd-rom
  • Your Kickstart file creates a 6000MB partition mounted to /home
  • Your Kickstart file creates an eth0 NIC
  • Your Kickstart file enables the firewall and opens the SSH port
  • The Kickstart file passed the ksvalidator test

Summary Conclusion

By taking this lab, you will learn how to:

  • Examine the default Kickstart file
  • Install the Kickstart Configurator
  • Create a Kickstart file
  • Verify the Kickstart installation by using the ksvalidator command

You will understand what a Kickstart file is used for, and you’ll learn how to use Kickstart files to manage large-scale installations. You’ll also learn how to use Yum and the Kickstart Configurator.