Ultimate Fedora Kickstart

I recently decided to re-install Fedora19 on my Thinkpad W530. I thought it would be worthwhile documenting the steps and using a kickstart server (in this case running Centos 6) to be able to replicate the build in the future – for example when Fedora 20 is released – and for kickstarting other devices. Sure, it’s now possible to upgrade Fedora between releases using FedUp, but if all of your personal data is on a separate (backed up) partition then a clean, custom install will give you a fresh start and make sure no old configuration files or packages are left behind.  If you document your customisations via a kickstart file, it means the headaches of the re-install can be minimal.  In fact, everything you would do on the command line post-install can be done via a kickstart file.  Another advantage is that should a newer filesystem type come along you can simply reformat your O/S partition to this new type.

The next couple of posts will document some of the steps in creating the kickstart file and will cover:

Fedora Kickstart – Installation Sources
Fedora Kickstart – DNS Dependences
Fedora Kickstart – Ultra Minimal KDE Installation
Fedora Kickstart – Additional Repositories
Fedora Kickstart – Thinkpad W530 add-ons
Fedora Kickstart – Post-Installation Tasks

To begin this process, I first installed Fedora 19 by hand and chose minimal as the default installation. This gave me a /root/anaconda-ks.cfg kickstart file from which we can work.

It will look something like this:

# System authorization information
auth --enableshadow --passalgo=sha512
# Use network installation
url --url=""
# Run the Setup Agent on first boot
firstboot --enable
ignoredisk --only-use=sda
# Keyboard layouts
# old format: keyboard us
# new format:
keyboard --vckeymap=us --xlayouts='us'
# System language
lang en_GB.UTF-8
# Network information
network --bootproto=dhcp --device=eth0 --noipv6 --activate
network --hostname=localhost.localdomain
# Root password
rootpw --iscrypted XXX
# System timezone
timezone Europe/London
user --groups=wheel --homedir=/home/user --name=user --password=XXX "User"
# System bootloader configuration
bootloader --location=mbr --boot-drive=sda
# Partition clearing information
clearpart --none --initlabel
# Disk partitioning information
part /boot --fstype="ext4" --onpart=sda6 --label=fedora19-boot
part / --fstype="ext4" --onpart=sda7 --label=fedora19-root
part swap --fstype="swap" --noformat --onpart=sda8
part /boot/efi --fstype="efi" --noformat --onpart=sda2 --fsoptions="umask=0077,shortname=winnt"

For clarity, the ‘url’ shown above would refer to an internal apache webserver from which the Fedora DVD is shared.

Whilst the final kickstart file won’t be for everyone, I’ve called it the ‘Ultimate Fedora Kickstart‘ because it’s the ultimate for my needs. No doubt, you’ll have your own version of this 🙂

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