Tuesday, 7 December 2010

diskless installation of centos 5.5

This is about using tftp + dhcpd + kickstart + httpd + windows seven for installing centos os 5.5 x86_64 bit operating system. First download and install apache 2.2.x of httpd in windows seven. After installation extract the centos 5.5 dvd into htdocs of apache. Assign a static ip to that windows machine. I used the ip 192.168.1.11. After that download and install tftpd32 server from http://tftpd32.jounin.net/ . TFTPD32 is a wonderful server with easy to configure options. Now define the address range and other configuration options for dhcps. Create tftpd root and set it in tftpd server options. Place all the files of isolinux directory from centos media to c:\tftpd\root dir. Copy C:\tftpd\root\isolinux.cfg to C:\tftpd\root\pxelinux.cfg\default (Note that this file is renamed and has no extension) .
2)Download http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/syslinux-3.86.tar.gz and extract the file and inside core you will find pxelinux.0 file place it in c:\tftpd\root\.
3) set pxelinux.0 as boot file in dhcp server options.
4) Boot the PC and at boot prompt enter the created kickstart file with the following command.
linux ks=http://192.168.1.11/kickstart.ks
Please refer to documentation on how to create the kickstart file. It is pretty simple. In centos/rhel/fedora we have the utility called kickstart creator from which we can create the kickstart file. It is GUI based application but the end result is a text file which is used to kickstart the silent installation. Usually ther installation might ask questions if it the kickstart file is silent on that part and it is a required entry.