1.2. anaconda

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1.2.1. RHBA-2011:0030: bug fix and enhancement update

An updated anaconda package that fixes several bugs and adds various enhancements is now available.
Anaconda is the system installer.
This updated package fixes the following bugs:
* Previously, anaconda did not test the validity of the format of IPv4 netmasks entered during network configuration. If a user entered a nonsensical value for the IPv4 netmask (for example, letters instead of numbers), the installer would sometimes crash. Anaconda now tests netmask values and therefore avoids a crash due to a badly formatted netmask. ( BZ#440498)
* The swap space required by a system running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 varies according to the role of the system. Previously, anaconda recommended that all installations on IBM System z required swap space at least equal to the amount of installed system memory. This recommendation could have misled users to allocate far more swap space than was required for their purposes. Anaconda now warns users only if they have not allocated any swap space at all. Users can therefore allocate swap space appropriate to their systems without potentially misleading warnings from anaconda. ( BZ#475358)
* The pkgorder script ensures that kernel packages are included on the first disc of multi-disc sets, but did not previously ensure that dependencies of those packages were also included on the first disc. When kernel dependencies appeared on later discs in the set, installing the kernel became impossible and installation would fail. The pkgorder script now ensures that kernel dependencies appear on the first disc along with the kernel packages themselves and therefore ensures that installation is not prevented by kernel dependency issues. ( BZ#491136)
* When anaconda executes the "xconfig --startxonboot" command in a kickstart file, it sets monitor parameters. Previously, anaconda did not test to see that a monitor was attached to the system before it attempted to set these parameters. When a monitor was not present, anaconda crashed. Anaconda now attempts to set monitor parameters only when a monitor is attached to the system and therefore avoids a crash when the "xconfig --startxonboot" kickstart command is run on a system without a monitor. ( BZ#517051)
* Previously, the iscsi kickstart command was not documented in the kickstart-docs.txt file beyond noting its existence and its options, and the iscsiname command and ignoredisk --onlyuse option were not documented at all. Users had to consult documentation outside anaconda itself to learn how to use these commands and options. In this release, the iscsiname command and ignoredisk --onlyuse option are now documented, and the description of the iscsi command is expanded, reducing the requirement for users to resort to other documentation to use these commands and options. ( BZ#525136,
* Previously, /proc/bus/usb was not mounted as /mnt/sysimage/proc/bus/usb directly after installation. As a consequence, %post scriptlets could not install packages that require /proc/bus/usb. Anaconda now mounts /proc/bus/usb after installation so that packages that %post scriptlets can install packages that require access to this path. ( BZ#532397)
* Previously, the network --noipv6 kickstart command configured /etc/sysconfig/network but did not alter modprobe.conf. Therefore, even when --noipv6 was specified, modprobe would still load the kernel IPv6 modules. The --noipv6 option now disables IPv6 in modprobe.conf too, so the IPv6 kernel modules do not load. ( BZ#537887)
* When some installation options are specified by a kickstart file, anaconda interactively prompts users for any information not contained in the file. The interactive screens still contain the "Back" buttons, but these might not be meaningful if there were no previous screens. Previously, anaconda did not handle this situation, and when users clicked a "Back" button to a screen that did not exist, anaconda would crash. Anaconda now handles this situation and informs users that they cannot go back, thus avoiding the crash. ( BZ#537889)
* Previously, anaconda selected the mkinitrd and rhlp packages for installation after the list of other packages for installation was finalized. Therefore, it was not possible to exclude these packages or their dependencies from installation. Because some of these dependencies are only compiled for i686, it was not possible to install exclusively 64-bit x86 packages on a system. Anaconda now tests these packages against the packages selected for installation, and if the user's package selection would exclude mkinitrd, rhlp, or their dependencies, anaconda excludes them from installation. ( BZ#541323)
* Anaconda validates the format of hostnames entered by users during installation. Previously, due to an error in the validation code, anaconda would only accept hostnames that began with a letter, although RFC 1123 permits hostnames that begin with numbers. The validation code has been corrected, and anaconda now accepts hostnames that begin with numbers or letters. ( BZ#559626)
* Prior to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, the --log option in anaconda was not aware of whether %pre and %post scripts in kickstart files were running in a chroot environment or not. Therefore, kickstart files had to provide absolute paths to log files. Improvements to anaconda in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 made the --log option aware of chroot environments. Consequently, if unmodified kickstart files from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 were used to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, anaconda sometimes crashed and reported that the directory did not exist. The --log option is now further modified to accept either absolute or relative paths. The presence of absolute paths does not prevent the use of kickstart files created for earlier versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. ( BZ#568861)
* Faulty logic in anaconda meant that dhcp domain-name options longer than 64 characters were dropped during the installation process. Consequently, 'search' was not set in the resolv.conf file and remained empty. Anaconda now handles domain names longer than 64 characters correctly, and writes domain-name options set during installation to the resolv.conf file of the installed system. ( BZ#578110)
* Previously, faulty logic did not allow anaconda to reach the default gateway on IBM System z if the z/VM was configured to use layer3 vswitch. Installation on this configuration could not then proceed. In this release, the logic that tests the accessibility of the default gateway has been corrected so that anaconda can detect the gateway and continue installation as expected. ( BZ#643961)
* Previously, the ks=nfs and method=nfs boot options were not documented in the command-line.txt file. Users had to consult documentation outside anaconda itself to learn how to use these boot options. In this release, the ks=nfs and method=nfs boot options are documented, reducing the requirement for users to resort to other documentation to use these boot options. ( BZ#559200)
This update also adds the following enhancements:
* Previously, anaconda automatically ejected optical discs after installation. When users installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on remote systems with spring-loaded media trays, users were left with no way to close the tray. Anaconda now includes a "noeject" boot option that does not eject optical discs after installation. Users can therefore prevent media trays from opening in situations in which it would be difficult to close them. The new command is documented in command-line.txt. ( BZ#477887, BZ#647232)
* Installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 continues, even when %pre or %post scriptlets fail to install packages. Therefore, it is not necessarily obvious that a problem has occurred. Anaconda now makes error messages about failed package operations from scriptlets more obvious in logs, and presents error messages on screen when it runs in interactive mode. ( BZ#531599)
* Previously, anaconda would try only once to download a package for installation from a network source. If the network was unavailable or slow, anaconda report an error. Anaconda now retries ten times with gradually increasing delay before reporting an error. Therefore, anaconda now has a better chance to recover from failure without intervention from users. ( BZ#544323)
* Anaconda automatically installs drivers from local storage devices that have the volume label OEMDRV. Previously, anaconda installed these drivers with no confirmation from the user. It was therefore possible for anaconda to install unwanted drivers. Anaconda now prompts users to confirm the installation of drivers that it automatically detects. ( BZ#570053)
* Anaconda now includes support for several hardware devices that it did not previously support. Without this support, it was not possible to use these devices during installation. The devices include:
  • Brocade 10G Ethernet controller
  • Chelsio T4 10Gb Ethernet adapter
  • QLogic Corp cLOM8214 1/10Gb Ethernet controller
  • 10Gb EN port on Mellanox Infiniband controller
  • LSI 3ware 97xx SAS/SATA RAID controller
Users are advised to upgrade to this updated anaconda package, which resolves these issues and adds these enhancements.
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