32.11. Starting a Kickstart Installation

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Firstboot does not run after a system is installed from a Kickstart file unless a desktop and the X Window System were included in the installation and graphical login was enabled. Either specify a user with the user option in the Kickstart file before installing additional systems from it (refer to Section 32.4, “Kickstart Options” for details) or log into the installed system with a virtual console as root and add users with the adduser command.
To begin a kickstart installation, you must boot the system from boot media you have made or the Red Hat Enterprise Linux DVD, and enter a special boot command at the boot prompt. The installation program looks for a kickstart file if the ks command line argument is passed to the kernel.
DVD and local storage
The linux ks= command also works if the ks.cfg file is located on a vfat or ext2 file system on local storage and you boot from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux DVD.
With Driver Disk
If you need to use a driver disk with kickstart, specify the dd option as well. For example, if installation requires a kickstart file on a local hard drive and also requires a driver disk, boot the system with:
linux ks=hd:partition:/path/ks.cfg dd
If the kickstart file is on a boot CD-ROM as described in Section 32.9.1, “Creating Kickstart Boot Media”, insert the CD-ROM into the system, boot the system, and enter the following command at the boot: prompt (where ks.cfg is the name of the kickstart file):
linux ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg
Other options to start a kickstart installation are as follows:
Prompt the user to select an installation source, even if a Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation DVD is detected on the system.
Prompt for network configuration in the first stage of installation regardless of installation method.
Make kickstart non-interactive. Used for debugging and to generate screenshots. This option should not be used when deploying a system because it may disrupt package installation.
Start up pdb immediately.
Use a driver disk.
Sends a custom DHCP vendor class identifier. ISC's dhcpcd can inspect this value using "option vendor-class-identifier".
Comma separated list of nameservers to use for a network installation.
Same as 'dd'.
Turns on special features:
  • allows partitioning of removable media
  • prompts for a driver disk
Gateway to use for a network installation.
Force graphical install. Required to have ftp/http use GUI.
Prompt user for ISA devices configuration.
IP to use for a network installation, use 'dhcp' for DHCP.
ipv6=auto, ipv6=dhcp
IPv6 configuration for the device. Use auto for automatic configuration (SLAAC, SLAAC with DHCPv6), or dhcp for DHCPv6 only configuration (no router advertisements).
Keyboard layout to use. Valid layouts include:
  • be-latin1 — Belgian
  • bg_bds-utf8 — Bulgarian
  • bg_pho-utf8 — Bulgarian (Phonetic)
  • br-abnt2 — Brazilian (ABNT2)
  • cf — French Canadian
  • croat — Croatian
  • cz-us-qwertz — Czech
  • cz-lat2 — Czech (qwerty)
  • de — German
  • de-latin1 — German (latin1)
  • de-latin1-nodeadkeys — German (latin1 without dead keys)
  • dvorak — Dvorak
  • dk — Danish
  • dk-latin1 — Danish (latin1)
  • es — Spanish
  • et — Estonian
  • fi — Finnish
  • fi-latin1 — Finnish (latin1)
  • fr — French
  • fr-latin9 — French (latin9)
  • fr-latin1 — French (latin1)
  • fr-pc — French (pc)
  • fr_CH — Swiss French
  • fr_CH-latin1 — Swiss French (latin1)
  • gr — Greek
  • hu — Hungarian
  • hu101 — Hungarian (101 key)
  • is-latin1 — Icelandic
  • it — Italian
  • it-ibm — Italian (IBM)
  • it2 — Italian (it2)
  • jp106 — Japanese
  • ko — Korean
  • la-latin1 — Latin American
  • mk-utf — Macedonian
  • nl — Dutch
  • no — Norwegian
  • pl2 — Polish
  • pt-latin1 — Portuguese
  • ro — Romanian
  • ru — Russian
  • sr-cy — Serbian
  • sr-latin — Serbian (latin)
  • sv-latin1 — Swedish
  • sg — Swiss German
  • sg-latin1 — Swiss German (latin1)
  • sk-qwerty — Slovak (qwerty)
  • slovene — Slovenian
  • trq — Turkish
  • uk — United Kingdom
  • ua-utf — Ukrainian
  • us-acentos — U.S. International
  • us — U.S. English
The file /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/system_config_keyboard/ on 32-bit systems or /usr/lib64/python2.6/site-packages/system_config_keyboard/ on 64-bit systems also contains this list and is part of the system-config-keyboard package.
The installation program looks for the kickstart file on the NFS server <server>, as file <path>. The installation program uses DHCP to configure the Ethernet card. For example, if your NFS server is and the kickstart file is in the NFS share /mydir/ks.cfg, the correct boot command would be
The installation program looks for the kickstart file on the HTTP or HTTPS server <server>, as file <path>. The installation program uses DHCP to configure the Ethernet card. For example, if your HTTP server is and the kickstart file is in the HTTP directory /mydir/ks.cfg, the correct boot command would be ks=
The installation program mounts the file system on <device> (which must be vfat or ext2), and looks for the kickstart configuration file as <file> in that file system (for example, ks=hd:sda3:/mydir/ks.cfg).
The installation program mounts the file system on the specified partition on the specified BIOS device <biosdev>, and looks for the kickstart configuration file specified in <path> (for example, ks=bd:80p3:/mydir/ks.cfg). Note this does not work for BIOS RAID sets.
The installation program tries to read the file <file> from the file system; no mounts are done. This is normally used if the kickstart file is already on the initrd image.
The installation program looks for the kickstart file on CD-ROM, as file <path>.
If ks is used alone, the installation program configures the Ethernet card to use DHCP. The kickstart file is read from NFS server specified by DHCP option server-name. The name of the kickstart file is one of the following:
  • If DHCP is specified and the boot file begins with a /, the boot file provided by DHCP is looked for on the NFS server.
  • If DHCP is specified and the boot file begins with something other than a /, the boot file provided by DHCP is looked for in the /kickstart directory on the NFS server.
  • If DHCP did not specify a boot file, then the installation program tries to read the file /kickstart/, where is the numeric IP address of the machine being installed.
The installation program uses this network device to connect to the network. You can specify the device in one of five ways:
  • the device name of the interface, for example, eth0
  • the MAC address of the interface, for example, 00:12:34:56:78:9a
  • the keyword link, which specifies the first interface with its link in the up state
  • the keyword bootif, which uses the MAC address that pxelinux set in the BOOTIF variable. Set IPAPPEND 2 in your pxelinux.cfg file to have pxelinux set the BOOTIF variable.
  • the keyword ibft, which uses the MAC address of the interface specified by iBFT
For example, consider a system connected to an NFS server through the eth1 device. To perform a kickstart installation on this system using a kickstart file from the NFS server, you would use the command ks=nfs:<server>:/<path> ksdevice=eth1 at the boot: prompt.
Adds HTTP headers to ks=http:// request that can be helpful for provisioning systems. Includes MAC address of all nics in CGI environment variables of the form: "X-RHN-Provisioning-MAC-0: eth0 01:23:45:67:89:ab".
Language to use for the installation. This should be a language which is valid to be used with the 'lang' kickstart command.
Set the minimum level required for messages to be logged. Values for <level> are debug, info, warning, error, and critical. The default value is info.
Activates loader code to give user option of testing integrity of install source (if an ISO-based method).
Netmask to use for a network installation.
If GUI fails, exit.
Do not load the VGA16 framebuffer required for doing text-mode installation in some languages.
Do not load support for firewire devices.
Disable IPv4 networking on the device specified by the ksdevice= boot option.
Disable IPv6 networking on all network devices on the installed system, and during installation.


During installations from a PXE server, IPv6 networking might become active before anaconda processes the Kickstart file. If so, this option will have no effect during installation.


To disable IPv6 on the installed system, the --noipv6 kickstart option must be used on each network device, in addition to the noipv6 boot option. See the Knowledgebase article at for more information about disabling IPv6 system-wide.
Don't automatically mount any installed Linux partitions in rescue mode.
Do not auto-probe network devices.
Do not attempt to load support for parallel ports.
Do not pass information about the keyboard and mouse from anaconda stage 1 (the loader) to stage 2 (the installer).
Ignore PCMCIA controllers in the system.
Do not automatically probe for hardware; prompt the user to allow anaconda to probe for particular categories of hardware.
Do not put a shell on tty2 during install.
Do a DVD based installation.
Use <path> for an FTP installation.
Use <path> on <dev> for a hard drive installation.
Use <path> for an HTTP installation.
Use <path> for an HTTPS installation.
Use <path> for an NFS installation.
Run rescue environment.
Run installer in mode specified, '1024x768' for example.
Turns on serial console support.
Do not probe the Data Display Channel (DDC) of the monitor. This option provides a workaround if the DDC probe causes the system to stop responding.
Once installation is up and running, send log messages to the syslog process on <host>, and optionally, on port <port>. Requires the remote syslog process to accept connections (the -r option).
Force text mode install.


If you select text mode for a kickstart installation, make sure that you specify choices for the partitioning, bootloader, and package selection options. These steps are automated in the text mode, and anaconda cannot prompt you for missing information. If you do not provide choices for these options, anaconda will stop the installation process.
Prompt for storage device containing updates (bug fixes).
Image containing updates over FTP.
Image containing updates over HTTP.
Image containing updates over HTTPS.
Offer to upgrade any Linux installation detected on the system, regardless of the contents or the existence of the /etc/redhat-release file.
Enable vnc-based installation. You will need to connect to the machine using a vnc client application.
Connect to the vnc client named <host>, and optionally use port <port>.
Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.
Enable a password for the vnc connection. This will prevent someone from inadvertently connecting to the vnc-based installation.
Requires 'vnc' option to be specified as well.
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