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  1. #1

    Unattended installation of RedHat Linux?

    I am installing RedHat linux 8.0. To make the installation automatic, I am using Kickstart from a floppy. Basically I have an ftp setup with all the linux images and I have set up kickstart to download from it and install everything.

    But here is the problem. I want to make this installation completely hands off. What happens is that after kickstart installs everything and reboots, the floppy needs to be removed, otherwise it will not boot up from the hard drive. Is there a way to disable booting from the floppy after the installation is complete so that the machine can reboot and boot from the hard drive no matter if there is a floppy in there?

    Thank You in advance.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Täby, Sweden
    I'm afraid that the only way to change the computer's boot sequence is through the BIOS. Of course, there are ways, but it's BIOS-specific, and you'll probably have to bug the BIOS developers pretty much to get them to tell you how to do it. So essentially, whatever you do, the computer will boot from the floppy after reboot.
    A much more feasible alternative is to disable the floppy from being bootable after the installation is complete. mke2fs, at least when used on floppies; I haven't tried this on HDDs, generates a boot sector that immediately chainboots the hard drive. If you would dd this boot sector into an image file, and set up the kickstart config to dd that image file onto the floppy's boot sector in the post-install scripts, the floppy would chainboot the hard drive when anaconda reboots the machine.
    You could, of course, also modify the SYSLINUX boot sector yourself to detect some signature on the hard drive that is only there after the installation is complete (I don't know what's on these computers before installation, so I can't give any example), and if it detects it, chainboots the hard drive. The easiest way to do that would probably be to write a new boot sector which chainboots the hard drive if it detects the signature, and otherwise chainboots the original SYSLINUX boot sector that you have backed up to some other sector on the floppy.

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