Network based Linux Installation via HTTP, FTP, NFS

Network based Linux Installation

Many versions of Linux allow installing operating system using network connection with the help of kickstart server. This type of installation is however faster than installation using CDs process could be automated.
Here is the procedure to install Linux remotely:
• Connect the client machine to installation server which has already loaded with installation files.
• Boot installation client from bootable CD
• There are there methods of installation to choose from i.e. FTP, HTTP and NFS with network parameters.
• The installation process will start and you can select installation method from the available options.
Configuring Kickstart Installation Server:
Kickstart installation server could be configured on FTP, NFS and Apache Server by using the following procedure.
Kickstart is however easy using a web server because:
• Kickstart server need to be located on remote location, passing it through firewall and rules of firewall for HTTP is somehow easy to configure as compared to FTP and NFS.
• Kickstart can use :// nomenclature to access files and it is more easy and familiar for users with respect to NFS and FTP and this is crucial for automatic kickstart installation.
Preparing for Remote Server:
Here is an example of configuring kickstart server which will be used in Fedora Core installation. All files will be uploaded to /data/network-install directory.
Create Installation Directory:
First of all create installation directories at /data/network-install/RPM and data network-install/ISO where necessary files will be copied.
[root@linux-server tmp]# mkdir -p /data/network-install/RPM
[root@ linux-server tmp]# mkdir -p /data/network-install/ISO
It is now need to copy the network installation driver files in the base directory.
Copying The Files:
All methods HTTP, NFS and FTP kickstart needs base set of Fedora files to be installed on Kickstart server. Here is the procedure to install it.
1) Create a mount point for your CD ROM drive.

[root@linux-server tmp]# mkdir /mnt/cdrom
2) Mount the Linux CD ROM.
[root@linux-server tmp]# mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

3) Copy the files from the CD ROM dir to the hard disk

[root@linux-server tmp]# cp /mnt/cdrom/* /data/network-install/RPM
4) Unmount the CD ROM and remove cd using eject command.
[root@linux-server tmp]# umount /dev/cdrom

[root@linux-server tmp]# eject cdrom
5) Repeat steps 2 to 4 with all your CDROMs. Overwrite files if required.
HTTP & FTP Preparation:
To configure for HTTP and FTP copy all data of each installation CD to /data/network-install/RPM directory. It needs 3-5 GB disk space. After completing copying data into this directory will be shown as below.
[root@linux-server tmp]# ls -1 /data/network-install/RPM
Preparing for NFS:
First of all create ISO images of installation CD’s and store them in /data/network-install/ISO directory. It will also needs disk space from 3-5 GB. You can download ISO files from official Linux core website like Fedora or Redhat and you also take these files from installation CDs but you have to make sure that these are with same name as on the official website.
Here are the steps which you should follow by replacing filename where it is necessary.
[root@linux-server tmp]# cd /data/network-install/ISO

[root@linux-server ISO]# dd if=/dev/cdrom of=filename.iso bs=32k

[root@linux-server ISO]# eject cdrom
Note: This is an example to make ISO files using mkisofs command. You can select to install the mkisofs RPM on newer Fedora versions also and this command needs a mounted CDROM drive, so don’t overlook the mount command.
[root@linux-server ISO]# mount /mnt/cdrom

[root@linux-server ISO]# mkisofs -J -r -T -o filename.iso /mnt/cdrom

[root@linuxserver ISO]# eject cdrom