Posts Tagged ‘installation server’

RHEL3 Kickstart on Itanium (IA64)

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Recently I have installed several Redhat systems on IA64 platforms. Since it required only slight adjustments, and since there were two sets of systems, RHEL3 Update2 and RHEL4 Update3, I have decided to use Kickstart for both, each with his own ks.cfg file.

For lack of any other explanation at the moment, I can only say I feel I have encountered a bug with RHEL3 on IA64 platform and ks handling.


1. Bring up a dedicated installation server. Install on it DHCP Server, Name Server, TFTP Service (activated from xinetd), NFS Service.

2. Setup DHCP for a dedicated network card. Address pool 192.168.0.x. Server IP:

3. Verify it’s working.

4. Extract RH images to the NFS root directory, under the distro name. Example – /install/rhel3.2-ia64

5. Add elilo PXE image for IA64 in /tftpboot. Add a file elilo.conf (elilo.conf)

6. Install both servers – RHEL3 and RHEL4

7. Take anaconda-ks.cfg and use it (with slight modifications) to fit my needs. Really minor changes.

8. Boot the next nodes based on these ks files. (RHEL3 ks file: ks.cfg)

While RHEL4 works fine and uses my ks.cfg, RHEL3 does not. It seems to start using it, and then go on to asking me all these annoying questions (Welcome to RedHat 3 installation!)

I have even tried building ks.cfg using redhat-config-kickstart tool, but same results.

Since installation is done using serial console, I cannot access other virtual consoles and debug the problem on-the-fly.


Per a suggestion in a forum, I have looked again into the elilo.conf file, and noticed that the ks path was different. Matter of paying attention. This is probably the problem, and I will verify it soon.

HP ML110 G3 and Linux Centos 4.3 / RHEL 4 Update 3

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

Using the same installation server as before, my laptop, I was able to install Linux Centos 4.3, with the addition of HP’s drivers for Adaptec SATA raid controller, on my new HP ML110 G3.

Using just the same method as before, when I’ve installed Centos 4.3 on IBM x306, but with HP drivers, I was able to do the job easily.

To remind you the process of preparing the setup:

(A note – When I say "replace it with it" I always recommend you keep the older one aside for rainy days)

1. Obtain the floppy image of the drivers, and put it somewhere accessible, such as some easily accessible NFS share.

2. Obtain the PXE image of the kernel of Centos4.1 or RHEL 4 Update 1, and replace your PXE kernel with it (downgrade it)

3. Prepare the driver’s RPM and Centos 4.1 / RHEL 4 Update 1 kernel RPM handy on your NFS share.

4. Do the same for the PXE initrd.img file.

5. Obtain the /Centos/base/stage2.img file from Centos 4.1 or RHEL 4 Update 1 (depends on the installation distribution, of course), and replace your existing one with it.

6. I assume your installation media is actually NFS, so your boot command should be something like: linux dd=nfs:NAME_OF_SERVER:/path/to/NFS/Directory

Should and would work like charm. Notice you need to use the 64bit kernel with the 64bit driver, and same for the 32bit. Won’t work otherwise, of course.

After you’ve finished the installation, *before the reboot*, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch to text console, and do the following:

1. Copy your kernel RPM to the new system /root directory: cp /mnt/source/prepared_dir/kernel….rpm /mnt/sysimage/root/

2. Do the same for HP drivers RPM

3. Chroot into the new system: chroot /mnt/sysimage

4. Install (with –force if required, but *never* try it first) the RPMs you’ve put in /root. First the kernel and then HP driver.

5. HP Driver RPM will fail the post install. It’s OK. rename /boot/initrd-2.6.9-11.ELsmp (or non SMP, depends on your installed kernel)

6. Verify you have alias for the new storage device in your /etc/modprobe.conf

7. run mkinitrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9-11.ELsmp 2.6.9-11.ELsmp (or non SMP, depending on your kernel)

8. Edit manually your /etc/grub.conf to your needs.

Note – I do not like Grub. Actually, I find it lacking in many ways, so I install Lilo from the i386 (not the 64bit, since it’s not there) version of the distro. Later on, you can rename /etc/lilo.conf.anaconda to /etc/lilo.conf, and work with it. Don’t forget to run /sbin/lilo after changes to this file.