KickstartWeb allows the user to quickly provision Linux systems using a convenient web interface. It can be used to provision any system that supports PXE booting, which is pretty much any modern hardware including virtual machines.

You can upload ISOs from any Anaconda-based Linux distributions to allow you to install any recent Anaconda-based Linux. It has been tested with Fedora Core 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, but should work with all versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, as well as other derivative Linux distributions. It is currently limited to x86 hardware as I do not have access to anything else.

You can define one or more profiles which define how the system should be installed (i.e. how it should be configured and what package groups should be installed). You can set one profile up as a default for unknown clients, and you can link other profiles to install specific hosts in a certain way.

For example, you could create a profile for a web server, another for a MySQL server, etc. You can then create entries for servers in the web interface using their MAC address. The systems can then be PXE booted and will install the OS and profile you assigned to each machine.

Getting Started

You must first upload the ISOs for at least one Linux distribution using the web interface. It will extract data from these ISOs but will also store the originals unless you choose to delete them.

The ultimate goal of KickstartWeb is to define a DEFAULT host and optionally any number of other hosts. The DEFAULT host is applied to any unknown host PXE booting on the network. The other hosts are associated with a specific MAC address.

Each host is associated with a profile. Each profile is associated with a Linux distribution. When a host PXE boots from the network, it is matched against the host list to find its profile, or assigned the default profile. If the profile is set for PXE installs, it will then start the installation of the associated Linux distribution using a Kickstart file generated from the associated profile.

You may also choose to assign static IPs to certain hosts. This means that they will be assigned a static IP address during installation so that when they reboot afterwards they no longer require DHCP. In this case you must choose which network that host is to be configured for (if you have more than one).

Additional Resources:

  • More more information on PXE booting, read this HOWTO.
  • More information on Red Hat's Kickstart format, read Red Hat's Online Help (note: portions of the pop-up help text were taken from this document).

KickstartWeb Version 1.5 Copyright 2005 Kirk Bauer (released under BSD license)