[cobbler] Can deploy Ubuntu using a kickstart file rather than a preseed?

Will Dennis wdennis at nec-labs.com
Thu Sep 25 15:39:30 UTC 2014

Hi all,

Went looking for an automated way to install a bunch of Ubuntu (14.04) nodes I had to bring up, and happily found that Ubuntu now supports Kickstart (albeit in a non-complete way...)

I created a USB installer, and authored a kickstart file (via the Ubuntu app "system-config-kickstart"), placed it in the root of the USB key, and then in /syslinux/txt.cfg I added "ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg" to the end of the "append" line for the default install. Booted my test node from the USB key, and the kickstart worked like a champ.

Now, since I've been using Cobbler to install RedHat-family nodes, I thought I'd try to add a Ubuntu OS choice. So I added the install ISO to Cobbler via the 'cobbler import' command, and also did a 'cobbler reposync' to add the local repo. Tried PXE-booting my test node, my Ubuntu 14.04 OS choice shows up in the menu, and can be installed (but for some reason stops at the "Partition disks" setup screen...)

When I checked out the "kickstart" file for the profile, I was surprised to find that it was actually a Debian preseed file instead of a kickstart... Since I don't understand preseed files, and wanted to use my (working) kickstart file, I imported my kickstart file into /var/lib/cobbler/kickstarts and then made a copy of the Ubuntu 14.04 profile, and changed the kickstart file to be mine instead of "sample.seed". Upon PXE booting the test node and selecting my new profile, it errored out with the following message:

"The installer failed to process the preconfiguration file from http://<cobbler-svr-ip>/cblr/svc/op/ks/profile/<profile_name<http://%3ccobbler-svr-ip%3e/cblr/svc/op/ks/profile/%3cprofile_name>>. The file may be corrupt."

So, is there a way to support using kickstart files against Ubuntu nodes, instead of preseed files? If so, any docs anywhere?

Also, is there a way to search the list archives (such as Gmane, etc.) for keywords such as "Ubuntu kickstart" - I'm sure this has been discussed before on the list, but couldn't (quickly) find anything...


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