I have recently started expanding my research based from previous tutorials on network based installations and PXE booting + network based installations to include automated Ubuntu installations. I will mention that I do not consider myself an expert at this by any means, but I wanted to give some of you a preview of what will end up being a much more mature tool.
Ubuntu and Debian installers use preseed for basically pre-answering installation questions for automated installation. RedHat and Fedora installers use kickstart for the same purpose. Well the Ubuntu installer team has combined these into a project called Kickseed, which basically allows Ubuntu to use RedHat / Fedora based kickstart files for automated Ubuntu installations.
Having worked with kickstart quite a bit I have an interest in the kickseed project and I’d love to contribute to it. Anyone else that would like to see more mature automated Ubuntu installation processes should look into this project as well.
I want to give the Ubuntu Team a little time to finish and release Ubuntu 7.10, but after that perhaps some of us can start focusing on maturing this project and working with the installer team members to do so.
In the meantime, I have a public generic kickstart script you can use to simply preview what can be done. To use this do the following:
- Boot the Alternate install CD.
- At the boot menu hit ‘esc’ and ‘exit to text mode’.
- enter “install ks=http://zelut.org/projects/misc/ks-test.cfg
This should automate the entire installation with the following specs:
- en_US language and qwerty keyboard layout
- ‘ubuntu’ user with the password of ‘password’
- 100M /boot, 2048M swap, remaining space for / partitions
- Gnome desktop with GDM
- DHCP on eth0
This will, of course, wipe any data from the machine you test it on so give it a shot in a virtual machine or on a test machine. And, again, if you’re interested in using something like this contact me and we’ll see what we can organize towards improvements and maturity.