Kickstart and Cobbler

Kickstart and Cobbler on CentOS Server

What we are starting with
OS Version: CentOS 6.3 minimal install from CD
Static IP:
SELinux disabled

sed -i 's/SELINUX\=enforcing/SELINUX\=disabled/g'/etc/selinux/config

Shut off iptables and disable from boot

/etc/init.d/iptables stop
/sbin/chkconfig iptables off

Setup EPEL Repository
The cobbler packages are available on the EPEL repository for CentOS 6. So let’s install that if you don’t already have it installed.

NOKEY warning is OK.

Install Kickstart, Cobbler and Dependencies
Install the software automatically with yum.

yum -y install cobbler cobbler-web pykickstart system-config-kickstart dhcp mod_python wget tftp

Enable tftp and rsync in xinetd
We want to make sure tftp and rsync are enabled otherwise pxeboot will not work properly. Edit the /etc/xinetd.d/tftp and /etc/xinetd.d/rsync files and change disable = yes to disable = no.

vi /etc/xinetd.d/tftp #change disable = yes to disable = no

My /etc/xinetd.d/tftp looks like this:

# default: off
# description: The tftp server serves files using the trivial file transfer \
#       protocol.  The tftp protocol is often used to boot diskless \
#       workstations, download configuration files to network-aware printers, \
#       and to start the installation process for some operating systems.
service tftp
        socket_type             = dgram
        protocol                = udp
        wait                    = yes
        user                    = root
        server                  = /usr/sbin/in.tftpd
        server_args             = -s /var/lib/tftpboot
        disable                 = no
        per_source              = 11
        cps                     = 100 2
        flags                   = IPv4

Now edit the xinetd for rsync conf

vi /etc/xinetd.d/rsync #change disable = yes to disable = no

My /etc/xinetd.d/rsync looks like this:

# default: off
# description: The rsync server is a good addition to an ftp server, as it \
#       allows crc checksumming etc.
service rsync
        disable = no
        flags           = IPv6
        socket_type     = stream
        wait            = no
        user            = root
        server          = /usr/bin/rsync
        server_args     = --daemon
        log_on_failure  += USERID

Restart xinetd
Now we can restart xinetd to make the changes take affect.

/etc/init.d/xinetd restart

Start xinetd on boot

/sbin/chkconfig xinetd on

Start cobbler services
Now lets start the apache webserver (httpd), and cobbler itself. Apache is required by cobbler to serve up the OS images.

/etc/init.d/httpd start
/etc/init.d/cobblerd start
/sbin/chkconfig httpd on
/sbin/chkconfig cobblerd on

Install cobbler loaders

cobbler get-loaders

Generate a password hash

openssl passwd -1 -salt ‘random-phrase-here’ ‘your-password-here’

I get the hash below for the password motorrobot

[root@puppet ~]# openssl passwd -1 -salt ‘centoshowtos-rule’ ‘motorrobot’       $1$centosho$05Gidn0z8BjDu2ZbV4fS.0

Edit /etc/cobbler/settings
Change: next_server: to next_server:
Change: server: to server:
Change: default_password_crypted: “$1$mF86/UHC$WvcIcX2t6crBz2onWxyac.” to above generated hash default_password_crypted: “$1$centosho$05Gidn0z8BjDu2ZbV4fS.0″
Change: manage_dhcp: 0 to manage_dhcp: 1

sed -i ‘s/server\:\ 127\.0\.0\.1/server\:\ 192\.168\.7\.2/g’ /etc/cobbler/settings
sed -i ‘s/default\_password\_crypted\:\ \”\$1\$mF86\/UHC\$WvcIcX2t6crBz2onWxyac\.\”/default\_password\_crypted\:\ \”\$1\$centosho\$05Gidn0z8BjDu2ZbV4fS\.0\”/g’ /etc/cobbler/settings
sed -i ‘s/manage_dhcp: 0/manage_dhcp: 1/g’ /etc/cobbler/settings
vi /etc/cobbler/settings

My Page looks like this:

allow_duplicate_hostnames: 0
allow_duplicate_ips: 0
allow_duplicate_macs: 0
anamon_enabled: 0
authn_pam_service: "login"
build_reporting_enabled: 0
build_reporting_sender: ""
build_reporting_email: [ 'root@localhost' ]
build_reporting_smtp_server: "localhost"
build_reporting_subject: ""
createrepo_flags: "-c cache -s sha"
default_kickstart: /var/lib/cobbler/kickstarts/default.ks
default_name_servers: []
default_password_crypted: "$1$centosho$05Gidn0z8BjDu2ZbV4fS.0"
default_template_type: "cheetah"
default_virt_bridge: xenbr0
default_virt_file_size: 5
default_virt_ram: 512
default_virt_type: xenpv
enable_gpxe: 0
enable_menu: 1
func_auto_setup: 0
http_port: 80
    ksdevice: bootif
    lang: ' '
    text: ~
    RUNKS: 1
    ramdisk_size: 40000
    root: /dev/ram0
    ro: ~
    ip: off
    vnc: ~
ldap_server: ""
ldap_base_dn: "DC=example,DC=com"
ldap_port: 389
ldap_tls: 1
ldap_anonymous_bind: 1
ldap_search_bind_dn: ''
ldap_search_passwd: ''
ldap_search_prefix: 'uid='
mgmt_classes: []
   from_cobbler: 1
puppet_auto_setup: 0
sign_puppet_certs_automatically: 0
puppetca_path: "/usr/sbin/puppetca"
remove_old_puppet_certs_automatically: 0
manage_dhcp: 1
manage_dns: 0
bind_chroot_path: ""
manage_tftpd: 1
manage_rsync: 0
manage_forward_zones: []
manage_reverse_zones: []
power_management_default_type: 'ipmitool'
power_template_dir: "/etc/cobbler/power"
pxe_just_once: 0
pxe_template_dir: "/etc/cobbler/pxe"
consoles: "/var/consoles"
redhat_management_type: "off"
redhat_management_server: ""
redhat_management_key: ""
redhat_management_permissive: 0
register_new_installs: 0
reposync_flags: "-l -m -d"
restart_dns: 1
restart_dhcp: 1
run_install_triggers: 1
scm_track_enabled: 0
scm_track_mode: "git"
client_use_localhost: 0
snippetsdir: /var/lib/cobbler/snippets
template_remote_kickstarts: 0
physical host reboots?
virt_auto_boot: 1
webdir: /var/www/cobbler
xmlrpc_port: 25151
yum_post_install_mirror: 1
yum_distro_priority: 1
yumdownloader_flags: "--resolve"
serializer_pretty_json: 0

Edit dhcp template 
Edit the dhcp template now and make sure it’s accurate to your network. Also specify the range for the pool, I tend to keep mine smaller.

My /etc/cobbler/dhcp.template

# ******************************************************************
# Cobbler managed dhcpd.conf file
# generated from cobbler dhcp.conf template ($date)
# Do NOT make changes to /etc/dhcpd.conf. Instead, make your changes
# in /etc/cobbler/dhcp.template, as /etc/dhcpd.conf will be
# overwritten.
# ******************************************************************
ddns-update-style interim;
allow booting;
allow bootp;
ignore client-updates;
set vendorclass = option vendor-class-identifier;
subnet netmask {
     option routers   ;
     option domain-name-servers;
     option subnet-mask;
     range dynamic-bootp;
     filename                   "/pxelinux.0";
     default-lease-time         21600;
     max-lease-time             43200;
     next-server                $next_server;
#for dhcp_tag in $dhcp_tags.keys():
    ## group could be subnet if your dhcp tags line up with your subnets
    ## or really any valid dhcpd.conf construct ... if you only use the
    ## default dhcp tag in cobbler, the group block can be deleted for a
    ## flat configuration
# group for Cobbler DHCP tag: $dhcp_tag
group {
        #for mac in $dhcp_tags[$dhcp_tag].keys():
            #set iface = $dhcp_tags[$dhcp_tag][$mac]
    host $ {
        hardware ethernet $mac;
        #if $iface.ip_address:
        fixed-address $iface.ip_address;
        #end if
        #if $iface.hostname:
        option host-name "$iface.hostname";
        #end if
        #if $iface.netmask:
        option subnet-mask $iface.netmask;
        #end if
        #if $iface.gateway:
        option routers $iface.gateway;
        #end if
        #if $iface.enable_gpxe:
        if exists user-class and option user-class = "gPXE" {
        else {
            filename "undionly.kpxe";
        filename "$iface.filename";
        #end if
        ## Cobbler defaults to $next_server, but some users
        ## may like to use $iface.system.server for proxied setups
        next-server $next_server;
        ## next-server $iface.next_server;
        #end for
#end for

Enable web interface authentication

sed -i 's/module = authn_denyall/module = authn_configfile/g'/etc/cobbler/modules.conf

Create cobbler web user and set password

htdigest /etc/cobbler/users.digest “Cobbler” cobbler

Download the iso of a distro you want to import

Mount the ISO of the distro

mount -o loop /root/CentOS-6.5-x86_64-bin-DVD1.iso /mnt/

Import the distro
Run cobbler import give the distro a name

cobbler import --path=/mnt/ --name=cent65-x86_64

Restart and sync cobbler

/etc/init.d/cobblerd restart
cobbler sync

Kickstarting a Server
Network boot a server or virtual server that’s connected to the network. This is typically an option in the bios, or I know with VMWare and Dell servers you can hit F12 as it’s booting.

Cobbler Boot Screen
Cobbler bootscreen default CentOS6 Kickstart

Arrow down and highlight “cent65-x86_64″ and press enter.

At this point a minimal CentOS 6.5 Server will be installed automatically.

You will boot into the machine, and login with root and the password that you generated and put into cobbler. It’ll be used as the default root on all installations.

You can get the MAC address of the server that just kickstarted bu looking in the /var/log/messages of the cobbler server and grepping for dhcp. Once you have that mac address, you can create a system in cobbler that associates the mac address with a profile, and allows you to assign network and hostname settings, etc.

cobbler system add --name=motorrobot1 --profile=cent65-x86_64 --mac=08:00:27:c4:e7:ea --ip-address= --netboot-enabled=Y --gateway= --static=Y --name-servers=

###### NOT NEEDED ABOVE #######