Kickstart your CentOS Template, EL6 Edition

Note: This article uses Enterprise Linux 6. If you are looking for Enterprise Linux 7, check out the new edition!

A few days ago, I started my Puppet series. I described how to manually build a brand new golden image or how to add puppet to an existing image. I also said that I hoped everyone had that process automated, for example with kickstart. If you don’t have an automated process in place, I’ll show you how to get started with kickstart.

Kickstart is a tool for creating repeatable, but customized, installations. There is lots of documentation available (Fedora and RHEL sites, for example). There are a few methods to make a kickstart file available, but we’re going to focus on using the network. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • vCenter
  • A DHCP server in the network where the VM will be deployed.
  • Firewall rules and routing allowing the provisioned VM to communicate with the web server.
  • A web server to host the kickstart file.
  • A CentOS netinstall ISO in your vSphere infrastructure, download from a mirror.
  • Ability to create VMs in your vSphere infrastructure.

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