[CentOS] Kickstart install surprise

Ross S. W. Walker rwalker at medallion.com
Wed Sep 12 23:46:27 UTC 2007

Karanbir Singh wrote:
> Bill Campbell wrote:
> > How was I using the wrong tool when I was testing a 
> kickstart configuration
> > file in interactive mode, which I figured would be safe as 
> it would allow
> > me to exit before it wrote on the disk?  I have done 
> similar testing of
> > autoyast configuration files on many occassions without clobbering
> > anything.
> anaconda-kickstart does not have a simulation mode. it might have been
> well worth the time to investigate that before trying it out :)
> assumption is dangerous. But then I suppose at this stage you might
> point to me and say hindsight is an exacting science. Its 
> always easier
> to say what one might have or should have done.
> virtual machine technology is fairly far along the road to stability,
> thats always a good option when testing such stuff.
> Also, when you say interactive mode - what exactly do you mean by that
> ? because Anaconda has two modes, Interactive and Kickstart scripted.
> And as already been pointed out, you can skip portions out of the
> kickstart ( its quite common to see the drive partitioning logic
> commented out so that the person on $console might be able to do that
> himself ), and anaconda will ask you about those questions. 
> But you cant
> really have a complete interactive install session and also have a
> kickstart script running alongside.
> > I would hardly call it venting.  I've made a serious effort 
> not to say some
> > of the things that come to mind (particularly when I found 
> that not only
> > had it nuked my hard drive, but also nuked the external USB 
> drive that
> ok thats interesting. by default anaconda should not touch the drives
> its not creating partitions on. Unless you expressly tell it to. did
> /var/log/anaconda.log, /root/anaconda-ks.cfg, /root/*.log 
> have anything
> interesting to say about why it might have nuked that other 
> drive as well ?

Well actually there is the kickstart option 'clearpart --all'.

If one specifies a 'clearpart -all' without specifying which drives then
I believe the result is all partitions from all drives.

Definitely a VERY dangerous option, I would say that that should have been
clearly stated in the RHEL docs.

I can sympathise with your situation Bill, but one should test carefully
these scripted installs first either on a Xen VM or VMware VM, or on a
bare-bones system that hasn't been customized yet.

If you want a descructive install may I recommend at least using
'clearpart --linux' which only wipes Linux partitions.


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