[CentOS] Kickstart install surprise

Ross S. W. Walker rwalker at medallion.com
Thu Sep 13 00:03:11 UTC 2007

Bill Campbell wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 13, 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.
> The kickstart configuration file and system-config-kickstart tool
> have an option for interactive kickstart installations, which I
> ass-u-me-d would work much the same way autoyast automatic installs
> do where I can abort the installation any time up to the point
> where it says start-install, do you really want to do this?

It does Bill, but the problem was that the partitioning wiping
happened BEFORE the partition manager opened up and it happened
successfully :-(

> My approach to writing GUI sysadmin tools is to have the GUI
> collect the configuration parameters, then execute one or more
> command line tools to do the real work.  One of the few things I
> really liked about AIX was that their SMIT tool displays the
> commands, and logs them as well which can be very useful to
> figure out what's going on under the hood.  This is a bit easier
> than ``touching'' a file to create a timestamp, doing something
> with a GUI tool, the using ``find /etc -newer'' to figure out
> what the GUI tool is actually doing.

Most is done directly in Python these days, but a few things still
are handled the goold ole way.

> >> 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 ?
> That could be useful if I hadn't killed the install, only to find
> myself with two empty disks without partition tables.
> I just finished reinstalling the system, and now installing all
> our OpenPKG based software on it.  Doing this, I am reminded of
> something worth venting about -- the aliases on rm, mv, and cp to
> keep the children from doing dangerous things :-).
>      UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things,
>      because that would also stop you from doing clever things. --
>      Doug Gwyn

Well there were enough complaints through the years to put in the
child safety locks.

These are easily disabled though.


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