[CentOS] Re: Kickstart install surprise

Scott Silva ssilva at sgvwater.com
Thu Sep 13 16:53:53 UTC 2007

Bill Campbell spake the following on 9/12/2007 4:55 PM:
> 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?
> 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.
>>> 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
Sorry I chimed in too late, but there are tools that might have recovered your 
partitions without too much work if all that happened was zeroing out the 
partition table and not actually zeroing out the drive.


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