[CentOS] Customising a CentOS 6.6 installation disk

Thu Jan 8 18:18:34 UTC 2015
James Bishop <james.bishop at jrc.ec.europa.eu>

I apologise if this is not the appropriate list for the following issue, 

Is it possible to upgrade the Linux kernel on a kickstart CD?

I've changed the vmlinuz and initrd.img files in the isolinux directory 
from the distro's ISO image; so kernel 2.6.32-504.3.3.el6.i686 now boots 
from a DVD, and loads the appropriate modules and firmware from the 
stage 1 initrd.img.

However, anaconda (13.21.229) exits abnormally with a DBusException 
(org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply); possibly because NetworkManager is 
unable to launch the wpa_supplicant.

Anaconda appears to be choking during initialisation:

     anaconda.id = instClass.installDataClass(anaconda, extraModules, 
opts.display_mode, anaconda.backend)
   File "/usr/lib/anaconda/instdata.py", line 324, in __init__
   File "/usr/lib/anaconda/instdata.py", line 64, in reset
     self.network = network.Network()
   File "/usr/lib/anaconda/network.py", line 308, in __init__
   File "/usr/lib/anaconda/network.py", line 326, in update
     devhash = isys.getDeviceProperties(dev=none)
   File "/usr/lib/anaconda/isys.py", line 375, in getDeviceProperties
     bus = dbus.SystemBus()
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/dbus/_dbus.py", line 202, in 
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/dbus/_dbus.py", line 108, in 
     bus = BusConnection.__new__(subclass, bus_type, mainloop=mainloop)
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/dbus/bus.py", line 125, in __new__
     bus = cls._new_for_bus(address_or_type, mainloop=mainloop)
dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply: Did 
not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did 
not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the 
reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.
install exited abnormally [1/1]
The system will be rebooted when you press Ctrl-C or Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

The shell prompt is available on tty2; and so I can see the syslog, 
which has repeated messages at its tail end:

INFO NetworkManager: <info> Trying to start the supplicant

So, something needs to be changed somewhere (kernel recompilation? 
missing module? wpa_supplicant / NM upgrade? stage 2 install.img?) which 
is where I'm stuck. Do I need to hack Wifi NIC related lines out of 

The reason that I'd like the final kernel version to be running during 
the install, is that it's needed to compile the low-level driver for a 
FIPS-140 crypto coprocessor. The target system will be an off-line 
certification authority system, and will certainly not need Wifi (in 
fact the hardening procedure foresees removal of most network hardware 

I know I could do everything in three stages (initial install - software 
upgrade - crypto driver install); but being able to do everything in one 
go would simplify business continuity / bare metal recovery.

In the meantime, I'm very happy to have learned something about anaconda 
/ kickstart and so on, which will be very useful in future.

If there's a quick fix to the above issues, I'd be happy to hear it.

Thanks in advance
James Bishop

James Bishop
European Commission - Joint Research Centre
IPSC Unit G.5 (TP.723)
Via E.Fermi, 2749
I - 21027 Ispra (VA)

Tel.:   +39 0332 786225
Fax.:   +39 0332 786280
e-mail: james.bishop at jrc.ec.europa.eu