Use the Kickstart Configuration Tool

The Kickstart configuration tool is a graphical tool. If you've installed Kickstart without a GUI on an Ubuntu Server system, Kickstart can be run from a remote system with a GUI. Just take the following steps:

1. On the Ubuntu server, run the ifconfig command to look for the local IP address. An excerpt of the output should appear similar to the following. (In my case, the IP address is Your IP address will probably be different.)

eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0c:29:15:2a:4e inet addr: Bcast: Mask:

2. Install the Kickstart Configurator on the Ubuntu Server system with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install system-config-kickstart

Start the GUI in a remote system. (In this case, I do so on an Ubuntu laptop system, in the GNOME desktop environment.)

4. Open a command line interface in the noted GUI. One method is to choose Applications | Accessories | Terminal.

5. In the command line interface that appears, note the hostname or IP address of the Ubuntu server. Based on the IP address found in step 1, I log in to the Ubuntu server with my account, as shown below. Your IP address and account name will probably be different. If the hostname is configured in /etc/hosts or a locally authoritative DNS server, substitute the hostname for the IP address.

$ ssh -X [email protected]

6. If you're using ssh to connect to this particular Ubuntu server for the first time, a warning message should appear, as discussed in Chapter 7. Assuming both systems are on a private network, and you're confident that the network is secure, type yes to the following question and press enter.

Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

7. Enter the password for the specified user on the Ubuntu server. (In my case, it's user michael's password.)

8. You're now logged into the Ubuntu server from a remote client, and can now access X clients. Run the following command to open the Kickstart Configurator:

$ sudo system-config-kickstart

9. The Kickstart Configurator screen shown in Figure 3-1 should open from the Ubuntu server on the remote system.

NOTE While the sequence in the Kickstart Configurator—more closely follows the Red Hat installation process, the same steps will work with various Ubuntu releases.

There are several categories of options shown in the left pane of the Configurator screen. To learn more about Kickstart, experiment with some of these settings. Choose File | Save to save these settings with the filename of your choice, which can then be reviewed in a text editor. Alternatively, choose File | Preview to see the effect of different settings on the Kickstart file.

The following sections provide a brief overview of each option shown in the left pane. One of the weaknesses of Kickstart on Ubuntu is the lack of a default configuration file for the current system; in other words, unlike on a Red Hat system, no anaconda-ks.cfg file or any other Kickstart file exists based on the local system as installed.

NOTE Ubuntu developers are working on a Kickstart tool to generate a file based on the current configuration. For more information, see bug 15156 at

Figure 3-1. The Kickstart Configurator
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