3.6 Configuring the Kickstart Bundle

A Kickstart bundle contains the location and access protocol of an KickStart configuration file for Red Hat Linux. This bundle allows you to launch an automated installation of Red Hat Linux using Preboot Services

To configure a Kickstart bundle and assign devices to the bundle:

  1. In ZENworks Control Center, click Bundles in the left pane to display the Bundles panel.

  2. Click New > Bundle to start the Create New Bundle Wizard.

  3. Select Preboot Bundle, then click Next.

  4. On the Select Bundle Category page, select Kickstart, then click Next to display the Define Details page.

  5. Fill in the fields:

    Bundle Name: (Required) Although bundles can be identified in ZENworks Control Center by their type of icon, as well as the folder they are listed under, you should develop a naming scheme that differentiates the Kickstart bundles that are listed together in a folder.

    For more information, see Naming Conventions in ZENworks Control Center in the ZENworks Control Center Reference.

    Folder: Browse for the location where you want the Kickstart bundle displayed in ZENworks Control Center. The folder must exist. You cannot specify a non-existent folder, because ZENworks does not create them from this wizard.

    Icon: Browse for and select an icon if you plan to use one on your desktop for this bundle.

    Description: Provide a description to help you later recognize the exact purpose of this Kickstart bundle.

  6. Click Next to display the Set AutoInstall Attributes page.

  7. Configure the following settings for a Kickstart script bundle to be used to automate a Red Hat installation. When the device boots, the Kickstart bundle is executed before the operating system boots. Preboot Services cannot control what might happen if the Kickstart bundle has errors in it:

    1. Before configuring the Preboot environment, ensure that you have copied the kernel and RAM drive files from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation source to the /srv/tftp/kickstart/ on your Imaging server. By default, the kernel file (vmlinuz) and the RAM drive file (initrd.img) are located in the /isolinux directory in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation source.

    2. Configure the following Preboot environment:

      • Linux Kernel Filename: Specify the relative path of vmlinuz in the tftp directory. The path should be relative to the default directory of the TFTP daemon.

        For example, if vmlinuz is located in the /srv/tftp/kickstart/ directory on your Imaging server, you must specify the path of the file as kickstart/vmlinuz.

      • Initial RAM Drive Filename: Specify the relative path of initrd.img in the tftp directory.The path should be relative to the default directory of the TFTP daemon.

        For example, if initrd.img is located in the /srv/tftp/kickstart/ directory on your Imaging server, you must specify the path of Linux kernel file as kickstart/initrd.img.

      • Additional Kernel Parameters: Specify the additional kernel parameters that your Linux kernel might need. These are not Preboot Services or ZENworks parameters. They are parameters that your Linux kernel needs.

        You need to assign the MAXSECTOR parameter with the least starting sector number among all the available partitions.

        NOTE:This parameter is applicable for any recent RHEL operating systems (such as RHEL7). As the recent Linux installation takes first 100 or more sectors of the disk, this value needs to be set as part of the Kickstart bundle configuration to avoid the ZISD being overwritten. Hence, after the first installation of RHEL, you need to find the MAXSECTOR value.

        For example, consider the following partition details using fdisk -l:












        Linux swap / Solaris













        In the above table, the least starting sector number among all the available partitions (sda1, sda2, and sda3) is 640. Hence, you need to specify MAXSECTOR=640. If this value is not specified, then the Kickstart installation will overwrite the ZENworks Image Safe Data (ZISD) that is written in the lower sector ranges (starting from sector 5).

        For more information about the kernel parameters, see your Linux documentation

    3. Configure the location of the Kickstart configuration file, and the settings required to access the file. You can either specify the file location or browse for and select the file. If the configuration file has system variables, you must choose the Browse for Script option to import and upload the file to the Primary Server whose ZENworks Control Center you are using as the variables are automatically resolved while applying the bundle on the managed devices.

      • Specify Script Location: Configure the following settings to access the configuration file:

        • Protocol: Select the protocol to be used to access the device containing the Kickstart configuration file. The available protocols are NFS and HTTP.

        • Script Name and Path (Relative to Protocol Default Directory): Specify the Kickstart configuration filename and its complete path. The path should be relative to the home directory of the selected protocol daemon.

          For example, if you specify HTTP as the protocol, myserver.provo.novell.com as the DNS name, and /config/ks.cfg as the complete path of the configuration file, the URL to the installation directory is:


          In this example, /config/ks.cfg is relative to the protocol and server ID.

      • Browse for Script: Browse for the Kickstart configuration file, and upload it to the Imaging server.

        1. Click Browse icon to display the Upload File dialog box.

        2. Click Browse to browse for and select the Kickstart configuration file (.cfg).

          If the imported XML file has ZENworks system variables defined, the variables are resolved when the bundle is applied to the device.

        3. When you are prompted to upload the file to the Primary Server whose ZENworks Control Center you are using, click OK.

          The Status field displays the upload status.

        4. Click OK.

        5. (Optional) Modify the configuration file content:

          1. Click Edit Script.

            The content of the configuration file is displayed in the Edit Kickstart File dialog box.

          2. Edit the script content, then click Save.

            You can also specify ZENworks system variables in the script. For more information, see Section 3.12.2, Managing Bundle Variables.

  8. Click Next to display the Summary page.

  9. Do the following:

    • If you want to perform other configuration tasks after the bundle has been created, select the Define Additional Properties check box.

      For example, you can make assignments to the bundle in the Relationships tab, add actions in the Actions tab, and so on.

    • If you want to deploy the bundle as a sandbox version, ensure that Create As Sandbox check box is selected. A sandbox version of a bundle enables you to test it on your device before actually deploying it.

  10. Review the configuration, then click one of the following:

    Back: Allows you to make changes after reviewing the summary.

    Finish: Creates the Kickstart bundle as configured per the settings listed on this Summary page.

When installing the RHEL operating system using the Kickstart bundle, while the partitions are being setup, the ZISD data might be removed from the hard disk drive. This makes the bundle to flow infinitely to the device.

Perform the following steps to copy movezisd tool to initrd.img for backup and restore of ZISD data.

  1. Adding the movezisd tool into initrd.img:

    1. Rename the initrd.img to initrd.img.xz using the following command:

      mv initrd.img initrd.img.xz

    2. Run the following command to convert the initrd.img.xz file from data to CPIO format.

      xz --format=lzma initrd.img.xz –decompress

    3. Create a Directory and change current working directory to the newly created directory.

      mkdir initrd_new

      cd initrd_new

    4. Extract all the contents of the CPIO archive to the newly created directory using the following command:

      cpio -idmv < ../initrd.img

    5. Copy the movezisd tool from the following location into the bin folder of the extracted folder created in Step 1.d.

      Based on the RHEL OS architecture, copy the movezisd from the following location:

      Path for x86:

      • Windows Server: Program Files (x86)\Novell\ZENworks\share\preboot\update

      • Linux Server /opt/novell/zenworks/preboot/imaging/update

      Path for x64:

      • Windows Server: Program Files (x86)\Novell\ZENworks\share\preboot\update\EFI

      • Linux Server: /opt/novell/ zenworks/preboot/imaging/update/EFI

    6. Pack the Changed contents to the original format (initrd.img) using the following command.

      find . -print | cpio -o -H newc | xz --format=lzma > ../initrd.img

  2. Modifying the kickstart configuration file to backup and restore ZISD data:

    • Add the following pre and post script to the kickstart configuration file:

      chmod +x bin/movezisd
      movezisd /dev/sda -b
      %post --nochroot
      chmod +x bin/movezisd
      movezisd /dev/sda -r

      Where sda is the disk name.