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Revision as of 23:42, 16 November 2008 by Mdehaan (talk | contribs) (Using Cobbler)
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Make QEMU image with kickstart


This article explains how to build a hands-free QEMU image by installing Fedora using kickstart. Enjoy the show.

Installing with the network installation CD

First download the netinst CD (here's the netinst CD for Fedora 9 i386). Verify its authenticity.

As a test, try booting the ISO image you downloaded with QEMU.

 $ qemu -cdrom Fedora-9-i386-netinst.iso

Close qemu when you're sure it works.

Make the following kickstart file, and name it ks.cfg file.

 ## Use a Fedora mirror instead.
 url --url
 lang en_US.UTF-8
 keyboard us
 network --device eth0 --bootproto dhcp --hostname fedora9-i386.qemu-builder
 rootpw  use_qemu
 firewall --enabled --ssh
 authconfig --enableshadow --passalgo=sha512
 selinux --enforcing
 timezone --utc America/New_York
 bootloader --location=mbr --driveorder=sda
 firstboot --disable
 logging --level=info
 clearpart --all --drives=sda
 part /boot --fstype ext3 --size=200 --ondisk=sda
 part pv.1 --size=0 --grow --ondisk=sda
 volgroup VolGroup00 --pesize=32768 pv.1
 logvol / --fstype ext3 --name=LogVol00 --vgname=VolGroup00 --size=2560
 logvol swap --fstype swap --name=LogVol01 --vgname=VolGroup00 --size=256 --grow --maxsize=512

Make a floppy image, and put the kickstart file on it.

 dd if=/dev/zero of=fedora-9-i386.img bs=1440K count=1
 /sbin/mkfs -F -t ext2 fedora-9-i386.img
 mkdir -p fedora-9-i386
 sudo mount -o loop fedora-9-i386.img fedora-9-i386
 cp -p ks.cfg fedora9-i386/
 sudo umount fedora9-i386

Make a QEMU image.

 qemu-img create fedora-9-i386.qcow 4G

Now install Fedora 9 to the QEMU image with kickstart.

 qemu -cdrom Fedora-9-i386-netinst.iso -hda fedora-9-i386.qcow -fda fedora9-i386.img -boot d -net nic -net user -m 196 -localtime -append ks=floppy

The addition of "ks=floppy" to the kernel arguments, may not work. You may need to hit [Tab] in the GRUB boot loader, and add them by hand.

Using Cobbler

Alternatively, you can set this up with cobbler, which may be a good choice if you have a lab, datacenter, or a large number of machines to manage.

 yum install cobbler
 cobbler check # make sure everything is configured correctly
 cobbler import --name=Fedora9 --mirror=/mnt/dvd  # make the media available to servers that will want it
 cobbler profile edit --name=Fedora9-i386 --kickstart=/etc/cobbler/yourkickstart.ks --virt-type=qemu # make sure it won't use Xen by default

And on the remote machine where you want the VM installed

 yum install koan
 koan --profile=Fedora9-i386 --virt

By using cobbler you can centralize your installation parameters and kickstarts to share them between a wide array of users and machines. There are many more parameters you can edit and store centrally, including how much RAM to use, where to store the virtual disks, where to use LVM, etc. See the Cobbler Wiki linked above for further details.

Additinally this also helps with physical (baremetal) installations, among other things.