6.4. Autoinstallation

6.4.1. Autoinstallation Support AutoYaST Kickstart

Cobbler has built-in support for Kickstart guided autoinstallations. We supply a script called “Anamon” that sends client side installation logs back to the Cobbler server.

To learn more about the installer used by Fedora, RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and other distributions please visit one of the following websites: Preseed Cloud-Init

For the current status of cloud-init support please visit https://github.com/cobbler/cobbler/issues/3218 Ignition (and Combustion)

For the current status of Ignition support please visit: Yomi

For the current status of Yomi support please visit https://github.com/cobbler/cobbler/issues/2209 Other auto-installation systems

To request a new type of auto-installation please open a feature request on GitHub: https://github.com/cobbler/cobbler/issues/new?assignees=&labels=enhancement&template=02_feature_request.md&title=

6.4.2. Automatic installation templating

The --autoinstall_meta options require more explanation.

If and only if --autoinstall options reference filesystem URLs, --autoinstall-meta allows for templating of the automatic installation files to achieve advanced functions. If the --autoinstall-meta option for a profile read --autoinstall-meta="foo=7 bar=llama", anywhere in the automatic installation file where the string $bar appeared would be replaced with the string “llama”.

To apply these changes, cobbler sync must be run to generate custom automatic installation files for each profile/system.

For NFS and HTTP automatic installation file URLs, the --autoinstall_meta options will have no effect. This is a good reason to let Cobbler manage your automatic installation files, though the URL functionality is provided for integration with legacy infrastructure, possibly including web apps that already generate automatic installation files.

Templated automatic files are processed by the templating program/package Cheetah, so anything you can do in a Cheetah template can be done to an automatic installation template. Learn more at https://cheetahtemplate.org/users_guide/intro.html

When working with Cheetah, be sure to escape any shell macros that look like $(this) with something like \$(this) or errors may show up during the sync process.

The Cobbler Wiki also contains numerous Cheetah examples that should prove useful in using this feature.

Also useful is the following repository: https://github.com/FlossWare/cobbler

6.4.3. Automatic installation snippets

Anywhere a automatic installation template mentions SNIPPET::snippet_name, the file named /var/lib/cobbler/snippets/snippet_name (if present) will be included automatically in the automatic installation template. This serves as a way to recycle frequently used automatic installation snippets without duplication. Snippets can contain templating variables, and the variables will be evaluated according to the profile and/or system as one would expect.

Snippets can also be overridden for specific profile names or system names. This is described on the Cobbler Wiki.

6.4.4. Autoinstall validation

To check for potential errors in auto-installation files, prior to installation, use cobbler validate-autoinstalls. This function will check all profile and system auto-installation files for detectable errors. Since pykickstart and related tools are not future-version aware in most cases, there may be some false positives. It should be noted that cobbler validate-autoinstalls runs on the rendered autoinstall output, not autoinstall templates themselves.