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Automated installation joy



My company uses Fedora for its software development platform, and over
time we've built up a set of packages (called "Arora") that make it
easy to assimilate a vanilla Fedora box into our environment.

The Arora package spec file has long list of Requires for packages
like gcc and xemacs, and the %post does useful things like adding
printers and enabling ntpd. The Arora-release package takes the place
of fedora-release, replacing the default yum.repos.d files with ones
that point to our internal Fedora mirrors.

I never bothered to fully automate the install process, though.
Hacking on a Kickstart script to do all sorts of fancy stuff in %post
wasn't my idea of a fun day's work. And it always bugged me that
Anaconda would spend all that time installing a bunch of old packages,
when the first thing I do is run yum update to replace a good portion
of them.

Now that Anaconda uses yum and lets you configure additional
repositories, this should all be much easier, right?

I should just add something like this to the Kickstart file I
generated with system-config-kickstart:

repo --name=updates
--baseurl=http://mirrors.arastra.com/fedora/linux/core/updates/6/i386
repo --name=extras
--baseurl=http://mirrors.arastra.com/fedora/linux/extras/6/i386
repo --name=Arora --baseurl=http://dist.arastra.com/Arora/i386_6/RPMS

to set up the extra repositories, and install a minimal set of packages:

%packages
Arora-release
Arora
Arora-bs

Sounds too easy.

Guess what? It works perfectly! I kick off the install, wander away,
and when I come back in 15 minutes, the machine is up and running,
fully configured for our environment with all our development tools in
place. As they say in those infomercials, just set it and forget it.

Great work, Anaconda developers!

--Ed


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