Bug 489091 - A default Fedora cobbler import creates a profile with an autopartitioning kickstart
A default Fedora cobbler import creates a profile with an autopartitioning ki...
Product: Fedora Documentation
Classification: Fedora
Component: install-guide (Show other bugs)
All Linux
low Severity medium
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Assigned To: David Nalley
David Nalley
Depends On:
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Reported: 2009-03-07 06:52 EST by Jacobo Cabaleiro
Modified: 2009-03-24 08:04 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

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Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2009-03-24 07:57:06 EDT
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Description Jacobo Cabaleiro 2009-03-07 06:52:19 EST
I've being doing network installations of many distros (Debian, Gentoo), due to the following reasons:
* Installations on old hardware with too dirty and unstable CD / DVD readers
* Easy availability of network infraestructure for doing network installs
* Saving of CD / DVD media
All this distros point on their install guide to a network boot image, and tell you to manually prepare a DHCP / TFTP boot environment, including renaming of the image.
What I was looking when doing a network install on this cases was an installation behaving exactly the same as from the usual distro DVD image. And that's what I got.

For network installations, Fedora install guide points to the usage of cobbler. If one follows the appendix C, the result is a perfect and fully functional Fedora network install. You can avoid reading cobbler doc, and more specifically, you do not need to read cobbler man page as Fedora guide has everything required.

But the result is not a normal network install, where Anaconda runs in interactive mode: is an __automated__ network installation, with Anaconda running a kickstart file with autopartition activated. The result: data loss.

I checked this against cobbler-1.4.2-1 on a Fedora 9. It sets by default a KickStart file on the non rescue profile of an imported Fedora 11 Alpha install x86_64 DVD. On this kickstart script (sample_end.ks) you find:
    # Partition clearing information
    clearpart --all --initlabel
    # Clear the Master Boot Record
    # Allow anaconda to partition the system as needed

If the user doesn't realize and just network boots a computer, could lose all data. As in my case.

This default behaviour is clearly stated in cobbler man page. I think this should be clearly stated also on Fedora install guide. The user should be warned that a default cobbler import creates a network boot with disk autopartitioning and formatting, and he should be pointed to modify the cobbler profile in case an interactive Anaconda install is expected.
Comment 1 David Nalley 2009-03-24 07:57:06 EDT
Added the following warning to the Setting up an Installation Server section: 

The instructions in this appendix configures an automated install server. The default configuration includes destruction of all existing data on all disks for hosts that install using this method. This is often different from other network install server configurations which may provide for an interactive installation experience.

See commit log below:

commit 4b192bf86daa36b5d1918965c870223467624c47
Author: David Nalley <david@gnsa.us>
Date:   Tue Mar 24 07:53:26 2009 -0400

    Added warning re destruction of data to pxe-server.xml 489091
Comment 2 Jacobo Cabaleiro 2009-03-24 08:04:12 EDT
Thank you David. In my humble opinion, good enough.

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