I want to install CentOS 5.5 on two systems. I have a kickstart file.

I would like to install CentOS on a system using this kickstart file. I'm reading the instructions provided by fedoraproject.org and RedHat.com, but they suggest using a DHCP server. I don't want to set up a DHCP server right now, and I can't have DHCP traffic on this LAN.

How can I make this kickstart available over the network without using DHCP to assign an IP and point to the file I know that it is possible to make the Kickstart file available over HTTP, FTP or NFS. How can I configure the RedHat installer to have an IP address on the network and grab the kickstart file from a remote server?

2 Answers 2


The dhcp server doesn't actually serve the file. The dhcp server assigns an IP address to a host (pxe client) which lacks an operating system when it boots. In addition to the IP address, the dhcp server can tell the pxe client that it should contact a separate server for a boot loader and then the pxe client downloads the boot loader (usually using tftp) loads it, and the boot loader can be configured to download the actual kickstart file using one several protocols, including http and nfs.

If you don't want to use dhcp, you could always boot the host off of a cdrom, and at the prompt where you usually just type linux to start the attended installation process, you can pass in your kickstart file as a kernel option along with a static networking configuration.

  • Regarding "you can pass in your kickstart file as a kernel option along with a static networking configuration." -- This is not explained well in the RedHat manual. How would I do this? What options are available for ks=? I'm at the boot prompt, and the system doesn't know anything about the network. How can I configure the client to connect to the network? Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 18:26
  • redhat.com/magazine/024oct06/features/kickstart I haven't tried initiating a kickstart off a cd/dvd, but I suspect it's possible.
    – mkomitee
    Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 16:56
  • @StefanLasiewski dyslexic is correct. You can boot off a CD and then pass the arguments needed to pull the kickstart file from a remote host. The minimum arguments you would need (from the link Dyslexic provided) are ip, netmask, gateway, dns (most likely, but not absolutely required), and then ks
    – phemmer
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 2:26
  • Yes you are right, this does work. I was trying it today. Just make sure you have your notes handy and doublecheck your work, because the string can be quiet long. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 4:33

Download RHEL6 'boot.iso' image. This is a minimal 200MB image that you can even customize using 'WinISO' or similar iso editors or on Linux a good one is 'ISO Master'. Customizing the image prevents you from burden of having to type in long strings in the boot prompt.

Open the file isolinux/isolinux.cfg and make a new boot stanza. For example you can append this to the file which configures the networking and tries to load the KS file from an NFS share.

label netlab4
  menu label KickStart NFS4
  menu default
  kernel vmlinuz
  append initrd=initrd.img dns=, gateway= ip= noipv6 netmask= ksdevice=link  ks=nfs:username=kickstart,password=pass: loglevel=debug

I also added ksdevice=link: The keyword 'link' indicating that the first interface with link up. If I don't have this it gives me an error iBFT doesn't couldn't provide valid NIC MAC address PS. open a new virtual console CTRL+ALT+F3 to see debug messages.

Please let me know if this works for you.

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