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how do I check what anaconda is doing?

Posted: 2011/04/13 22:47:00
by mrspot
I'm trying to automate creation of a CentOS 4.1 machine, using a kickstart script, but it's failing. Where do I get under the covers and debug the problem? (I read that using the option 'cmdline' in the kickstart script will turn on command line displays of what's going on, but that doesn't seem to be happening - or is it? )

My basic question is [b]"how do I check what anaconda is doing?"[/b] but in case (please!) anyone can shed more light, more specific info follows. I'm uncertain if it's possible to run getinfo.sh on this system, given that it's not coming up.

The script file is specified by:

[i]ks=nfs:10.217.120.182:/sharedir/ks.cfg[/i]

The initial boot happens, ending with the console showing:

[i]trying to remount root filesystem read write... done
mounting /tmp as ramfs... done
running install...
running /sbin/loader[/i]

Followed by:

[i]Running anaconda, the CentOS system installer - please wait ...
Probing for video card: Unable to probe
No video hardware found, assuming headless
Grapical installation not available... Starting text mode[/i]

Then a screen like this

[i]+----+ Running... +----+
|
| Running pre-install scripts
|
+----------------------+

/ between elements | selects | next screen [/i]

After 50 minutes of "Running pre-install scripts" I get

[b][i]Unable to read package metadata. This may be due to a missing
repodata directory. Please ensure that your install tree has
been correctly generated. Cannot open/read repomd.xml file
for repository: anaconda-base-200704101946.x86_64
Abort / Continue[/i][/b]

Continue takes me to a python exception handler.

The kickstart file was provided as a script that worked on someone else's machine, but that person is not available now. The target machine for the CentOS install is a VM running on Xen Server; the whole process of creating up the VM and installing CentOS is driven by a shell script that uses Xen Server's xe command line tool.

I've posted the ks.cfg as http://pastebin.centos.org/37120 (the file I posted has stdout and stderr redirected to a log file, which the live ks.cfg does not. I can't figure out a way to see the log file.)

Thanks for any pointers or advice

how do I check what anaconda is doing?

Posted: 2011/04/14 10:13:55
by pschaff
Your kickstart script is beyond me, but I am not a kickstart expert; however, you should not be installing the absolutely ancient and unsupported CentOS 4.1 in the first place. The current and probably final CentOS 4.x release is 4.9, but as it does not come with media 4.8 is recommended. CentOS-4 is also getting quite close to [url=http://wiki.centos.org/FAQ/General#head-fe8a0be91ee3e7dea812e8694491e1dde5b75e6d]EOL[/url].

Re: how do I check what anaconda is doing?

Posted: 2011/04/14 17:36:02
by mrspot
[quote]
pschaff wrote:
Your kickstart script is beyond me, but I am not a kickstart expert; however, you should not be installing the absolutely ancient and unsupported CentOS 4.1 in the first place. The current and probably final CentOS 4.x release is 4.9, but as it does not come with media 4.8 is recommended. CentOS-4 is also getting quite close to [url=http://wiki.centos.org/FAQ/General#head-fe8a0be91ee3e7dea812e8694491e1dde5b75e6d]EOL[/url].[/quote]

Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately I must use 4.1 for the present project (employer-mandated requirement). Perhaps whatever I can learn about anaconda and kickstart will carry forward when the project moves to 5.x later this year.

Anaconda seems a clever but slippery beast, and I haven't got even a brief grasp yet, so I'm rather desperately pleading for help! Is there a better place to ask?

Re: how do I check what anaconda is doing?

Posted: 2011/04/14 17:53:49
by pschaff
This is as good a place as any, but that ancient version is going to set you up to catch flack wherever you ask. Apparently this employer has no concerns for security. I can only suggest that if no answer is forthcoming here you try the [url=http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos]CentOS Users ML[/url] and state up front why you have that version requirement..