Hacking kickstart and amanda. More.

Today and yesterday I am playing with Red Hat installation program amanda, kickstart and several other tools. My current goal is to learn how to modify Red Hat installation disks in order to create customized installation CDs for our environment. Basically, it will come down to installing of all updates from the very beginnning, replacing sendmail with exim, adding mysql to SQL Server setup, and using the latest rawhide kernel with law latency patch. If I am lucky enough to fit it all on one CD, I am happy. If not, I will fill the second disk with ltsp, openoffice.org, evolution and other usefull staff.
Until now I managed to get the rough idea how the whole thing works, and build several test CDs with random changes. Currently, I am making the ISO image of the disk with all updates in place and plenty of useless things removed (like Novell and Macintosh staff). I found Burning a Red Hat CD HOWTO extremely helpful aswell as Red Hat 7 CDs mini-HowTo and Distribution Hacking 101: disecting anaconda pages.

P.S.: Almost forgot to mention two links to Unix tips and vim tips.

P.P.S.: I am also on one week vacation from tomorrow. Happy Easter!

Red Hat, kickstart, and distribution hacking

Kickstart day. Few more machines are off from Compaq to IBM. Meanwhile, I managed to get an interesting problem with kickstart – it panics the kernel with “init not found” if I boot from the floppy to do CD-ROM installation. Needs more investigation, but for now I choose to boot from CD-ROM and use floppy only for ks.cfg storage :) While looking for anyone with similar problem, I came across several nice resources about creating your own distribution based on Red Hat. Distribution Hacking 101 explains in details how to add LTSP project to Red Hat 7.2 CDs; and Red Hat 7 CDs mini-HowTo gives lots of explanations in general. There is something similar at Linuxdoc.org.

Funny day

First of all, my collegue and me were playing with Domain Policies and push installations on Win2k again. Luckily, we can afford full testing environment with simulation domain, etc. It’s nice to know that renaming of default domain policy removes all software SAP Web Application server gave us a strange problem today.

Sending of email worked fine through Exchange SMTP and failed with no verbose errors with exim SMTP. tcpdump showed that ENVID=DIGITAL_BLAH_BLAH_HERE was added to all email addresses. Quick search on Google showed that several people actually have similar problems with some other MTAs. ENVID is used for message status notification, for which Return-Receipt-To is meant actually. No cure for this problem yet.