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xref:Network_based_Installations.adoc#chap-pxe-server-setup[Setting Up an Installation Server] offers some additional information about preparing for a network-based installation.
When creating or customizing your kickstart file, it is useful to verify that it is valid before attempting to use it in an installation. {PRODUCT} includes the [application]*ksvalidator* command line utility which can be used to do this. This tool is a part of the [package]*pykickstart* package. To install this package, execute the following command:
When creating a Kickstart file, keep in mind the following:
Verifying the Kickstart File
To use Kickstart, you must:
This chapter explains these steps in detail.
The recommended approach to creating Kickstart files is to perform a manual installation on one system first. After the installation completes, all choices made during the installation are saved into a file named `anaconda-ks.cfg`, located in the `/root/` directory on the installed system. You can then copy this file, make any changes you need, and use the resulting configuration file in further installations.
The Kickstart file itself is a plain text file, containing keywords listed in xref:../appendixes/Kickstart_Syntax_Reference.adoc#appe-kickstart-syntax-reference[Kickstart Syntax Reference], which serve as directions for the installation. Any text editor able to save files as ASCII text (such as [application]*Gedit* or [application]*vim* on Linux systems or [application]*Notepad* on Windows systems) can be used to create and edit Kickstart files.
The command section which contains actual Kickstart commands and options as listed in xref:../appendixes/Kickstart_Syntax_Reference.adoc#appe-kickstart-syntax-reference[Kickstart Syntax Reference]. Note that some commands, such as [command]#install#, are mandatory, but most commands are optional.
The [command]#%pre# and [command]#%post# sections, containing a pre-installation and post-installation scripts. These two sections can be in any order and are not mandatory. See xref:../appendixes/Kickstart_Syntax_Reference.adoc#sect-kickstart-preinstall[%pre (optional) - Pre-installation Script] and xref:../appendixes/Kickstart_Syntax_Reference.adoc#sect-kickstart-postinstall[%post (optional) - Post-installation Script] for details.
The [command]#%packages# section which contains a list of packages and package groups to be installed. See xref:../appendixes/Kickstart_Syntax_Reference.adoc#sect-kickstart-packages[%packages (required) - Package Selection] for details.
The [command]#%packages#, [command]#%pre# and [command]#%post# sections must end with [command]#%end#, otherwise the installation program will refuse the Kickstart file. The main command section has no special ending statement.
Start the Kickstart installation by booting the installer and using a boot option to tell the installer where to find the Kickstart file.
Starting the Kickstart Installation
Sections must be specified *in order*. Items within the sections do not have to be in a specific order unless otherwise specified. The correct section order is:
Replace _/path/to/kickstart.ks_ with the path to the Kickstart file you want to verify.
On *removable media*, such as a DVD or USB flash drive connected to the installation system
Once you have everything ready - you have created a valid Kickstart file and you have either local boot media or a PXE server available, you can start the Kickstart installation. You need to use the [option]#inst.ks=# boot option either in the boot menu (when booting from local media), or add this option to your PXE server configuration. For information about boot options used in Kickstart installations, see xref:Boot_Options.adoc#sect-boot-options-kickstart[Kickstart Boot Options].
Once you create a Kickstart file, you can place it in one of the following locations:
On a *network share* reachable from the installation system