Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

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Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby Alocer on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:39 pm

Greetings!
We have recently been interested in testing out new distros at work, and would like to test out Mint14 to see if it would suit our needs.
However, I've been trying to automate the install, as we currently have on our Fedora workstations, but to no avail.
At the moment, I can boot over PXE into a live session, with desktop and all, but it seems it does not retrieve my kickstart file, nor does it even start an installation on its own. I would always have to manually click on the Install icon.
I've followed all the documentation I can find on Mint and Ubuntu forums, but nothing works.

I've seen some older threads (2009-2011) where people mentioned it was not possible to do so with Mint yet, and was wondering if any of this still holds true?
Not having automated installs is not an option for us, and we'd love to be able to implement Mint on our workstations.

Thanks for any input you can give me!
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby xenopeek on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:38 pm

I'm not familiar with PXE boot, but wouldn't making an image of one completed installation and then reusing that image on any other computer (from DVD or USB stick) be easy enough? Perhaps have a look at CloneZilla for that, it also supports PXE boot.

You might want to use the OEM version of Linux Mint, as that will let you prepare a computer for a new user and upon first boot after completing the OEM installation the user will be prompted for giving his details and set up his account. For an older release of Linux Mint the steps for that are here: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/747. Most recent OEM version of Linux Mint is announced here: http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2252. You can find others here: http://www.linuxmint.com/oldreleases.php.
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby Alocer on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:49 pm

Thank you for the quick reply!
However, we cannot use CloneZilla, as we have different needs than just a copy of a "prototype" machine distributed over the network. But it's a great idea nevertheless, we might make use of it at a later date!
As for the OEM, we won't really need it as our users already possess their account on the domain with all their personal files and information.

Again, thank you for the input, but I fear I will have to either continue to wrestle against this issue, or switch over to another distro, which is a shame.
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby Alocer on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:17 pm

If anyone else has any information on the subject, don't hesitate to post!
I'm still trying to get it to work!
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby jungle_boy on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:33 pm

We, at least me, are ordinary users, you need information from an Computer Technology Linux Administrator, a high level of knowledge.
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby vikingtowel on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:19 pm

Yes it is sort of possible.

The problem I have discovered is because of the login manager MDM. At first I couldn't understand why using preseed used to work in earlier versions of Mint and then all of a sudden it broke. Going to MDM was the change that broke it.

My solution involves creating a custom ISO using a tweaked version of the Ubuntu Customisation Kit where you install LightDM and do some configuration changes to make it all look Minty and then you install this ISO and all is well.

If you're interested in exploring this further let me know and I'll show you how I did it. I'd be keen to know how you get the PXE and kickstart stuff working. :)
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby usbtux on Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:29 am

Easy enough to remaster a iso if you want 14 and using a speedy pc to master the proces.
There is a doc see post viewtopic.php?f=46&t=122642&p=673407&hilit=remaster#p673407 . Makes it easy to start (although I cant get it to work with backports active - kills cinnamon stone dead)

A standard remaster and with the addition of a "Booster Post installation script generator" output *.sh , shorten the names of some deb files and a few concatenations of some command line inputs you can make a remaster in 30 mins. BTW I don't bother with LightDM just the standard.
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby Alocer on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:16 pm

Thanks a lot for the information!
At least now I know that simply "out of the box" I can't do what I've been trying to do.
I might take you up on your offer vikingtowel, although most likely not now, since we've moved on to something else for the moment.
Although I'm pretty interested in seeing how you did do it!
I might get in touch with you via PM if I ever get enough time to play around with it.

Thank you!
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Re: Mint 14: Possible to automate the installation?

Postby vikingtowel on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:19 pm

No problem, just get in touch at any point if you want to.
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