Preseed – automating Debian based installations

Any of you out there who at least once installed a piece of software on one of many available Debian based distributions encountered a situation where installer asks you a question which requires an answer needed to complete the installation. That may be a username, password, IP address and so on. With one installation, it’s not a problem to manually input answers, but imagine you have 100 or more machines which require installation of same package an you have to manually input answers for each one. It’s a terrible waste of time, and it can be avoided with preseed.

Prerequisites

Other than Debian, preseed can be used with any Debian based distribution out there, like Ubuntu, Mint, Elementary OS etc.

Preseed concept saves time! And time saving is something what every good system administrator values most. With that in mind, I will try to make this guide as short as possible. As stated above, lets imagine we have a few machines where we need to install same software packages. To generate a preseed file, we will use our first machine, and for that we will need a debconf-utils package. Once file is generated, we will use it as an answer input on all other machines. Continue reading “Preseed – automating Debian based installations”