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”

Automate initial customization – Ubuntu 16.04

This guide is a continuation on Ubuntu 16.04 initial customization tutorial where I explained what I consider are tasks to be made after you installed a minimal Ubuntu on your computer or a virtual machine. I strongly advise to check out that guide as this one is just a brief overview of the actions performed assembled into a bash script which will automate all the work described in mentioned guide.

Prerequisites

I strongly advise you check out my guide about preseeding before you continue with this automate guide.

A bare metal installation of Ubuntu 16.04 is required to automate it’s initial customization. You can set it up by following Ubuntu 16.04 Minimal Install guide on this website. A virtual machine image in VMDK format is also available for download here. If you decide to download and use an image, please read the guidelines on download page to set it up right. Continue reading “Automate initial customization – Ubuntu 16.04”