new requirement for Automatic Installation

Bug #1803667 reported by vmware-gos-Yuhua on 2018-11-16

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This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
base-installer (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Some linux distributions(such as SLES and redhat) support to scan the other CD/DVD with OEMDRV label to get the answers file automatically for automatic installation and there is no need to change offical ISO.

But for ubuntu, it's much more complicated and it's different to customize different types of ISOs(ubuntu 18.04-desktop.iso ubuntu 18.04-server.iso, ubuntu 18.04-live-server.iso).

Would ubuntu have any plan to support this way to install OS automatically like SLES/redhat ?


Best regards
Yuhua Zou

vmware-gos-Yuhua (yhzou) on 2018-11-16
affects: open-vm-tools (Ubuntu) → base-installer (Ubuntu)
summary: - new requirment for Automatic Installation
+ new requirement for Automatic Installation
vmware-gos-Yuhua (yhzou) on 2018-11-16
description: updated

Hi Yuhua,
I think we need understand more what the actual request is about.
In general we are open to improve the installation paths and do so often, but in this case it is yet unclear what you actually request.

I'll start with a few questions that come to my mind (surely incomplete) and subscribe a few people that deal with install/deployment more often to get the discussion started.
Please help us sorting out what this is about exactly to then finally allow us to give you an answer if we are interested to do so.

1. what format the answers you read from the disk? Is it a file, if so what does it contain, examples if possible?
2. Actually - is it you "vmware software" that reads these files from this disk to then do something with it? Or is it the "Distribution boot/installer" that reads this file to auto-configure and deploy?
3. What do you mean with "the other CD/DVD with OEMDRV label"?
   Is that a real Disk/ISO or just a small virtual disk that holds configuration for the
   (Sounds like cloud-init user data, but could as well be something totally else ?!?)
4. What are the different types you refer to for desktop/server/live-server today (I assume preseeds and such)?
5. can you list examples or if possible the full spec of values that you want to define through those mechanisms?

If we could clarify most of that before the call in ~two weeks from now we could try bringing the right people together there.

Changed in base-installer (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
vmware-gos-Yuhua (yhzou) wrote :

Right now if i need unattended install, I need to customize the official iso
1.take install guestOS with ubuntu-18.10-desktop-amd64.iso as a example:
  if I need unattended installation with ubuntu-18.10-desktop-amd64.iso, I need to uncompress the
  iso, modify boot parameter in file boot/grub/grub.cfg and modify file preseed/ubuntu.preseed,
  and then make a new iso.

2.take install guestOS with ubuntu-18.10-live-server-amd64.iso as a example:
  if I need unattended installation with ubuntu-18.10-live-server-amd64.iso,
  I take the following step:
  1)download the example file of answers.yaml at here

  2) unsquash the file casper/filesystem.squashfs in the ubuntu-18.10-live-server-amd64.iso,
     and get the folder " squashfs-root", then mkdir subiquity_config in the folder of

  3) copy the answers.yaml into the squashfs-root/subiquity_config/

  4) repacking the folder squashfs-root into filesystem.squashfs by using mksquashfs command,
     and repacking the ubuntu-18.10-live-server-amd64.iso by using genisoimage command to
     make iso.

Expect for unattended install:
  1) don't do any change to official iso. when start to install OS, the installer can support to
scan the other CD/DVD to get the config file for unattended install.

Expected steps:
  1) mount official iso(such as ubuntu-18.10-desktop-amd64.iso) to CD/DVD
  2) mount another iso which only include config file for unattended install to another CD/DVD.
  3) power on and the installer start to run
  4) the installer can scan the others CD/DVD and get the config file. It will install OS and config OS automatically without any input.


best regards
Yuhua Zou

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