Ubuntu, Kickstart, preseeding, and Wireless (WLAN)

I have been trying to get an automated network install running. The starting point is a Kickstart (Kickseed) setup that works fine on LAN. Problem is: Computers do not do PXE netbooting from WLAN, and secondly that the debian installer was not configuring the network correctly. But the steps are very simple.

  1. Get mini.iso, basically the same kernel and initrd that the netbooter is running

  2. Put it on a usb drive to boot the computer (laptop) from: sudo dd if=/path/to/mini.iso of=/dev/[usb device] bs=4096

  3. Make sure that your wireless access point is not protected, just make an open one, we call it UBUNTU-INSTALL

  4. Test that you can connect to it and that the repository is working

  5. Now, boot from the USB drive and press TAB to add boot options: ks= ksdevice=wlan0 netcfg/wireless_essid=UBUNTU-INSTALL

  6. In order to add your changes to mini.iso, you need to unpack the whole filesystem and edit txt.cfg which is a file that syslinux is using to display the menu.

Changing mini.iso

Tools like UCK do not work for the mini.iso file because it's not using stuff like Casper. So you need to create a custom boot image the hard way:

$ mkdir iso  
$ sudo mount -o loop -t iso9660 mini.iso iso  
$ cp -R iso custom  
$ sudo chmod 600 custom/txt.cfg  
$ sudo nano custom/txt.cfg  
$ sudo mkisofs -r -V "Custom Ubuntu Netboot image" -cache-inodes -J -l -b isolinux.bin -c boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o custom.iso custom-iso  
$ sudo umount /media/USB-DRIVE # Remember to unmount before writing the usb  
$ sudo dd if=custom.iso of=/dev/[YOU USB DRIVE] bs=4096