AVDF installation ISO

Due to some problems during the installation of Oracle Audit Vault and Database Firewall 12.1.2 (see AVDF installation fails on HP server with Smart Array Disk Controller), I’ve looked at the AVDF ISO image and its kickstart setup.

AVDF 12.1.2 is based on Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.9. To setup or upgrade AVDF it is required to boot the system from the AVDF ISO. The menu from the ISOLINUX bootloader allows simple selection of installation, upgrade, or memory test.
AVDF_12.1.2.0.0_setup01
As you can see in the picture, it is also possible to specify the boot options directly in the prompt.
The boot loader menu itself is configured in the isolinux.cfg file. Looking at the file reveals how an installation respectively an upgrade will be started. Both use their own kickstart file.

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default memtest86

prompt 1
display boot.msg

F1 boot.msg

label install
kernel vmlinuz
append noipv6 initrd=initrd.img ramdisk_size=8192 ks=file:/kickstart/kickstart.cfg noshell

label upgrade
kernel vmlinuz
append noipv6 initrd=initrd.img ramdisk_size=8192 ks=file:/kickstart/update.cfg noshell

label memtest86
kernel memtest
append -

A special note, Oracle has switched off the shell on console 2 (alt-F2) with noshell. If you want to use console 2 during the installation, you have to enter the boot options directly on the prompt. But enabling the shell on console 2 leaves the system vulnerable to root access. It should not be left unattended when such a shell exists. An example can be seen in the picture above.

The kickstart file is part of the initrd.img which is used during the boot process. But this image needs first to be unpacked. The image is some kind of a gzipped cpio archive.

Rename and unpack the image:

mv initrd.img initrd.gz
gunzip initrd.gz

So extract the files from initrd using cpio:

mkdir initrd_work
cd initrd_work
cpio -id < ../initrd
31570 blocks

Now we can see the content of the initrd.img file and in particular the kickstart files.

ls
bin etc kickstart proc selinux tmp
dev init modules sbin sys var

References

Further information on this topic.