Originally posted by zatanu
This seems pretty bad for a "Enterprise" distribution and for $350 each year !!! Specially the fact that if you try to uninstall the package using <redhat-config-packages> you can't because it can't find some rpms.
Don't even get me started on the overall quality of their administration tools and documentation at the moment! Just don't! Even if you use kickstart, you can still land in trouble. Whenever you install a machine, a sample kickstart file is generated. You would _assume_ that this file would work to kickstart the machine at some later point, but in RHEL AS updates 2 and 3, you'd be wrong.
In version 2, if you enabled the firewall during installation, the kickstart file would try to enable it during automated installations and just cause a python exception and die. Yet this worked for update 1 and release.
And that's what _REALLY_ gets my goat. This is a _very_ expensive product, yet when it dies, you don't get a helpful error that points you at where the problem is. Most of the time you just get a python traceback to examine and work out for yourself. That's when you find out that actually, a previous step failed to write a file, the process continued anyway, and this step tries to chmod the file (that wasn't created) without checking that it exists first - crash - read another traceback. I'm paying to debug someone else's software!
I understand that is preferable to use kickstart when you need to build more than a server, but the default installation method should work anyway.
The worst thing is that it doesn't warn you about the packages that is going to install on top. You have to manually query for the unnecessary packages and uninstall them. This means a lot of time lost and possible security holes, since you can't control what is installed.
Could it be another way to make a clean/controlled installation using the default installation method?
About the best solution I can offer if you're looking for similar installations every time is to do almost what you'd do for the kickstart, but have it as a script that you run straight after installing machines.
Go through the machine and rpm -e every rpm that you don't want. Work out what the dependencies are and add those to the list. Once you've found all of the packages that you want to remove, setup up a script that removes them all in one rpm -e statement.
Store that script on a web / nfs / ssh server on your network, and then pull it down to each new server and run it.
If you really want to be creative, you could package this as an rpm and have it execute itself as the post section of the RPM. Then all you'd need to do would be to store this on a server and do
rpm -Uvh http://yourserver/yourrpmremovingpackage.rpm