Building a custom Linux installation
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PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS IS NOT A FULL ASSIGNMENT. THIS REPRESENT HALF (50%) OF A FULL ASSIGNMENT, WITH DELIVERABLES OF LEARNING OUTCOMES (LO) 1 AND 2.
PLEASE DO NOT ASK THE PRICE FOR A FULL ASSIGNMENT, BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE CASE, IT’S JUST 50%. THE REST OF 50% (WITH LO3 AND LO4) WILL BE ON SECOND SEMESTER.
Assessment Type (and weighting)
Building a custom Linux installation
Assessment Submission Date
5 December 2020 at 4:00 pm
Learning Outcomes Assessed:
LO1: Analyse operational requirements in order to securely deploy, configure, and maintain server services based upon stakeholder requirements.
LO2: Compare and contrast heterogeneous and homogeneous operating system deployments
For this assessment, you will be given a specific set of requirements to implement a custom Linux system. For example you may be asked to build a deployable server to run an e-commerce server. You will analyse the requirements and propose a Linux implementation to meet the needs of the application. You should be looking to deliver optimum performance for the scenario. Your final system will need to be customised in terms of:
Packages installed and running
Kernel options included
Run level or operating mode
Custom scripts to automate administration functions
Security and firewall settings
To be able to reliably build and implement your solution on a new Linux instance you should provide:
Kickstart configuration files to install the specific packages needed for your solutions
A shell script containing any post-install customisation settings needed for your system (such as SELinux settings or configuration files) [Ideally this is done in the %post section of your anaconda ks file]
Instructions for any customisation that cannot be automated
Documentation to discuss the choices you have made for the system justifying the packages and features you have implemented and those you left out
Specific Assessment Criteria:
This assessment will be marked according to the standard HE5 assessment criteria detailed in section 16 of the module handbook. From those headings, Relevance, Knowledge and Argument/Analysis will each be worth 20% of the marks, Structure, Presentation, Written English and Research/Referencing will be worth 10% each.
You are required to setup a deployment service to allow new instances of Centos 8 linux to be installed over the network using the kickstart system. There are three specific target installations you will need to prepare a kickstart configuration file for:
Centos MinimalA basic installation of Centos without a graphical user interface. Only the default packages for a base install need to be present
Centos Desktop GraphicalBuild a version of Centos which installs a graphical user interface such as Xfce. You should not use Gnome. This platform should include appropriate packages to be compatible with Windows Server including Windows shared network drives. You should also install appropriate desktop productivity software.
Moodle ServerA server-based Centos system with built-in support for the Moodle VLE platform. Web server and database packages can be pre-installed using kickstart but you will need to script the installation of Moodle. Final setup must be documented in your report. Your Moodle server will need some setup and security steps such as firewall settings performing at part of the setup. This third server tests your scripting ingenuity – ultimately some interactive steps may not be possible. If you cannot get a necessary step to complete in the install you should document the additional tasks that need to be performed.
These kickstart configurations are intended to be used for unattended installs. The test interface would be preferable and steps like accepting licence agreements should be automated.
When you are building your systems you can either use a downloaded iso image or one of the versions available from
note that there are several folders in this location. The installation directory for Centos workstation is:
Use the TFTP boot method we used in class with VirtualBox for your test environment.
Testing KS Server
A test kickstart server is provided at http://sec5104.uobcomputing.com where you can upload test config files and link to them in your pxelinux.cfg/default menu. You can login to this server using your regular login and your student number as your password. If you don’t have an account Adam can create one for you. Do not share your account.
You need to deliver four configuration files for this assessment:
3 kickstart config files, one for each defined system
Your PXE linux config file ~/.config/VirtualBox/TFTP/pxelinux.cfg/default containing the PXE boot menu
Bundle these four files as a zip file and upload them using the link provided on Moodle labelled “Configuration Files”. You can also include a README file in your zip if you feel there is any information you need to include so that your setup can be tested.
Secondly write a short report to explain:
The changes you made to the kickstart file for each system
The reason for your changes
Discussion of the process of integrating Windows and Linux systems and whether this is preferable to just using one or the other
Any appropriate sources or references you used in each case
Upload this using the turn-it-in link on Moodle labelled “assignment 1 report”.
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