Possible to host CentOS netinstall files on a local HTTP/FTP?

garlicman asked:

I’m running XenServer on an Dell R610 and am running into a catch-22. During install from DVD, CentOS can’t find the DVD package catalogue. It’s a reported error for some, XenServer + CentOS6 + DVD install in some hardware configurations = failed install. Yes, I checked the MD5 and let the disc test pass. In every reported case, the netinstall was the solution.

The issue is my net access is required to go through a web proxy that prompts before you can download a file. This naturally breaks any download automation. I’ve been waiting on our IT to put in an exception rule to allow my lab to bypass the prompt, but it’s been over 3 weeks now and they don’t seem responsive. (I’ve been working on this a day or two a week)

I want to try and host the netinstall files local in my Xen network. Right now I only have a bunch of Windows based VMs, CentOS won’t install so I don’t have any Linux tools.

I had tried simply hosting all the DVD contents off one of the Windows servers using Mongoose. (I didn’t want to setup IIS) I copied them to a hosted sub-directory similar to all the mirrors out there (e.g. http:///centos/6.2/os/i386/) with no auth or anything. Then in the netinstall I correctly pointed to it.

I now realize just copying the DVD files over won’t work. The repodata will point to a local device, not the site I’m hosting. (e.g. the DVD repodata includes xml that points to where the packages are) Clearly I’m hosting them over HTTP, not from a DVD.

Is there an easy way to sort this out? I’m just trying to install CentOS6 on Xen. If there’s a turnkey downloadable Xen image with CentOS 6.2 on it, or a downloadable repo image, I’ll take that too!

Thank you in advance!

My answer:

The CentOS Wiki has a lengthy explanation of how to set up a local mirror. In short, you start with a copy of the DVD and then fill in the gaps using rsync against another mirror.

View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

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