Chapter 1. Introduction to Anaconda customization

1.1. Introduction to Anaconda Customization

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora installation program, Anaconda, brings many improvements in its most recent versions. One of these improvements is enhanced customizability. You can now write add-ons to extend the base installer functionality, and change the appearance of the graphical user interface.

This document will explain how to customize the following:

  • Boot menu - pre-configured options, color scheme and background
  • Appearance of the graphical interface - logo, backgrounds, product name
  • Installer functionality - add-ons which can enhance the installer by adding new Kickstart commands and new screens in the graphical and textual user interfaces

Also note that this document applies only to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and Fedora 17 and later.


Procedures described in this book are written for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 or a similar system. On other systems, the tools and applications used (such as genisoimage for creating custom ISO images) may be different, and procedures may need to be adjusted.

1.2. Performing the pre-customization tasks

1.2.1. Working with ISO images

In this section, you will learn how to:

  • Extract a Red Hat ISO.
  • Create a new boot image containing your customizations.

1.2.2. Downloading RH boot images

Before you begin to customize the installer, download the Red Hat-provided boot images. You can obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 boot media from the Red Hat Customer Portal after login to your account.

  • Your account must have sufficient entitlements to download Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 images.
  • You must download either the Binary DVD or Boot ISO image and can use any of the image variants (Server or ComputeNode).
  • You cannot customize the installer using the other available downloads, such as the KVM Guest Image or Supplementary DVD; other available downloads, such as the KVM Guest Image or Supplementary DVD.

For more information about the Binary DVD and Boot ISO downloads, see the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Performing an Advanced RHEL Installation.

1.2.3. Extracting Red Hat Enterprise Linux boot images

Perform the following procedure to extract the contents of a boot image.


  1. Ensure that the directory /mnt/iso exists and nothing is currently mounted there.
  2. Mount the downloaded image.

    # mount -t iso9660 -o loop path/to/image.iso /mnt/iso

    Where path/to/image.iso is the path to the downloaded boot image.

  3. Create a working directory where you want to place the contents of the ISO image.

    $ mkdir /tmp/ISO
  4. Copy all contents of the mounted image to your new working directory. Make sure to use the -p option to preserve file and directory permissions and ownership.

    # cp -pRf /mnt/iso /tmp/ISO
  5. Unmount the image.

    # umount /mnt/iso

Additional resources