Configuring the system


Remember to prepend each filename with where you mounted your target system, such as /mnt/root.

Filesystem table (/etc/fstab)

fstab, the filesystem table, lists the filesystems to be mounted at boot time.

The most sane way to list filesystems is by UUID. Run blkid to get a list of block devices and the type of filesystem they have on them. The output will look similar to this:

/dev/sda2: UUID="fc5e44f4-84c1-4304-9a48-2ad1a7eadba7" TYPE="swap"
/dev/sda1: UUID="c843b959-6fbd-499c-8167-6171192f10f1" TYPE="ext4"
/dev/sda3: UUID="7946c131-b7e9-4fba-922f-de99e460542f" TYPE="ext4"

Given output like the above, write this to /mnt/root/etc/fstab:

UUID=c843b959-6fbd-499c-8167-6171192f10f1       /boot   ext4    defaults        1 1
UUID=fc5e44f4-84c1-4304-9a48-2ad1a7eadba7       swap    swap    defaults        1 2
UUID=7946c131-b7e9-4fba-922f-de99e460542f       /       ext4    defaults        0 0

If your distribution’s init daemon is not systemd (any distribution that is not Fedora 15 or later), you will need to add these lines to /mnt/root/etc/fstab:

tmpfs           /dev/shm        tmpfs   defaults        0 0
devpts          /dev/pts        devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
sysfs           /sys            sysfs   defaults        0 0
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0 0

For more information, see the fstab(5) man page.

RAID configuration (/etc/mdadm.conf)

If you are using RAID, you will need to write /mnt/root/etc/mdadm.conf.

Here is a general-purpose mdadm.conf written by some releases of Anaconda:

AUTO +imsm +1.x -all

For more information, see the mdadm.conf(5) man page.

LVM configuration (/etc/lvm/lvm.conf)

If you are using LVM, you will need to write /mnt/root/etc/lvm/lvm.conf.

For more information, see the lvm.conf(5) man page.

Timezone configuration (/etc/localtime)

To set the system timezone, copy a zoneinfo file from /usr/share/zoneinfo to /etc/localtime. For example, someone in the US/Central timezone would run:

cp /mnt/root/usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Central /mnt/root/etc/localtime

Copy standard files to the root home directory

/etc/skel contains standard files to be placed in home directories for users that are able to log in. Because the root user is not created with the useradd command, these files are not placed in root’s home directory.

To do so, run:

rsync -avp /mnt/root/etc/skel/ /mnt/root/root/

For more information on /etc/skel, see

Set the root password


If the root password is not set, you will not be able to log in to the target system.

  1. Enter a chroot under /mnt/root:

    chroot /mnt/root
  2. Run passwd:

    passwd root
  3. Set the root password. You will be asked to confirm it after typing it once to make sure you didn’t make any mistakes in typing it.

  4. Exit the chroot by typing exit or pressing Control-D.

Install the kernel package

After the above is complete, install the kernel package:

yum --installroot=/mnt/root install -y kernel