In Oracle Solaris 11
by Ginny Henningsen
Published June 2012
To help system administrators get up to speed quickly using the Automated Installer (AI) in Oracle Solaris 11, we collected a summary of commonly used IPS commands in the Installation and Deployment Cheat Sheet for Oracle Solaris 11. This article expands on that cheat sheet by reviewing basic concepts of the Automated Installer and showing you how to perform basic operations with those commands.
To reduce the overhead of deploying Oracle Solaris-based systems and software, Oracle engineers redesigned automated installation in the Oracle Solaris 11 release. Oracle Solaris 11 introduces a new network-based Automated Installer (AI) that resolves software package dependencies, provides greater provisioning flexibility, and performs hands-free installations on SPARC and x86 systems. This article describes how to perform its basic operations:
AI leverages software package repositories on the network to install multiple network client types. The AI installation process consists of these basic administrative steps:
Prerequisites for AI installations:
pkg list installadmconfirms whether installation tools are already installed.)
Figure 1 is a simplified view of the AI boot process. When the client boots over the network, it gets its network configuration and the location of the install server from the DHCP server. The install server provides an AI boot image to the client. When the client boots, the install service looks for a manifest or script that matches the client's criteria. (A derived manifest script, or simply a "script," can query a running AI client and build a custom manifest based on the answers.) When a matching manifest or script is found, the client is installed according to those specifications. If no match is found, a default manifest or script is used.
Figure 1. The AI Process
System configuration profiles provide the ability to fine-tune systems during hands-free installations. The profiles complement manifests and typically contain specifications for postinstallation (configuring system variables such as username, user password, time zone, host name, and IP address). System configuration profiles are processed by the Oracle Solaris Service Management Facility (SMF) after OS package installation when the client first boots.
For details on setting up an installation service, see the OTN article "How to Set Up Automated Installation Services for Oracle Solaris 11" (also written by Isaac Rozenfeld) and Installing Oracle Solaris 11 Systems from the Oracle Solaris documentation set.
installadm command creates, lists, and configures installation services, including the definition of client-matching criteria. The
create-service subcommand is used to define an installation service. The following sample command creates a service using a downloaded ISO file, specifying x86-based DHCP clients that start at address 192.168.1.210 and a total count of 10 addresses.
# installadm create-service -n s11x86 -i 192.168.1.210 -c 10 \ -s /path/to/solaris-11-1111-ai-x86.iso
listsubcommand lists defined installation services, for example:
$ installadm list Service Name Alias Of Status Arch Image Path ------------ -------- ------ ---- ---------- default-i386 sol-11-i386-svc on x86 /export/images/soli386 default-sparc sol-11-sparc-svc on Sparc /export/images/solsparc sol-11-i386-svc - on x86 /export/images/soli386 sol-11-sparc-svc - on Sparc /export/images/solsparc
-m option, the
list subcommand displays available AI manifests for each service:
# installadm list -m -n my-service Manifest Status Criteria -------- ------ -------- manifest2 arch = i86pc mem = 4096 MB - unbounded sparc_setup arch = sun4v new_default Default (Ignored: mem = 2048 MB - 4095 MB) orig_default Inactive None
In the above example, four manifests are defined for the installation service
manifest2) with architecture and memory-related criteria
sparc_setup) with architecture criteria
new_default) with criteria that are ignored
orig_default) that is marked inactive because it has no criteria
AI manifests are stored in XML and easily customized. The first command below exports the default installation manifest associated with the
s11x86 service. After you edit the exported manifest file, use the
update-manifest subcommand to update the manifest associated with the service:
# installadm export -n s11x86 -m orig_default > manifest.xml
# installadm update-manifest -n s11x86 -m orig_default -f manifest.xml
An AI manifest can specify configuration information for creating zones using the following XML syntax to specify a zone configuration file:
<configuration type="zone" name="zone1" source="http://xyz/zone1/config.txt" />
Alternatively, a local file can be specified this way:
<configuration type="zone" name="zone1" source="file:///net/server/zone2/config.txt" />
create-manifest subcommand allows you to specify criteria (for example, architecture, memory size, MAC address, and so on) that determine which manifest or script should be selected for an installation client. Manifests can include information such as a target device, partition information, a software package list, and other parameters.
create-manifest example adds the manifest
/export/mf.xml to the service
svc1. The service
svc1 will then be used to install clients that match the criterion of a MAC address equaling aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff.
# installadm create-manifest -f /export/mf.xml -n svc1 \ -c MAC="aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff"
The following example creates a manifest called
s11 that will be applied for installing zone1 or zone2:
# installadm create-manifest -n s11 -f /tmp/zmanifest.xml \ -c zonename="zone1 zone2"
installadm list -p option displays system configuration profiles that are available on the install server:
# installadm list -p Service Name Profile ------------ ------- sparc2 myprofile.xml myprofile2.xml svc0817 profile3 svc0819 profile4.xml newprofile foo.xml
create-profile subcommand defines system configuration profiles. The following example constructs a profile called
s11 that will be applied during the installation of zone1.
# installadm create-profile -n s11 -f /tmp/zprofile1.xml \ -c zonename="zone1"
You can interactively create a system configuration profile and save it for subsequent installations:
# sysconfig create-profile -o sc-profile.xml
Use the following command to validate a system configuration profile against the default x86 installation service. Validation is an especially good idea if you have modified a system configuration profile.
# installadm validate -n default-i386 -P profile.xml
If the client can successfully boot and download installation files, you'll see a message like this:
Automated Installation started The progress of the Automated Installation will be output to the console Detailed logging is in the logfile at /system/volatile/install_log Press RETURN to get a login prompt at any time.
To monitor progress, log in to the client as
root with the password
solaris, bearing in mind that there might be a delay in log updates once IPS package installation begins.
If a client installation fails, there are a number of log files to inspect. First, check the client's installation log file,
/system/volatile/install_log, for messages. The AI manifest used for the client is in
manifest.xml, in the case of a derived manifest script).
System configuration profiles are in
/system/volatile/profile/*. Additional log files are tracked on the AI server in the
Debugging flags can also be activated on client systems. For SPARC clients, use the Open Boot Prom (OBP)
install_debug boot argument:
ok> boot net:dhcp - install install_debug
On x86 client systems that use GRUB, add
install_debug=enable to the kernel line boot entry.
Oracle provides the
js2ai utility to help convert Oracle Solaris 10 JumpStart rules, profile, and
sysidcfg files to a format compatible with Oracle Solaris 11 Automated Installer. The utility makes a best effort to translate JumpStart keywords, producing XML syntax for AI manifest and system configuration profiles that you can further customize. The tool attempts to map the following:
sysidcfgfiles to system configuration profiles
The following command converts an entire JumpStart directory under
/export/jumpstart, translating the
sysidcfg file into a system configuration profile and generating AI manifests for the rules and each associated profile:
# js2ai -r -d /export/jumpstart
See the Transitioning From Oracle Solaris 10 JumpStart to Oracle Solaris 11 Automated Installer manual and the
js2ai(1M) man page.
A boot environment (BE) is an individual bootable instance of the Oracle Solaris 11 operating system. It's always a good practice to create a BE before updating a system. If anything goes wrong with the update, you can roll back to the prior BE. Here is an example of creating a BE named
# beadm create solaris-05032012
If necessary, it can be activated as the active BE at the next reboot:
# beadm activate solaris-05032012
Here are some additional resources:
Ginny Henningsen has worked for the last 15 years as a freelance writer developing technical collateral and documentation for high-tech companies. Prior to that, Ginny worked for Sun Microsystems, Inc. as a Systems Engineer in King of Prussia, PA and Milwaukee, WI. Ginny has a BA from Carnegie-Mellon University and a MSCS from Villanova University.
|Revision 1.0, 06/15/2012|