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Manually Create A Network Installation Source For SUSE Linux Enterprise Server SP1

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Aaron Gresko

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Posted: 11 Jul 2005
 

YAST has a great module for creating network installation sources. From time to time, users ask how to manually create an installation source. Additionally, users often ask how to integrate a support pack into an installation source.

To create an installation source for SLES 9 that is available through http and includes SP1, complete the following:

  • Create The SLES 9 Installation Source
  • Add Support Pack 1 To The Installation Source
  • Make the SLES 9 installation Source Available Through http
  • Test The Installation Source
*Note* The example presented herein will create an installation source for SLES9-SP1 in the folder /installroot, make that installation source available via http, and perform an installation using the source.

Create the SLES 9 Install Source

Just for the sake of learning, the initial installation source creation will create just the base SLES 9 installation source. The next section will cover integrating the support pack into the installation source. By breaking out the steps on integrating the support pack, the user will be better prepared when future support packs ship.

To create the base SLES 9 installation source in /installroot, complete the following:
  1. Gather the SLES 9 product CDs. ISO images can be substituted for the physical CDs by using the mount -o loop command. For example, to make the first SLES 9 CD iso available at /mnt/SLES9CD1, enter mount -o loop /path_to_iso/SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD1.iso /mnt/SLES9CD1. The contents of the iso can then be copied to the installation source.
  2. Prepare the file system that will host the installation source. The complete source, including SP1, requires about 5 GB of space. Make sure adequate space is available to hold both the installation source and any future support packs.
  3. Create a directory to hold installation sources on the system. To do so, open a terminal and su to root. Enter mkdir /installroot to create the directory.
  4. Create a directory to hold the SLES9 installation source by entering mkdir /installroot/SLES9.
  5. Make the SLES9 directory the present working directory by entering cd /installroot/SLES9.
  6. Create the following directories in the /installroot/SLES9 directory using the mkdir -p command (e.g. mkdir -p sles9/CD1):
    • sles9/CD1
    • core9/CD1
    • core9/CD2
    • core9/CD3
    • core9/CD4
    • core9/CD5
  7. Copy the contents of the SLES 9 CDs to their appropriate directory. Make sure to copy the entire CD. For example, when using the command prompt enter cp -r /media/cdrom/* /installroot/SLES9/sles9/CD1 to copy the SLES9 CD 1 to its directory. Use the list below for help on matching the CD to its directory.
    • sles9/CD1---use SLES 9 CD 1
    • core9/CD1---use SLES 9 CD 2
    • core9/CD2---use SLES 9 CD 3
    • core9/CD3---use SLES 9 CD 4
    • core9/CD4---use SLES 9 CD 5
    • core9/CD5---use SLES 9 CD 6

    *Note* - Since CDs four, five, and six contain source packages, they don't necessarily need to be included in the installation source. The required CDs will be determined by what packages are installed.

  8. Make /installroot/SLES9 the present working directory by entering cd /installroot/SLES9.
  9. Create links to the necessary boot files by entering the following:
    • ln -s sles9/CD1/boot boot
    • ln -s sles9/CD1/content content
    • ln -s sles9/CD1/control.xml control.xml
    • ln -s sles9/CD1/media.1 media.1
  10. Make the directory /installroot/SLES9/yast by entering mkdir yast.
  11. Create a file named instorder in the yast directory by entering touch yast/instorder. Use a text editor to give instorder the contents shown in the image below.



  12. Create a file named order in the yast directory by entering touch yast/order. Use a text editor to give order the contents shown in the image below. The entries on each line are separated by a tab.




The final directory structure is represented in the image below:



Add Support Pack 1 To The Install Source

To add a support pack to the installation source, complete the following (this example uses SLES 9 SP1):
  1. Create a directory to hold the support pack CD media by entering mkdir /installroot/SLES9/sles9sp1.
  2. Create directories to hold each CD inside of /installroot/SLES9/sles9sp1 by entering mkdir /installroot/SLES9/sles9sp1/CD1. Repeat the command for CDs two and three.
  3. Copy the contents of each support pack CD to its corresponding folder.

    *Note* - When copying CD 1 of the support pack, check the size of the CD contents on the destination folder after the CD is copied. Using cp -r can result in linked files being copied twice---resulting in CD 1 occupying more space than necessary. If CD 1 is taking up too much space, try copying using cp -a instead.
  4. Make /installroot/SLES9 the present working directory by entering cd /installroot/SLES9.
  5. Create the necessary file links as follows:
    • ln -s sles9sp1/CD1/driverupdate driverupdate
    • ln -s sles9sp1/CD1/linux linux
  6. Open /installroot/SLES9/yast/instorder and insert /sles9sp1/CD1 at the top of the file.
  7. Open /installroot/SLES9/yast/order and insert /sles9sp1/CD1 /sles9sp1/CD1 at the top of the file. Make sure to place a tab between the two /sles9sp1/CD1 instances.

Make The SLES 9 Installation Source Available Through http

An installation source can be accessed through a number of available protocols including nfs, ftp, http, and Samba. The example presented here makes the installation source available via http with Apache.

Setting up the http server to deliver the installation source can be done with YAST and the Misc. > Installation Server module. The configuration will be done here manually just for learning.

To make the installation source available via http and Apache, complete the following:
  1. Open a terminal and su to root.
  2. Change to the Apache configuration directory by entering cd /etc/apache2/conf.d.
  3. Create a file for the installation server by entering touch inst_server.conf.
  4. Add the text shown in the image below to the inst_server.conf file.



  5. Restart Apache by entering rcapache2 restart.
  6. Test if the installation source is available by opening a browser and entering the url http://ip_address_of_server/install/SLES9/control.xml. If text is diplayed or you're prompted to save the xml file, the installation server is working. If a file not found message appears, the server is not working.

Test The Installation Source

The final step is to test the installation server by installing a test system from it. To do so, complete the following:

  1. Boot the test system with the SLES9 SP1 cd.
  2. Highlight Installation in the boot menu.
  3. In the boot options field, enter install=http://ip_address_of_server/install/SLES9.
  4. If needed change other options for the installation---such as the resolution.
  5. Select Installation to begin the installation.

Follow through the installation as normal. The first crucial test for the installation source is the software proposal. YAST should show a default software selection. If YAST indicates no proposal under the Software heading, the installation source is incomplete.

The second crucial test for the installation source is the file copy. YAST should not ask for any CD media. All files should be found on the installation source---including the support pack files.


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