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Manually Create A Network Installation Source For NLPOS9-SP2 & SLES9-SP3

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Axel Schmidt

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Posted: 5 Apr 2006
 

This article is also available as a PDF.

INTRODUCTION

Novell Linux Point of Service includes NLD, SLES and NLPOS CDs and the corresponding Service Pack CDs. To speed up the installation of NLPOS and/or SLES one will discover that it is always a good idea to have an installation server available, even when the installation media is only available as ISO images.

To create an installation source for NLPOS9 that is available through http and includes SSP2, complete the following:

  • Copy ISO images to your server
  • Make ISO images available as installation source
  • Prepare Apache /installroot and configuration
  • Create the NLPOS9 installation source (stream)
  • Add NLPOS9 Support Pack 2 to the installation source
  • Add SLES9 Support Pack 3 to the installation source
  • Make the NLPOS9 installation source available through http
  • Optional: Create the SLES9 installation source (stream)
  • Test the installation source

The following example setting up an installation server can be easily adapted for further Novell Linux products like Open Enterprise Server (OES), Novell Linux Desktop (NLD), etc. The basic tasks is providing the installation media and the installation source on your installation server.

GETTING STARTED

Novell Linux Point of Service 9 SSP2 based on SLES9 SP3 includes the following files:

The NLPOS9 FCS ISOs:

  • SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD1.iso
  • SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD2.iso
  • SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD3.iso
  • SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD4.iso

The NLPOS9 SSP2 ISO:

  • SLES-9-SP-2-NLPOS-9-SSP-2.iso (not bootable!)

The SLES9 FCS ISOs:

  • SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD1.iso
  • SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD2.iso
  • SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD3.iso
  • SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD4.iso
  • SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD5.iso
  • SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD6.iso

The SLES9 SP3 ISOs:

  • SLES-9-SP-3-i386-RC4-CD1.iso
  • SLES-9-SP-3-i386-RC4-CD2.iso
  • SLES-9-SP-3-i386-RC4-CD3.iso

The NLD9 FCS ISOs:

  • NLD9-i386-CD1.iso
  • NLD9-i386-CD2.iso
  • NLD9-i386-CD3.iso

The NLD9 SP2 ISOs:

  • NLD9-i386-SP2-CD1.iso
  • NLD9-i386-SP2-CD2.iso
  • NLD9-i386-SP2-CD3.iso

COPY ISO IMAGES TO YOUR SERVER

Here in the example /opt/SLES/POS/iso is used as destination directory. Note for installing NLPOS9 Admin and Branch Server or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the NLD9 CDs are not needed. To create the NLPOS9 & SLES9 ISO file location, complete the following:

  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/iso/NLPOS9
  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/iso/SLES9
  • copy NLPOS9 ISO images to /opt/SLES/POS/iso/NLPOS9
  • copy SLES9 ISO images to /opt/SLES/POS/iso/SLES9

MAKE ISO IMAGES AVAILABLE AS INSTALLATION SOURCE

ISO images can be substituted for the physical CDs by using the mount -o loop command. The mount points are created below /opt/SLES/POS/dist for later usage as NLPOS Image Building Server. The directory naming convention is based on the structure the poscdtool.pl expects for creating the NLPOS Distribution.xml configuration file. Don't get confused that ~/SLES9/FCS/CD1 is linked to SLES9 CD2 and so on, which correpond to the SUSE core9 CD1. To create the base NLPOS9 & SLES9 installation source in /opt/SLES/POS/dist, complete the following:

  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/dist/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1
  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/dist/SLES9/FCS/{CD1,CD2,CD3}
  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/dist/SLES9/SP3/{CD1,CD2,CD3}
  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/dist/NLPOS9/FCS/{CD1,CD2,CD4}
  • mkdir -p /opt/SLES/POS/dist/NLPOS9/SP2/CD1
  • Loop mount the ISOs to the corresponding mount points below the path /opt/SLES/POS/dist. The example script shown below performs the necessary actions.
  • Check result by using the command: mount
  • Note: To mount the ISOs on each system boot automatically, add corresponding entries to /etc/fstab or add an entry in /etc/inittab for calling the mountiso script in run-level 3, 5.

Example mountiso script:

#!/bin/bash
echo "Mounting NLPOS & SLES iso to dist!"
       
ISO_PATH="/opt/SLES/POS/iso"
DIST_PATH="/opt/SLES/POS/dist"

mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD1.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD2.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9/FCS/CD1
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD3.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9/FCS/CD2
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD4.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9/FCS/CD3
                
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-SP-3-i386-RC4-CD1.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9/SP3/CD1
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-SP-3-i386-RC4-CD2.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9/SP3/CD2
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/SLES9/SLES-9-SP-3-i386-RC4-CD3.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/SLES9/SP3/CD3

mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/NLPOS9/SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD1.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/NLPOS9/SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD2.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/NLPOS9/FCS/CD2
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/NLPOS9/SLES-9-SP-1-NLPOS-9-RC13-CD4.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/NLPOS9/FCS/CD4
       
mount -o loop,ro $ISO_PATH/NLPOS9/SLES-9-SP-2-NLPOS-9-SSP-2.iso \
                 $DIST_PATH/NLPOS9/SP2/CD1

Note: By default you are only able to create eight loop back devices. To expand this, add the option max_loop=16 to the kernel parameters in the file /boot/grub/menu.lst, as listet below:

    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###

    title SUSE Linux 10.0

    root (hd0,5)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda6 vga=0x317 selinux=0 max_loop=16 \
    resume =/dev/sda2 splash=silent showopts
    initrd /boot/initrd

To activate the changes, you have to reboot your machine.

PREPARE APACHE /INSTALLROOT AND CONFIGURATION

  • mkdir -p /srv/www/htdocs/install/mediasets
  • Change the default directory access in file: /etc/apache2/default-server.conf

  • 
          #
          # Configure the DocumentRoot
          #
    
          DocumentRoot "/srv/www/htdocs"
                             
          <Directory "/srv/www/htdocs">
              Options Indexes FollowSymLinks 
              AllowOverride None
              Order allow,deny
              Allow from all
          </Directory>
    
    

  • Add an alias in default-server.conf for the NLPOS specific path: /opt/SLES/POS/dist/

  •       #
          # Add alias for installation server
          #
    
          Alias /install/mediasets/ "/opt/SLES/POS/dist/"
    
          <Directory "/opt/SLES/POS/dist">
              Options Indexes MultiViews
              AllowOverride None
              Order allow,deny
              Allow from all
          </Directory>
    

  • Restart apache by calling "rcapache2 restart". Now you should be able to browse all available mediasets on your installation server.


  • Figure 1: Location of the installation media

Note: You possibly have to adjust your SUSEfirewall2 (FW_SERVICES_EXT_TCP="http ssh"), to be able to access your web server from another box.

CREATE THE NLPOS9 INSTALLATION SOURCE (STREAM)

The purpose of this chapter is to prepare the necessary boot CD structure on the installation server. Note that since NLPOS SP2 CD is not bootable, one have to choose ~/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1 as installation source. The following script performs this task:

#!/bin/bash
#

INST_MEDIA="/opt/SLES/POS/dist"
APACHE_ROOT="/srv/www/htdocs/install"

mkdir -p $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/boot
mkdir -p $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/yast

# Add NLPOS Boot CD to installation source
ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1/content \ 
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/content

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1/control.xml \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/control.xml

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1/media.1 \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/media.1

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/dist/NLPOS9/FCS \ 
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/NLPOS

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1/boot/loader \ 
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/boot/loader

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1/boot/rescue \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/boot/rescue

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/FCS/CD1/boot/root \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/boot/root

# Add NLPOS-SP2
ln -s $INST_MEDIA/NLPOS9/SP2 $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/NLPOS-SP2

# Add SUSE-CORE
ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9/FCS $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/SUSE-CORE

# Add SLES-SP3
ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9/SP3 $APACHE_ROOT/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/SLES-SP3


Figure 2: Directory structure of the NLPOS installation source

Beside scripting we have to create the files "instorder" and "order" manually in the yast directory of the installation source, which handle the installation sequence for looking up the latest install packages.

  • Example: /install/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/yast/instorder
  • /NLPOS-SP2/CD1
    /SLES-SP3/CD1
    /NLPOS/CD1
    /SUSE-CORE/CD1

  • Example: /install/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/yast/order

    /NLPOS-SP2/CD1 /NLPOS-SP2/CD1
    /SLES-SP3/CD1 /SLES-SP3/CD1
    /NLPOS/CD1 /NLPOS/CD1
    /SUSE-CORE/CD1 /SUSE-CORE/CD1

Note: The entries on each line of the order file are separated by a tab! If not, the network installation will fail!

CREATE THE SLES9 INSTALLATION SOURCE (STREAM)

Additionally one can prepare the necessary boot CD structure for SLES9 based on SP3 on the installation server. The following script performs this task:

#!/bin/bash
#

INST_MEDIA="/opt/SLES/POS/dist"
APACHE_ROOT="/srv/www/htdocs/install"

mkdir -p $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/boot
mkdir -p $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/yast

# Add SLES9 SP3 Boot CD to installation source

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1/content \ 
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/content

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1/control.xml \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/control.xml

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1/media.1 \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/media.1

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/dist/SLES9-PRODUCT \ 
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/SLES

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1/boot/loader \ 
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/boot/loader

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1/boot/rescue \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/boot/rescue

ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9-PRODUCT/CD1/boot/root \
      $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/boot/root

# Add SUSE-CORE
ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9/FCS $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/SUSE-CORE

# Add SLES SP3
ln -s $INST_MEDIA/SLES9/SP3 $APACHE_ROOT/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/SLES-SP3


Figure 3: Directory structure of the SLES installation source

Beside scripting we have to create the files "instorder" and "order" manually in the yast directory of the installation source, which handle the installation sequence for looking up the latest install packages.

  • Example: /install/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/yast/instorder
  • /SLES-SP3/CD1
    /SLES/CD1
    /SUSE-CORE/CD1

  • Example: /install/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/yast/order
  • /SLES-SP3/CD1 /SLES-SP3/CD1
    /SLES/CD1 /SLES/CD1
    /SUSE-CORE/CD1 /SUSE-CORE/CD1

Note: The entries on each line of the order file are separated by a tab! If not, the network installation will fail!

TEST THE INSTALLATION SOURCE

Prerequisite: DHCP Server running if the installation server shall supply the clients with an IP address.

To test the installation from the NLPOS9-SP-2-i386 or SLES9-SP-3-i386 stream, complete the following:

  • Try to access the installation server via a Web browser from another box: http://<IP-Address>/install/
  • Insert NLPOS9 CD 1 or SLES9 CD1 into the CD drive then reboot the client computer to start the YaST installation program.
  • At the SUSE boot screen, press F3 to select HTTP, then press Enter.
    • Add the following information:

      Install-Server: <IP Address of the Install Server>

      Path: /install/streams/NLPOS-9-SP-2-i386/ or /install/streams/SLES9-SP-3-i386/


    Figure 4: The SUSE boot screen

  • Press Enter to start the network installation.
  • The figure below shows the installation in text mode which can be selected by selecting F2 on the boot screen. This mode is recommended while performing a VMware installation.


    Figure 5: The client installation in text mode


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