“Here are 10 steps to set up a CD-less install server if you are using the Solaris 10 03/05 OS for x86 platforms or a version of Solaris for x86 platforms with GRUB. Booting off the Pre-boot Execution Environment is a lot easier and painless now, as this example shows. This process does not include profiles so you will have to sit through the install process and answer questions. It is just a quick and easy way to get the Solaris OS for x86 platforms installed on a remote machine without burning CDs.”
Installing the Solaris OS on an x86 Server Without CDs
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2006-04-07 2:17 amRobert Escue
Derek is builing a a JumpStart server in his article. A JumpStart installation can be modified any number of ways to suit about any need. Select packages (including third-party software (Solaris 10 only)) for addition or deletion, select software metaclusters, whether you want you root disk mirrored, etc. Customization is what JumpStart and Flash is all about.
A Flash Archive is created from a working machine using the flarcreate command. The JumpStart profile for a machine is modified to accomodate the Flash install. You can also use a web server, ftp server, make a CD or DVD of an image, or write the image to a tape drive. I used Flash to build 9 web servers after a security incident, the process took about 15 minutes per machine.
2006-04-07 12:06 pmSnapper
Looks to me like the article IS setting up a jumpstart server. I use jumpstart all the time at work using the SPARC hardware. It’s very flexible.
On the SPARC gear, the openboot software allows one to do a network based install and it uses either DHCP or rarp to get an IP.
I think on the PC side, you need to have a DHCP server with PXE setup so that the PC’s PXE boot will work. Then it connects to the jumpstart server where it downloads a boot image and then either uses a flash archive file to build the system (like a ghost image) or does an attended or scripted insall using the normal package files that were copied to the jumpstart server from the original cd/dvd media.
Either way, it’s a great way to do Solaris builds, and is quick as compared to using media.
I’ve been doing simple (no JumpStart/Flash) network install just like that between several boxes at home.
What a relief comparing to CDROM install!
Just did a full install of SXCR b36 the other night, from booting off PXE to rebooting after install finishes: 35 mins, including interactive configuration time.
The article lacks some details (examples) for DHCP/Boot server setup though, which will be the hard part if it’s the first time for you.
Here’s an example, to install client 10.0.0.7 (hostname ‘w2100z’, mac address: 00:0a:e4:29:bx:xx)
from server 10.0.0.20 (all cli, no gui needed):
# dhcpconfig -D -r SUNWfiles -p /var/dhcp
# dhcpconfig -N 10.0.0.0 -t 10.0.0.1 -m 255.255.255.0
# ./Solaris_11/Tools/add_install_client -d i86pc i86pc
# dhtadm -A -m PXEClient:Arch:00000:UNDI:002001 -d’:BootSrvA=10.0.0.20:BootFile=”PXEClient:Arch:00000:UNDI:002001″:’
# pntadm -A 10.0.0.7 -h w2100z -m 10.0.0.0 -y -i 000AE429BXXX 10.0.0.0
# ./Solaris_11/Tools/add_install_client -d -e “00:0a:e4:29:bx:xx” i86pc
# dhtadm -A -m 01000AE429BFB6 -d’:BootSrvA=10.0.0.20:BootFile=”01000AE429BXXX”:’
Also, Step 8 is not necessary, path_to_server is automatically added to NFS share in “add_install_client” script.
By the way, I tried this at home….using PXE boot, but the Solaris image does not support the built in nic on the mobo. If I install a 3c905 card, then pxe boot does not work. Has anyone else run into this problem also?
2006-04-07 5:29 pmRobert Escue
Which 3C905 card? If it is a 3C905B it should work, if it is a 3C905C, the last time I looked there were problems with that one. Double checking with the HCL, the 3C905C is supported as well. But I haven’t used DHCP in a long time, and that was using SPARC hardware. This link might help and yes I know it is for Solaris 9, it shouldn’t matter:
The key is using the -d option when you created the client on the JumpStart server.
Edited 2006-04-07 17:44
Just curious on how this differs from Jumpstart or Flash Archives (neither of which I know much about, only that they exist).
Do you need to do a minimal install in order to run Jumpstart etc?
Can you build a custom configuration using this process vs jumpstart? Would you?