Automated Installer Features
The automated installer application includes the following primary features.
Service and Client Model
The automated installer application enables you to design a set of installation specifications in an entity called a service. Each installer service contains XML manifest files with the blueprints for specific installations. And, each service is associated with an installation boot image. Service names are identified with DNS services, instead of with IP addresses and locations. So, a service can be published on one host in one location, then moved to another location or to another host, and this service can still be found by its unique name.
The automated installer service is called the OSInstall service. You create and publish an OSInstall service by using the installadm create-service utility.
The automated installer application enables multiple client systems to access the available installation blueprints that are provided by existing OSInstall services. The client browses for available OSInstall services, seeking a service where the installation criteria in the service's manifest file matches the parameters of the client system. When a match is found, the installation is performed on the client system, using the boot image and manifest specifications provided by the service.
Client setup is not required. You need only boot the client to initiate service discovery. You can, however, choose to customize your client configurations and limit the services, or to explicitly specify which services a client can discover. Use the installadm create-client utility to customize a client.
In the automated installer application, three kinds of manifest files are provided in
each service; AI manifest files, SC manifest files, and criteria manifest files. These manifest files are XML files
that provide specifications for client installation.
The AI manifest file is a blueprint that provides the configuration source and the service
properties for an automated installation service. The AI manifest file specifies parameters such
as the following:
Service name and type
Target disk, partition, or slice on client
Location of package repository and lists of packages to install or remove during installation
Networking configurations for installed systems
The SC manifest file provides system configuration specifications for the installed image. The SC manifest
file is used to configure system parameters for the installed image, such as
The criteria manifest file is the bridge that connects the AI manifest file, and
the SC manifest file, with a client. The administrator uses the criteria manifest
file to add an AI manifest to a service. The client sends its
hardware characteristics to the install service and gets a manifest file that was
assigned by the administrator.
Default manifest files are included when you create an OSInstall service by using
the installadm create-service utility.
For information about creating and customizing the manifest files, see Creating the Manifest Files.
As part of the automated installer application, the installadm utility enables users
to accomplish the following tasks:
Set up services and installation images, and set up and update a DHCP server
Set up or remove client
Add or delete manifest files
Start or stop services
List services or list manifest files for a service
For a summary of the installadm utility functions, see installadm Command Reference.