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OpenSolaris 2008.11 Automated Installer Guide
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Automated Installer Features

The automated installer application includes the following primary features.

Service and Client Model

Service

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.

Client

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.

Manifest Files

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 following:

  • User name

  • User password

  • Time zone

  • Root password

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.

installadm Utility

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.

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  Published under the terms fo the Public Documentation License Version 1.01. Design by Interspire