Introduction to the Automated Installer
In the OpenSolarisTM 2008.11 release, the new automated installer application enables you to
install the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release on multiple x86 platforms, using new enhanced and
simplified installation tools.
The OpenSolaris automated installer is a new enterprise installation technology that has its
roots in the Solaris JumpStartTM installation tool. As with Solaris JumpStart, the
automated installer provides support for network and local installations, where one installation specification can
be applied to multiple systems.
The automated installer extends JumpStart technology, providing simplified setup and configuration for enterprise
installations of the OpenSolaris operating system. The automated installer enables you to create
an installation service that provides blueprints for specific x86 installations. This service includes a
web server, which stores a list of manifest files that have been
made available by the administrator. Client machines can contact the web server and
review the available services that contain manifest files with installation blueprints, in order to
find a blueprint that matches the client's machine specifications. When a matching blueprint,
or manifest file, is found, the service installs the client with the OpenSolaris
release, according to the specifications in the service manifest files.
The JumpStart installation model requires a centralized installation server setup, where installation images
are published along with respective release and profile files that enable you to
install the SolarisTM operating system on multiple clients. The user must set
up each individual client in a JumpStart configuration.
The automated installer includes the following enhancements when compared to Solaris JumpStart:
Server setup is minimal and requires only the location of the source image and a target directory to setup the image to be used by the client during installation.
Client setup is no longer required. Because the automated installer uses DNS services, the clients do not have to be configured to check the new installation services that have come online. The discovery method is dynamic. You need only boot the client to initiate service discovery. Any new services that were published prior to the discovery are available to the client. You can, however, choose to customize your client configurations to limit the services, or to explicitly specify which services a client can discover.
Installation setup is decentralized. You can maintain multiple, disparate locations for installation images and for client configuration. Installation services can be published on several machines, enabling you to publish multiple services of the same type and release. The client is notified of all available services when a query is made.
Clients browse for installation services, not for installation image paths. An installation 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. Service names are identified with DNS services, instead of with IP addresses and locations.