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System Administration Guide: Basic Administration
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What's New in Managing Client-Server Support?

This section describes new or changed diskless client features in this Solaris release.

Support for Specifying Platform by Using bootadm -p Command

A new -p platform argument has been added to the bootadm command. This option enables you to specify the platform or machine hardware class of a client system in situations where the client platform differs from the server platform, for example when administering diskless clients.

For more information, see the bootadm(1M) man page.

nfs4_domain Keyword Impacts Diskless Client Boot

The set_nfs4_domain script that was delivered in the Solaris 10 OS is no longer used to set the NFSv4 domain. To set the NVSv4 domain, add the new nfs4_domain keyword to the diskless client's sysidcfg file. Note that if the nfs4_domain keyword exists in the sysidcfg file, the first boot of a diskless client sets the domain accordingly.

x86: Diskless Client Changes in the GRUB Boot Environment

An extension has been made to GRUB to enable kernel$, module$, and $ISADIR usage in the menu.lst file.

The bootadm command installs a default boot entry in the menu.lst file that is similar to the following:

kernel$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix
module$ /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix /platform/i86pc/kernel/$ISADIR/unix -B $ZFS-ROOTFS
module$ /platform/i86pc/$ISADIR/boot_archive

The kernel$ and module$ keywords are identical to the kernel and module commands that are used in the GRUB multiboot implementation. The $ISADIR keyword has the added capability to expand to amd64 on 64-bit capable hardware. If the x86 based system is not 64-bit capable, the $ISADIR keyword is a null value (""). In this instance, the system boots the 32-bit kernel.


Note - These changes do not prevent you from booting of a newer Solaris kernel with an older implementation of GRUB. Nor do the changes prevent you from booting of an older Solaris kernel with a newer implementation of GRUB.



Note - GRUB based booting is not available on SPARC based systems.


The following feature enhancements are part of the new diskless boot scheme:

  • The OS server is now capable of serving multiple Solaris releases simultaneously.

    With the new diskless boot scheme, you can perform a pxegrub based network boot , where multiple releases are presented to a client from the GRUB menu.

  • Vendor-specific options are now specified in the boot archive.

    In previous releases, client-specific boot properties, typically defined in the bootenv.rc file, were provided by using vendor-specific options for the DHCP setup. The total length of the information that was required frequently exceeded the limit in the DHCP specification.

    With the boot new scheme, this information is part of the boot archive. The PXE/DHCP server is only required to provide the server IP address, the boot file, pxegrub, and possibly a client-specific menu file, through Site Option 150.

x86: Changes to the smdiskless Command

The smdiskless command is used to set up diskless clients. Previously, the smdiskless command set up the root (/) and /usr file systems, then exported these file systems to the client through NFS. To boot the client, you would additionally need to configure the /tftpboot area manually. This manual step is no longer a requirement for setting up a diskless client. The smdiskless command now automatically invokes a script in the /usr/sadm/lib/wbem/config_tftp file, which prepares the /tftpboot area for a PXE boot.

After running the smdiskless command, the /tftpboot/01ethernet-address file is displayed as a link to pxegrub and the /tftpboot/menu.lst.01ethernet-address file, which contains the GRUB menu entry. The ethernet-address in this instance is 01, followed by the Ethernet address of the client network interface. When supplying the Ethernet address of the client network interface, use uppercase letters and do not include colons.

The boot archive of the diskless client is automatically updated during shutdown. If the client's boot archive is out of date when it is shut down, you might need to run the following command from the OS server to update the boot archive:

# bootadm update-archive -f -R /export/root/host-name

where host-name is the host name of the client system.

For more information, see x86: How to Boot the Failsafe Archive to Forcibly Update a Corrupt Boot Archive and the bootadm(1M) man page.


Note - This information applies to both SPARC based and x86 based OS servers that are serving x86 based clients.


For more information on setting up and configuring DHCP, see Chapter 14, Configuring the DHCP Service (Tasks), in System Administration Guide: IP Services.

For more information on how to manage diskless clients in the GRUB boot environment, see Booting an x86 Based System by Using GRUB (Task Map).

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