Distributions

The Distributions page enables you to find and create custom installation trees that may be used for automated installations.

The Distributions page does not display distributions already provided. They can be found within the Distribution drop-down menu of the Autoinstallation Details page.

For more information about installing SUSE distributions, see https://documentation.suse.com/sles/15-SP1/html/SLES-all/book-sle-deployment.html.

The installation tree must be located in a local directory on the SUSE Manager Server.

Procedure: Creating a Distribution for Autoinstallation
  1. To create a distribution, on the Autoinstallable Distributions page click Create Distribution in the upper right corner.

  2. On the Create Autoinstallable Distribution page, provide the following data:

    • Enter a label (without spaces) in the Distribution Label field, such as my-orgs-sles-15-sp1 or my-orgs-rhel-as-7.

    • In the Tree Path field, paste the path to the base of the installation tree.

    • Select the matching distribution from the Base Channel and Installer Generation drop-down menus, such as SUSE Linux for SUSE Linux Enterprise, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux¬†7 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux¬†7 client systems.

  3. When finished, click the Create Autoinstallable Distribution button.

Variables

Autoinstallation variables can be used to substitute values into Kickstart and AutoYaST profiles. To define a variable, create a name-value pair (name/value) in the text box.

For example, if you want to autoinstall a system that joins the network of a specified organization (for example the Engineering department) you can create a profile variable to set the IP address and the gateway server address to a variable that any system using that profile will use. Add the following line to the Variables text box.

IPADDR=192.168.0.28
GATEWAY=192.168.0.1

To use the distribution variable, use the name of the variable in the profile to substitute the value. For example, the network part of a Kickstart file looks like the following:

network --bootproto=static --device=eth0 --onboot=on --ip=$IPADDR \
  --gateway=$GATEWAY

The $IPADDR will be resolved to 192.168.0.28, and the $GATEWAY to 192.168.0.1.

There is a hierarchy when creating and using variables in Kickstart files. System Kickstart variables take precedence over Profile variables, which in turn take precedence over Distribution variables. Understanding this hierarchy can alleviate confusion when using variables in Kickstarts.

In AutoYaST profiles you can use such variables as well.

Using variables are just one part of the larger Cobbler infrastructure for creating templates that can be shared between multiple profiles and systems.

For more information about Cobbler and templates, see client-configuration:cobbler.adoc.