Autoinstallation Setup

Before you can autoinstall clients, you need an autoinstallation file. The autoinstallation file contains information about the distribution to install on the clients.

There are two main types of autoinstallation file. For SUSE Linux Enterprise clients, use AutoYaST. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux clients, use Kickstart.

When you have created an autoinstallation file, you can upload and manage it in the SUSE Manager Web UI. The Web UI also provides tools to help you edit and maintain your autoinstallation files.

If you have created autoinstallation distributions using the SUSE Manager Web UI, you must manage them in the Web UI. If you make changes at the command prompt, the profiles do not synchronize correctly, and the Web UI shows incorrect values.

You can autoinstall SUSE Manager Proxies using AutoYaST in the same way as SUSE Linux Enterprise clients. Make sure you use the SUSE Linux Enterprise installation media, and choose the SLE-Product-SUSE-Manager-Proxy-4.1-Pool for x86_64 base channel.

Autoinstallation Distributions

Before you begin, you need to have installation media for the operating system you want to install on the clients. This is usually a DVD image, that contains the Linux kernel, an initrd file, and other files required to boot the operating system in installation mode. Copy the installation media to your SUSE Manager Server, and take a note of the file path. You also need to have the matching base channel synchronized on your SUSE Manager Server.

For SUSE operating systems, you can download installation media from

Procedure: Creating an Autoinstallable Distribution
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Distributions.

  2. Click Create Distribution, and complete these fields:

    • In the Distribution Label field, enter a name to identify your autoinstallable distribution.

    • In the Tree Path field, enter the path to the installation media saved on your SUSE Manager Server.

    • Select the matching Base Channel. This must match the installation media.

    • Select the Installer Generation. This must match the installation media.

    • OPTIONAL: Specify kernel options to use when booting this distribution. There are multiple ways to provide kernel options. Only add options here that are generic for the distribution.

  3. Click Create Autoinstallable Distribution.

Navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Distributions to find and create custom installation trees that may be used for automated installations.

If you are installing SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2 or later using the unified installer, you need to set additional kernel options. In the Kernel Options field, add useonlinerepo. Additionally, if you are not using your own GPG key, add the insecure=1 kernel parameter. This is not required if you are performing an installation from the full DVD.

Autoinstallation Files

When you perform an installation manually, you must provide information to the installer, such as partitioning and networking information and user details. An autoinstallation file is a method of providing this information in a scripted form. They are sometimes referred to as answers files.

Within SUSE Manager, you can use two different types of autoinstallation files, depending on the operating system of the clients you want to install. For SUSE Linux Enterprise clients, use AutoYaST. For Red Hat Enterprise Linux clients, use Kickstart. You can use both AutoYaST and Kickstart files if you want to install clients with different operating systems.

If you want to download an autoinstallation file that has already been uploaded, navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Profiles and click the profile that contains the file you want to download. Navigate to the Autoinstallation File tab, and click Download Autoinstallation File.


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 uses. Add this line to the Variables text box.


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 \

The $IPADDR is resolved to, and the $GATEWAY to

In Kickstart files, variables use a hierarchy. System variables take precedence over profile variables, which in turn take precedence over distribution variables.

Variables are 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.

Code Snippets

You can store code snippets to use in autoinstallation files later on. Navigate to Systems  Autoinstallation  Autoinstallation Snippets to see the list of existing snippets. Click Create Snippet to create a new code snippet.

Use a snippet by adding the Snippet Macro statement in your autoinstallation file.

For example, in Kickstart:


For example, in AutoYaST:

<init-scripts config:type="list">

When you create a snippet with the Create Snippet link, all profiles including that snippet are updated accordingly.