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Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP4

10 Remote Installation Edit source

SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server can be installed in different ways. In addition to the usual media installation covered in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST, you can choose from various network-based approaches or even opt for an unattended installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Each method is introduced by means of two short checklists: one listing the prerequisites for that method and the other illustrating the basic procedure. More detail is then provided for all the techniques used in these installation scenarios.

Note
Note: Terminology

In the following sections, the system to hold your new SUSE Linux Enterprise Server installation is called target system or installation target. The term repository (previously called installation source) is used for all sources of installation data. This includes physical media, such as CD and DVD, and network servers distributing the installation data in your network.

10.1 Installation Scenarios for Remote Installation Edit source

This section introduces the most common installation scenarios for remote installations. For each scenario, carefully check the list of prerequisites and follow the procedure outlined for that scenario. If in need of detailed instructions for a particular step, follow the links provided for each one of them.

10.1.1 Simple Remote Installation via VNC—Static Network Configuration Edit source

This type of installation still requires some degree of physical access to the target system to boot for installation. The installation is controlled by a remote workstation using VNC to connect to the installation program. User interaction is required as with the manual installation in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST.

For this type of installation, make sure that the following requirements are met:

  • A repository, either remote or local:

    • Remote repository: NFS, HTTP, FTP, TFTP, or SMB with working network connection.

    • Local repository, for example a DVD.

  • Target system with working network connection.

  • Controlling system with working network connection and VNC viewer software.

  • Physical boot medium (CD, DVD, or flash disk) for booting the target system.

  • Valid static IP addresses already assigned to the repository and the controlling system.

  • Valid static IP address to assign to the target system.

To perform this kind of installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Set up the repository as described in Chapter 8, Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources. Choose an NFS, HTTP, FTP, or TFTP network server. For an SMB repository, refer to Section 8.5, “Managing an SMB Repository”.

  2. Boot the target system using DVD1 of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server media kit.

  3. When the boot screen of the target system appears, use the boot options prompt to set the appropriate VNC options and the address of the repository. This is described in detail in Section 10.2, “Booting the Target System for Installation”.

    The target system boots to a text-based environment, giving the network address and display number under which the graphical installation environment can be addressed by any VNC viewer application or browser. VNC installations announce themselves over OpenSLP and if the firewall settings permit. They can be found using slptool as described in Procedure 10.1, “Locating VNC installations via OpenSLP”.

  4. On the controlling workstation, open a VNC viewing application or Web browser and connect to the target system as described in Section 10.3.1, “VNC Installation”.

  5. Perform the installation as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Reconnect to the target system after it reboots for the final part of the installation.

  6. Finish the installation.

10.1.2 Simple Remote Installation via VNC—Dynamic Network Configuration Edit source

This type of installation still requires some degree of physical access to the target system to boot for installation. The network configuration is done via DHCP. The installation is controlled from a remote workstation using VNC, but configuration does require user interaction.

For this type of installation, make sure that the following requirements are met:

  • Remote repository: NFS, HTTP, FTP, or SMB with working network connection.

  • Target system with working network connection.

  • Controlling system with working network connection and VNC viewer software.

  • Boot the target system using DVD1 of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server media kit.

  • Running DHCP server providing IP addresses.

To perform this kind of installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Set up the repository as described in Chapter 8, Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources. Choose an NFS, HTTP, or FTP network server. For an SMB repository, refer to Section 8.5, “Managing an SMB Repository”.

  2. Boot the target system using DVD1 of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server media kit.

  3. When the boot screen of the target system appears, use the boot options prompt to set the appropriate VNC options and the address of the repository. This is described in detail in Section 10.2, “Booting the Target System for Installation”.

    The target system boots to a text-based environment, giving the network address and display number under which the graphical installation environment can be addressed by any VNC viewer application or browser. VNC installations announce themselves over OpenSLP and if the firewall settings permit. They can be found using slptool as described in Procedure 10.1, “Locating VNC installations via OpenSLP”.

  4. On the controlling workstation, open a VNC viewing application or Web browser and connect to the target system as described in Section 10.3.1, “VNC Installation”.

  5. Perform the installation as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Reconnect to the target system after it reboots for the final part of the installation.

  6. Finish the installation.

10.1.3 Remote Installation via VNC—PXE Boot and Wake on LAN Edit source

This type of installation is completely hands-off. The target machine is started and booted remotely. User interaction is only needed for the actual installation. This approach is suitable for cross-site deployments.

To perform this type of installation, make sure that the following requirements are met:

  • Remote repository: NFS, HTTP, FTP, or SMB with working network connection.

  • TFTP server.

  • Running DHCP server for your network.

  • Target system capable of PXE boot, networking, and Wake on LAN, plugged in and connected to the network.

  • Controlling system with working network connection and VNC viewer software.

To perform this type of installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Set up the repository as described in Chapter 8, Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources. Choose an NFS, HTTP, or FTP network server or configure an SMB repository as described in Section 8.5, “Managing an SMB Repository”.

  2. Set up a TFTP server to hold a boot image that can be pulled by the target system. This is described in Section 9.2, “Setting Up a TFTP Server”.

  3. Set up a DHCP server to provide IP addresses to all machines and reveal the location of the TFTP server to the target system. This is described in Section 9.1, “Setting Up a DHCP Server”.

  4. Prepare the target system for PXE boot. This is described in further detail in Section 9.5, “Preparing the Target System for PXE Boot”.

  5. Initiate the boot process of the target system using Wake on LAN. This is described in Section 9.7, “Using Wake-on-LAN for Remote Wakeups”.

  6. On the controlling workstation, open a VNC viewing application or Web browser and connect to the target system as described in Section 10.3.1, “VNC Installation”.

  7. Perform the installation as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Reconnect to the target system after it reboots for the final part of the installation.

  8. Finish the installation.

10.1.4 Simple Remote Installation via SSH—Static Network Configuration Edit source

This type of installation still requires some degree of physical access to the target system to boot for installation and to determine the IP address of the installation target. The installation itself is entirely controlled from a remote workstation using SSH to connect to the installer. User interaction is required as with the regular installation described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST.

For this type of installation, make sure that the following requirements are met:

  • Remote repository: NFS, HTTP, FTP, or SMB with working network connection.

  • Target system with working network connection.

  • Controlling system with working network connection and working SSH client software.

  • Boot the target system using DVD1 of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server media kit.

  • Valid static IP addresses already assigned to the repository and the controlling system.

  • Valid static IP address to assign to the target system.

To perform this kind of installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Set up the repository as described in Chapter 8, Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources. Choose an NFS, HTTP, or FTP network server. For an SMB repository, refer to Section 8.5, “Managing an SMB Repository”.

  2. Boot the target system using DVD1 of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server media kit.

  3. When the boot screen of the target system appears, use the boot options prompt to set the appropriate parameters for network connection, address of the repository, and SSH enablement. This is described in detail in Section 10.2.2, “Using Custom Boot Options”.

    The target system boots to a text-based environment, giving the network address under which the graphical installation environment can be addressed by any SSH client.

  4. On the controlling workstation, open a terminal window and connect to the target system as described in Section 10.3.2.2, “Connecting to the Installation Program”.

  5. Perform the installation as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Reconnect to the target system after it reboots for the final part of the installation.

  6. Finish the installation.

10.1.5 Simple Remote Installation via SSH—Dynamic Network Configuration Edit source

This type of installation still requires some degree of physical access to the target system to boot for installation and determine the IP address of the installation target. The installation is controlled from a remote workstation using SSH , but configuration does require user interaction.

Note
Note: Avoid Lost Connections After the Second Step (Installation)

In the network settings dialog, check the Traditional Method with ifup and avoid NetworkManager. If not, your SSH connection will be lost during installation. Reset the settings to User Controlled with NetworkManager after your installation has finished.

For this type of installation, make sure that the following requirements are met:

  • A repository, either remote or local:

    • Remote repository: NFS, HTTP, FTP, TFTP, or SMB with working network connection.

    • Local repository, for example a DVD.

  • Target system with working network connection.

  • Controlling system with working network connection and working SSH client software.

  • Physical boot medium (CD, DVD, or flash disk) for booting the target system.

  • Running DHCP server providing IP addresses.

To perform this kind of installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Set up the repository source as described in Chapter 8, Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources. Choose an NFS, HTTP, or FTP network server. For an SMB repository, refer to Section 8.5, “Managing an SMB Repository”.

  2. Boot the target system using DVD1 of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server media kit.

  3. When the boot screen of the target system appears, use the boot options prompt to pass the appropriate parameters for network connection, location of the installation source, and SSH enablement. See Section 10.2.2, “Using Custom Boot Options” for detailed instructions on the use of these parameters.

    The target system boots to a text-based environment, giving you the network address under which the graphical installation environment can be addressed by any SSH client.

  4. On the controlling workstation, open a terminal window and connect to the target system as described in Section 10.3.2.2, “Connecting to the Installation Program”.

  5. Perform the installation as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Reconnect to the target system after it reboots for the final part of the installation.

  6. Finish the installation.

10.1.6 Remote Installation via SSH—PXE Boot and Wake on LAN Edit source

This type of installation is completely hands-off. The target machine is started and booted remotely.

To perform this type of installation, make sure that the following requirements are met:

  • Remote repository: NFS, HTTP, FTP, or SMB with working network connection.

  • TFTP server.

  • Running DHCP server for your network, providing a static IP to the host to install.

  • Target system capable of PXE boot, networking, and Wake on LAN, plugged in and connected to the network.

  • Controlling system with working network connection and SSH client software.

To perform this type of installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Set up the repository as described in Chapter 8, Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources. Choose an NFS, HTTP, or FTP network server. For the configuration of an SMB repository, refer to Section 8.5, “Managing an SMB Repository”.

  2. Set up a TFTP server to hold a boot image that can be pulled by the target system. This is described in Section 9.2, “Setting Up a TFTP Server”.

  3. Set up a DHCP server to provide IP addresses to all machines and reveal the location of the TFTP server to the target system. This is described in Section 9.1, “Setting Up a DHCP Server”.

  4. Prepare the target system for PXE boot. This is described in further detail in Section 9.5, “Preparing the Target System for PXE Boot”.

  5. Initiate the boot process of the target system using Wake on LAN. This is described in Section 9.7, “Using Wake-on-LAN for Remote Wakeups”.

  6. On the controlling workstation, start an SSH client and connect to the target system as described in Section 10.3.2, “SSH Installation”.

  7. Perform the installation as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Reconnect to the target system after it reboots for the final part of the installation.

  8. Finish the installation.

10.2 Booting the Target System for Installation Edit source

There are two different ways to customize the boot process for installation apart from those mentioned under Section 9.7, “Using Wake-on-LAN for Remote Wakeups” and Section 9.3.1, “Preparing the Structure”. One way is to use the default boot options and function keys. Alternatively, you can use the boot options prompt in the installation boot screen to specify the desired boot options that the installation kernel may require for the specific hardware.

10.2.1 Using the Default Boot Options Edit source

The boot options are described in detail in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST. Generally, selecting Installation starts the installation boot process.

If problems occur, use Installation—ACPI Disabled or Installation—Safe Settings. For more information about troubleshooting the installation process, refer to Section 41.2, “Installation Problems”.

The menu bar at the bottom of the screen offers some advanced functionality needed in some setups. Using the function keys (F1 ... F12), you can specify additional options to pass to the installation routines without having to know the detailed syntax of these parameters (see Section 10.2.2, “Using Custom Boot Options”). A detailed description of the available function keys is available in Section 6.2.2.1, “The Boot Screen on Machines Equipped with Traditional BIOS”.

10.2.2 Using Custom Boot Options Edit source

Using the appropriate set of boot options helps simplify your installation procedure. Many parameters can also be configured later using the linuxrc routines, but using the boot options is easier. In some automated setups, the boot options can be provided with initrd or an info file.

The following table lists all installation scenarios mentioned in this chapter with the required parameters for booting and the corresponding boot options. Append all of them in the order they appear in this table to get one boot option string that is handed to the installation routines. For example (all in one line):

install=XXX netdevice=XXX hostip=XXX netmask=XXX vnc=XXX VNCPassword=XXX

Replace all the values XXX in this command with the values appropriate for your setup.

Chapter 6, Installation with YaST

Parameters Needed for Booting.  None

Boot Options.  None needed

Section 10.1.1, “Simple Remote Installation via VNC—Static Network Configuration”
Parameters Needed for Booting
  • Location of the installation server

  • Network device

  • IP address

  • Netmask

  • Gateway

  • VNC enablement

  • VNC password

Boot Options
  • install=(nfs,http,​ftp,smb)://PATH_TO_INSTMEDIA

  • netdevice=NETDEVICE (only needed if several network devices are available)

  • hostip=IP_ADDRESS

  • netmask=NETMASK

  • gateway=IP_GATEWAY

  • vnc=1

  • VNCPassword=PASSWORD

Section 10.1.2, “Simple Remote Installation via VNC—Dynamic Network Configuration”
Parameters Needed for Booting
  • Location of the installation server

  • VNC enablement

  • VNC password

Boot Options
  • install=(nfs,http,​ftp,smb)://PATH_TO_INSTMEDIA

  • vnc=1

  • VNCPassword=PASSWORD

Section 10.1.3, “Remote Installation via VNC—PXE Boot and Wake on LAN”
Parameters Needed for Booting
  • Location of the installation server

  • Location of the TFTP server

  • VNC enablement

  • VNC password

Boot Options.  Not applicable; process managed through PXE and DHCP

Section 10.1.4, “Simple Remote Installation via SSH—Static Network Configuration”
Parameters Needed for Booting
  • Location of the installation server

  • Network device

  • IP address

  • Netmask

  • Gateway

  • SSH enablement

  • SSH password

Boot Options
  • install=(nfs,http,​ftp,smb)://PATH_TO_INSTMEDIA

  • netdevice=NETDEVICE (only needed if several network devices are available)

  • hostip=IP_ADDRESS

  • netmask=NETMASK

  • gateway=IP_GATEWAY

  • ssh=1

  • ssh.password=PASSWORD

Section 10.1.5, “Simple Remote Installation via SSH—Dynamic Network Configuration”
Parameters Needed for Booting
  • Location of the installation server

  • SSH enablement

  • SSH password

Boot Options
  • install=(nfs,http,​ftp,smb)://PATH_TO_INSTMEDIA

  • ssh=1

  • ssh.password=PASSWORD

Section 10.1.6, “Remote Installation via SSH—PXE Boot and Wake on LAN”
  • Location of the installation server

  • Location of the TFTP server

  • SSH enablement

  • SSH password

Boot Options.  Not applicable; process managed through PXE and DHCP

Tip
Tip: More Information about linuxrc Boot Options

Find more information about the linuxrc boot options used for booting a Linux system at http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Linuxrc.

10.2.2.1 Installing Add-On Products and Driver Updates Edit source

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server supports installation of add-on products, such as extensions (for example the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension), third-party products, as well as drivers or additional software. To automatically install an add-on product when deploying SUSE Linux Enterprise Server remotely, specify the addon=REPOSITORY parameter.

REPOSITORY needs to be a hosted repository that can be read by YaST (YaST2 or YUM (rpm-md)). ISO images are currently not supported.

Tip
Tip: Driver Updates

Driver Updates can be found at http://drivers.suse.com/. Not all driver updates are provided as repositories—some are only available as ISO images and therefore cannot be installed with the addon parameter. Instructions on how to install driver updates via ISO image are available at http://drivers.suse.com/doc/SolidDriver/Driver_Kits.html.

10.3 Monitoring the Installation Process Edit source

There are several options for remotely monitoring the installation process. If the appropriate boot options have been specified while booting for installation, either VNC or SSH can be used to control the installation and system configuration from a remote workstation.

10.3.1 VNC Installation Edit source

Using any VNC viewer software, you can remotely control the installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from virtually any operating system. This section introduces the setup using a VNC viewer application or a Web browser.

10.3.1.1 Preparing for VNC Installation Edit source

To enable VNC on the installation target, specify the appropriate boot options at the initial boot for installation (see Section 10.2.2, “Using Custom Boot Options”). The target system boots into a text-based environment and waits for a VNC client to connect to the installation program.

The installation program announces the IP address and display number needed to connect for installation. If you have physical access to the target system, this information is provided right after the system booted for installation. Enter this data when your VNC client software prompts for it and provide your VNC password.

Because the installation target announces itself via OpenSLP, you can retrieve the address information of the installation target via an SLP browser without the need for any physical contact to the installation itself, provided your network setup and all machines support OpenSLP:

Procedure 10.1: Locating VNC installations via OpenSLP
  1. Run slptool findsrvtypes | grep vnc to get a list of all services offering VNC. The VNC installation targets should be available under a service named YaST.installation.suse.

  2. Run slptool findsrvs YaST.installation.suse to get a list of installations available. Use the IP address and the port (usually 5901) provided with your VNC viewer.

10.3.1.2 Connecting to the Installation Program Edit source

To connect to a VNC server (the installation target in this case), start an independent VNC viewer application on any operating system.

Using VNC, you can control the installation of a Linux system from any other operating system, including other Linux flavors, Windows, or macOS.

On a Linux machine, make sure that the package tightvnc is installed. On a Windows machine, install the Windows port of this application, which can be obtained at the TightVNC home page (http://www.tightvnc.com/download.html).

To connect to the installation program running on the target machine, proceed as follows:

  1. Start the VNC viewer.

  2. Enter the IP address and display number of the installation target as provided by the SLP browser or the installation program itself:

    IP_ADDRESS:DISPLAY_NUMBER

    A window opens on your desktop displaying the YaST screens as in a normal local installation.

10.3.2 SSH Installation Edit source

Using SSH, you can remotely control the installation of your Linux machine using any SSH client software.

10.3.2.1 Preparing for SSH Installation Edit source

In addition to installing the required software package (OpenSSH for Linux and PuTTY for Windows), you need to specify the appropriate boot options to enable SSH for installation. See Section 10.2.2, “Using Custom Boot Options” for details. OpenSSH is installed by default on any SUSE Linux–based operating system.

10.3.2.2 Connecting to the Installation Program Edit source

  1. Retrieve the installation target's IP address. If you have physical access to the target machine, take the IP address the installation routine provides in the console after the initial boot. Otherwise take the IP address that has been assigned to this particular host in the DHCP server configuration.

  2. In a command line, enter the following command:

    ssh -X root@
    ip_address_of_target

    Replace IP_ADDRESS_OF_TARGET with the actual IP address of the installation target.

  3. When prompted for a user name, enter root.

  4. When prompted for the password, enter the password that has been set with the SSH boot option. After you have successfully authenticated, a command line prompt for the installation target appears.

  5. Enter yast to launch the installation program. A window opens showing the normal YaST screens as described in Chapter 6, Installation with YaST.

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