Unattended Provisioning

The "bare metal" functionality allows you to register any new machine as soon as it connects to the local network, using a generic PXE boot image. You then go to SUSE Manager Web UI and assign a profile to this machine. The next time the client boots, the operating system is installed according to that profile. For information about the bare metal provisioning, see Bare Metal Provisioning.

If you do not want to use the bare metal functionality, you can still declare manually the system at SUSE Manager. The SUSE Manager API allows you to create system records for systems as if they were collected by the bare metal functionality. For information about declaring systems with the API, see Create a System Record Manually.

1. Bare Metal Provisioning

When you have the bare metal provisioning option enabled, any client connected to the SUSE Manager network is automatically added to the organization as soon as it is powered on. When this operation is complete, the client is shut down, and it appears in the Systems list, ready to be installed.

Procedure: Enable the Bare Metal Functionality
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Admin  Manager Configuration  Bare-metal systems.

  2. Click Enable adding to this organization.

New clients that are powered on are added to the organization that belongs to the administrator who enabled the bare metal feature. They are of "bootstrap" type, and still need to be provisioned to become regular clients.

To change the organization new clients are added to, disable the bare metal feature, log in as the administrator of the new organization, and then re-enable the feature. You can migrate already registered systems to other organizations, using the Migrate tab.

You can use the system set manager (SSM) with clients that are registered that way. However, not all SSM features are available for those clients, because they do not yet have an operating system installed. This also applies to mixed sets that include systems registered that way. All features become available to the set when all the clients in the set have been provisioned. For more information on SSM, see System Set Manager.

Procedure: Provision "Bootstrap" Type clients
  1. In the SUSE Manager Web UI, navigate to Systems, select the client to provision, and go to the Provisioning  Autoinstallation tab.

  2. Select the AutoYaST profile to use, and click Create PXE installation configuration. This option creates a system entry at Cobbler.

  3. Power on the client.

The server uses TFTP to provision the new client, so the appropriate port and networks must be configured correctly for provisioning to be successful.

2. Create a System Record Manually

You can use an API call to declare an association between a client identified by its MAC address and an autoinstallation profile. Next time the system reboots, it starts the installation based on the specified profile.

Procedure: Reinstallation From a Manually Declared Profile
  1. On the SUSE Manager Server, at the command prompt, use the system.createSystemRecord API call. In this example, replace name with the name of your client, <profile> with the profile label, <iface> with the name of the interface on the client such as eth0, and <hw_addr> with its hardware address such as 00:25:22:71:e7:c6:

    $ spacecmd api -- --args '["<name>", "<profile>", "", "", \
      [ {"name": "<iface>", "mac": "<hw_addr>"} ]]' \
  2. Power on the client. It boots from the network, and the correct profile is selected for installation.

This command creates a system record at Cobbler. You may also specify additional parameters, like kernel options, the IP address of the client, and its domain name. For more information, see the API documentation for createSystemRecord call.