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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells
YaST offers a graphical tool for creating installation repositories. Actually repository is a too serious name as we are talking about simple two level directory structure. It supports HTTP, FTP, and NFS network installation servers. HTTP is the most convenient and fast installation source.
Define an name for the directory of the HTTP server on which the installation data should be found. For example Install. The repository will later be located under http://Server-IP/Install/repository_name/. The name of the repository, which defined in the following step.
HINT: Firewall Settings
Make sure that the firewall settings of your server system allow traffic
on the ports for HTTP, NFS, and FTP. If they currently do not, enable Open Port
in Firewall or check Firewall Details first.
Your installation server is now fully configured and ready for service.
To deactivate a repository, select the repository to remove then select Delete. The installation data are removed from the system. To deactivate the network service, use the respective YaST module.
If your installation server needs to provide the installation data for more than one product of the product version, start the YaST installation server module and select Add in the overview of existing repositories to configure the new repository
Creating an HTTP repository involves creating directory with the product name and inside it several directories for each volume of media (named CD1, CD2 , etc). After that you need to copy content of the media to the corresponding directories, for example the directory structure for SLES 11 SP2 can look like:
SLES11_SP2-x86_64 CD1 CD2
Configure the HTTP server to distribute the contents of your installation directory:
Installation,(↑ Administration Guide ).
ln -s /path_to_repository /srv/www/htdocs/repository
ln -s /depot/Install /srv/www/htdocs/install
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
If you have an existing openSUSE box setting up the installation server is pretty easy. Here are the steps involved in setting the server up and linking it to the official Novell yast repostories so your new installations get updated packages.
Software -> Software Management
Miscellaneous -> Installation Server
/sbin/service vsftpd startto make it work.
/srv/ftpwas set as the root of what anonymous can see on the disk, so the config was perfect by default.
/srv/ftp/sources/suse-10.2-64bit/. It is a good idea to give the source directory a specific name as that allows you to add alternate sources (like 32bit) to the same installation server in the future.
/srv/ftp/sources/suse-10.2-64bit/CD1and create a new file named
At this point, you can setup new openSUSE machines by installing against this
server. You would need to boot the machine with some sort of openSUSE installation
media (the DVD, CD1, a properly setup usb key, or the minimal install CD) to get
to the installation menu. From there hit F4, enter your FTP installation server
/sources/suse-10.2-64bit/CD1 directory, press enter, and then
continue with the installation. Having the installation server is really nice because
you can control and manage a single, consistent set of rpms.
Just having a central installation server is great but with autoyast you can almost completely automate installation of new openSUSE servers. This works by creating an autoyast control file at which you point new installations. The control file can include instructions for disk partitioning, installed software, services, custom config files, and directions to run extra scripts at various stages of the installation. The link at the top of this post provides a pretty good overview and the documentation here is very helpful as well. That documentation provides almost all of the information you need so where details are excluded from the following look there.
In my specific case (an autoyast file for JBoss servers) the process went like this:
/etc/profile.d/environment.shfile to the installation server under a different directory accessible through FTP.
yast2 autoyastfrom the command line.
Tools -> Create Reference Profile
Miscellaneous -> Complete Configuration Filesand then alt-E for configure.
/etc/ssh/sshd_configfor the new installs, and the loaded the contents of my existing sshd_config file for the contents.
File -> Save Asand generated my baseline autoyast file.
Though the number of steps I just listed seems long, these autoyast files are really very quick to make. You could create any number of them for different machine roles and make them all available for new installs.
Now that you have an installation server (FTP-based in this specific case) and all the autoyast files and other resources a new machine could need, you can setup a new machine from scratch by doing the following:
/sources/suse-10.2-64bit/CD1directory, press enter.
autoyast=ftp://[installserver]/[autoyast-file]. What you type appears in the command line options along the bottom of the screen.
Now, when I set this up, GRUB wouldnít boot the newly installed machine. It turned
out that the kernel version I was running on the reference server (and from which
I generated the initial autoyast file) was different from the kernel provided by
the installation server. This meant in my autoyast file the GRUB configuration portion
was trying to reference a file (
vmlinuz-184.108.40.206-34-default) that didnít
exist. So make sure your installation server is tied to the official repositories
and make sure your reference machine is fully up to date before creating the baseline
I used this same approach to create configurations for JBoss, e-mail, and basic openSUSE-based servers.
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