The holiday season, the most fun part of the year, is
here. It is also the season to give. I just finished
giving (okay, delivering) another way to do an (automated)
install of OpenSolaris.
Starting with OpenSolaris build 130, the automated
installer (AI) x86/SPARC iso and USB images will be
bootable standalone. That is, the AI media can now be
booted without necessarily needing to setup an AI server/
services. The machine will boot from such media and do an
Automated Install from an IPS repo. Either a default
manifest (pointing to pkg.opensolaris.org/release) can be
used or a custom manifest can be used to specify the
This opens up a few avenues:
a) SPARC machines that are not capable of wanboot (a requirement
for doing AI over the network), can now be directly booted
and an OpenSolaris install done using that media.
b) The AI media can also be used as a rescue disk.
On SPARC, the following will simply boot the AI media and
not start an install.
ok boot cdrom
On x86, edit the GRUB menu entry to have 'aimanifest='. This
will boot the AI media without starting an install.
A user can log in thereafter as root/opensolaris and perform
the necessary repair/diagnostic procedures.
c) An xVM PV install can now be done without needing to setup
an AI server/services so it greatly simplifies the install.
The following command line does a PV install from the AI media:
# virt-install -n domU-mediaboot-ai --paravirt -r 2048 --disk
Using a Custom Manifest
If you wish to customize the installation parameters, a custom manifest
must be specified.
On x86, the first choice (also the default choice) in the GRUB menu, allows
one to specify a custom manifest.
On SPARC, the following allows one to specify a custom manifest:
ok boot cdrom – install prompt
('ok boot cdrom – install' uses a default manifest located on the
If a custom manifest is specified as above, the user is presented with the
following prompt during boot up:
Enter the URL for the AI manifest [HTTP, default]:
Currently, only an HTTP path to the manifest can be specified. Once enhancement
request 13201 is fixed, it may be possible to specify other sorts of paths as well.
NOTE: If you plan to use the AI media to do an install before OpenSolaris 2010.03
ships, you must install using a custom manifest that specifies 'http://pkg.opensolaris.org/dev'
instead of 'http://pkg.opensolaris.org/release' as the IPS repo to install from. Otherwise the
installed system may not be bootable.