JET 4.8 Now available

 It has been a long while. We've had about 6 internal releases of JET 4.7.1, .2, .3 etc, but we've recently gone to 4.8

The main highlight is that JET 4.8 has the new sysidcfg variables required for the unattended installation of Solaris 10 09/10. It also knows about the "new" Solaris 10 Recommended patch structure.

The best way to get it is to click the link at the top of the wiki site.

JET 4.8 Changes:

As mentioned above the main JET change is the addition of a new base_config_sysidcfg variable to allow the auto-registration stuff to be configured. 

Other changes:


All the modules have been updated to be ksh93 compliant, for those of you who are using OpenSolaris/Nevada/Solaris 11 Express Jumpstart servers.

Recommended Patches

The Solaris 10 Recommended patches (since around this time last year) have had a different directory structure, a better installation script, and a "password" to ensure that you've read the "README". JET understands this new structure and uss the installer script if present. A new base_config variable: base_config_recpatch_passcode has been added to supply the password.

Assorted Bug fixes

I've fixed an issue with the hosts file with DHCP Sparc hosts, check_client for custom checks f and m scripts, nfsmapid is started in the miniroot so nfsv4 shared files have the right perms, search items are now first in resolv.conf, use of correct awk in get_matrix_byname, added clearer fdisk comments, fixed an update_template bug, stopped n-1 custom from forcing another boot, made setupdumpdevice work only in a global zone, further refined run_sshkeygen, updated pkginfo to install only in "THISZONE".

Menu.lst enhancements

There's now a bit more flexibility in dealing with the menu.lst file. JET has always had the capability of simply appending a file to the menu.lst file using base_config_menulst_append. I've added 3 more variables to allow even more control:

1: base_config_grub_append: lets you add arguments to the boot line in the menu.lst file.

2: base_config_grub_timeout: change the default timeout from 2 seconds to whatever you set here.

3: base_config_grub_singleuser: add a boot option in menu.lst to boot net single user.

Custom Files enhancements:

You can now optionally specify owner:group:mode for each files that custom_files copies. Under normal circumstances JET simply duplicates the perms of the file on the JET server. In implementing this, I discovered an interesting bug with NFS permissions in the net-booted Solaris, which meant I had to work around that by manually starting nfsmapid in the Jumpstart phase to ensure correct and consistent permisssions.


Implemented the auto_reg functionality. Probably easier to simply paste the comments in the Template here:

# From Solaris 10 Update 9 onwards, a new sysidcfg keyword exists: auto_reg
# This allows automatic Solaris registration to take place.
# auto_reg can be all, noproxy, anon, none or disable
# "all" requires ALL additional fields to be filled in
# "noproxy" requires only oracle_user and oracle_pw fields to be filled in
# "anon" requires all the http_proxy fields to be filled in
# "none" or "disable" do not need any additional fields.


Other Modules

Some minor changes/updates have been made to some of the modules JetSDS, JetZFS, JetZONES. Mainly bugfixes and error reporting enhancements, so no huge functionality changes, but you might want to scan through the comments in the templates as I have rewritten some of them to make some of the existing functionality clearer.


As usual, we maintain backwards compatibility, so your existing templates will continue to work. To make use of the new functionality, you'll need to refresh your templates. All new clients (created with make_template) will automatically have the new variables. (Have a scan through sample.template in /opt/SUNWjet/Templates to see what's changed.)

In case anyone asks. Upgrading JET is as simple as pkgrming your existing JET modules, and then pkgadding the new ones. JET won't remove any of your existing configuration, Template or Client files.



And just when I thought JET was a gonner. Thank you Mike!

BTW have you considered adding Ken's suggestion on getting wanboot to install off an NFS mounted CDROM instead of flasharchives?

If not I would really like to contribute the changes I made to 4.7 that allows us to use this feature. The main reason (on SPARC) being that flasharchives are model specific but the network-boot-arguments allow us to bypass the need for using DHCP servers. This way we get a CDROM based jumpstart but without the DHCP requirement.

Are there any plans or do you know of a way of getting x86 booting like SPARC does via network-boot-arguments thus not requiring DHCP?
On x86 I had to load gpxe with http functionality using our company's PXE loader (Altiris). Its "hacky" but it works.

thanks again for the great work.

Posted by Sugan Moodley on October 28, 2010 at 05:18 AM BST #

I've not considered wanboot + NFS install media before. As you say, it removes the DHCP requirement. Unfortunately, there is no way of doing something similar for x86 clients, PXE seems to be the only option.

As far as I know, flash archives are not model specific.

So what "hacking" did you need to do to get wanboot to not do a flar?

Posted by Michael Ramchand on October 29, 2010 at 06:38 AM BST #

You know you may be right about the model specific issue. I have in the past had issues with flars from sun4u to other arch's like sun4m or sun4v (Solaris 2.6,8,9) . I can only assume this is still the case with Solaris 10 but have never tested it. The other issue with flar's is that it cannot be updated easily (differentials excluded).

The hack of using wanboot to install off an NFS mounted CDROM was posted by Ken_Zheng (Apr 24, 2009) in the comments section in this URL:
Note that I also don't use SUNWXall but SUNWCreq + a couple of SUNWC pkg's specific for M and T series models.

PXE is not the only jumpstart option on Sun Fire X series. We use the ILOM's virtual cdrom by uploading a custom boot cdrom ISO based on GPXE/ISOLINUX that fetches pxegrub.0 from the JET HTTP server. However it still needs to DHCPREQUEST first before it can access anything on the network. Sparc's OBP and JET's Wanboot obviate DHCP completely. I bet a lot of people out there wish OpenBoot existed for x86 but at least GPXE helps fill in this gap.

Please send me an email directly if you want to look at the implementation procedure.

Posted by Sugan Moodley on October 29, 2010 at 08:31 AM BST #

On the wanboot thing. Thanks for reminding/pointing it out. I did look at it, and while the change to the wanboot.begin file was trivial, I didn't have time to test if there were any unintended consequences to making that change, so I've not implemented it.

Yes, that's a cute trick with GPXE and booting it from the virtual CDROM, but there does not seem to be a way of plumbing the interface at that stage without using DHCP. I don't know of any work to do so either.

Posted by Michael Ramchand on October 29, 2010 at 08:49 AM BST #

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