1.2. Setting Up the Server Holding the Installation Sources

Depending on the operating system running on the machine to use as network installation source for SUSE Linux, there are several options for the server configuration. The easiest way to set up an installation server is to use YaST on SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 or SUSE Linux 9.3 and higher. On other versions of SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server or SUSE Linux, set up the installation source manually.

[Tip]Tip

You can even use a Microsoft Windows machine as installation server for your Linux deployment. See Section 1.2.5, “Managing a SMB Installation Source” for details.

1.2.1. Setting Up an Installation Server Using YaST

YaST offers a graphical tool for creating network installation sources. It supports HTTP, FTP, and NFS network installation servers.

  1. Log in as root to the machine that should act as installation server.

  2. Start YaST+Miscellaneous+Installation Server.

  3. Select Server Configuration.

  4. Select the server type (HTTP, FTP, or NFS).

    The selected server service is started automatically every time the system starts. If a service of the selected type is already running on your system and you want to configure it manually for the server, deactivate the automatic configuration of the server service with Do Not Configure Any Network Services. In both cases, define the directory in which the installation data should be made available on the server.

  5. Configure the required server type.

    This step relates to the automatic configuration of server services. It is skipped when automatic configuration is deactivated. Define an alias for the root directory of the FTP or HTTP server on which the installation data should be found. The installation source will later be located under ftp://Server-IP/Alias/Name (FTP) or under http://Server-IP/Alias/Name (HTTP). Name stands for the name of the installation source, which is defined in the following step. If you selected NFS in the previous step, define wild cards and exports options. The NFS server will be accessible under nfs://Server-IP/Name . Details of NFS and exports can be found in Chapter 22, Sharing File Systems with NFS.

  6. Configure the installation source.

    Before the installation media are copied to their destination, define the name of the installation source (ideally, an easily remembered abbreviation of the product and version). YaST allows providing ISO images of the media instead of copies of the installation CDs. If you want this, activate the relevant check box and specify the directory path under which the ISO files can be found locally. Depending on the product to distribute using this installation server, it might be that more add-on CDs or service pack CDs are required to install the product completely. If you activate Prompt for Additional CDs, YaST automatically reminds you to supply these media. To announce your installation server in the network via OpenSLP, activate the appropriate option.

    [Tip]Tip

    Consider announcing your installation source via OpenSLP if your network setup supports this option. This saves you from entering the network installation path on every target machine. The target systems are just booted using the SLP boot option and will find the network installation source without any further configuration. For details on this option, refer to Section 1.4, “Booting the Target System for Installation”.

  7. Upload the installation data.

    The most lengthy step in configuring an installation server is copying the actual installation CDs. Insert the media in the sequence requested by YaST and wait for the copying procedure to end. When the sources have been fully copied, return to the overview of existing information sources and close the configuration by selecting Finish.

    Your installation server is now fully configured and ready for service. It is automatically started every time the system is started. No further intervention is required. You only need to configure and start this service correctly by hand if you have deactivated the automatic configuration of the selected network service with YaST as an initial step.

To deactivate an installation source, select Change in the overview to reach a list of all available installation sources. Choose the entry to remove then select Delete. This delete procedure only relates to the deactivation of the server service. The installation data itself remains in the directory chosen. However, you can remove it manually.

If your installation server should provide the installation data for more than one product of product version, start the YaST installation server module and select Configure in the overview of existing installation sources to configure the new installation source.

1.2.2. Manual Setup of an NFS Installation Source

Setting up an NFS source for installation is basically done in two steps. In the first step, create the directory structure holding the installation data and copy the installation media over to this structure. Second, export the directory holding the installation data to the network.

To create a directory holding the installation data, proceed as follows:

  1. Log in as root.

  2. Create a directory that should later hold all installation data and change into this directory. For example:

    mkdir install/product/productversion
    cd install/product/productversion

    Replace product with an abbreviation of the product name (in this case SUSE Linux) and productversion with a string that contains the product name and version.

  3. For each CD contained in the media kit execute the following commands:

    1. Copy the entire content of the installation CD into the installation server directory:

      cp -a /media/path_to_your_CD-ROM_drive .

      Replace path_to_your_CD-ROM_drive with the actual path under which your CD or DVD drive is addressed. Depending on the type of drive used in your system, this can be cdrom, cdrecorder, dvd, or dvdrecorder.

    2. Rename the directory to the CD number:

      mv path_to_your_CD-ROM_drive CDx

      Replace x with the actual number of your CD.

To export the installation sources via NFS using YaST, proceed as follows:

  1. Log in as root.

  2. Start YaST+Network Services+NFS Server.

  3. Select Start NFS Server and Open Port in Firewall and click Next.

  4. Select Add Directory and enter the path to the directory holding the installation data. In this case, it is /productversion .

  5. Select Add Host and enter the hostnames of the machines to which to export the installation data. Instead of specifying hostnames here, you could also use wild cards, ranges of network addresses, or just the domain name of your network. Enter the appropriate export options or leave the default, which works fine in most setups. For more information about the syntax used in exporting NFS shares, read the exports man page.

  6. Click Finish.

    The NFS server holding the SUSE Linux installation sources is automatically started and integrated into the boot process.

If you prefer to manually export the installation sources via NFS instead of using the YaST NFS Server module, proceed as follows:

  1. Log in as root.

  2. Open the file /etc/exports and enter the following line:

    /productversion *(ro,root_squash,sync)

    This exports the directory /productversion to any host that is part of this network or to any host that can connect to this server. To limit the access to this server, use netmasks or domain names instead of the general wild card *. Refer to the export man page for details. Save and exit this configuration file.

  3. To add the NFS service to the list of servers started during system boot, execute the following commands:

    insserv /etc/init.d/nfsserver
    insserv /etc/init.d/portmap
  4. Start the NFS server using the following command:

    rcnfsserver start

    If you need to change the configuration of your NFS server later, modify the configuration file and restart the NFS daemon with rcnfsserver restart.

Announcing the NFS server via OpenSLP makes its address known to all clients in your network.

  1. Log in as root.

  2. Enter the directory /etc/slp.reg.d/.

  3. Create a configuration file called install.suse.nfs.reg containing the following lines:

    
    # Register the NFS Installation Server
    service:install.suse:nfs://$HOSTNAME/path_instsource/CD1,en,65535 
    description=NFS Installation Source

    Replace path_instsource with the actual path to the installation source on your server.

  4. Save this configuration file and start the OpenSLP daemon using the following command:

    rcslpd start

For more information about OpenSLP, refer to the package documentation located under /usr/share/doc/packages/openslp/ or refer to Chapter 19, SLP Services in the Network.

1.2.3. Manual Setup of an FTP Installation Source

Creating an FTP installation source is very similar to creating an NFS installation source. FTP installation sources can be announced over the network using OpenSLP as well.

  1. Create a directory holding the installation sources as described in Section 1.2.2, “Manual Setup of an NFS Installation Source”.

  2. Configure the FTP server to distribute the contents of your installation directory:

    1. Log in as root and install the package pure-ftpd (a lean FTP server) using the YaST package manager.

    2. Enter the FTP server root directory:

      cd /srv/ftp
    3. Create a subdirectory holding the installation sources in the FTP root directory:

      mkdir instsource 

      Replace instsource with the product name.

    4. Copy the contents of all installation CDs into the FTP server's root directory (similar to the procedure described in Section 1.2.2, “Manual Setup of an NFS Installation Source”, Step 3).

      Alternatively, mount the contents of the already existing installation repository into the change root environment of the FTP server:

      mount --bind path_to_instsource /srv/ftp/instsource

      Replace path_to_instsource and instsource with values matching your setup. If you need to make this permanent, add it to /etc/fstab.

    5. Start pure-ftpd:

      pure-ftpd &
             
  3. Announce the installation source via OpenSLP, if this is supported by your network setup:

    1. Create a configuration file called install.suse.ftp.reg under /etc/slp/reg.d/ that contains the following lines:

      
      # Register the FTP Installation Server
      service:install.suse:ftp://$HOSTNAME/srv/ftp/instsource/CD1,en,65535 
      description=FTP Installation Source

      Replace instsource with the actual name to the installation source directory on your server. The service: line should be entered as one continuous line.

    2. Save this configuration file and start the OpenSLP daemon using the following command:

      rcslpd start 
             

1.2.4. Manual Setup of an HTTP Installation Source

Creating an HTTP installation source is very similar to creating an NFS installation source. HTTP installation sources can be announced over the network using OpenSLP as well.

  1. Create a directory holding the installation sources as described in Section 1.2.2, “Manual Setup of an NFS Installation Source”.

  2. Configure the HTTP server to distribute the contents of your installation directory:

    1. Install the Web server Apache as described in Section 26.1.2, “Installation”.

    2. Enter the root directory of the HTTP server (/srv/www/htdocs) and create a subdirectory that will hold the installation sources:

      mkdir instsource 
             

      Replace instsource with the product name.

    3. Create a symbolic link from the location of the installation sources to the root directory of the Web server (/srv/www/htdocs):

      ln -s /path_instsource /srv/www/htdocs/instsource
    4. Modify the configuration file of the HTTP server (/etc/apache2/default-server.conf) to make it follow symbolic links. Replace the following line:

      Options None

      with

      Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    5. Reload the HTTP server configuration using rcapache2 reload.

  3. Announce the installation source via OpenSLP, if this is supported by your network setup:

    1. Create a configuration file called install.suse.http.reg under /etc/slp/reg.d/ that contains the following lines:

      
      # Register the HTTP Installation Server
      service:install.suse:http://$HOSTNAME/srv/www/htdocs/instsource/CD1/,en,65535 
      description=HTTP Installation Source

      Replace path_to_instsource with the actual path to the installation source on your server. The service: line should be entered as one continuous line.

    2. Save this configuration file and start the OpenSLP daemon using rcslpd restart.

1.2.5. Managing a SMB Installation Source

Using SMB (Samba), you can import the installation sources from a Microsoft Windows server and start your Linux deployment even with no Linux machine around.

To set up an exported Windows Share holding your SUSE Linux installation sources, proceed as follows:

  1. Log in to your Windows machine.

  2. Start Explorer and create a new folder that will hold the entire installation tree and name it INSTALL, for example.

  3. Export this share according the procedure outlined in your Windows documentation.

  4. Enter this share and create a subfolder, called product . product needs to be replaced with the actual product name (SUSE Linux in this case).

  5. Copy each SUSE Linux CD into a separate folder and name these folders CD1, CD2, CD3, etc.

  6. Enter the top directory of the exported share (INSTALL, in this example) and copy the following files and folders from product/CD1 to this folder: content, media.1, control.xml, and boot.

  7. Create a new folder under INSTALL and name it yast.

    Enter the yast folder and create the files order and instorder.

  8. Open the order file and enter the following line:

    /NLD/CD1 smb://user:password@hostname/productCD1

    Replace user with the username you use on the Windows machine or use Guest to enable guest login to this share. password should be replaced either with your login password or any other string for guest login. hostname should be replaced with the network name of your Windows machine.

  9. Open the instorder file and add the following line:

     /product/CD1

To use a SMB mounted share as installation source, proceed as follows:

  1. Boot the installation target.

  2. Select Installation.

  3. Press F3 and F4 for a selection of installation sources.

  4. Choose SMB and enter the Windows machine's name or IP address, the share name (INSTALL, in this example), username, and password.

    After you hit Enter, YaST starts and you can perform the installation.