1.5. Monitoring the Installation Process

There are several options for remotely monitoring the installation process. If the proper boot options have been specified while booting for installation, either VNC or SSH can be used to control the installation and system configuration from a remote workstation.

1.5.1. VNC Installation

Using any VNC viewer software, you can remotely control the installation of SUSE Linux from virtually any operating system. This section introduces the setup using a VNC viewer application or a Web browser.

1.5.1.1. Preparing for VNC Installation

All you need to do on the installation target to prepare for a VNC installation is to provide the appropriate boot options at the initial boot for installation (see Section 1.4.3, “Using Custom Boot Options”). The target system boots into a text-based environment and waits for a VNC client to connect to the installation program.

The installation program announces the IP address and display number needed to connect for installation. If you have physical access to the target system, this information is provided right after the system booted for installation. Enter this data when your VNC client software prompts for it and provide your VNC password.

Because the installation target announces itself via OpenSLP, you can retrieve the address information of the installation target via an SLP browser without the need for any physical contact to the installation itself provided your network setup and all machines support OpenSLP:

  1. Start the KDE file and Web browser Konqueror.

  2. Enter service://yast.installation.suse in the location bar.

    The target system then appears as an icon in the Konqueror screen. Clicking this icon launches the KDE VNC viewer in which to perform the installation. Alternatively, run your VNC viewer software with the IP address provided and add :1 at the end of the IP address for the display the installation is running on.

1.5.1.2. Connecting to the Installation Program

Basically, there are two ways to connect to a VNC server (the installation target in this case). You can either start an independent VNC viewer application on any operating system or connect using a Java-enabled Web browser.

Using VNC, you can control the installation of a Linux system from any other operating system, including other Linux flavors, Windows, or Mac OS.

On a Linux machine, make sure that the package tightvnc is installed. On a Windows machine, install the Windows port of this application, which can be obtained at the TightVNC home page (http://www.tightvnc.com/download.html).

To connect to the installation program running on the target machine, proceed as follows:

  1. Start the VNC viewer.

  2. Enter the IP address and display number of the installation target as provided by the SLP browser or the installation program itself:

    ip_address:display_number 

    A window opens on your desktop displaying the YaST screens as in a normal local installation.

Using a Web browser to connect to the installation program makes you totally independent of any VNC software or the underlying operating system. As long as the browser application has Java support enabled, you can use any browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Konqueror, Opera, etc.) to perform the installation of your Linux system.

To perform a VNC installation, proceed as follows:

  1. Launch your preferred Web browser.

  2. Enter the following at the address prompt:

    http://ip_address_of_target:5801
  3. Enter your VNC password when prompted to do so. The browser window now displays the YaST screens as in a normal local installation.

1.5.2. SSH Installation

Using SSH, you can remotely control the installation of your Linux machine using any SSH client software.

1.5.2.1. Preparing for SSH Installation

Apart from installing the appropriate software package (OpenSSH for Linux and PuTTY for Windows), you just need to pass the appropriate boot options to enable SSH for installation. See Section 1.4.3, “Using Custom Boot Options” for details. OpenSSH is installed by default on any SUSE Linux based operating system.

1.5.2.2. Connecting to the Installation Program

  1. Retrieve the installation target's IP address.

    If you have physical access to the target machine, just take the IP address the installation routine provides at the console after the initial boot. Otherwise take the IP address that has been assigned to this particular host in the DHCP server configuration.

  2. At a command line enter the following command:

    ssh -X root@ip_address_of_target
    

    Replace ip_address_of_target with the actual IP address of the installation target.

  3. When prompted for a username, enter root.

  4. When prompted for password, enter the password that has been set via the SSH boot option.

    After you have successfully authenticated, a command line prompt for the installation target appears.

  5. Enter yast to launch the installation program.

    A window opens showing the normal YaST screens as described in Chapter 1, Installation with YaST (↑Start-Up) .