Setting up a solaris PXE boot server

Perhaps the fastest and most convenient way to install the Solaris OS has been over the network from a NFS server. Many administrators who use the Solaris Enterprise System may already know about this way of installation. The basic process follows these simple steps:

1. The netinstall client is configured to boot over the network.
2. Just after powering up, the client uses BOOTP to broadcast for network information.
3. The BOOTP server replies with network, bootstrap, and installation information.
4. The client configures its network and retrieves bootstrap and installation files.

This how-to document therefore provides a concise set of directions to insert new device driver binaries into the installation media. It covers two primary installation methods:
Creating your own bootable ISO install CDs and DVDs
Network installation using PXE boot/DHCP

Creating installation image using CD DVD/ISO image :

If you do not have media, but have downloaded an ISO file, you do not need to burn the media first and then mount it. The Solaris OS offers a loopback file system mounting command,lofiadm(1M), that allows users to mount ISO images. Simply use the following command:

# /usr/sbin/lofiadm -a <isoimagepath>

Note that<isoimagepath> is the full path to the downloaded installation ISO image. Often,thel ofi a d m(1M) command will return the block device location as/ dev/lofi/1 or/dev/lofi/2or /dev/lofi/ depending on the number of loopback file systems already mounted. To mount this as a readable file system, use themount(1M) command:
# mount -­F hsfs /dev/lofi/1 /mnt
When complete with the loopback file system mount, simply run theumount(1M) and lofiadm(1M) commands to umount:
# umount /mnt; lofiadm ­d /dev/lofi/1
Replace the/mnt and /dev/lofi/1 with your mount points in the previous command.

Setting Up a PXE Boot Server

The Solaris install media usually includes a utility to install the basic JumpStart server. Inserting optical media into a running Solaris system will usually prompt the volume manager to mount the media at/cdrom. When you change the directory to the following you should see the JumpStart installation scriptsetup_install_ser ver(1m).

# cd /cdrom/sol_10_106_x86/Solaris_10/Tools
Usage is straightforward. Just specify the command and a target installation directory:
# ./setup_install_server /export/install

The user can change the target directory,/export/install, to another location as needed. Running this command requires about 3 or more Gbytes of disk space on the slice that holds the target directory.

The run the following command to create platform specific boot image – like for Solaris x86 architecture run –

./add_install_client -d SUNWi86pc i86pc

And collect all the info you got after the successful execution of the command. You will need them later while configuring DHCP macros.

It automatically place entry for your nfs mount point on dfstab file. You can examine this by taking a look at the/etc/dfs/dfstab file and you will find a line that looks like the following:

share ­F nfs ­o ro,anon=0 ­d “jumpstart dir” /export/install
or simply run – showmount -e

You can edit/export/install to wherever you unpacked the install server. After saving and exiting the editor, you should then enable or restart the NFS server by running the following:

# svcadm enable svc:/network/nfs/server ; shareall
For completeness, you can create a directory:
# mkdir /export/install/jumpstart
Then copy the samplejum pstar t_sam ple files to that directory:
# cp ­r /export/install/Solaris_10/Misc/jumpstart_sample/*   /export/install/jumpstart
Setting Up a DHCP Server for PXE Boot

I have another post on this

For Solaris 9,
System default tftp won’t work with DHCP.
In that case you just need to collect the tftp-hpa from sunfreeware and install the pkg and run the tftp daemon as follows –
/usr/local/sbin/in.tftpd -l -s /local03/tftpboot/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: