Troubleshooting Solaris Automated Installer (AI)
(Doc ID 1391770.1)
Last updated on SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
Solaris Operating System - Version 11 11/11 and later Oracle Solaris on SPARC (64-bit) Oracle Solaris on x86-64 (64-bit)
This document describes how to troubleshoot Solaris Automated Installer issues and provides references to related documentation
AI automates the installation of the Oracle Solaris 11 OS on SPARC and x86 clients over the network. The clients can be customized with installation parameters such as disk layout and software selection and with system configuration parameters such as host name, network configuration, and user accounts. Customizations can be made on a client-by-client basis and can be scaled for large environments.
An automated installation of a client over the network consists of the following high-level steps: - The client system boots over the network and gets its network configuration and the location of the install server from the DHCP server. - The install server provides a boot image to the client. - Characteristics of the client determine which installation instructions and which system configuration instructions are used to install the client. - The Oracle Solaris 11 OS is installed on the client, pulling packages from the package repository specified by the installation instructions in the AI install service.
The Automated Installer (AI) is used to automate the installation of the Oracle Solaris OS on one or more SPARC and x86 systems over a network.
The machine topography necessary to employ AI over the network is to have an install server, a DHCP server (this can be the same system as the install server), and the installation clients. On the install server, install services are set up to contain an AI boot image, which is provided to the clients in order for them to boot over the network, input specifications (AI manifests and derived manifest scripts), one of which will be selected for the client, and Service Management Facility (SMF) configuration profiles, zero or more of which will be selected for the client.
The AI boot image content is published as the package installimage/solaris-auto-install, and is installed by the create-service subcommand. The create-service subcommand is also able to accept and unpack an AI ISO file to create the AI boot image.
Install services are created with a default AI manifest, but customized manifests or derived manifest scripts (hereafter called "scripts") can be added to an install service by using the create-manifest subcommand. See Installing Oracle Solaris 11.3 Systems for information about how to create manifests and derived manifests scripts. Manifests can also be edited using the interactive manifest editor CLI. The manifest editor CLI, which can be invoked using the create-manifest and update-manifest subcommands, is an interactive interface that presents the AI manifest content as a set of objects and properties that can be manipulated using subcommands entered at the interactive interface prompt. It allows you to edit a manifest without having to view or understand an XML document (see "MANIFEST EDITOR CLI" section below). The create-manifest subcommand also allows criteria to be specified, which are used to determine which manifest or script should be selected for an installation client. Criteria already associated with a manifest or script can be modified using the set-criteria subcommand.
Manifests can include information such as a target device, partition information, a list of packages, and other parameters. Scripts contain commands that query a running AI client system and build a custom manifest based on the information it finds. When AI is invoked with a script, AI runs that script as its first task, to generate a manifest.
When the client boots, a search is initiated for a manifest or script that matches the client's machine criteria. When a matching manifest or script is found, the client is installed with the Oracle Solaris release according to the specifications in the matching manifest file, or to the specifications in the manifest file derived from the matching script. Each client can use only one manifest or script.
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