Using an AIX NIM Server to install/Rescue a Linux server

 

The following document shows how to configure the NIM Server to install Red Hat 7 and  Red Hat 8; Configure the LPAR for net boot and optionally use your lpp source as a repository on the Linux LPAR.

 

Variables

I use the following variables in the examples below:

  • client_ip IP of the Server being installed

  • client_mac MAC address of client (without colons)

  • client_host Client hostname (in /etc/hosts)

  • en_name Name of network adapter

  • nim_ip: IP of NIM Server

  • NIM OS AIX 720402 + NIM Server code

  • gateway Network gateway

  • net_mask Network mask

 

Install Red Hat 7

The following steps will describe loading the Red Hat packages onto the NIM Server (to share via NFS for the install) and configuring bootp.

 

1. loop mount the Red Hat 7 iso image and extract the contents in a directory of your choice. I put below my NIM lpp_source for consistency.

# mkdir /export/lpp_source/rhel_7

# loopmount -i RHEL-7.3-20161019.0-Server-ppc64le-dvd1.iso -o "-V cdrfs -o ro" -m /mnt

# cd /mnt

cp -pr . /export/lpp_source/rhel_7

2, Link the /export/lpp_source/rhel_7/boot directory to /boot.

 

# ln -s /export/lpp_source/rhel_7/boot /boot

 

3, Create a directory with your distro version under /tftpboot and then copy linux, core.elf and initrd to it (I recommend making /tftpboot a separate file system).

 

# mkdir /tftpboot/rhel_7

# cp -pr /export/lpp_source/rhel_7/ppc /tftpboot/rhel_7

# cp -pr /export/lpp_source/rhel_7/boot/grub/powerpc-ieee1275/core.elf /tftpboot/rhel_7

 

 

4. Check that you have the following entries in /etc/tftpaccess.ctl.

 

# cat /etc/tftpaccess.ctl

allow:/tftpboot

allow:/boot

 

5. Add following menuentry in /boot/grub.cfg

 

menuentry "Net install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 (64-bit kernel)" --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {

linux /tftpboot/rhel_7/ppc/ppc64/vmlinuz ip=[client_ip]::[net_mask]:[client_host]:[en_name]:none inst.repo=nfs://[nim_ip]:/export/lpp_source/rhel_7 ro

initrd /tftpboot/rhel_7/ppc/ppc64/initrd.img

}

 

Note This is a basic configuration example. This can be modified based on specific needs such as adding autoyast and using http protocol instead of nfs.

 

6. Add the following entry in /etc/exports

 

/export/lpp_source/rhel_7 -vers=3:4,public,sec=sys:krb5p:krb5i:krb5:dh,ro

 

7. Export directory /export/lpp_soursce/rhel_7

 

exportfs -a

 

8. Add the following entry in /etc/bootptab

 

[client_host]:bf=/tftpboot/rhel_7/core.elf:ip=[client_ip]:ht=ethernet:ha=[client_mac]:sa=[nim_ip]:gw=[client_ip]:sm=[net_mask]:

 

Now you are ready to boot your LPAR from the NIM Server.

 

Install Red Hat 8

The following steps will describe loading the Red Hat packages onto the NIM Server (to share via NFS for the install) and configuring bootp.

 

1. loop mount the red Hat 8.2 iso image and extract the contents in a directory of your choice.

 

# mkdir /export/lpp_source/rhel_8

# loopmount -i rhel-8.2-ppc64le-dvd.iso -o "-V cdrfs -o ro" -m /mnt

# cd /mnt

cp -pr . /export/lpp_source/rhel_8

 

2. Link the /export/lpp_source/rhel_8/boot directory to /boot.

 

# ln -s /export/lpp_source/rhel_8/boot /boot

 

3. Create a directory with your distro version under /tftpboot and then copy linux, core.elf and initrd to it (I recommend making /tftpboot a separate file system).

 

# mkdir /tftpboot/rhel_8

# cp -pr /export/lpp_source/rhel_8/ppc /tftpboot/rhel_8

# cp -pr /export/lpp_source/rhel_8/boot/grub/powerpc-ieee1275/core.elf /tftpboot/rhel_8

 

 

4. Check that you have the following entries in /etc/tftpaccess.ctl.

 

# cat /etc/tftpaccess.ctl

allow:/tftpboot

allow:/boot

 

5. Add following menuentry in /boot/grub.cfg

 

menuentry "Net install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 (64-bit kernel)" --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {

linux /tftpboot/rhel_8/ppc/ppc64/vmlinuz ip=[client_ip]::[net_mask]:[client_host]:[en_name]:none inst.repo=nfs::[nim_ip]:/export/lpp_source/rhel_8 ro

initrd /tftpboot/rhel_8/ppc/ppc64/initrd.img

}

 

Note This is a basic configuration example. This can be modified based on specific needs such as adding autoyast and using http protocol instead of nfs.

 

6. Add the following entry in /etc/exports

 

/export/lpp_source/rhel_8 -vers=3:4,public,sec=sys:krb5p:krb5i:krb5:dh,ro

 

7. Export directory /export/lpp_soursce/rhel_8

 

exportfs -a

 

8. Add the following entry in /etc/bootptab

 

[client_host]:bf=/tftpboot/rhel_8/core.elf:ip=[client_ip]:ht=ethernet:ha=[client_mac]:sa=[nim_ip]:gw=[client_ip]:sm=[net_mask]:

 

Now you are ready to boot your LPAR from the NIM Server.

 

Configure the LPAR to net boot

To get the LPAR ready to boot from the NIM Sever over the network, you will need to configure the network adapter (IP details) and then boot from the adapter as follows:

 

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1 = SMS Menu 5 = Default Boot List

9 = Restricted Open Firmware Prompt 6 = Stored Boot List


 

Memory Keyboard Network Speaker

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Main Menu

1. Select Language

2. Setup Remote IPL (Initial Program Load)

3. I/O Device Information

4. Select Console

5. Select Boot Options


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:


 

X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Select <2> to setup IPL

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NIC Adapters

Device Location Code Hardware

Address

1. Interpartition Logical LAN U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T1 fa1a5b853e20

2. Interpartition Logical LAN U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T2 269dc635066a


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Select Adapter on NIM Network

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Select Internet Protocol Version.

1. IPv4 – Address Format 123.321.111.222

2. IPv6 – Address Format 1234:5678:90ab:cdef:1234:5678:90ab:cdef


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

I am using IPv4

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Select Network Service.

1. Bootp

2. ISCSI


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

I use bootp

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Network Parameters

Interpartition Logical LAN: U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T1

1. IP Parameters

2. Adapter Configuration

3. Ping Test

4. Advanced Setup: BOOTP


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Setup the IP Parameters

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IP Parameters

Interpartition Logical LAN: U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T1

1. Client IP Address [client_ip]

2. Server IP Address [nim_ip]

3. Gateway IP Address [gateway]

4. Subnet Mask [net_mask]


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

[ESC] to the previous screen and select item 3 – ping test. Check the correct settings are displayed and press 1 to execute. You should see a success message

 


 


 

.------------------.

| Ping Success. |

.------------------.


 


 

Press any key to continue.............

 

[ESC] back to the Main Menu and select item 5 – Boot options

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mulitboot

1. Select Install/Boot Device

2. Configure Boot Device Order

3. Multiboot Starting <OFF>

4. SAN Zoning Support


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Select item 1

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Select Device Type

1. Tape

2. CD/DVD

3. Hard Drive

4. Network

5. List all Devices


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Select item 1, then item 1 again (BOOTP)

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Select Device

Device Current Device

Number Position Name

1. - Interpartition Logical LAN

( loc=U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T1 )

2. - Interpartition Logical LAN

( loc=U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T2 )


 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Select the adapter configured above

 

PowerPC Firmware

Version FW940.02 (VL940_041)

SMS(c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2019 All rights reserved.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Select Task

Interpartition Logical LAN

( loc=U9009.22A.788CF90-V6-C2-T1 )


 

1. Information

2. Norman Mode Boot

3. Service Mode Boot


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navigation Keys:

M = return to Main Menu

ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Type menu item and press Enter or select Navigation key:

 

Select item 2 and then item 1 (you are sure you want to leave SMS)

You will then see packet transfer, and eventually the Red Hat installation Menu.

 

Using LPP Source as a repository

One advantage of setting up the lpp source on the NIM Server is it can now be used a a repository for your Linux LPAR. I also copy the IBM Linux tools into a directory under the lpp source. For ease of use, I configured the automount daemon to mount the repositories as required

 

Entry in /etc/auto.master

 

/ext /etc/auto.repo

 

Example of /etc/auto.repo

 

rhel_8 -fstype=nfs,rw,soft,vers=3 ibmpc1:/export/lpp_source/rhel_8

 

Example of /etc/yum.repos.d/myrepo.repo.

 

RHEL8.2_Server]

name=RedHat Enterprise Linux Server 8.2

baseurl=file:///ext/rhel_8/BaseOS

enabled=0

gpgcheck=0


 

[RHEL8_IBM_tools]

name=IBM tools for RedHat Enterprise Linux Server 8

baseurl=file:///ext/rhel_8/ibm_tools

enabled=0

gpgcheck=0

 

 

Antony Steel

Belisama