In this chapter, we show you how to install the 64-bit Linux operating system on various types of pSeries servers, either standalone, or in LPAR mode. The steps presented here apply to the two distributions currently supported on pSeries: SLES 8 (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8), and RHAS 3 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Server 3).
This chapter contains:
2.1, "Before you install" on page 7. This section describes the steps you need to get started. We review the contents of each distribution and the hardware currently supported. We then describe how to set up the target hardware. This covers LPARs, if needed, and serial console and graphical display. Then we discuss the choices that the installation programs prompts for during installation.
2.2, "Step-by-step installation" on page 25. This section presents the installation of SLES 8 and RHAS 3 in great detail. It contains many screenshots from our test bed installations, which should be useful for your own experiments.
2.3, "From network to fully unattended installation" on page 49. When the number of systems to be installed grows, manually installing them becomes tedious and some form of network installation is required, as discussed in this section.
A system designated as the installation server provides the initial boot mechanism, as well a source for all the software packages to be installed on the target client systems. This way, the installation of many client nodes is performed from a single point of control.
Network installation offers other useful features, which are also described in this section. And with further customization, network installation can be automated, leading to fully unattended installations. SLES 8 and RHAS 3 both provide a mechanism for this (autoyast2 for SLES 8, and kickstart for RHAS 3), as described here.
We also examine variants of network installation, available through the Open Source community, which resemble the AIX method by using a concept similar to system backups (mksysb) and cloning.
Customers who decide to implement IBM Clusters Systems Management (CSM) do not need to worry about the details of network installation, since this is included in CSM; the management server is used as the installation server for the managed nodes. However, understanding the underlying mechanisms will help you to troubleshoot potential installation problems.
2.4, "Where is the BIOS" on page 79. The pSeries systems supporting the 64-bit Linux operating system are Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) PowerPC systems. Linux users may be more familiar with x86-based systems that use the Basic Input Output System (BIOS), and in this section, we address the differences.
2.5, "Post-installation tasks" on page 88. After the Linux operating system is installed, some tasks still need to be performed. In this section, we discuss checking the installation, backup/restore/cloning, how to install additional packages, and how to perform automatic updates of the system.