Linux OpenSUSE Sys Admin

OpenSUSE AutoYast/AutoInstall Howto Part 1

OpenSUSE and SLES (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server) both come with AutoYaST which is a very powerful tool that allows administrators to quickly and easily deploy servers that have an identical configuration for rapid server deployment.

In this three part series we will explore creating a repository for use with multiple systems, creating and customizing the AutoInstall file, and finally running through an install procedure.

Part 1 – Creating a repository for use with multiple systems

In this part we will look at creating a local install repository for use with installing OpenSUSE. This can be done in several ways, one from the CD/DVD or with an RSync’ed copy of the repository.

1. You will need to find a location to store your local repository with sufficient free disk space (my repo is currently 38gig’s and growing with every release and service pack that I am using. As an a-side the current full OpenSUSE11.1 repo is 14gig’s).

2. Choose a method for sharing your repository, for this guide we will be setting up HTTP with apache but you have the option of SLP, FTP, HTTP, NFS, SMB (Setting up the other methods are outside the scope of this tutorial, but whichever method you use, most of the steps will still apply).

3. If you are using Suse simply create an autoyast.conf file in the /etc/apache2/conf.d directory with the following contents (a vhost would work well for this as well, but just change the config to suit your needs).

    Alias /autoyast/ /var/lib/autoinstall/repository/

        Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks
        IndexOptions +NameWidth=*

        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

4. The quick an easy option here would be to just copy the contents of your installation DVD into a sub directory ie /var/lib/autoinstall/repository/opensuse11.1

The second and most complete option would be to rsync a copy from a mirror. This can be achieved with the following command.

rsync -a -v -v --delete-after --progress

This command will copy 14gb’s of data, but as it is using rsync you can cancel it and restart it as often as you need. Be sure to select a mirror near you from the following list OpenSUSE Mirror List.

For the most part this process has been successful with just a copy of the installation media. OpenSUSE 11.1 is the first time I have created a local mirror of the installation repository. If you are only using one architecture then coping the installation media is probably the easiest method, but if you need to install across different platforms then copying an rsync mirror would probably be the best option.

Watch out in the next couple of days for the second part in the series, Creating and customizing the AutoInstall file.

Part 2 – Creating and Customizing the AutoInstall file
Part 3 – Putting it all together and installing a server

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