The power of Network Installation Manager

Easily install, upgrade, and maintain AIX systems

Get step-by-step instructions for configuring a Network Installation Manager server and clients using the smitty tool. If you have an environment with many AIX® systems, then you know that installing, upgrading, and maintaining the software can take a considerable amount of time. The AIX Network Installation Manager can help you with installation and software maintenance in a client and server environment.

Uma Chandolu (uchandol@in.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM

Photo of Uma ChandoluUma M. Chandolu works as a Development Support Specialist on AIX. He is currently the team lead of the AIX Security Development Support team at IBM Bangalore.He has three years of extensive hands-on experience in AIX environments, and demonstrated expertise in AIX system administration and other subsystems. He has experience interfacing with customers and handling customer-critical situations. He has been recognized as an IBM developerWorks Contributing Author. You can reach him at uchandol@in.ibm.com.



Puneet Mahajan (pmahajan@us.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM

Photo of Puneet MahajanPuneet Mahajan is an advanced AIX technical support specialist with over seven years of experience in AIX system administration. He is currently the team lead of AIX remote support for Independent Software Vendors (ISV) at IBM Austin. You can reach him at pmahajan@us.ibm.com.



30 October 2007

Also available in Chinese Russian

Introduction

In an environment with many AIX® systems, installing, upgrading, and maintaining software can become cumbersome and time consuming. Network Installation Manager provides an easy, efficient way to install, upgrade, and even maintain your AIX systems over the network, while reducing down time. You can use Network Installation Manager to remotely manage AIX installations and upgrades on several systems without using AIX CDs.

You can also use Network Installation Manager to install several AIX machines simultaneously. Network Installation Manager filesets are included in the base AIX CDs. The Network Installation Manager client fileset gets installed with the standard AIX installation, but the server filesets need to be installed separately from the CD.

Configuring a Network Installation Manager server

To configure a Network Installation Manager server:

  1. Log in as root.
  2. Run the following command to ensure that these filesets are installed:
    # lslpp -l | grep nim
    
      bos.sysmgt.nim.client      5.3.0.50  COMMITTED  Network Install Manager -
      bos.sysmgt.nim.master    5.3.0.50  COMMITTED  Network Install Manager -
      bos.sysmgt.nim.spot        5.3.0.50  COMMITTED  Network Install Manager – SPOT

    If the above filesets are not installed, install them from Volume 1 of the AIX base CDs before proceeding.

  3. Create a Network Installation Manager Master, as follows:
    1. Enter:
      # smitty nim
      Figure 1. Creating a Network Installation Manager Master
      Creating a Network Installation Manager Master
    2. Select Configure the Network Installation Manager Environment, and you should see the panel shown below.
      Figure 2. Configuration of Network Installation Manager
      Configuration of Network Installation Manager
    3. Select Configure a Basic Network Installation Manager Environment (Easy Startup) to get the following menu.
      Figure 3. Configure a Basic Network Installation Manager Environment
      Configure a Basic Network Installation Manager Environment
    4. To select Primary Network Interface for the Network Installation Manager Master, use the F4 function key. It lists the network interfaces. Select the network interface that you are using to put your system on the network. In this example, it's en0, as shown below.
      Figure 4. Primary Network Interface for the Network Installation Manager Master
      Primary Network Interface for the Network Installation Manager Master
    5. Volume 1 of the base AIX CDs is in the CD-ROM drive of the system, as highlighted below.
      Figure 5. Volume 1 of the base AIX CDs
      Volume 1 of the base AIX CDs

      Also on this panel are:

      LPP_SOURCE Name
      An lpp_source is a directory similar to AIX installation CDs. It contains AIX licensed program products in backup file format. Every resource has a unique identifiable name. By default, the lpp_source name has the name lpp_source1, but you can change it to something more meaningful so that you can easily identify it.

      For example, if you are creating an AIX 5.3-TL06 lpp_source, you can use the name LPP53-TL06 instead of the default name.

      LPP_SOURCE Directory
      The directory where the lppsource resides on your Network Installation Manager server. By default, it will be in /export/lpp_source. (If it doesn’t exist, Network Installation Manager creates this file system.) However, you can change it to wherever you choose. You can create your own file system, or even use a directory under an existing file system.

      Leave everything else as the default and press Enter. If the above runs successfully, it should create a Network Installation Manager server environment on this system. If it fails, then the /smit.log should have a message about why it failed.

      The Network Installation Manager Master server AIX level should always be higher or at the same level, as the lppsource AIX image it is serving.

      In this example, if you used AIX 5.3-TL06 CDs to create lpp_source, then the Network Installation Manager Master server has to be at, or above, AIX 5.3-TL06.

Configuring a Network Installation Manager client

  1. Log in as root.
  2. Enter:
    # smitty nim

    The following menu appears (see Figure 6). The Network Installation Manager Master client menu is different from the Network Installation Manager Master server menu.

    Figure 6.
  3. Select Configure Network Installation Manager Client Fileset, and you should see the following panel.
    Figure 7.
  4. For Machine Name, enter the hostname of the client.
  5. For Primary Network Install Interface, press F4 to get the network interface that you want to use for the Network Installation Manager Master client. This example uses en0, as shown below.
    Figure 8.
  6. For Host Name Network Install Master, give the host name (fully qualified) of the Network Installation Manager Master server.

    Leave all the other defaults and press Enter.

At this point, your Network Installation Manager Master client configuration should be complete.

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