SUSE SLES 15 on POWER Install Failed! - Learn from My Mistakes
nagger 100000MRSJ Comments (2) Visits (3783)
So I took the latest SUSE SLES 15 DVD for POWER to install them on my latest POWER9 server (S924) running the PowerVM Hypervisor
and 100% failed to get this installed. I asked around and no one was much help!
Below is what I did not know or realise at the time that cause my failure - in my defence they are not clearly documentation or assumed.
As an IBMer I can run SUSE SLES (and Red Hat RHEL) for skills enhancement and demos without paying for the licence.
If you have paid for the SLES 15 licences and support and directly on the Internet then you many avoid all of the below.
With SLES 15, SUSE has made some changes - as you would expect.
First thing you notice on downloading is that there is a Installer DVD image and then three Packages DVD's.
What is not clear is that Installing just from the Installer DVD gives you a very minimum Linux - so limited that it is of no practical use what-so-ever In My Humble Opinion (IMHO).
Even the vi editor is missing!! Every command I tried was missing and (from memory) the shutdown command was missing too.
Don't go there. Amazing as the Installer DVD is 620 MB in size. Ubuntu at roughly 800MB includes practically a whole Linux Distro!!
I could not find (after 30 minute investigating) what is on the three Packages DVD's and the SUSE SLES 15 Installation Guide or Deployment Guides do not seem to cover it.
If you know where this is documented - please let me know in the comments. It may be somewhere obvious but surely the Install Guide should also include it.
So I created four PowerVM virtual optical (DVD) devices for the LPAR (vm) and mounted them all (Installer DVD and three Package DVD's) - my thinking was the installer would look for them in the obvious places and find the packages it needs. It does not.
I was later informed the Packages DVD are like this:
Perhaps, is it me but it is ironic that only the first Packages DVD actually has install packages on it!
During the text based install (this is a server with no graphics) you get an option to include an "Add On Product"
I do not want to add any third party products or software, so I selected "no thanks" and moved on to the next part of the Install.
Apparently in SUSE Speak these four are exactly the same thing:
So when I get to Add a Product the answer is "yes" I want to add a Package - because Product=Package and I have Packaged DVDs, obviously!!
So I select
This is what you see on the text based Installer screen:
Without taking this options you will never install SUSE SLES 15
Then the pop-up lets me select a /dev/srN device (sr = CD / DVD in Linux Kernel Speak)
No idea why that is called an AIX device
As I booted off sr0 and I want the first Packages DVD (the one with the actual packages!) - I select /dev/sr1
Deselect ( ) Download repository description files - as I am not on the Internet
And then I get the list of SUSE SLES 15 Packages on a screen called Extensions and Module Selection
Remember Package = Product = Extension = Module
I am thinking lets install a whole bunch of stuff so I don't need to fiddle about with media to find application later so I happily select most of the but avoid what I know are advanced functions that may require licenses. So I avoided
But . . . I selected one package too many. Can you spot it?
and the lower part of the pop-up box
Neither can I but I think it was the line with the rather vague SLES15 15-0 - I guess it is 75% likely.
Any way, the Installer moves on and checker the interdependency and fails saying I have one SAP Packager but not a further one that is also needed.
It did then go on to allow me to remove the package that is did not like.
I could spend a day retrying the 100's on combinations but my manager does not fund me to debug SUSE software.
I then select the usual default for SLES with Gnome, disk layout, Europe/UK, GMT time zone, first user and root password etc. - all the regular SUSE SLES install stuff and
Some time (well I did ask for a lot of software) we reboot on the disk, get the login: prompt and log in.
More of an annoyance than a mistake. The login prompt reads
I am not clear if this was the result of Mistake 4 or not.
The Login herald message is in /etc/issue and a simple edit to fix it.
I then put SUSE SLES15 on the network and notice SLES15 is using yet another networking service and ifconfig is missing.
SUSE SLES has always had a one FANTASTIC FEATURE that made it my favourite Linux - its is called yast.
Not quite a good as AIX's smitty but near enough. yast hinds the new crappy networking service files, tools and restart mechanism.
So as I am using the putty on my workstation to the HMC vtmenu to get to the terminal console so to get yast working use: TERM=linux yast
In my humble opinion - a general Linux comment:
The divergence of SLES, RHEL and Ubuntu in the sysadmin commands (sorry that is now called DevOps) is going to kill Linux in the longer term.
Exactly the same happened with real UNIX, and developed in to the UNIX wars (after the UNIX guys killed Pick :-) and now only AIX survives.
In the AIX Best Bits Blogs
I detail the top 32 AIX features and I got 1000's of people voting to there favourite bits of AIX and one of them was the CLI stability.
Linux Developers please stop fiddling with the Command Line Interface (CLI) as it is owned by the DevOps guys and not you.
OK I am off to play (oops sorry, research client opportunities and benefits - in case may manager reads this!) of my lovely fresh copy of
*** FLAME SUIT on ***
Cheers, Nigel @mr_nmon Griffiths
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