Using Activation Engine

You can find information about using the Activation Engine, required inputs, and limitations.

To use the Activation Engine follow these steps:
  1. Enable and configure Activation Engine on the target system. You must enable Activation Engine on the AIX system by running the enable command. This process adds an Activation Engine entry to the /etc/inittab file, that is executed when the system boots.
  2. Capture a virtual image of the virtual desktop infrastructure of the target system. This is the image you use to deploy to other systems. The target system must have the Activation Engine enabled so you can customize specific parameters when the system boots. The image is captured using the VM Control tool.
  3. Create virtual image templates for the systems you want to deploy the Activation Engine.
  4. Place the virtual image templates and scripts on optical drives at the appropriate location of the systems that you are deploying the Activation Engine.
  5. Boot the target systems using virtual desktop infrastructure.
To configure and use the Activation Engine that is performed using the Activation Engine binary, at the /usr/sbin/ae file, use the following usage message:
/usr/sbin/ae –a {enable|disable|status|check|run}

enable<template> - Enables the Activation Engine

disable- Disables the Activation Engine

status- Prints current status of Activation Engine

check<template> - Validates a user created template against the Activation Engine schema

run<template> - Executes the activation engine against a particular template file

Current Limitations

Activation Engine is executed from the /etc/inittab file, which is executed after the initial system boot. This means that any configuration performed at the initial boot such as the NIM customization scripts is overridden by the rules set in Activation Engine templates.

The customization performed using Activation Engine script on a system is limited to changing only the configuration settings of the system because the script is run during system boot. For example, you must not use the Activation Engine script and templates to install new file sets. Activation Engine is used for changing system configuration, and must not be used to modify the user space.

The Activation Engine does not perform any input validation when parsing template files. To validate, the Activation Engine requires root access, and it is the responsibility of the user to create and store the XML template files.

During the process of enabling and disabling the Activation Engine, the /etc/inittab file is modified. To ensure that data integrity Activation Engine creates a backup copy of the file at /etc/inittab.old. This backup file is NOT deleted during the cleanup process.

Required Inputs

Input to the Activation Engine is the default image template file. Activation Engine script has a default location that it uses to search for virtual image template files in the optical media. The script attempts to mount and search the available optical media until it finds the initial template file, called ae_template.xml. Activation Engine uses the first template image it finds, in any of the optical discs it mounts. The default template file must be located in the root directory of the disc. If it does not find the template on any optical media it exits with an error message.