OmniOS Installation via PXE Boot

These instructions show how to set up an OmniOS r151024 (or later) system as a network install server from which other OmniOS systems can be built.

Install packages

Start by installing the packages necessary to run the kayak build server.

pfexec pkg install kayak kayak-kernel tftp isc-dhcp

The kayak-kernel package contains the illumos kernel, minimal root filesystem for installation and two PXE binaries - grub and the illumos loader; either can be used.

The kayak package contains a minimal HTTP server that can be used to serve system images and configuration files. It is not necessary to use this; any web server accessible by the client during build can serve these components. For this example walk-through, the kayak service is used.

Fetch the ZFS installation image

cd /var/kayak/kayak

It is possible to customise this image prior to deployment if desired.

Create a client configuration script

Kayak client configurations are written in bash and are run within the context of the kayak framework during installation. An example file can be found in /usr/share/kayak/sample/000000000000.sample.

The configuration file should be placed in /var/kayak/kayak with a name matching the client’s MAC address, all in capitals, e.g. 010203ABCDEF.

The installation process will try the full MAC address first and then start removing characters from the end until it finds a configuration file. This allows you to create a file that will apply to a group of machines with the same MAC address prefix. To create a generic file of last resort, call it 0

Example (root password is test in this example):

BuildRpool c1t0d0
RootPW '$5$JQkyMDvv$pPzEUsvP/rLwURyrpwz5i1SfVqx2QiEoIdDA9ZrG271'
SetHostname omnios
SetTimezone UTC
Postboot '/sbin/ipadm create-if e1000g0'
Postboot '/sbin/ipadm create-addr -T dhcp e1000g0/kayak'

Configure DHCP

Add an entry to /etc/dhcpd.conf for the server you want to build. Here’s a complete working example:

subnet netmask { }

host omnios {
	filename "pxeboot";
	option host-name "omnios";
	hardware ethernet 01:02:03:AB:CD:EF;

Filename can either be pxeboot to use the illumos loader or pxegrub to use grub. next-server is the IP address of your kayak server.

Enable the Services

pfexec svcadm enable kayak tftp/udp6 dhcp:ipv4

If you have something already running on port 80, it’s possible to change the port the kayak server uses by running (where 8080 is the port you want): /var/svc/method/svc-kayak -u nobody -g nobody -p 8080 but if you’re running a full fledged webserver on port 80, it might be better to just use that server to serve the directory.

Using the illumos loader (filename “pxeboot”)

The configuration for builds using the illumos loader can be found on the kayak server under /tftpboot/boot/loader.conf.local You can customise the line starting with boot-args= to change the location from which the ZFS image and client configuration are fetched. The default URLs are set as http:/// which means that they will be fetched from the next-server as defined in the DHCP configuration.

Using grub (filename “pxegrub”)

The configuration file for grub boots is /tftpboot/boot/grub/menu.lst. Customise the line starting with kernel$ to change the location from which the ZFS image and client configuration are fetched. As for loader, a URL containing /// indicates that the next-server from DHCP should be used.