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Walkthrough: Provisioning Linux

BMC BladeLogic Server Automation (BSA) can provision operating systems on bare metal computer systems. This topic describes how to provision Linux. 

It includes the following sections:


BSA provisioning performs unattended installations of operating systems onto new machines ("bare metal" machines) or reprovisions existing machines. To provision higher layers of the server stack above the operating system, you can run jobs that configure server settings, deploy files, and install software. In this example, you provision the Linux OS onto a bare metal machine.

What do I need to do before I get started?

This example assumes that you have performed all of the provisioning configuration steps outlined in the following table:

Review and meet provisioning requirements

The provisioning infrastructure includes BSA software and additional supporting software, installed on networked hosts and configured for PXE-based provisioning. See Reviewing requirements for provisioning and Implementation process for provisioning.

Install the PXE and TFTP servers

The PXE server delivers instructions to servers being provisioned so they can download a bootstrap program. The TFTP server serves boot images required for a network-based installation of the operating system. (BSA provisioning requires that the PXE server and the TFTP server reside on the same host computer.)

See Installing the PXE server on Windows.

Configure the PXE and TFTP serversConfigure the PXE and TFTP servers to communicate with the BSA database and target servers being provisioned. To configure, you can use the PXE/TFTP Server Configuration tool. (To configure the PXE server for a multiple database provisioning environment, you must use this tool.) See Configuring the PXE and TFTP servers.
Configure the DHCP server to support the provisioning processThe BSA provisioning process requires a DHCP server, which assigns IP addresses to the devices being provisioned and (in a one-database environment) configures the location of the Application Server. See Configuring a DHCP server on Linux and Configuring a DHCP server on Windows.
Set up and share the data store

On the host computer for the data store, set up a directory structure to store the operating system installers required for provisioning.

See Setting up and sharing a data store.

Stock the data storeCopy all required files into the data store, including operating system installers, files for Windows drivers, and files needed to install RSCD agents on the target devices. See Stocking the data store.
Prepare agents for provisioning Set up RSCD agents so they can be installed on target devices as part of the provisioning process. See Preparing agents for provisioning.
Create WinPE boot images for Microsoft Windows systemsThe provisioning process uses WinPE for bare metal provisioning of Microsoft Windows operating systems. You must create the WinPE boot images for Windows operating systems and include the drivers required for your networking environment. See Creating WinPE boot image files.

How to provision Linux on a bare metal machine

  • For this walkthrough, you log on as BLAdmin, the default superuser for BSA. Note that in live deployments, BMC recommends you grant access based on roles with a narrower set of permissions. 
  • In this example you use the out-of the box configuration for default boot image files.
 ProcedureExample screen

Add a DataStore.

  1. Select Configuration > Property dictionary view.
  2. Expand Built-in Property classes > Datastore and select PXE DataStore.
  3. Click the Instances tab in the right pane.
  4. Click the Add icon .
  5. Enter details for Name and Description.
  6. Enter values for the LOCATION, USERNAME, PASSWORD, FULL_PATH, and VIRTUAL_DIR properties.
  7. Click Finish.

Add a device.

The Add Device panel lets you specify the MAC address of the new device.

  1. In the Folder pane, select BladeLogic > Device.
  2. Right-click and select Add new device.

  3. On the Add Device panel, enter a MAC Address and a short description, select the architecture and boot image, and for Provisioning Method select PXE.

  4. Click Finish.
3Configure the Provisioning Manager.
  1. Select Configuration > Provisioning Configurations > System Package Types.
  2. Select the system package type for SLES – Suse Linux Enterprise Server version 11 (listed as SLES 11) and click the Edit icon in the upper right corner.
  3. Set the appropriate System package type details:
    • Installer location
    • RSCD Installer location
    • Boot kernel file name

    • Boot image file name

  4. Click OK to save the changes.


Create a Linux system package

  1. Create a folder in the Depot for system packages. You must create system packages in the Depot folder.
  2. Right-click the Depot folder and select New > Depot Folder.
  3. Name the new folder Provision and click Finish.
  4. Right-click the Provision folder and select New > System Package.
  5. Continue the system package creation process for specific operating systems.

Complete the General tab:

  1. Name: Suse11x64
  2. System Package Type: SLES 11.
  3. Click Finish. The System Package opens in a tab at right. Specify values for the system package in the following steps.

Complete the Disk Partition tab:

  1. Click the Disk Partition tab (at the bottom of the window).
  2. To add a new partition, click the Add icon .
  3. Provide details for the following fields:
    • Mount point/
    • Type : ext2
    • Size (MB)20500
  4. Click OK.


Complete the Basic Configuration tab:

  1. Click the Basic Configuration tab.
  2. Computer nameLinuxX64Suse11
  3. OM server name: Enter the name for this server that is displayed in the BSA Console.
  4. Root password: Enter the password for root of the server being provisioned (for example, Bladelogic).
  5. AutoYaST network deviceeth0
  6. Leave the Boot kernel Parameters field blank.

Complete the Post Install Configuration tab:

  1. Select Install RSCD Agent.
  2. Select Push ACLs.
  3. Enter the port number for the Application Server for BMI callback.

Complete the Local Properties tab:

  1. Click the Local Properties tab.
  2. Double-click DATA_STORE
  3. Select Use this default value.
  4. Click the browse button and select the instance (for example, dsPXE). Then click OK.
  5. To save and close the System Package, close the tab in the upper left corner of the pane. You are prompted to save the system package.

Create the Provision Job.

  1. Create a subfolder in the Jobs folder.
  2. Right-click the subfolder and select New > Provision Job > Suse Provision Job.
  3. A wizard creates a new job and helps you select a system package, a device, and a data store.

Complete the Provision Job - General panel:

  1. Enter a job name (for example, Suse11x64).
  2. Select a job folder.

Use the defaults for all other settings.


Complete the Provision Job - System Package Properties panel:

  1. In the Path to system package field, click the browse button to choose the system package created in earlier steps (for example, Suse11x64).
  2. In Property Settings, select the data store (for example, dsPXE).

Use the defaults for all other settings.


Complete the Provision Job - Devices to provision panel:

  1. For Associated boot image, select the boot image (for example, gento/gentoord.gz).

  2. In the Devices to provision section, click the Add icon and select the device to provision.

Use the defaults for all other settings.


Use the defaults for all settings on the Provision Job - Provisioning Job Settings panel.


Use the defaults for all settings on the Provision Job - Server Settings panel.

16Use the defaults for all settings on the Provision Job - Default Notifications panel.

Complete the Provision Job - Schedules panel:

Check the Execute job now option to trigger immediate execution when you finish defining the Provision job.

Note: You can skip the rest of the panels by clicking the Finish button. The job will be executed and the machine will be provisioned.

18Use the defaults for all settings on the Properties tab.

Complete the Provision Job - Permissions tab.

  1. Add job permission, as shown.
  2. Use the defaults for all other settings.
  3. Click Finish

The Provision Job executes immediately. The job is stored in the Jobs folder.

Wrapping it up

In this walkthrough, you created a system package for a Linux operating system and provisioned that image to a bare metal system. You can now set up post-provisioning jobs to perform additional configuration on the server and install software. 

Where to go from here

For a description of provisioning a new virtual machine onto a VMware host, see Walkthrough: Provisioning a Linux VM on VMware.

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