[Bioclusters] Oscar installation

Chris Dagdigian bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Tue, 06 Jul 2004 16:26:22 -0400

Hi Malcolm,

Sorry for the delay in responding. I'm swamped with a different project 
right now and have not been using SystemImager for quite some time 
although that is going to change next week. I can't be more specific 
because I don't have a systemimager setup handy.

If you look under the hood at how systemimager operates through the PXE 
boot process the 'final' result is that the node learns its own hostname 
by doing a DNS lookup on the IP it was assigned and then makes a rsync 
call to the image server to download a "autoinstall script" called 

The <nodename.sh> file is actually just a symlink to the "master" 
installer script that was created by SystemImager when you ran the 
"getimage" command.

There is one "master" script for each systemimager image your 
imageserver is hosting.

The scripts live in your systemimager scripts/ directory. If you don't 
know where that is check the /etc/systemimager/rsyncd.conf file 
systemimager is running as it will have the full unix paths to the 
systemimager directories.

The way that I got systemimager to work with a 3ware controller was by 
hand-editing the master to perform 2 additional steps for me:

#1 -- Download the 3ware kernel module

#2 -- Load the 3Ware driver into the systemimager autoinstall kernel 
using the /sbin/insmod command

Once the 3ware driver is downloaded your disks will appear as normal 
/dev/sd* scsi devices and the script can proceed as normal as it creates 
partitions and fills them up with data.

If you are even partially familiar with shell scripting you should be 
able to make sense of the systemimager installer script -- you want to 
find the section of the script where the boel_binaries.tgz and other 
files are being downloaded and insert your additional rsync/download 
command there. Once you have the 3ware module downloaded, you will 
(obviously) need to stick your "insmod" command in the script well 
before there are any attempts by the script to do anything to a /dev/sd* 

*** Note ***
FYI this is all a terribly hacked way to do this, newer versions of 
systemimager use a modern kernel with loadable modules and there are 
even config files you can edit to control (via insmod) which modules are 
used by the autoinstaller process.

It is highly likely that the current version of systemimager may already 
have the 3ware module present and you just need to edit the insmod 
config parameter to ensure that the module is loaded at install time.

A quick query to the systemimager mailing list may save you a bunch of 
time and script hacking
*** Note ***


Malcolm Sole wrote:
> Hi Chris
> I am also trying to get systemimager to work with a 3Ware controller 
> (and shortly with a SATA drive)
> I have been through the manual but cant find what you are referring to 
> (I am somewhat new at this kernel stuff). Any pointer you could give me 
> would be most well received. Even to pointing me to the right piece of 
> documentation.
> Malcolm
> In the above message you mention
> The systemimager 3.x autoinstall kernel that comes down via the PXE 
> netboot did not see the drives so it bombed out with lots of errors. 
> Teaching systemimager to download and 'insmod' the 3ware driver was 
> pretty darn easy.

Chris Dagdigian, <dag@sonsorol.org>
BioTeam  - Independent life science IT & informatics consulting
Office: 617-665-6088, Mobile: 617-877-5498, Fax: 425-699-0193
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