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With Flash installation, you can create a single reference installation of the Solaris Operating Environment on one system, called the master system. You then can replicate that installation as a new installation on any number of systems, called clone systems, that have the same architecture as the master system.
The process of installing clone systems with Flash installation has three parts.
You can use Flash archives with either WebStart or JumpStart to perform initial installations. The Flash archive snapshot contains the Solaris Operating Environment as well as all software, including third-party software, that you want to install on the new systems. You stream the entire archive to the boot disk. Flash installation would make reinstalling a machine much faster.
NOTE. You cannot use the Flash installation to upgrade a system that is running the Solaris Operating Environment. You can use Flash installation only for initial installation.
Designing the Master System Installation
The first step in the Flash installation process is to install the master system with the configuration that you want to replicate on each of the clone systems. You can use any of the Solaris installation methods to install a subset or a complete installation of the Solaris Operating Environment on the master system.
NOTE. The master system and the clone systems must have the same kernel architecture. If you have a site with systems that have multiple architectures, you can create a Flash installation archive for each architecture and use that archive for installation on clone systems with the same architecture. However, under Solaris 7, 8, and 9, all models of the UltraSPARC chip have the same sun4u kernel architecture.
Decide what configuration you want to make available to the clone systems. Consider the following elements.
After you install the Solaris Operating Environment on the master system, you can delete software that is not needed on the clone systems. You can install Solaris packages or third-party software. Any software you install on the master system is included in the Flash archive and is installed on the clone systems. You can modify configuration files on the master system. For example, you can modify the /etc/inet/inetd.conf file to restrict the daemons that the system runs.
After you install the Flash archive on a clone system, the installation program uses the sys-unconfig(1M) command and the sysidtool(1M) programs to delete and re-create the host-specific network configuration files. These files include /etc/hosts, /etc/defaultrouter, and /etc/defaultdomain.
Be sure to consider what peripheral devices on the clone systems might need drivers that are not needed on the master system. For example, if you install the Entire Software Group on a master system with a cg6 frame buffer, the installation contains support for only the cg6 frame buffer. You can use this archive file to install on clone systems that have either the cg6 frame buffer or no frame buffer. If you use this archive to install a clone system with an Elite 3D frame buffer, the Elite 3D is unusable because the required drivers were not installed.
You can install support for different peripherals in one of the following ways.
Refer to the Solaris 9 Installation Guide for complete information on designing a master system for use with Flash Installation.
Creating a Flash Archive
After you install the master system, you create the Flash archive. All the files on the master system are copied to the archive along with various pieces of identifying information. You can create a Flash archive while the master system is running in multiuser mode or single-user mode. You can also create a Flash archive after you boot from one of the following:
You run the flarcreate(1M) command to create the archive. The flarcreate command requires the -n name option and a file name for the archive. The command also has options for the following actions.
Refer to the flarcreate(1M) manual page for a more detailed description of these options.
You can create layered Flash archives by creating partial Flash archives that you install in a variety of combinations. For example, you can create one archive that contains the Solaris Operating Environment files, a second archive that contains the files for a Web server, and a third archive that contains the files for an NFS server. You would then install the first and second archives to create a Web server and install the first and third archives on another system to create an NFS server.
You can save the archive on the hard disk of the master system or on a tape. After you save the archive, you copy it to any file system or medium.
You can use the flar(1M) command to administer archives. You can use the flar command to extract information from an archive, split archives into sections, and combine archives from individual sections.
Use the following steps to create a Flash archive.
The following example creates an archive for the master system named mopoke, running in multiuser mode, with a name of mopokearchive and an archive name of mopokearchive in the current directory, specifies the name of the master system, and compresses the archive.
# flarcreate -n mopokearchive -c -m mopoke mopokearchive Determining which filesystems will be included in the archive... Determining the size of the archive... The archive will be approximately 1.05GB. Creating the archive... 3979899 blocks Archive creation complete. #
Choosing a Flash Archive Installation Method
You can use any of the following Solaris installation methods to install Flash archives on clone systems.
With the Solaris WebStart program on the Solaris 9 DVD or Solaris 9 Installation CD, you can install Flash archives that are stored on any of the following media.
With the Solaris suninstall program on the Solaris 9 Software 1 of 2 CD, you can install Flash archives that are stored on the following media.
With the custom JumpStart installation program, you can install Flash archives that are stored on any of the following media.
With Solaris Live Upgrade, you can install Flash archives that are stored on any of the following media.
See "Solaris Live Upgrade" on page 108 for more information about Solaris Live Upgrade.
Installing a Flash Archive with the Solaris WebStart Program
The following steps describe the process for installing a Flash archive with the Solaris WebStart program.
Installing a Flash Archive with the suninstall Program
The following steps describe the process for installing a Flash archive with the Solaris suninstall program.
Refer to the Solaris 9 Installation Guide for instructions on custom JumpStart installation.
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