JumpStart Technology: Effective Use in the Solaris Operating Environment


A significant concern of datacenter personnel is the rapid deployment of systems shile maintaining consistency and control over their environment.

This BluePrint provides techniques on using JumpStart technology for automated, standardized, and secure installations of the Solaris Operating Environment. In addition, detailed examples of using JumpStart technology effectively on a day-to-day basis are provided in combination with never before documented features and functions. The...

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A significant concern of datacenter personnel is the rapid deployment of systems shile maintaining consistency and control over their environment.

This BluePrint provides techniques on using JumpStart technology for automated, standardized, and secure installations of the Solaris Operating Environment. In addition, detailed examples of using JumpStart technology effectively on a day-to-day basis are provided in combination with never before documented features and functions. The materials on the included CD contain the Solaris Security Toolkit (formerly known as "JASS") and examples referenced in the book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130621542
  • Publisher: Sun Microsystems
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Blueprint Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 259
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

John S. Howard is a Senior Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems working in the Enterprise Engineering group. He has over 19 years experience in software engineering and systems administration on a diversity of platforms and is currently working on projects for enhancing system availability and serviceability.

Alex Noordergraaf is a Senior Staff Engineer at Sun Microsystems working in the Enterprise Engineering group. He has over ten years experience in the area of Computer and Network Security and is currently developing, documenting, and publishing security best practices. In addition he is a strong proponent of automating Solaris OE installations--which led to his interest in JumpStart. He is also one of the authors of the freeware "JASS" Security Tookit.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: JumpStart Overview

This chapter presents an overview of the required core components of the basic JumpStart architecture. The chapter focuses on how to get a basic automated JumpStart environment up and running as quickly as possible. This chapter describes the following topics:
  • Boot process
  • Server components
  • Server directory architecture
  • Server installation and configuration
  • Installation automation
  • Client installation and configuration

Note – Unless otherwise noted, the Solaris 8 Operating Environment 4/01 (update 4) is used.

Boot Process

To provide a better understanding of the JumpStart software process, this section reviews how a JumpStart installation for a SPARC system actually works.

RARP Request

1. When the boot net - install command is entered at the ok prompt, the JumpStart client looks for a JumpStart boot server.

2. The JumpStart client generates a Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) request.

3. A JumpStart server, on the local subnet, receives this RARP request and maps it to an Internet Protocol (IP) address, either through its /etc/ethers and /etc/hosts files or through a naming service, such as NIS, NIS+, or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

4. In accordance with the IP address found, the JumpStart server generates a RARP reply to the JumpStart client.

5. The JumpStart server responding to the client's RARP request maps the client's media access control (MAC) address to its IP address and host name, returning this data to the client.

This RARP packet also includes the IP address of the server providing the client with the JumpStart server IP address, which is used in the next phase of the process as the JumpStart boot server.

DHCP Request

With the release of the SPARC sun4u hardware architecture, it is possible to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), instead of RARP, to provide a JumpStart client with its IP address and other critical JumpStart information. DHCP can be used to dynamically provide a JumpStart client with an IP address and host name without requiring a local boot server. For the purpose of our example in this chapter, RARP is used. DHCP is detailed in Chapter 5, "Automating Installations."

Second-Level Boot Process

After the JumpStart client has an IP address, it can move to the second level of the network boot process.

1. The JumpStart client downloads a minimal Solaris OE kernel (called a miniroot) from the JumpStart boot server into the memory of the JumpStart client. This miniroot is downloaded by a Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) request issued by the JumpStart client.

This TFTP request specifies the architecture of the miniroot and the IP address of the system requesting the miniroot on the server.

2. When the JumpStart boot server receives this TFTP request, it searches for a matching IP address and architecture in the /tftpboot directory.

3. After the JumpStart client is booted from the miniroot, JumpStart finds the rules.ok file.

The entry is checked to make sure it matches that of the JumpStart client.

4. When a match is found, the actions specified are executed.

First, any specified begin scripts are executed. Then the specified Solaris OE profile is installed, and finally the finish scripts are executed.

Note – A rules.ok entry is required to specify, at a minimum, a profile.

When a new JumpStart client (add_install_client) is added to a JumpStart boot server, a file corresponding to its IP address and architecture is created in the /tftpboot directory. This file is actually a link to the generic miniroot for that Solaris OE version and architecture.

Now that the actual JumpStart client is booted, you can build a JumpStart server.

JumpStart Server Components

A successful JumpStart installation requires three types of services: boot, installation, and configuration. These three sets of services are provided on one or multiple servers but are usually located on the same physical server. Each type of service is described separately but installed on the same server in this example.

Boot Server

The JumpStart boot server provides the services most critical to a successful automated JumpStart software installation. The JumpStart server provides the following information:
  • The client's IP address
  • IP address(es) of both the JumpStart profile and install servers
A JumpStart boot server doesn't have to be separate from the configuration and install servers. However, it may have to be separate when RARP provides the IP address to a JumpStart client. The RARP protocol is not routed, so RARP requests are not forwarded by routers between subnets.

When DHCP is used, it is not necessary to have a JumpStart boot server on each network segment. However, DHCP requires a BOOTP relay server on each segment to forward DHCP requests to the DHCP server.

In wide area network (WAN) installations when RARP is used, it is necessary to have at least a boot server on each subnet. A more practical resolution to this problem, instead of having separate boot clients on each network segment, is to have either one boot or install server connected to multiple networks or to actually have a dedicated JumpStart network that a system is connected to only while doing JumpStart software installations on the same subnet. There are security concerns with connection to multiple networks; these are discussed in Chapter 7, "JumpStart Security."

Presented in Chapter 5, "Automating Installations," is an example of doing JumpStart software installations where the boot, configuration, and install servers are all on separate subnets. In addition, Chapter 5 offers an example of using DHCP to avoid the necessity of having a JumpStart boot server on the same network segment as the JumpStart client....

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 JumpStart Overview 5
3 JumpStart Customizations 25
4 Postinstallation Procedures 57
5 Automating Installations 87
6 JumpStart Internals 125
7 JumpStart Security 143
8 WebStart Flash 151
9 Customizing JumpStart Framework for Installation and Recovery 167
10 Solaris Security Toolkit 199
11 System Cloning 227
A Using JumpStart Technology to Install Solaris OE for Intel Architecture 235
Glossary 243
Index 249
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This book is one of an on-going series of books collectively known as the SunBluePrints program. The JumpStart Technology BluePrint details best practices forfacilitating and managing automated and consistent installations of the SolarisOperating Environment.

Sun BluePrints Program

The mission of the Sun BluePrints Program is to empower Sun's customers with thetechnical knowledge required to implement reliable, extensible, and secureinformation systems within the datacenter using Sun products. This programprovides a framework to identify, develop, and distribute best practices informationthat applies across the Sun product lines. Experts in technical subjects in variousareas contribute to the program and focus on the scope and usefulness of theinformation.

The Sun BluePrints Program includes books, guides, and online articles. Throughthese vehicles, Sun can provide guidance, installation and implementationexperiences, real-life scenarios, and late-breaking technical information.The monthly electronic magazine, Sun BluePrints OnLine, is located on the Web athttp://www.sun.com/blueprints. To be notified about updates to the SunBluePrints Program, please register yourself on this site.

Who Should Use This Book

This book is primarily intended for readers with varying degrees of experience orknowledge of JumpStart technology. Detailed examples of using JumpStarttechnology effectively every day are provided in combination with never-before-documentedfeatures and capabilities.

Before You Read This Book

You should be familiar with the basic administration and maintenance functions ofthe SolarisOperating Environment (hereafter, Solaris OE). You should also have anunderstanding of standard network protocols and topologies.Since this book is designed to be useful to people with varying degrees of experienceor knowledge of JumpStart technology, your experience and knowledge are thedetermining factors of the path you choose through this book.

How This Book Is Organized

This book is structured with Chapters 2 through 5 providing increasing depth intothe configuration and use of JumpStart technology.

Depending on your level of experience and knowledge of JumpStart technology, youcan skip Chapter 2 "JumpStart Overview," or use it as a review. If you are anexperienced JumpStart user, you can skim Chapter 3 "JumpStart Customizations," oruse it as a review.

Read the remaining chapters either sequentially for an overall comprehension ofJumpStart or as your need dictates.

Chapter 1, "Introduction," provides a high-level overview of the structure and useof the JumpStart framework.

Chapter 2, "JumpStart Overview," presents the core components of the basicJumpStart architecture. The chapter focuses on how to get an automated JumpStartenvironment up and running as quickly as possible.

Chapter 3, "JumpStart Customizations" examines in depth the key components thatwere briefly touched on in Chapter 2, adding the information and recommendationsnecessary to best perform complex installations of the Solaris OE. Additionally, thischapter details the techniques and mechanisms necessary to provide the basics ofhow to extend the JumpStart framework to best suit the needs of your datacenter.

Chapter 4, "Postinstallation Procedures," builds on the advanced JumpStarttechnology techniques presented in Chapter 3 "JumpStart Customizations." Itexamines some of the lesser known (but more powerful) configuration options of theJumpStart application to perform a site-standard, hands-free installation of theSolaris OE and a hands-free installation of unbundled software applications, such asVERITAS Volume Manager (VxVM) and software patches. The chapter providescomplete examples of automating the installation of the Solaris OE and additionalunbundled (third-party) software applications.

Chapter 5, "Automating Installations," describes how JumpStart softwareinstallations can be automated through the use of repositories such as Dynamic HostControl Protocol (DHCP), Network Information System (NIS), Network InformationSystem Plus (NIS+), files, and diskettes. To illustrate the configuration processes ofthese various JumpStart software techniques, this chapter presents a labenvironment in which the various alternatives are implemented and described.

Chapter 6, "JumpStart Internals," applies the concepts presented in Chapter 2 andChapter 3 to a SPARC-based automated JumpStart software installation by lookingat the sequence of network traffic that was generated. The chapter examines theinternals of the JumpStart technology process: its three phases based on the networkprotocols encountered.

Chapter 7, "JumpStart Security," recommends ways to securely incorporate theJumpStart framework into your environment.

Chapter 8, "WebStart Flash," provides an overview and tutorial on WebStart Flash,a powerful new facility of JumpStart technology available with the release of Solaris8 4/01 (Update 4) OE. Flash can create a system archive (a snapshot of an installedsystem) and install the Solaris OE from that archive.

Chapter 9, "Customizing JumpStart Framework for Installation and Recovery,"examines several of the more powerful, yet often overlooked, aspects of theJumpStart system. The chapter explains how to use JumpStart technology from aCD-ROM and how to extend the JumpStart framework into a platform for rapidsystem recovery.

Chapter 10, "Solaris Security Toolkit," details the Solaris Security Toolkit (Toolkit).This Toolkit automates the process of securing Solaris OE systems. In addition to itsnetwork-based or JumpStart-based mode, the Toolkit can also be run in standalonemode. This chapter focuses on the parts of the Toolkit used during a network orJumpStart-based software installation.

Note - The Solaris Security Toolkit was formerly known as the jass SecurityToolkit.

Chapter 11, "System Cloning," refers to the rapid re-creation or reinstallation of asystem. This chapter presents techniques for system cloning and rapid deploymentof systems. This technique is especially useful in providing business continuity anddisaster recovery.

Appendix A, "Using JumpStart Technology to Install Solaris OE for IntelArchitecture," provides an example of using JumpStart technology to install Solaris8 OE for the Intel Architecture on an Intel x86-based client from a Sun EnterpriseE420r JumpStart server.Glossary is a list of terms and acronyms used frequently in describing JumpStarttechnology.

Ordering Sun Documents

The SunDocs SM program provides more than 250 manuals from Sun Microsystems,Inc. If you live in the United States, Canada, Europe, or Japan, you can purchasedocumentation sets or individual manuals through this program.

Accessing Sun Documentation Online

The docs.sun.com Web site enables you to access Sun technical documentationonline. You can browse the docs.sun.com archive or search for a specific book titleor subject. The URL is http://docs.sun.com/

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002


    I hadn't performed jumpstart for some time so i was a bit rusty... However, the examples in the book are literal... If you know absolutely nothing about jumpstart, this book is for you... If you know nothing about networking, you may have some difficulty understanding the terms... But if you know the following commands: ifconfig -a netstat -rn ping snoop And are familiar with the following files /etc/hosts /etc/nsswitch.conf /etc/bootparams /etc/ethers then you should no problem getting jumpstart up and running... Wonderful book... Even better than the jumpstart class taught at sun for $2500 I used to work at sun and it seems jumpstart was always an issue if you were trying to perform a ' complete hands off ' installation and there wasn't any nis, nis+ or dns server running... With this book, you don't need a nis, nis+ or dns server running... I'm planning on setting it up later on my laptop ( yes have my laptop be a jumpstart server running solaris 8 x86 ) Well enjoy -simply grateful jumpstart@smiplygrateful.com

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