Anthony English offered an intriguing comment about an issue I had during a VIOS installation.
His response: "I prefer to install the VIOS without using physical media at all using the HMC command line and the installios command. Requires an FTP server or NFS mount. I download the VIOS install media from Entitlement Software Support and then install the VIOS without NIM or physical access to a managed system. True bare metal install. This requires an HMC. Don't think it can be done for an IVM managed system."
I decided to try installios command from the HMC as Anthony suggested. I installed a new server. I defined both VIO servers, and I installed my first VIOS from install media as I always do. I defined my second VIOS with appropriate physical and virtual resources and put the VIOS install media into the HMC DVD drive.
I logged into the HMC GUI and selected HMC management. Then I went to open restricted shell terminal. On the command line I typed installios. (Obviously if need be I could have connected remotely via ssh to the HMC to run installios.)
The machine came back with:
"The following objects of type 'managed system' were found, please select one."
I chose the managed system that had the VIO definition created on it.
"The following objects of type 'virtual I/O server partition' were found. Please select one."
I chose the VIO server definition I wanted to load.
"The following objects of type 'profile' were found. Please select one."
I chose the profile I was interested in.
"Enter the source of the installation images [/dev/cdrom]:"
I hit enter to take the default. Then, as prompted, I entered the client's intended IP address, intended subnet mask, gateway and client speed.
It came back with:
"Please select an adapter you would like to use for this installation. (Warning, the client IP address must be reachable through this adapter!)"
I chose the appropriate adapter, the one that had been configured as my "open" network adapter in this case. I then watched as the adapter information was retrieved and the HMC automatically powered up my LPAR and began the installation.
It came back with what looked like an SMS screen from inside of the VIOS. Here I was able to choose the correct network adapter to use for the installation.
It then prompted me for a language and locale (en_US in my case) and gave me a screen containing a summary of the information I'd entered up to this point. I was given the option to proceed (Enter) or cancel (type Ctrl-C). It then showed me a license agreement screen. Once I accepted, it fired up nimol resources to start loading the other VIOS. It copied booti.chrp.mp.ent.Z, ispot.tar.Z, mksysb, etc., from the CD media to the /extra filesystem on the HMC.
And at this point, it failed. When I looked at the log, I realized why. When prompted for the network card’s speed, I just took the defaults: 100/Full. As I was using a virtual network adapter, these settings were not correct. So I went back through and made sure to select auto/auto for the virtual network adapter. Once I did that, it worked as expected.
Connecting to vios2
Checking for power off
Power off complete
Power on vios2 to open firmware
Power on complete
Client ip address
Server ip address
Gateway ip address
Subnetmask ip address
Getting adapter location codes
Network booting install adapter
Bootp sent over network
It then brought up the /var/log/nimol.log and displayed on the screen what was happening during the install.
One thing I don't like about this is not having the option to select the disk I want VIOS installed to. This isn't a big deal on a fresh build, but it could be if you're installing to a system that could potentially overwrite existing data. However, if you don't plan on creating a NIM server in your
environment, this HMC method certainly works fine.
As Anthony noted in his comment, there are multiple options for loading VIO servers. Using the HMC is certainly another worthy option, especially considering how easy it is.