Chapter 2. Preinstallation Requirements

This chapter describes the hardware and software requirements for using the SGI SystemImager tool.

Installation Prerequisites

Before you are ready to install the SystemImager tool, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Ensure that a cluster of machines is connected to the network.

  • Install on the golden master all software packages and value-add packages, such as Advanced Cluster Environment (ACE), Internet Server Environment (ISE), and so on, that you want to replicate on the clients.

Hardware Requirements

To use the SGI SystemImager tool, you must have at least a server machine, a console (the server and the console can be the same machine), a golden master, and one or more clients. The golden master and all of the clients should be SGI 1200, SGI 1400, or SGI 1450 systems. All of the machines must be connected via an Ethernet network. One common configuration is to have the clients share a private network with the server. The server can have two network interface cards, one for the private network, and one for the external network.


Warning: SGI SystemImager will totally reconfigure the client machines' hard drives; any existing data will be overwritten.


Server Requirements

The server is the machine that holds the images and synchronizes the clients. The server must have enough disk space to hold its own operating system plus at least one copy of the golden master's hard disk. The more hard drive space that is available, the more images the server can hold.

The server should have two network interfaces - one connected to the outside world and the other to a hub or switch connected to the master and client(s). If that is impossible, the server can work with only one interface, but you should not connect the machines to the public network. On the public network, there may be various hosts that will answer Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) requests. When booting, the clients issue DHCP requests and the server answers those requests. For SystemImager to work, the server must be the only host that is running as a DHCP server on the clients' network.

Console Requirements

The console is the machine that SystemImager runs on. The console must have a monitor connected and X Windows installed. The X Windows machine must be running with a resolution of at least 1024x768 pixels. You can let the server function as a console. If you want to run SystemImager from multiple machines, you can configure more than one console.

Golden Master Requirements

The golden master is the machine whose hard drive is copied to all of the clients. You must set up this machine the way that you want all of the client machines set up. This machine should be installed and configured before you prepare an image or synchronize clients. It is necessary that the server be able to use rsh(1) to remotely connect as root to the golden master without a password. To accomplish this, create a ~root/.rhosts file and enter the name of the server.

Client Requirements

The clients are the machines that will receive the golden master's image. The clients' disks must be able to hold at least as much data as the golden master's disk, and the types (SCSI or IDE) must be the same on the clients and the master. The clients should be similar enough to each other and to the master so that the same hard drive image will work on all of the clients.

Software Requirements

To run SystemImager, you must have one of the following Linux distributions installed on the server, the console (if it is not the server), and the golden master:

  • Red Hat version 6.2

  • TurboLinux version 6.0

  • SuSE version 6.4