9.0 Building Your Own AutoYaST Server

The first step in creating your own AutoYaST server supporting OES2018 SP2, SLES12 SP5, and SLES15 SP1 is to install a SLES12 SP5 or a SLES15 SP1 server as described in “Installing and Configuring an AutoYaST Server.

Once this server is available copy the archive AutoYaST-cif_yyyymmdd.tgz (see CIF Download site above) into the directory /data and extract it. This will create the directory structure shown in Figure 5-1 and the directory /data/etc.

Next download and copy the following files to the /data/isos directory:

  • OES2018-SP2-DVD-x86_64-DVD1.iso

  • SLE-12-SP5-Server-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso

  • SLE-15-SP1-Installer-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso

  • SLE-15-SP1-Packages-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso

Make sure to compute the MD5 checksums of the copied files and to compare them to the checksums provided on the download site of the vendor.

/data/etc is the only temporary directory. It can be deleted once the following actions have been performed:

  • Add the contents of the file fstab.cif to the end of /etc/fstab and execute the mount -a command.

    This will loop mount the ISOs copied in the previous step under /data/install.

  • Move inst_server.conf to the /etc/apache2/conf.d directory, enable and start apache. If apache should be already running reload it instead.

    Verify that all your installation sources are accessible via HTTP by entering the following URLs into your browser:

    http://<IP address of your AutoYaST server>/<product><version><sp>

    For example:

The next step is to prepare your environment so that it can create the required Custom Boot ISO. For every release you want to install using CIF you first have to copy the kernel and the corresponding initrd into the directories under /data/boot_cd_build/kernel as explained Table 3-1, Directory Structure of AutoYaST Boot Medium.

In all grub configuration files under /data/boot_cd_build/grub replace "<IP address of your AutoYaST server>" with the IP address of your AutoYaST server. Use search and replace to ensure you will replace all occurrences. Also replace “10.” with the gateway for your environment. You can provide only parts of the gateway address.

If you want your Custom Boot ISO to support systems with UEFI you have to define the IP address of your AutoYaST server, the IP address of your ISO server, and the IP address of your gateway in lines 2-4 of each *.cfg file for the various releases in the /data/boot_cd_build/EFI directory. If UEFI support is not required simply delete this directory.

Optionally, in line 94 of /data/boot_cd_build/create-ay-iso.sh replace “CIF” with your customer name.

Execute /data/boot_cd_build/create-ay-iso.sh. This will create your boot ISO “autoyast-${CUSTOMER}.iso” supporting OES2018 SP2, SLES12 SP5, and SLES15 SP1 in your /data/isos directory.

Rename /data/autoyast/xml/default-(ip) replacing “(ip)” with the IP address of your AutoYaST server next. For example, rename the file to default- if the IP address of your AutoYaST server is

In the renamed file replace “<IP address of your AutoYaST server>” with the IP address of your AutoYaST server.

For SLES15 SP1 you need to copy the info template files and replace <IP address of your ...> with the IP address or your AutoYaST, ISO and YUM server.

You can also use the template files to create info files for other products and releases. This will require you to adjust your grub and grub2 configuration files.

The final step is to populate the configuration files used by CIF with the information that defines your environment.

IMPORTANT:Before you copy any configuration file from the templates directory you should carefully inspect each of these files to ensure that the files provided by our solution cover your specific requirements.

If this should not be the case modify the template files to meet your needs before you copy them.

When you have verified that the template files do meet your needs copy /data/autoyast/configs/templates/Your_CUSTOMER.txt to /data/autoyast/configs/CUSTOMER.txt

(see Customer Configuration File CUSTOMER.txt).

For every eDirectory tree in your environment to which you want to install servers using CIF copy /data/autoyast/configs/templates/Your_Tree.txt to /data/autoyast/configs/<TreeName>.txt (see Tree Name Configuration File <TREE_NAME>.txt).

For example, if an eDirectory tree is named XYZCORP-TREE this file needs to be named XYZCORP-TREE.txt. Remember this file name is case-sensitive.

If you plan to also use locations (see Location Configuration File) create a copy of /data/autoyast/configs/templates/Your_Location.txt in /data/autoyast/configs for each location. You may use any name you wish for these files.

Once you have copied all the required configuration files from the template directory carefully plan which information will go into which configuration file. Make sure to provide all required information. All variables in the sections “infrastructure information” and “OES information” must be defined or your installation will fail. Other sections such as “DHCP information” or “DNS information” are optional and only need to be populated if you install the patterns “novell-dhcp” or “novell-dns”.

Remember that CUSTOMER.txt should only store information that applies to all servers in all environments. Information that is specific for an eDirectory tree, for instance the name of the installation user goes into the corresponding tree configuration file and information specific for a location will go into the location configuration file.

The tree configuration file provides a set of settings that is also available in CUSTOMER.txt. If you provide a different value for any of these settings in your tree configuration file it will overwrite the corresponding value from CUSTOMER.txt.

Even if you want to use all settings from CUSTOMER.txt you still need to create a tree configuration file – otherwise you would get an error during the installation of your OES server.

In every tree file in line 222 replace “Your_O” with the base context for LDAP searches in the corresponding eDirectory tree. These searches are performed by AFP, CIFS, iPrint and NetStorage. The base for the LDAP sub-tree search can be any container of your eDirectory structure. Typically all four components use the same search base however, if this should not be the case you can set a different search base for each component. If you do not use any of these components you should comment lines 222, 227, 232, 236 and 241.

It may sound obvious but it is often overlooked that the tree configuration files only apply to OES servers. Any information defined in these files is never applied to pure SLES systems!

Finally you can create optional location configuration files to further fine tune your configuration settings. Values provided in this configuration will overwrite the corresponding values form the tree configuration file and from CUSTOMER.txt.

Once you have entered all the configuration information into all the configuration files there is some additional information that you need to specify in CUSTOMER.txt:

Line Numbers

Action to Perform

Line 37:

Replace “CIF” with your customer name.

Line 53-64:

Adjust the service types to match your requirements.

Line 355:

Specify the country for the SLES CA.

Line 382/383:

Take a note of the comment concerning password security.

Line 396:

Specify if your hardware clock will be set to UTC or to localtime.

Line 400:

Specify your keyboard mapping.

Line 404:

Specify the language in which you want to install.

Line 412:

Set a simple default root password that will ensure you can login if you should have forgotten to specify the root password in other configuration files.

Line 416:

Specify your default time zone.

Line 473:

Specify the IP address of your ZCM Primary server.

Line 487:

Specify the protocol and IP address of the server providing your installation repositories if this should not be your AutoYaST server.

Line 492:

Specify the protocol and IP address of the server providing your YUM repositories for updates if this should not be your ZCM Primary server.

There are different ways to obtain the encrypted password for the root user. One way is to use the autoinstallation feature in YaST (> Miscellaneous > Autoinstallation Configuration). Edit the root user, set your desired password and save the XML file. Copy and paste the encrypted password from the XML file you created to line 412 of /data/autoyast/configs/CUSTOMER.txt.

Another way is to just set the password on a running system and to copy it from /etc/shadow. The encrypted password is the string between the first colon immediately following the username and the second colon. It always starts with "$".

Always ensure that the encrypted password for the root user is enclosed in single quotes!

CUSTOMER.txt is also the file where you define your Service Types. Basically a Service Type is collection of XML snippets that provide the configuration information for the patterns defined in the software selection files.

We provide base definitions of Service Types for typical SLES11, SLES12 and SLES15 servers. We also provide Service Type definitions for five different types of OES2018 servers:

  • OES2018_BRANCH

    This variable defines all the XML snippets required to configure the OES services for a branch office server.


    This variable defines all the XML snippets required to configure an additional domain controller for the DSfW Forest Root Domain.


    This variable defines all the XML snippets required to configure the forest domain controller for the DSfW Forest Root Domain.


    This variable defines all the XML snippets required to configure the OES services for an eDirectory/iManager server

  • OES2018_NCS

    This variable defines all the XML snippets required to configure the OES services for a branch office server

As OES2018 is based on SLES12 services these Service Type definitions must include the Service Type definition for SLES12_BASE.

You can define additional Service Types or modify these Service Types to meet your particular needs. For instance, if you do not want to use AFP remove “:oes/afp.xml” from the service type definitions for branch office servers and cluster nodes. In this case make sure your also remove the pattern “novell-afp” from the corresponding software selection file.

NOTE:.../files/services/oes/imanager.xml does not install all iManager PlugIns by default. As a consequence, when you log in to iManager the very first time you will not see any Roles and Tasks. You will have to go to > Configure > Plug-In Installation > Available Novell Plug-In Modules and install the PlugIns that you need starting with iManager Base Content, iManager Framework, and iManager Framework Content.

We recommend that the you only install the Plug-Ins for the components you are using. This will result in a much leaner, easier to work with iManager.

If you instead want AutoYaST to install all available PlugIns just modify imanager.xml and set <install_plugins>yes</install_plugins>.

The last configuration file that you need to modify is server.txt. You need to have one line in this file for each server that you want to install using CIF. We provide sample entries to install an eDirectory server with iManager as the first server into a tree and to add a branch office server as the second server to the same tree.

Both servers require a 50 GB hard disk and a minimum of 1.5 GByte of RAM. Just copy the appropriate entry to a new line and provide the information for the first server you want to install. Carefully read the description of the 14 fields and make sure you understand what information is required in which field.

Replace the IP address, specify the tree file, the server context and possibly the location file. If you want to register the server with your ZCM zone provide at least one ZCM registration key in field 09 of the entry.

Also use the instructions in lines 19 of server.txt to ensure that your entry has the correct number of fields. Always double-check that the IP address in Field 02 is unique as it is this address that will tell the installation process which line of server.txt to use.

If you want to use the full solution you will have to configure your ZENworks Management Zone before you can perform your first AutoYaST installation.

Once your ZCM zone will be configured you can add the ZENworks registration keys to Filed 09 of each entry in your server.txt file.