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Netbooting of a RHEL 6.9 PowerVM LPAR with an AIX NIM Server

For this example the following settings are assumed:

  • A HMC called hmc manages managed-system.
  • A LPAR named myrhel6u9 is already defined on managed-system.
    • All required network and storage adapters as well as disk storage have been created up front.
    • The designated IP address is
  • The AIX NIM server nim has the IP address
  • The network adapter used for netbooting has the following mac address: 96:0d:e1:c7:5b:03.
  • Access to the HMC hmc via password-less SSH is possible from a central system.
  • The Red Hat Kickstart file used for the installation is accessible through a web server (IP address at this URL:

How to create a Red Hat Kickstart file is beyond the scope here, please check your RHEL documentation on how to do it!

This picture shows the example setup in detail:

1) Copy the RHEL yaboot binary

  • From the RHEL 6.9 DVD image – mounted under /mnt in this example – copy this file:
[root@nim ~]$ cp /mnt/ppc/chrp/yaboot /tftpboot/yaboot.rhel6u9
[root@nim ~]$ chmod 0644 /tftpboot/yaboot.rhel6u9

2) Create the entry in the /etc/bootptab file on the AIX NIM server

[root@nim ~]$ cat etc/bootptab:
# Legend:
# first field -- hostname (may be full domain name and probably should be)
# bf – bootfile
# ip -- host IP address
# ht -- hardware type
# ha -- hardware address
# sa -- server IP address to tftp bootfile from
# sm -- subnet mask
[root@nim ~]$ cd /tftpboot
[root@nim tftpboot]$ ln -s yaboot.rhel6u9 myrhel6u9
[root@nim tftpboot]$ ls -l myrhel6u9
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root system 14 Dec 13 18:46 myrhel6u9 -> yaboot.rhel6u9

4) Adapt the AIX TFTP server

The TFTP server on AIX does not chroot incoming clients into a specific directory by default.
Instead, access to the server is controlled by the /etc/tftpaccess.ctl file.

Make sure your /etc/tftpaccess.ctl file looks like this – or at least allows access to the /tftpboot and /etc directories:

[root@nim ~]$ cat /etc/tftpaccess.ctl
# NIM access for network boot 

5) Activate the bootp changes

As the bootp daemon runs under the control of the inetd daemon we have to notify the inetd to refresh its subsystems.

[root@nim ~]$ refresh -s inetd

6) Create a customized yaboot.conf file in /etc

The naming for this customized yaboot.conf file is 01-<MAC-ADDRESS> with <MAC-ADDRESS> coded as xx-yy-zz-aa-bb-cc.

This customized yaboot.conf must be placed in /etc as the AIX TFTP server does not chroot to the /tftproot base directory!

[root@nim ~]$ cat /etc/01-96-0d-e1-c7-5b-03



    append="ks= ksdevice=eth0 ip= netmask= gateway="

If you include a message file (in the example above /etc/yaboot.txt) in your yaboot configuration you must put this file also in a directory where AIX TFTP has access to!

7) Copy the proper boot images into the right location

  • From the RHEL 6.9 DVD image – mounted under /mnt in this example – copy these files:
[root@nim ~]$ cp /mnt/ppc/ppc64/vmlinuz /tftpboot/rhel6u9/vmlinuz
[root@nim ~]$ cp /mnt/ppc/ppc64/initrd.img /tftpboot/rhel6u9/initrd.img
[root@nim ~]$ chmod 0644 /tftpboot/rhel6u9/*

8) Start the lpar_netboot command on the HMC

At last, initiate the installation from the central system via password-less SSH access of the HMC.

[root@<central system> ~]$ ssh hscroot@<hmc> lpar_netboot -t ent -m 960DE1C75B03 -S <nim> -C -K -s auto -d auto -f -i -E LPAR_NETBOOT_DEBUG -T off myrhel6u9 <lpar_profile_of_myrhel6u9> <managed-system>

After a while your Kickstart-automated RHEL installation should begin…

Using a Linux DHCP Server instead of the AIX NIM Server

  • The same steps as in the AIX NIM server scenario would be performed but a Linux DHCP server would be used instead of the AIX NIM server.
[root@<linux_dhcp> ~]$ cat /etc/dhcpd.conf
option domain-name "<your_domain_name_here>";
option domain-name-servers;   # DNS server IP address
option routers;
option ntp-servers;   # NTP server IP address
ddns-update-style none;
ignore unknown-clients;
allow bootp;
subnet netmask {
  default-lease-time 86400;
  max-lease-time 604800;
host myrhel6u9 {
  hardware ethernet 96:0D:E1:C7:5B:03;
  filename "myrhel6u9";
  next-server;       # DHCP server IP address

Yaboot sequence of TFTP requests for RHEL 6.X

Yaboot will try to find its configuration file under these names in the following order:

Client IP: (= 0xC0A80A4B)
MAC address: 96:0D:E1:C7:5B:03
netbooting_of_a_rhel_6.9_powervm_lpar_with_an_aix_nim_server.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/19 23:20 by mperzl