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Netbooting of a SLES 11 SP4 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 mysles11sp4 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 SLES AutoYaST XML file is beyond the scope here, please check your SUSE documentation on how to do it!

This picture shows the example setup in detail:

1) Copy the SLES yaboot binary

  • From the SLES 11 SP4 DVD image – mounted under /mnt in this example – copy this file:
[root@nim ~]$ cp /mnt/suseboot/yaboot /tftpboot/yaboot.sles11sp4
[root@nim ~]$ chmod 0644 /tftpboot/yaboot.sles11sp4

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.sles11sp4 mysles11sp4
[root@nim tftpboot]$ ls -l mysles11sp4
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root system 21 Dec 13 18:46 mysles11sp4 -> yaboot.sles11sp4

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 directory:

[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 /tftpboot

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

This customized yaboot.conf must be placed in /tftpboot!

[root@nim ~]$ cat /tftpboot/yaboot.conf-96-0d-e1-c7-5b-03


  append="quiet sysrq=1 insmod=sym53c8xx insmod=ipr ro vnc=0 ifcfg=eth0=, autoyast= install="

7) Copy the proper boot images into the right location

  • From the SLES 11 SP4 DVD image – mounted under /mnt in this example – copy these files:
[root@nim ~]$ cp /mnt/suseboot/linux64 /tftpboot/sles11sp4/linux64
[root@nim ~]$ cp /mnt/suseboot/initrd64 /tftpboot/sles11sp4/initrd64
[root@nim ~]$ chmod 0644 /tftpboot/sles11sp4/*

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 mysles11sp4 <lpar_profile_of_mysles11sp4> <managed-system>

After a while your AutoYaST-automated SLES 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 mysles11sp4 {
  hardware ethernet 96:0D:E1:C7:5B:03;
  filename "mysles11sp4";
  next-server;       # DHCP server IP address

Yaboot sequence of TFTP requests for SLES 11 SP4

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

MAC address: 96:0D:E1:C7:5B:03
netbooting_of_a_sles_11_sp4_powervm_lpar_with_an_aix_nim_server.txt · Last modified: 2018/12/19 23:21 by mperzl