Big Punch Xen Install Tool


by Glen Davis Version 1.1 (April 18th, 2008) Platforms Supported: Host: SLES10 SP1, SLES10sp2 Guest: NW65sp7, SLES10sp1, SLES10sp2, OES2, OES2sp1 (beta)


This tool allows the user to quickly create a new customized SLES,OES2, or NetWare Virtualized Server on SLES10 Xen box. The Labels in red indicate fields that should be changed for a unique server, the other defaults may very well stay the same for other installs. In this way you enter very little information and can launch a customized automated install in less than a minute. The default values can be changed by editing the variables at the top of the big punch file.

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  • Customized install using autoyast or a NetWare response file
  • Takes Less than 1 minute of your time to install a unique server (you don't babysit)
  • Server can go into a new or existing eDirectory tree
  • No interruptions, no swapping install sources, completes without intervention
  • For subsequent install, only enter information for a few unique fields
  • Can be run on any Hardware that runs SLES10

Requirements and Instructions

  1. Extract all files to the same directory
  2. Install perl-Tk on the SLES10 Xen host, this can be obtained off the SLES10 install source.
  3. Change the default values by editing the bigpunch file (optional but highly recommended – you don't want to change all those fields to your defaults every time you launch)
  4. Give proper rights and run the tool ( ./bigpunch)

It is also recommended you get the latest updates for the SLES10 Xen host server from Novell (ie – you subscribed to Novell Customer Center and update with the Zen Updater or yast tools).

How it works

You should see the GUI pop-up after launching ./bigpunch file. First select your Operating system

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Next, fill out the fields with your server information. Leave the OES Settings blank if installing a SLES virtual machine (non-OES).

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After your settings are filled out, hit the green “Create Virtual Machine button.

Wait a few seconds and you will see a create virtual machine wizard pop-up

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Click Forward. Next you will see the final screen, before the automated Virtual Machine install is launched

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All the settings are filled out as you specified before, including install sources, and automated response or autoyast files. Click OK here, or for advanced users, you can change any other settings in this wizard that you would like. Click OK, and the automated install will launch. You're done!

The Details

Inputs and defaults entered into the OES2 settings section of the gui are passed to the or script. This script creates a new autoyast (linux) or response file (Netware) based on the base autoyast/rsp script and the input. The Xen Virtual machine hardware settings are also automatically filled out when the vm-install gui launches. Nicely enough if the basic bigpunch gui didn't provide enough, you can still change settings in the vm-install before you do the final launch.

Adding your own customized Autoyast files or NetWare response files

By default I have included autoyast files for each server pattern show at the top of the gui. You will notice in the templates I am searing and replacing for different fields such as @@ip@@ for the ipaddress. One way to use your own custom file is to compare the file you want to use with one of my templates, then using a tool like Beyond Compare, copy over the settings for the several @@variables@@ on to your file. Then change the path for the autoyast or response file to use your new custom file.

Known issues

All fields except for the Existing Edirectory Ipaddress, must be filled out!

Other information

For OES2 linux Virtual installs you should use an install source as indicated in the default templates to install over the wire, or if you have the install on your local Xen host, that should work also. Currently I haven't implemented the code in the autoyast file to use an add-on-product and base ISO files together for OES installs. For a NW65sp7 Virtual installs you need to download and use the NW65sp7 DVD iso. There is no supported dos client over the wire install for NetWare on Xen.

Question and Answer -

Should I used dot or comma notation in the fields? As far as the contexts go, you should use dot notation for NetWare, and OES Linux. What is the Tree Root field? Tree root is just the root organizational unit. For example O=novell. Is the memory size the min or the max for the vm? Memory size is what you are allocating for the VM, or minimum memory. You will see once you fill everything out, the vm-install wizard will pop-up with all the information filled out. You can go tweak the memory again here (max or min) in that wizard. Or just leave it alone and click next, and it will finish. For questions, or comments, email Glen at


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