Network installation of RHEL 7 (big-endian) on POWER LPAR

This time we will prepare our PXE for installing RHEL 7.7 ppc64 (big-endian) on POWER LPAR via network boot. I've already wrote Network installation of SuSE 15 (sle15) on POWER LPAR and Network installation of SuSE 11 sp4 on POWER LPAR articles. This is a similar approach, so some (most) of the details are omitted. Read the previous links if you feel you have missed something.

Copy and prepare data

Create a directory in the HTTP root directory and copy the contents of the DVD there. Of course you should download it first. You can get it by subscription or download a trial version.

# mkdir /mnt/cdrom
# mount -o ro,loop rhel-server-7.7-ppc64-dvd.iso /mnt/cdrom
SUSE# rsync -av /mnt/cdrom/ /srv/www/htdocs/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/
RHEL# rsync -av /mnt/cdrom/ /var/www/html/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/

Copy some files to your TFTP root. Assuming that TFTP root is /tftpboot:

# rsync -av /mnt/cdrom/boot /tftpboot/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/
# rsync -av /mnt/cdrom/ppc /tftpboot/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/
# ln -s /tftpboot/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/boot /tftpboot/boot
# umount /mnt/cdrom

GRUB looks for its files in the absolute path, so it looks for them in the TFTP root /boot folder. Soft link will help to solve this problem. You no longer need an ISO, and you can unmount it.

Prepare kickstart

This is optional, but very convenient to use kickstart. Your LPAR configuration may not have a graphical terminal, and some functions are not be available in a text-based installation mode. In addition, you can use %pre and %post to get the customized system. You can take my kickstart as an initial example. To use it, you must at least replace the root password. In addition, you need to replace the IP address with the address of your PXE.

Put it into HTTP root /RHEL-7.7-ppc64 directory. It is a nice place as for me.

Prepare GRUB config

Copy this content to /tftpboot/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/boot/grub/grub.cfg replacing the IP address with your PXE server's IP address:

# cat /tftpboot/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/boot/grub/grub.cfg
set default=0
set timeout=60

echo -e "\nWelcome to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 installer!\n\n"

menuentry "Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 (64-bit kernel)" --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
      linux /RHEL-7.7-ppc64/ppc/ppc64/vmlinuz repo= ks= mpath
      initrd /RHEL-7.7-ppc64/ppc/ppc64/initrd.img

menuentry "Rescue a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system (64-bit kernel)" --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
      linux /RHEL-7.7-ppc64/ppc/ppc64/vmlinuz repo= rescue mpath
      initrd /RHEL-7.7-ppc64/ppc/ppc64/initrd.img

submenu 'Other options...' {
  menuentry 'Reboot' {

  menuentry 'Exit to Open Firmware' {

DHCP configuration

Note the MAC address of your POWER LPAR and add it specifically to dhcp.conf:

        host rhel77-ppc64 {
                hardware ethernet 52:54:00:dd:ae:13;
                filename        "/RHEL-7.7-ppc64/boot/grub/powerpc-ieee1275/core.elf";

Reload or restart DHCP service.

Updated on Mon Feb 17 23:13:20 IST 2020 More documentations here