The easiest partition on a JS12 blade (is NOT Linux)

A few months back I participated in the IBM i 7.1 beta program and I absolutely marveled at how ridiculously simple it was to install i5/OS on a new partition.  Create the partition, activate it, use Operations Console to connect, bada bing!  start feeding the beast with DVD’s and …done.  It maybe took two hours start to finish.

Having experienced a quick and easy install with a “difficult” operating system, I decided to try something easy.  A well supported, well known, easy to install Linux distro.  Since Suse Linux Enterprise Server is supported in the Power PC 64 bit world, I downloaded SLES 11 and pulled up the install instructions and have now spent two days trying to get the distro to install.  I have posted to a few forums but apparently Linux on Power, particularly on a JS12 blade running VIOS and the IVM to install the OS is a bit of a mystery.

The maddening part is that I have done this somewhat successfully before but I am not making much progress at the moment. The issue is getting a terminal window to display so that I can begin the install process. The JS12 implementation guide says to start a Remote control session using the AMM (easy to do) and then activate the defined partition in the IVM (also easy to do), and use the IVM option to “Open a Terminal Window” (another easy step). So far so good. The part that doesn’t seem to be working is the “terminal window” popup in the IVM that is supposed to appear to authenticate only appears for a second or two and then it disappears without an opportunity to log in. The AMM Remote Control terminal window changes from displaying the VIOS console to a blank screen. Seems to me that in my last successful attempt at installing Linux using the IVM I saw all the installation prompts in the remote console of the AMM but I can’t be sure.

The missing terminal window is a show stopper since there is no way to install the OS headless.  In fact, the original install of SLES11 was deleted because I couldn’t get the GUI to ever run, even after installing the OS in text mode (which is no easy feat).

Ah! Would it were that Linux was as easy to install as i5/OS!  Whenever I DO get it installed, I will post the “trick” here (whatever it is) so at least I can find it again…

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