Chapter 16. Booting the Installation on IBM System z

The steps to perform the initial program boot (IPL) of the Anaconda installation program depend on the environment (either z/VM or LPAR) in which Red Hat Enterprise Linux will run.

16.1. Customizing boot parameters

Before you can begin the installation, you must configure some mandatory boot parameters. When installing through z/VM, these parameters must be configured before you boot in the generic.prm file. When installing on an LPAR, the rd.cmdline parameter is set to ask by default, meaning that you will be given a prompt on which you can enter these boot parameters. In both cases, the required parameters are the same.


Unlike Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, which featured an interactive utility to assist network configuration, all network configuration must now be specified by the use of the following parameters, either by using a parameter file, or at the prompt.
Installation source
An installation source must always be configured. Use the inst.repo= option to specify the package source for the installation. See Specifying the Installation Source for details and syntax.
Network devices
Network configuration must be provided if network access will be required during the installation. If you plan to perform an unattended (Kickstart-based) installation using only local media such as a hard drive, network configuration can be omitted.
Use the ip= option for basic network configuration, and other options listed in Network Boot Options as required.
Also use the rd.znet= kernel option, which takes a network protocol type, a comma delimited list of sub-channels, and, optionally, comma delimited sysfs parameter and value pairs. This parameter can be specified multiple times to activate multiple network devices.
For example:
Storage devices
At least one storage device must always be configured.
The rd.dasd= option takes a Direct Access Storage Device (DASD) adapter device bus identifier and, optionally, comma separated sysfs parameter and value pairs, then activates the device. This parameter can be specified multiple times to activate multiple DASDs. Example:
The rd.zfcp= option takes a SCSI over FCP (zFCP) adapter device bus identifier, a world wide port name (WWPN), and a FCP LUN, then activates the device. This parameter can be specified multiple times to activate multiple zFCP devices. Example:
Kickstart options
If you are using a Kickstart file to perform an automatic installation, you must always specify the location of the Kickstart file using the inst.ks= option. For an unattended, fully automatic Kickstart installation, the inst.cmdline option is also useful. See Section 20.4, “Parameters for Kickstart Installations” for additional information.
An example customized generic.prm file containing all mandatory parameters look similar to the following example:

Example 16.1. Customized generic.prm file

ro ramdisk_size=40000 cio_ignore=all,!condev
rd.dasd=0.0.0200 rd.dasd=0.0.0202
Some installation methods also require a file with a mapping of the location of installation data in the file system of the DVD or FTP server and the memory locations where the data is to be copied. The file is typically named generic.ins, and contains file names for the initial RAM disk, kernel image, and parameter file (generic.prm) and a memory location for each file. An example generic.ins will look similar to the following example:

Example 16.2. Sample generic.ins file

images/kernel.img 0x00000000
images/initrd.img 0x02000000
images/genericdvd.prm 0x00010480
images/initrd.addrsize 0x00010408
A valid generic.ins file is provided by Red Hat along with all other files required to boot the installer. Modify this file only if you want to, for example, load a different kernel version than default.