Today i hit the so-many-st time where i needed to install the Bladelogic Compliance Content on a Linux appserver. Normally these Linux appservers are minimal servers, hence no graphical display is installed.
The Content installer is a graphical Java application so we need to do something here:
- We have the option to install the X11 libraries on the appserver. Probably we don't want that, otherwise we would have done this already when we were installing the server.
- We can install an X server on our local machine and redirect all X traffic from that machine to our local X server. This means that we need to installl and configure software like Xming on our Windows desktop, configure it, configure X forwarding on our SSH client and configure the correct $DISPLAY environment variable on our appserver. And then we cross our fingers. If all is configured correctly this setup should work. And i have to admit, this is the way we normally want to set this up. But there are way too many variables in this setup that can go wrong.
- The simplest and fastest way to set up the Compliance Content on an appserver without X is to use the Silent Install option. And that's simpler than you thought.
Here is how it works:
First we need to write a response file that tells the installer what to install, where and which account to be used for the installation. This response file can look something like this:
-J USER_ACCOUNT_PASSWORD=KVLXMUZWABUTZBAWMQZTMMEOBNAUVEZUNLBQBPUUZNWBNBEVQTTVPMLOELUQZVEL (generate this encrypted password using the blenc utility)
-J installs the full set of templates for a specific policy. If you don't want the full set of templates you can use the -A option instead. Example:
Let's store this file in the same directory where the content installer is and call it response.txt.
Next you launch the content installer using the following options: ./Content85-LIN.bin -i silent -DOPTIONS_FILE=response.txt
The installation will run for a while. Normally i open a second terminal windows where i run a tail -f /tmp/content_install_log.txt to see what the installer is doing and if there are errors or warnings.
I have used the Silent install a couple of times now and i found out that it's much faster and easier to set up than to fiddle around installing X libraries and trying to get my local and remote X server and X forwarding configuration right.
I hope this article will help people doing the right thing for their situation. More information on the silent content install and all the available options can be found in the Bladelogic Server Automation manuals on Docs.bmc.com.