Working With Installation Manager

Now we have Installation Manager (IM) installed it’s going to be our primary go to place for installing everything else so let’s have a look at how it works.

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If you use a GUI you should see IBM Installation Manager added to the programs menu and you can run it from there, but you can also run it from the command line.  Navigate to the install directory /opt/IBM/Installation Manager/eclipse (beware case sensitivity) and run ./IBMIM.  I am using sudo to run it with the appropriate (root) rights because I’m not logged in as a root user.

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The Installation Manager main menu gives us several options for working with software

Install:  adding new software such as WebSphere or Connections itself

Update: applying fixes and updates to already installed software

Modify:  changing the options for already installed software such as adding or removing features

Roll back: taking software back to an earlier release level for example rolling back WebSphere from an applied fix or IF

Uninstall: there’s no way back from this, uninstall the software and it’s gone completely

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The file menu on the IM allows us to view what software , versions and locations exist.  We also use this menu to set up file repositories where IM can find installers.  We’ll look at that on our next blog entry “Installing WebSphere”.

As you can see, running our installs and updates through IM gives us much more flexibility and control over versions and upgrades.  Since IM maintains records of all installed software, location, patches and features it can’t be uninstalled whilst the owned software is still in place.  And by “can’t” I mean “won’t”.  If you try and uninstall IM it will simply refuse to uninstall itself until you have used its “uninstall” option to remove its owned software.

Installation Manager takes only a few minutes to install but think carefully about who installs it, who has rights to run it, and most importantly its install location

Setting Up Repositories

For IM to install software you must first tell it where to find the software you want to install.  Let’s take WebSphere as an example.

The WebSphere New Deployment installers come in 3 compressed files.  We extract all of those to the same directory using the syntax

unzip filename (eg WASND_v8.5.5_1of3.zip) -d {directoryname]

if you don’t use -d as a parameter the file will unzip into the directory you are currently running the command in.

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Unzipped you should have 3 folders disk1, disk2 and disk3 and a repository.config file.  The repository.config is what IM looks for to determine how to install the software.

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You want to add repositories for any software you plan to install by choosing File – Preferences from the IM menu and then “Add Repository”

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Browse to the location of the extracted installers and find the repository.config file then select it.

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One of the advantages of IM is that it can store previous versions of the software to enable you to rollback at any point, however the files needed for rollback need to stored on the file system and take up space.  You can go into this section of IM and choose to remove the saved rollback files at any point once you know you won’t need to rollback. If you do remove the files it should still be possible to rollback but you will need to be able to supply the original versions of the installers you want to rollback to.

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When updating or installing software you can optionally be prompted for credentials to Passport Advantage in order for IM to find the files online.  This tells IM to find any updates available on Passport Advantage. It saves you the trouble of finding and downloading WAS fixes and patches but does require that the server has access to the internet.

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Now when you go to Install or Update software IM will prompt you to login to Passport Advantage and optionally save the credentials so it won’t ask again.

Now we’re ready to install WebSphere.

 

Installing Installation Manager

Installation Manager (IM) is the IBM management tool that controls and manages the installation of IBM software. The big advantage of IM is that it creates its own library of what it installed and that enables you to easily rollback or update anything it manages.

Let’s start by installing IM – the compressed installers are different for each platform.  In Connections101 I will be installing both Linux and Windows components so I will eventually need both versions of IM (beginning agent.installer.”OS”) – extracted and shown below.

Installing IM 1

From the extracted directory run the file ./install on Linux , this will launch using a graphical interface so you will need to either have a GUI and browser installed or you will need to have set up X11 forwarding to your workstation.  There is a silent installer that you can run which won’t use the graphical interface and instead uses a response file to determine who to install. That uses file ./installc and instructions for that are here

 

Installing IM 2

 

Confirm you are installing the correct version of IM.  In our case, the newer the better.

Installing IM 3

This is the location of the Installation Manager files.  /opt/IBM/InstallationManager/eclipse by default on Linux C:\Program Files\Installation Manager\eclipse on Windows.  Change this to whatever location you want but make sure you will never run out of space on that location, or need to reassign it, as Installation Manager cannot be moved without first uninstalling all the software it manages (like Connections, WebSphere etc!).

Installing IM 4

The final screen before install confirms the location and details of the program.

Installing IM 5

On this screen you can see the “Target Location”, including the Package Group Name and the Installation Directory.  For each new piece of software IM installs it creates a new Package Group to manage it.  This is what is going to allow us to upgrade, rollback, patch and modify later one.

Installing IM 6

Having installed IM manager we can now use it to install other things.