2.3. Running the Installation Program

After following the steps outlined in Chapter 1 Steps to Get You Started for booting an LPAR or VM system, telnet or ssh to the configured Linux install system on the S/390. Logging on via ssh is the preferred method.

Although the text mode installation program is run by default for most installations, you can optionally run the graphical installation program available for both VM and LPAR installations via the NFS installation method.


If you have a slow network connection or prefer a text-based installation, do not set the DISPLAY= variable in the parm file. The text-based installation is similar to the graphical installation; however, the graphical installation offers more package selection details and other options not available in text-based installs. It is strongly recommended to use the graphical installation whenever possible.

To run the graphical installation, use a workstation that has an X Window System server or VNC client installed. Use an SSH client that allows X11 forwarding or a Telnet client. SSH is strongly recommended for its security features as well as its ability to forward X and VNC sessions. Enable X11 forwarding in your SSH client prior to connecting to the Linux image (the Linux guest running on z/VM).

2.3.1. Installation using X11 Forwarding

For example, to connect to the Linux image and display the graphical installation program using OpenSSH with X11 forwarding on a Linux workstation, type the following at the workstation shell prompt:

ssh -X linuxvm.example.com

The -X option enables X11 forwarding.

The graphical installation program cannot be started if your DNS or hostnames are not set correctly, or the Linux image is not allowed to open applications on your display. You can prevent this by setting a correct DISPLAY= variable. Add the parameter DISPLAY=workstationname:0.0 in the parameter file, replacing workstationname with the hostname of the client workstation connecting to the Linux Image. Allow the Linux image to connect to the workstation using the command xhost +linuxvm on the local workstation.

If the graphical installation via NFS does not automatically begin for you, verify the DISPLAY= variable settings in the parm file. If performing a VM installation, rerun the installation to load the new parm file on the reader. Additionally, make sure when performing an X11 forwarded display that the X server is started on the workstation machine. Finally, make sure the NFS installation method is chosen, as this is the only method that supports graphical installations.

2.3.2. Installation using VNC

If you are using VNC, a message on the workstation SSH terminal prompts you to start the VNC client viewer and details the VNC display specifications. Enter the specifications from the SSH terminal into the VNC client viewer and connect to the Linux image to begin the installation.

Once you have logged into the Linux image the loader will start the installation program.

When the loader starts, several screens appear for selecting the installation method.