Describing Advanced Installation Options


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify the advanced installation options

Advanced Installation Options

Business Example

You want to install several SAP HANA systems and need insight to the advanced, batch-oriented installation methods that are available for installing multiple SAP HANA systems.

Installation automation is designed for those who are familiar with SAP HANA and are installing it regularly in various production environments. It refers to the installation of SAP HANA database systems using the batch mode, with a combination of a configuration file and call options passed on to the command line.

To provide flexibility, you can install the same SAP HANA database system in several ways. The differences between the installation methods are best shown by a one-to-one comparison of the same system installed with each available method. The following figure shows the specifications for an installation as an example. These parameters reflect a minimalistic approach by providing at least all mandatory parameters and their values, in order to execute an unattended installation without the need of further user interaction. For such a demand, various installation methods can be used. The follow-up examples show the use of the command line with fully qualified options, and even the batch execution of an installation with a formerly created (and maintained) parameter installation file.

Using the Command Line

The hdblcm tool on the command line can be used in the two different ways. Both methods can be used in a batch mode, which does not require any user interaction, as the following options show:

  • Command line options (in batch mode)

  • Configuration file (in batch mode)

Using the Command Line with Parameters in Batch Mode

When using the option --batch, the parameters specified on the command line are used and the default parameters are accepted without conformation. As shown in the figure, it is even possible to provide the mandatory parameters for the passwords on the command line. However, avoid providing the password on the command line like this because the statement is stored in the history file on Linux. Instead, create a configuration file that holds all the required parameters and values, including passwords. Alternatively, there are safeguarding options to store the passwords in an explicit xml-file and start the installation in batch mode with a parameter, which reads the passwords from this file.

If you do not use the --batch option, the SAP HANA installation is performed semi-automatically. The parameters specified on the command line are used, but the installer must still confirm the default parameter values.

The password parameters are mandatory, so values must be provided interactively or using a file. For details, read the sections Specifying Passwords and Tutorial: Installing a Single-Host System with Passwords Read from XML Standard Input Stream or even protect this file with a signature in the SAP HANA Server Installation and Update Guide.

Generating a Configuration File with Installation Parameters

The SAP HANA database lifecycle manager (HDBLCM) uses default values during installation, unless you decide to change them via the command line options, or via a configuration file that contains the parameters you want to change.

To generate a configuration file template using the SAP HANA platform lifecycle management tool, execute the following command:

Code snippet
./hdblcm --dump_configfile_template=/root/hdblcmTemp.cfg

The parameter template file lists parameters in sections like General, Server, Client, and some others. Within those sections, the corresponding parameters can be found with a short description and possible values, which is useful as a kind of value help. For some generic use cases, this function might be sufficient. Nevertheless, the parameters are described in the SAP HANA Server Installation and Update Guide.

The SAP HANA Server Installation and Update Guide covers details in the unit Parameter Reference. The complete list of changeable parameters is documented there.

Using a Configuration File in Batch Mode

To perform an automated installation with the SAP HANA lifecycle management hdblcm tool, you must combine the configuration file and the batch mode.

Note that until now, you had to enter passwords interactively or specify them on the command line. Batch mode is designed to automate the installation process.

Batch mode runs the installer without asking for any confirmation or parameter entry. This allows the installation to run to completion without any user interaction. It can be started from the command line with the use of a configuration file.

With the configuration file and batch mode, the SAP HANA installation is installed completely without user interaction. This is useful if you want to set up many systems with a standard setup, or if you want to redeploy a system on a weekly basis because of system copies.

Users Created During Installation

The <sid>adm User

The user <sid>adm is the operating system user required for administrative tasks such as starting and stopping the system. This user is created/validated during the installation by the HDBLCM tools.

The user identifier (UID) of the <sid>adm user is defined during the system installation.

The password of the <sid>adm user is set during installation with the password parameter.

If you do not want the operating system user <sid>adm and its primary group to be created automatically, you can create it before installation. This might be the case if you use central user management such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) or Network Information System (NIS). The SAP HANA database lifecycle manager (HDBLCM) will not modify the properties of any existing user or group.

The following requirements apply:

  • The name of the user must follow the schema <sid>adm. All letters must be lowercase.
  • The user should have a UID greater than 999.
  • The primary group of the user must be sapsys and the default GID of the sapsys group is 79.
  • The UID of this operating system user and GID of its primary group must be unique and identical on each host of a multiple-host system.

The sapadm User

This user is the SAP Host Agent administrator.

If there is no SAP Host Agent available on the installation host, it is installed during the installation and at the same time the user sapadm is created.

If the SAP Host Agent is already available on the installation host, it is not modified by the installer. The sapadm user and password are also not modified.

The password of the sapadm user is set during installation with the sapadm_password parameter.

If you do not want the user sapadm and its primary group to be created automatically, you can create it before installation.

The following requirements apply:

  • The primary group of the user must be sapsys. The default GID of the sapsys group is 79
  • The GID of the primary group of the sapadm user must be unique and identical on each host of a multiple-host system


This user is the database superuser.

Initially, the SYSTEM user has all system permissions. Additional permissions can be granted and revoked again, however the initial permissions can never be revoked.

Assuming it is a standard installation, two SYSTEM users are created: one for the system database and one for the tenant database.

The password of the SYSTEM user is set during installation with the system_user_password parameter.

The <sid>crypt User

This user is the trusted local secure store (LSS) user. The user <sid>crypt owns the storage of the encryption keys and other similarly sensitive data. This user is created when you decide to install the trusted local secure store (LSS).

The user <sid>crypt is the only trusted user of the LSS. Only processes called by a trusted user are accepted by the local secure store right away.

Troubleshooting a Failed Installation

Troubleshooting should be referred to if the installation fails for an unknown reason, or for workarounds in special circumstances.


As a starting point for troubleshooting a failed Installation, the tool collection of HDBLCM should be taken into account. SAP Note 2078425 can be used be to guided through different questions by answering according to the given situation. Because HDBLCM is used for installations and updates, this note can be used for failures in both scenarios.

Accessing the Underlying Installer Components (pass_through_help)

Because hdblcm and hdblcmgui are wrapper tools, in some troubleshooting cases, you can pass component options on to the underlying component tools (hdbinst or hdbupd) in combination with the call to the hdblcm or hdblcmgui SAP HANA lifecycle management tools. This might be helpful in case there is a problem with the installation and detailed information from involved components is needed.

By using this function, various use cases are supported:

  • Get more detailed information about the component(s), which caused the failed installation or update

  • Use parameters to overcome the problem caused by a component (for example skip a step or set a port via a parameter)

  • Stop or deactivate a specific step or task executed by a underlying component in the installation or update procedure (for example no start of SAP HANA at the end of an update procedure or skip a specific check)

To view the available underlying component parameters as extended help output, use the pass_through_help parameter. Specify the action parameter and --help or -h in combination with pass_through_help.

To view the help output for the installation or the update pass_through_help parameters, use the following syntax:

Code snippet
--action=[install|update] --pass_through_help --help
--action=[install|update] --pass_through_help -h

These operating system commands can be used to identify the wide range of parameters, which are used in the installation and update procedure, including the syntax, a description, and the use case (install, update, product-specific usage) of an involved component, as well as the XML tags used for the password input stream. At the end of the output environment variables are mentioned to enable the tracer or to create a copy of the log directory.

See the SAP HANA Server Installation and Update Guide for a complete list of available pass_through_help parameters.

Location of the SAP HANA Temporary Files

In addition to the main components installed in the default file systems, you can also locate the temporary files from the SAP HANA system. They can be found in the directories shown in the figure, SAP HANA Temporary Files Location.

Enabling the Installer Trace

If the installer crashes or loops, it may make sense to trace the installer until the problem occurs, open a CSS ticket, and attach the trace file for further analysis. You can switch on the installer trace by setting the environment variable HDB_INSTALLER_TRACE_FILE to <tracefilename>. The directory containing the trace file must already exist.

Checking the Log Files

The SAP HANA lifecycle management tools hdblcm and hdblcmgui write log files during installation. The most recent log file is always available under /var/tmp/hdblcm.log or /var/tmp/hdblcmgui.log. Additionally, a copy of the log files is archived in the directory hdb_<SID>_hdblcm_<action>_<timestamp>.

Since the SAP HANA lifecycle management tools hdblcm and hdblcmgui are wrappers for underlying component installers, it is also possible to check the component logs. It is recommended to review and analyze the SAP HANA lifecycle management tools hdblcm and hdblcmgui logs first. Once the source of the problem is narrowed down to a specific component, then the component logs can be further analyzed.

The component log files are stored in the following path:

Code snippet
where <action> :: = install | update | addhost | uninstall | and so on.

The following log files are written while performing the <action>:

  • <hdbcommand>.log: Can be read using a text editor

  • <hdbcommand>.msg: XML format for the display in the installation tool with the GUI

  • <hostname>_tracediff.tgz: Provides a delta analysis of the original trace files, and makes a detailed analysis easier

After the trace is generated, you can open it and check the trace file for error messages. If needed, open an SAP support ticket and attach the trace file for further analysis.

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