Chapter 3: Work Instructions and Scripts
Work Instructions

There is now quite a large body of work instructions for various UNIX tasks, from installing most flavours of UNIX to setting up an HP laserjet printer to installing Legato Networker. If you are about to do any of the tasks mentioned there please ensure you have the latest copy - and also let us know in advance if you need patches fetched from suppliers.

Nearly all of these work instructions have been built up by several people over a period of time, and contain quite a number of 'gotchas' which we have found and surmounted. They are what we use ourselves to do installations, but are also intended for local staff provided they have the relevant expertise.


We can offer advice on hardware purchase, either for new systems or for additional kit. Sometimes there are compatibility issues with new peripherals and old kit which we can identify.

Change Control

General caveat: bear in mind that work on one system may necessitate work on another, as for example when a very new workstation needs an operating system which interacts badly with existing servers and requires them to be patched. Adding a new printer to a site may require extra configuration on several applications packages which have internal printer drivers. Wherever possible consult with iTSS before using work instructions yourself, preferably in the form of a list of what you plan to do circulated round interested parties. This should precede any formal Change Control.

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Associated with most of the work instructions are sets of scripts or operating system file replacements. These are stored under the master copy of the NERC filestructure at Wallingford., as nerc/scripts.

/nerc/scripts is rdisted to a site either at the request of local staff or when Systems Group are asked to do upgrades or installations.

For operating system upgrades, the scheme involves a script called 'incp.x.x' where x.x is the operating system version, e.g. 2.5, and a corresponding set of directories called incp.base.x.x. In the base directory there are all the files which need replacing, in the correct directory structure. For example there are new versions of /etc/rc2.d/S74autofs for Solaris, which starts up the automounter with
special arguments to allow /nerc/packages to be automounted.

If many installations are done at a site it is worth doing the mods to the incp.base directory once it has been sent to the site, so that the correct files are copied straight in. There are also other files which need to be edited locally, mostly concerned with mail - all these are explained fully in the appropriate work instructions.

There are sometimes other scripts, called nerc.custom.x.x, which do yet more customisations.

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This page last updated February 13th 1998 by