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With the release of A2019 version in Q4 2019, AutomationAnywhere RPA platform now supports Linux operating system.
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Currently, RHEL 7.X is the only supported Linux flavor. However, with the steps towards making Automation Anywhere a cloud-native application, it is likely that other flavors of Linux would also be supported in the future.
As a foreword, I wanted to clarify that this blog doesn’t go into the details of installing Automation Anywhere in an enterprise-grade environment as that would entail additional complexities in regards to -
- Implementing a robust cloud-based or on-premise platform architecture that provides redundancy.
- Ensuring the platform can service the current load and is scalable for the future.
- Making sure that the platform is secured as per the policies of the organisation.
- Setup proactive and predictive monitoring capabilities to ensure time-critical jobs complete with a peace of mind.
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In my previous article, I described the installation process for Windows operating system. In this article, I’ll execute the same process in a Linux environment. Therefore, the high-level overview of the installation process flow will remain the same.
The high-level flow of the Automation Anywhere A2019installation process is given as follows –-
- Create a RHEL 7.X Virtual Machine using Virtualbox
- Install Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition2017 and complete post-installation steps for SQL Server
- Download and install Automation Anywhere A2019platform
- Complete post-install configuration steps for AutomationAnywhere
Create a RHEL 7.X Virtual Machine using Virtualbox
1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is a distribution of Linux operating system that was developed for the business market. In the first instance, I was inclined towards thinking that there may be a price tag involved in case if I wanted to use RHEL for exploratory purposes. I was completely surprised that RHEL offers its enterprise version Linux server to developers, including a bunch of development tools for absolutely free for a period of ~1 year. All you need to do is to create a developer account on RHEL website and then download the iso image for the required version of Linux from this link. For the purpose of this article, I’ve downloaded RHEL 7.7.
2. Now we need to create a new virtual machine (VM) using VirtualBox as shown in the screenshot below.
3. Allocate a decent amount of RAM for this VM and at least 4 cores to avoid sluggish response times.
4. Create a dynamically allocated VDI disk for this VM. As I am building this VM for training purpose only, ~150 GB space would be adequate for now.
5. Ensure that the boot order is as given in the screenshot below.
6. Insert the downloaded RHEL 7.X iso image as an optical drive for this VM as shown below. Also, setup the network adaptor, shared folders, and bi-directional copy/ paste as per your requirements.
7. Once the VM configuration is complete, the VM can be started to complete RHEL 7.7 Linux server installation process.
8. Select the required Language.
9. In the screen given below, we need to specify a few settings for configuring RHEL VM properly. These settings include –
- Timezone setting.
- Setting the installation source.
- Disabling the Kdump by unchecking the checkbox.
- Selecting automatic partitioning under installation destination.
- Under Software selection menu, choose “Server with GUI”. You may also choose to install a bunch of other required software like RHEL development tools.
- Finally, you should also configure your network under Network and Host Name menu button. All you need to do here is to switch on the network. Also, click on the configure button to check the box for automatically connecting the machine to the network option.
10. The below screen is presented when we click on Network & Host Name button where we can configure the network settings for our VM.
11. After you click on Begin Installation on the previous step, the following screen will present itself where you can set the password for root user and also create additional users. The setup process will run for ~ 10-15 mins depending on the software options selected in step 9 and the resources allocated to the VM.
12. As part of the post-installation steps, we would need to accept the licensing terms and subscribe the machine with RedHat server. Once both these steps are completed, click on Finish configuration.
13. The below screen shows the subscription manager window.
14. Please ensure that you provide your username and not an email address for the Login field in the screen given below. My subscription process did not complete and I got a not so helpful error message.
15. Login to the server preferably with a root user or an administrator with root access.
16. Once you are logged in, open the terminal window and run the following command in terminal to register your VM.
17. Then run the following command to attach your system to a subscription.
If everything went well, you should see the following message:
18. Now, run a bunch of commands given below to ensure that the yum repos and the installed packages are up to date.
19. Once the above commands are run, shut down the VM and ensure that the VirtualBox Guest Additions iso is included as an optical drive as shown below.
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20. Now start the VM, log in as root user and run the following commands to mount the optical drive. This would allow us to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux.
Install Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition 2017 and complete post installation step for SQL Server
21. Once the above commands are complete, we are all set to install Microsoft SQL Server by following the steps given in this link. Please ensure that you follow all the steps including installation, setting up the ports, installing command-line tools, testing the access by running sample commands and ensuring that the SQL Server service is up and running.
Download and install Automation Anywhere A2019 platform
22. Extract the Automation Anywhere A2019 setup file for Linux platform from the zip file downloaded earlier and place it in a convenient location on your Linux server.
23. Before initiating the installation process, ensure that the SQL Server is up and running by using the following command -
24. Ensure that the setup file has execute permissions for all categories by running the following command -
25. Now, we are all set to kick start the installation process. For most of the inputs, we just need to choose the default options.
26. Please note that we need to provide the same database password for ‘SA’ user that we’d used while setting up SQL server in step 21.
27. The installation process is now complete and Automation Anywhere enterprise gets installed under /opt/automationanywhere/enterprise
Complete post install configuration steps for Automation Anywhere
28. As we had specified port 80 for Http traffic, we now need to ensure that the same port is open and accessible via the firewall. This is required, as we need to access the Control Room (CR) URL via a web browser. The format of the control room URL will likely be as follows-
Where hostname is the fully qualified name of the server where Automation Anywhere platform is installed and, port#, as you may have already guessed is the port number specified during Automation Anywhere installation process.
The below command can be used to find out the hostname of the Linux VM
29. We can now check the status of Automation Anywhere services to ensure they are up and running.
30. Now, launch any web browser and try to access the Control Room URL. In my instance the Control Room URL is http://a2019-rhel01:80. We will then be presented with the following screen-
31. I received an error, as the repository path that I had specified did not have appropriate permissions to be used by a web application. For the purpose of this article, I ended up using /tmp. However, I would encourage you use a more appropriate location for storing Automation Anywhere Server files.
32. Choose the credential vault setting as per your requirement.
33. Choose one of the available authentication types.
34. Create a control room Administrator user
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35. And finally, install the license key that you may have received from Automation Anywhere.
If you are reading this, you have managed to successfully install Automation Anywhere A2019 RPA platform on Linux environment and are ready to explore your intelligent bot use cases.
If you liked this blog and would like to see more blogs in this space in future, please feel free to drop a note at [email protected], until the comments section is made available for this website.
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