Unofficial CA Single Sign-On Guide, Chapter 2: The Installation Debugger

(This is the second chapter in our new series, the Unofficial CA Single Sign-On Guide. You can find Chapter 1 here.)

I’m sure you’ve seen it! Whether it was on one of those tacky motivation posters or during a 3 a.m. Tony Robbins infomercial… the concept of "trust". It is usually demonstrated by somebody blindly falling backwards and trusting their partner or team to catch them. It looks convincing when you see it on television, but if you are like me you start wondering how many takes it took to make it look that easy. I believe it is part of human nature to want to ‘Trust’ but in the end we usually go with ‘Trust, but verify!’. That verification piece is especially important when it comes to your SSO solution!

If you have installed a CA security product in the past, you have no doubt seen one of the following conclusion messages: ‘Installation Successful’, ‘Installation Successful but with errors’ or ‘Installation Failed’.  Unfortunately, these messages are not always accurate. I have seen successful completions that were…. well…not successful. Other times it was successful with errors, but when you review the installation log there is little to no information in it.   So, what is one to do?

This brings us to the installation debugger. It is not in the manual, and often when I am on-site with a client they have no idea this function even exists but Yes, Virginia: there is a debugger!

Below are the methods for starting the debugger during Windows and Linux installations of CA Single Sign-On:

Windows

Running the debugger in Windows is very simple. Once you start the installer just hold down the [Ctrl] button during the initialization screen (see below) until you see a DOS box pop up in the background.  Once the DOS box has opened you can release the [Ctrl] button and continue with your install.   One important thing to note for Windows is that the DOS window will close once you have exited the installer so before you hit that final button to exit, be sure to select all the content of the DOS window and copy and paste to a text editor so that it can be saved for reference.   

Initialization Screen - Hold down the [Ctrl] button until you see the screen below then release the control button.

Initialization Screen - Hold down the [Ctrl] button until you see the screen below then release the control button.

You know the debugger has started once you see this DOS window pop-up in the background.

You know the debugger has started once you see this DOS window pop-up in the background.

 Linux

Unlike Windows, running the debugger in Linux will automatically write the content to a log file. 

Before running the installation script, enter the following command (note this command could vary slightly depending on the shell in use)

export LAX_DEBUG=true

 Then start the installer script as you normally would.

Running the debugger during the installation will not ‘fix’ a potential problem, but it may provide some specific information (or errors if you are lucky) to assist you with finding the source of the problem so that you can resolve it.