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NOTE: PXE support in the CERN private cloud is being deprecated, check the SSB for more information

Using traditional PXE-boot installations of Virtual Machines on the CERN private cloud is not recommended, for various reasons:

  • operations such as Virtual Machine migration, rebuild and resize are not supported
  • booting Virtual Machines from an image is much faster, and allows for easier customizations

However, users with very specific requirements, who may not be affected by the drawbacks listed before, may find this user-contributed recipe useful.

Disclaimer: In case that you want to deploy a windows image, please wait until gPXE firmware is loaded to press F12.

Upload a PXE-bootable image to your OpenStack project

We use an image created by the CERN Linux team for this.

  • Download it from the CERN linux website, and upload it to OpenStack with:
$ curl --output /tmp/pxeboot.img --location
$ openstack image create pxeboot --property os=LINUX --file /tmp/pxeboot.img

Verify that the status of the image has become "active"

$ openstack image show pxeboot
  • Boot your instance with that image
$ openstack server create --flavor m2.medium --image pxeboot my-pxe-vm

Wait until the status of the Virtual Machine has become "active"

$ openstack server list --name my-pxe-vm

Initial Installation

  • Upload your Kickstart file to the AIMS Installation Service
$ aims2client addhost --hostname my-pxe-vm --kickstart my-pxe-vm.ks --kopts "text network ksdevice=bootif latefcload" --pxe --name CC7_X86_64
  • Verify that the AIMS has properly sync'ed the PXE boot, by inspecting the output of
$ aims2client showhost --full my-pxe-vm
  • Reboot your Virtual Machine to start the installation
$ openstack server reboot my-pxe-vm

Subsequent re-installations

  • As before, upload your Kickstart file and verify that the AIMS has properly sync'ed the PXE boot
  • Rebuild your Virtual Machine to start the re-installation
$ openstack server rebuild my-pxe-vm

Last update: February 22, 2022