Mount an ISO on a Bare-Metal server

Overview

Although most SoftLayer customers use one of the standard Operating Systems that come with our servers, we allow for Custom ISOs (disk images) to be mounted on servers should the need or desire arise. There are three ways of doing this. There are some differences between these three, so they will be explained below.

For the methods to work you will need to be connected to the private network. This can be done either through the SL VPN service (eg. https://vpn.ams01.softlayer.com/ ) or through another server you already have connected to this network.

Option 1: using IPMI (ISO on a CIFS share)

Mounting an ISO from a CIFS Share (preferred method)

If you already have infrastructure deployed on SoftLayer, you can configure an existing server to offer a CIFS share to the internal network. You can then mount any ISO on there to a bare metal server.

This is the preferred method for installing a custom OS on a Bare-metal server because it installs over the local network, which is very fast and can keep an ISO mounted even if you log out or get disconnected from the management interface.

Follow these steps to install a Custom OS from a CIFS Share:

  • Make sure you have placed the ISO on the CIFS Share.
  • Login to the IPMI management console by pointing your webbrowser to the IP specified in control.softlayer.com and under devices -> your server (device details) -> Remote Mgmt. The username and password are also specified here.
  • Hover over the tab ‘Virtual Media’ and click on ‘CD-ROM image’
  • Fill in the appropriate details, press save and mount
  • Not all users have permission to change the BIOS of the server. If necessary you can open a ticket to support requesting:
    • root user administrator privileges on IPMI (to be able to change the Virtual Media Attach mode)
    • Change the boot sequence to ‘IPMI Virtual Disk’ as first boot option.
  • After these changes have been made, go back to the IPMI management console and go to configuration -> Remote session and change attach mode to; ‘attach’. In some older IPMI consoles this option is not included and may be skipped.
  • Reboot the server and boot from the virtual media.

 

Option 2: Using IPMIView (ISO on a CIFS share)

Prerequisites:
For an ISO to be mounted, it must first be uploaded to the File Storage (NAS) associated with the server. In order to mount the NAS to your server to transfer the ISO to your NAS you can use the instructions on the following pages Linux and Windows.  Follow the steps below to mount an ISO with IPMIView.

  1. Though a SoftLayer ticket request that your server boots their Virtual CD-ROM as the first device.
    1. This will need to be done for each server and can be reverted after a OS has been installed
  2. Establish a VPN Connection to SoftLayer
    1. http://www.softlayer.com/VPN-Access
    2. If using IE make sure to include *.softlayer.com in your Trusted Sites list and keep your JAVA up to date
  3. Copy ISO Media to NAS or Windows CIFS Server
    1. ssh to your linux jumpbox
    2. Mount NAS share to your Lnux jumpbox
      1. mkdir /mnt/nasmount
      2. mount -t cifs //NAS_SERVER_NAME_ORIP/SLN#####-2 -o username=SLN#####-2,password=NAS_STORAGE_PW,rw,nounix,iocharset=utf8,file_mode=0644,dir_mode=0755 /mnt/nasmount
        1. Mount Command parameter key
          1. NAS_SERVER_NAME_ORIP = The name or IP of the NAS Storage
          2. /SLN#####-2 = The username and folder name to connect to your NAS Storage
          3. NAS_STORAGE_PW = The password to your NAS Storage
          4. /mnt/nasmount = The Folder to mount the NAS storage to
    3. Change Directory to your new NAS mount folder
      1. cd /mnt/nasmount
    4. Download the iso file via wget
      1. wget http://www.linktoyouriso.com/isofilename.iso
    5. Confirm the file has successfully downloaded to your mounted NAS folder
      1. This is what you will see when running the ls command:

  1. Now that the Bootable ISO has been copied to NAS mount the ISO media via the IPMI Virtual Media Menu
    1. IPMI View
      1. Download IPMI View http://knowledgelayer.softlayer.com/procedure/download-ipmiview
      2. Connect to Server over the Management IP http://knowledgelayer.softlayer.com/procedure/log-ipmiview
        1. http://knowledgelayer.softlayer.com/procedure/view-ipmi-credentials
  2. Open the Virtual Media Tab

  1. Fill in the CD-ROM Image connection details

      • Share host = The IP Address of the NAS Storage
        1. This can be found by pining your NAS storage server name
        2. Example : ping nas501.service.softlayer.com
      • Share Name = The Username of the NAS Storage
      • Path to image = The Name of the ISO file, formatted like this: \NASusername\isoname.iso (i.e. \SLN123456\centos6.iso)
      • User = The Username of the NAS Storage
      • Password = The Password for the NAS Storage
    1. Reboot the Server
    2. Open KVM Console view
    3. Follow system prompts to Boot the BOOTABLE ISO
    4. Install OS
    5. Unmount the Virtual Media
    6. Restart Server

 

Option 3: Mounting an ISO from your local computer

You can mount an ISO from your local computer by using the Java iKVM viewer (console). This will enable you to mount an ISO while connected to the console. The speed at which the installation progresses may vary depending on the upload speed and latency of your internet connection, performance of java and your computer.

Follow these steps to install a Custom OS from your local computer:

  • Not all users have permission to change the BIOS of the server. If necessary you can open a ticket to support requesting:
    • root user administrator privileges on IPMI (to be able to change the Virtual Media Attach mode)
    • Change the boot sequence to ‘IPMI Virtual Disk’ as first boot option. (the ISO is not yet mounted, so support should only change the boot device priority for now)
  • Login to the IPMI management console by pointing your webbrowser to the IP specified in control.softlayer.com and under devices -> your server (device details) -> Remote Mgmt. The username and password are also specified here.
  • Go to configuration -> Remote session and change attach mode to; ‘attach’. In some older IPMI consoles this option is not included and may be skipped.
  • Go back to the ‘system information’ page by going to system -> system information, and you will see a square console window. By clicking on it, the console opens. Accept all security warnings.
  • When the console is connected you should see the server’s login prompt.
  • Click ‘Virtual Media’ and then click ‘Virtual Storage’
  • Go to the tab ‘CDROM&ISO’  and select ISO File under ‘Logical Drive Type’
  • Click on ‘Open Image’ and select the ISO on your local computer
  • Click ‘Plug in’ to virtually insert the ISO into the virtual cd-rom drive.
  • Click ‘OK’, and you can reboot the server and use boot from the virtual cd-rom drive. (You may need to use the virtual keyboard in the iKVM viewer to select a boot device.)

 

Troubleshooting

  1. Not all users have default access to mount Virtual Media. If a permission error occurs, contact Support for an update to the Root IPMI User permissions.
  2. If an ISO is already mounted, an error message will appear with the text "There is a disk mounted." You must unmount the existing disk and replace it with the new ISO. Two ISOs may not be mounted at the same time.
  3. You may need to contact support to change the boot order in the BIOS.
  4. When mounting an ISO please use SSL VPN (http://vpn.softlayer.com) instead of PPTP VPN.  Once connected to the VPN network you can also access the system's IPMI through the IPMI address (https://<private-ip-IPMI-management>).
  5. Ensure that when inputting a path to an ISO that you use UNC Name Syntax (Universal Naming Convention) for the path, for example: \\<NAS username>\<isoname>.iso