Ubuntu Server Installation on Bare Metal Server

If the SoftLayer customers want to use their own Operating System, which is not provided by SoftLayer, we allow them to install on our Bare Metal Servers by using Custom ISOs (disk images) to be mounted on servers.  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 in the steps below to mount an ISO with IPMI.


  1. Order the Bare Metal Server with "No Operating System"

    You can also select the free OS (e.g. CentOS) as Operating System which can be used to connect to the NAS.

  2. Order the NAS storage to store the Bootable ISO

    If you already have any Windows CIFS server, you can use it to share the ISO image.  In this case, we order the legacy NAS with 20GB capacity.

    After provisioning the NAS, you can see the description of your NAS from the customer portal.

  3. Download the ISO image

    You can download any bootable ISO images as you want for installation of a new OS.  In this case you can install ISO images available from https://www.ubuntu.com/download/server

    Please go to the "Previous releases" to get a list of all Current and Old Releases.

  4. Upload ISO image to NAS or Windows CIFS Server

    If you have the NAS storage, you can upload the ISO image file via FTP.  In this case, we upload Ubuntu Server ISO image file to NAS via FTP.  (You can see the NAS address and username/password from customer portal)

    <sample FTP procedure>

    #ftp <nas address>.service.softlayer.com
    Connected to <nas address>.service.softlayer.com
    220 NAS FTP Service
    User (<nas address>.service.softlayer.com:(none)): <nas username>
    331 Please specify the password.
    Password: <nas password>
    230 Login successful.
    ftp> bin
    200 Switching to Binary mode
    ftp> put <iso imagefile name>.iso
    200 PORT command successful.  Consider using PASV.
    150 Ok to send data.
    226 Transfer complete.
    ftp: 3170893824 bytes sent in 253.86 Seconds 12490.77Kbytes/sec.

  5. Establish a VPN Connection to SoftLayer

    You need to establish a VPN connection to SoftLayer for using the IPMI.  You can launch the VPN menu from the Support menu or following URL.

  6. Mount the ISO image from IPMI Virtual Media Menu
    1. Connect to IPMI over the Management IP, please refer to the following link.

    2. Open the Virtual Media Tab
    3. Root user with Administrator privileges on IPMI as in the image below.  If it shows as "Operator", you will need a SoftLayer Ticket to change the privileges to Administrator in the IPMI.  You may get an insufficient privileges when mounting the ISO image if this is not done.
    4. Fill in the ISO image connection details

      Share host = The IP address of the NAS
      Example: 10.3.x.x
      Path to image = The name of the ISO file, formatted like this: \NASusername\imagefilesname.iso (i.e. \SLNxxxxxx\SLE-12-SP1-Server-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso)
      User = The username of the NAS
      Password = The password for the NAS
    5. Click "Mount" button
    6. Confirm the device

      Click and launch the KVM Viewer, and open the Virtual Storage page from the Virtual Media menu.

      If you are successful in mounting your ISO image as CDROM device, you will see the device description in the "Connection Status History".
  7. Request that your server boots their Virtual CD-ROM as the first device via SoftLayer ticket.

    This will need to be done for each server and can be reverted after OS has been installed.  (You may not need to contact support to change the boot order in the BIOS.  It depends on your server.  Please try to reboot once for confirming the boot order.)
  8. Reboot the server from KVM view.
  9. Install OS from the mounted ISO image.

    Install the desired Ubuntu OS to the bare metal server from ISO.

    *In this case, you need to configure network (IP address/subnet/gateway/DNS etc) by yourself.  If you don't configure it correctly during the installation step, you can only connect to this server via KVM console after reboot.
  10. Unmount the Virtual media

    You should unmount the virtual media from the server via IPMI Virtual Media tab.
  11. Reboot the server.

    After reboot, you can access the server via SSH.