Introduction to No OS

What is No OS?

No OS is an option to order a bare metal server without an operating system.

How to order a bare metal server with no OS?

Start by placing an order for a bare metal server via SoftLayer.com or the Customer Portal.

  1. Select Other from System Configuration > Operating System.
  2. Select No Operating System.

How to install an operating system on a No OS server?

There are two methods to install an operating system on a bare metal server with no operating system.

Option 1: PXE Server

A bare metal server with no operating system can be set up to boot and load the OS from a PXE setup (see Preboot_Execution_Environment for more information). Simply deploy the bare metal server in a network environment with a PXE setup (this usually involves running a DHCP and TFTP daemon) and configure the new bare metal server BIOS to boot from the network adapter. For this to work properly, be aware that the PXE setup needs to be in the same VLAN as the PXE setup, or DHCP forwarding needs to be used.

Note: It may be necessary to open a support ticket requesting that the switch ports be regrouped in basic mode for this option to work. This is due to the fact that the PXE protocol does not require compatibility with link aggregation (i.e. LACP, see Link Aggregation), which is now a standard capability to provide redundancy. Another option is to order the server with Unbonded uplinks (no link aggregation) and then change them to redundant uplinks after you have the OS installed.

Option 2: IPMI device

Install an operating system on to a bare metal server with no operating system by booting from an ISO via the included IPMI device. Click here for additional information on booting from an ISO.