OpenStack: Installing Ubuntu Linux

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This page provides instructions for creating a clean installation of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. These instructions include comments and information that are specific to creating a Build Node for Cisco OSI, but the completed installation is generic and can be used for any purpose. The server on which you install Ubuntu is called the "build node" in these instructions.



  • You must have Internet connectivity. The node downloads packages over the Internet to complete the installation.
  • The Ubuntu 14.04 ISO image must be on a file system that is accessible by the node's CIMC. The ISO image is available at [1].
  • If a RAID controller is present, RAID must be configured.
  • A DNS entry for the name of the build node must be created before the installation.


Booting the Installation Image

  1. Open your web browser and log into the Cisco UCS CIMC interface on the build node.
  2. Under the Server tab, choose BIOS. Ensure that CD/DVD is the first boot option and that HDD is the second.
  3. Under the Server tab, choose Summary.
  4. Launch the Virtual KVM.
  5. Accept the security warnings that appear.
  6. Mount the Ubuntu 14.04 ISO image.
    1. Click the Virtual Media tab.
    2. Click Add Image….
    3. Browse to and choose the Ubuntu 14.04 ISO image (referred to in #Prerequisites).
    4. Check the Mapped check box.
  7. Reboot the build node.
    1. In the CIMC interface, click the Server tab.
    2. Choose Summary.
    3. In the Actions area, click Hard Reset Server.
    4. In the confirmation dialog box, click OK.

The server reboots from the Ubuntu ISO image.

Note: If the server does not reboot from the ISO image, verify your BIOS setting (C-Series) or boot policy (Cisco UCS B-Series) and check that the ISO image is mapped in the Virtual Media tab of the KVM Console.

Using the Install Menus

The build node boots from the Ubuntu ISO image and presents a series of text-based selection screens. In these screens, use your keyboard's arrow keys or the Tab key to navigate, and press Enter to choose an option.

  1. On the Language screen, choose your language.
  2. From the Ubuntu Menu, choose Install Ubuntu Server.
  3. On the Select a language screen, choose the language in which to install the build node.
  4. On the Select your location screen, choose your country or territory.
  5. On the first Configure the keyboard screen, answer No to the Detect keyboard layout? prompt.
  6. From the Country of origin list, choose a language/country combination.
  7. From the Keyboard layout list, choose a language/country combination.
The installer loads installation components.

Configuring Network Settings

  1. At the Primary network interface prompt on the Configure the Network screen, choose eth0. The installer automatically tries to configure the network using DHCP. If DHCP installation fails, the installer notifies you.
    • Automatic configuration: If DHCP configuration failed and you want the build node to use this method, make sure that there is a DHCP server on the network and retry with or without a DHCP hostname.
    • Manual configuration: At the Network configuration method: prompt, choose Configure network manually and proceed as follows.
      Note: For the OpenStack build node, we recommend that you configure the build node manually even if DHCP is used during the installation process.
      1. At the IP address: prompt, enter the IP address that you want to assign to the build node.
      2. At the Netmask: prompt, enter the netmask for the build node IP address.
        Note: The installer automatically assigns as the netmask. Replace this default netmask with the correct netmask for your local network.
  2. At the Gateway: prompt, enter the gateway IP address for the build node.
    Note: The installer automatically assigns network_IP.1 as the gateway. Change the gateway address if necessary, or choose Continue to continue the installation.
  3. At the Name server addresses: prompt, enter up to three domain name system (DNS) server addresses. Leave the DNS field blank if you will not use name servers or if you want to add the name servers later.
    The build node queries the DNS servers in the order entered.
    Note: The installer automatically assigns network_IP.1 as the DNS server. Change the default to the IP address(es) of your DNS server(s).
    Note: Separate the DNS IP addresses with spaces, not commas.
    Note: Name resolution is required for the proper operation of several services within a multinode OpenStack deployment. If you do not specify a DNS server, you must add static records for OpenStack nodes in the /etc/hosts file.
  4. At the Hostname: prompt, enter the hostname from the DNS host record entry (see #Prerequisites).
    Note: The installer automatically assigns ubuntu as the hostname. Change the default to the correct hostname for your installation.
  5. At the Domain name: prompt, enter the name of the domain to which the server will belong.
    Note: Make sure that you use the same domain name for all your OpenStack nodes.

The installer will automatically detect your time zone. choose UTC (last option in list) as the time zone. This is important, since the default Cobbler preseed for nodes is UTC and time must be synchronized across all nodes. Modify the preseed template in the cobbler::preseed manifest if you use a timezone other than UTC.

Creating a User Account

  1. In the Full name for the new user: field, provide a name for the user account. This name is usually the first and last name of the account's owner. This account is used for nonadministrative (nonroot) purposes.
  2. In the Username for your account: field, enter a username for the new account.
    Note: We use localadmin as the example username in CiscoOSI documentation.
  3. In the Choose a password for the new user: field, enter a password for the new username.
    Note: We use ubuntu as the example password in CiscoOSI documentation.
  4. In the re-enter password to verify: field, type the password again. If your password is fewer than eight characters, the installer asks if you want to use the weak password.
  5. At the Use weak password? prompt, choose Yes if you are sure.
    The installer will offer to encrypt your home directory.
  6. At the Encrypt your home directory? prompt, choose No.

Setting the Time Zone

The installer automatically detects your time zone and synchronizes the build node's clock with a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server. You must synchronize time across all OpenStack nodes, even across time zones.

We recommend that you select UTC as your time zone.

  1. In the Configure the clock menu, choose Select from worldwide list.
  2. At the very bottom of the Select your time zone: list (you can use the Page Down key to scroll through the list), choose UTC.
    Note: The Cisco OpenStack Installer defaults to UTC for the Cobbler preseed. If you must use a time zone other than UTC, change the time_zone: setting in the data/hiera_data/user.common.yaml file when you are deploying OpenStack with the Cisco OpenStack Installer.

Choosing Hard Disk Settings

The installer detects hard disks and hardware components and then presents options that allow you to partition your local hard disk.

  1. At the Unmount partitions that are in use? prompt, select Yes.
  2. In the Parition disks menu, choose Guided partitioning.
  3. At the Partitioning method: prompt in the Partitioning disks menu, choose the Guided - use entire disk option.
  4. At the Select disk to partition: prompt, choose the available disk.
    Note: If RAID is configured properly, only a single disk that represents the RAID group should appear in the detected hard drive list.
    The installer lists the partitions to be formatted and warns you that continuing will destroy all data on the partitions.
  5. At the disk partition overview, choose Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.
  6. At the Write the changes to disks? prompt, choose Yes.
    The installer creates the file system and installs the base system. This process takes a few minutes.

Configuring Automatic Updates, Software Selection, and the Boot Loader

  1. At the HTTP proxy information (blank for none) prompt in the Configure the package manager menu, enter proxy information if you are using an Internet proxy:
    Proxy information should be provided in the form:
    1. If you do not use a proxy, leave the field blank and choose Continue.
    2. Choose an Ubuntu archive mirror country. These mirrors provide repositories and archives of all the software for the Ubuntu distribution.
    3. Confirm the name of your Ubuntu archive mirror.
  2. At the How do you want to manage upgrades on this system? prompt in the Configuring tasksel menu, choose the No automatic updates option.
  3. From the Choose software to install: list in the Software selection menu, choose only the OpenSSH server checkbox. (Use the space bar to select the option. Press the Tab key and then Enter to select Continue).
    The installer copies more files.
  4. In the Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk menu, install the GRUB boot loader on the master boot record, either by entering /dev/sda as the boot loader device or by responding Yes when prompted.
  5. If prompted with Is the clock set to UTC?, select Yes.
  6. On the Finish the installation screen, select Continue to complete the Ubuntu 14.04 Server installation and reboot the system.

Configuring Ubuntu Post Installation

  1. In the KVM Console window, click on the UCS Virtual Media tab and remove the Ubuntu 14.04 ISO from the Client View list.
    NoteIf the image remains mapped, the server reboots from the image rather than from the hard disk.
  2. Click the KVM Console KVM tab to view the booting process.
    Note: Verify your BIOS setting (for Cisco C-Series servers) or boot policy (for Cisco UCS B-Series servers) if your server does not boot from the local hard drive.
  3. After the server reboots, log into the KVM Console with the username and password that you created during setup. You can log in at the Virtual KVM Console or through SSH.
  4. In the KVM Console, apply software updates:
    1. Log in as root. Enter sudo su and enter the account password when prompted.
    2. On the command line, enter apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade -y.
    3. Restart the system. Use the CIMC console or enter reboot.
  5. When the build node has finished rebooting, log in to the build node on the KVM Console again.
  6. Synchronize the build node with an NTP server:
    1. Get the ntpdate server by entering apt-get install ntpdate -y.
    2. Synchronize the build node by entering ntpdate ntp_server.

We recommend that you use a local NTP server (for example, a server that is onsite at your company), but you can also use public servers.

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