OpenCompute Winterfell RHEL/CentOS PXE boot over serial console

The main issue with installing OS’s on these Winterfell servers is the complete lack of video card :)

Your only option is serial console using the USB > Serial header adapter.

So the task is to install RedHat or CentOS (or other RHEL style OS’s) via PXE, with serial console only access. To do this, we need to pass boot parameters to the PXE menu entry.

In this particular case, my 1GB interface on the OpenCompute V3 (Winterfell) servers is recognized as eth2. So my PXE menu entry looks as such:

LABEL centos-serial
KERNEL images/cent/isolinux/vmlinuz text console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n8
append initrd=images/cent/isolinux/initrd.img ks=http://192.168.1.1/cent.cfg ksdevice=eth2

This utilizes the text console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n8 to redirect video output to the serial console of the system.

I also specify the serial console in the PXE boot menu for the menu itself:

serial 0 115200
default menu.c32
prompt 0
MENU TITLE Boot Menu
Timeout 1000

Author: Eric Sarakaitis

I'm Eric, I love to cook, sing, garden and enjoy cold beverages!