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: Continue reading “OpenCompute Winterfell RHEL/CentOS PXE boot over serial console”

ESXi 5.1 serial console based (headless) kickstart

As you saw in my previous post, it takes a little work to get an Open Compute Platform (OCP) server to install ESXi 5.1. The main reason being the lack of video card, the second reason being that only “old people” know serial :)

Keep in mind, my OCP servers (Hyve) have three interfaces, eth2 (Intel 1GB), and eth0/1 (10GB)

That being said, here is the kickstart file I use for my Serial based ESXi install (headless) Continue reading “ESXi 5.1 serial console based (headless) kickstart”

Installing ESXi over serial console (headless, no video card)

I ran into a unique scenario where I had a server to install ESXi on that had no video card (maybe open compute style?). That being said, I figured that PXE installation would be the easiest method.

First lets look at the PXE installation method of installing ESXi…

  1. Server boots, grabs DHCP address then downloads and executes the PXE Linux kernel.
  2. PXE linux kernel then loads /tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default – this is the menu system for PXE linux.
  3. ESXi install is selected, at which a linux kernel runs and begins installing the ESXi kernel
  4. The linux boot kernel, calls weasel to start installing the ESXi system
  5. The system reboots and starts loading ESXi Continue reading “Installing ESXi over serial console (headless, no video card)”