Set up (802.3ad LACP) bonding when installing CentOS 8

This article is to show how the user could install CentOS 8 (the steps are the same with CentOS 7) with a much complex network setup such as Bonding device in 802.3ad mode (LACP – Link Aggregation Control Protocol).
The whole installation procedure is not included here, but there are couple of other article on the subject “Install CentOS 7 or CentOS 8”:

Similar configuration files will be generated as in Configure Bond (802.3ad LACP) device in CentOS 8 – configuration files

SCREENSHOT 1) Click on “Network and Host Name” to configure the machine networking.

main menu
Installation Summary – Network and Host Name

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Minimal installation of Ubuntu server 20.04 LTS

This tutorial will show you the simple steps of installing a modern Linux Distribution – Ubuntu server 20.04 LTS edition. Following most of the default options during the setup configuration for simplicity.

Here are some basic data from the default installation setup settings:

  1. Installed packages – ~582 occupying 11G of space.
  2. 3 partitions when using automatic patition layout – boot efi, swap and root.
  3. ext4 used for the root parition.

We used the following ISO for the installation process – Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa):

http://releases.ubuntu.com/focal/ubuntu-20.04-live-server-amd64.iso

It is a LIVE image so you can try it before installing it. The easiest way is just to download the image and burn it to a DVD disk and then follow the installation below:

SCREENSHOT 1) Boot from the disk or USB – whatever you made after downloading the ISO file from Ubuntu official source.

On the image here the DVD is used to boot in UEFI mode installation.

main menu
boot uefi dvd

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Install Fedora Workstation 31 (Gnome GUI)

This tutorial will show you the simple steps of installing a modern Linux Distribution like Fedora 31 Workstation with Gnome for the user graphical interface. First, we present the basic steps for installing the Operating system in addition to your present operating systems (here we also have Windows 10) and then you can see some screenshots of the installed system and the look and feel of it. We have other tutorials showing more screenshots of the installed and working Fedora 31 (Gnome and KDE plasma) – so you can decide which of them to try first – coming soon.

The Fedora 31 Workstation comes with

  • Xorg X server – 1.20.5 XWayland is used by default
  • GNOME (the GUI) – 3.34.1
  • linux kernel – 5.3.7

Check out our article about what software is included in comming soon.

The installation process is very similar to the old Fedora Workstation 27, Fedora Workstation 28, Fedora Workstation 29, Install Fedora Workstation 30 (Gnome GUI) , in fact the main difference is the creation of an user, which the setup is not responsible anymore, the creation of an user is done by the first boot after installation. Our system was pretty good – Asus X399 with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and NVIDIA 1080 Ti and the setup loaded successfully and there were no problems till the end.

We used the following ISO for the installation process:

https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/31/Workstation/x86_64/iso/Fedora-Workstation-Live-x86_64-31-1.9.iso

It is a LIVE image so you can try it before installing. The easiest way is just to download the image and burn it to a DVD disk and then follow the installation below:

SCREENSHOT 1) Here is our “UEFI BIOS->Boot->Boot Override” and in most modern motherboard you can choose to override the default boot devices.

Choose the “UEFI: HL-DT-STDVDRAM…” to boot and install Fedora Workstation 31 with UEFI support. You should do this, because most of the new hardware like video cards would not work properly without beeing in UEFI mode.

main menu
Boot from DVD/USB Installation

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Install CentOS 8 over the old OS and preserve the storage partitions

Always put your root partition separate from the storage (aka data) partitions. root partition should be only for system files and nothing more! Keeping this simple rule you may easily change your operating system (or clean install or clean upgrade) without deleting the user’s data thus preserving the old storage partitions.
Our storage has 2 storage partitions, which means they hosts only data and no system files and there are separate partitions for Linux booting (grub2) and system files (root partition). Here is the partitions layout:

[root@srv0 ~]# parted /dev/sda --script print
Model: AVAGO SMC3108 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 48.0TB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  53.7GB  53.7GB                     raid
 2      53.7GB  54.8GB  1075MB                     raid
 3      54.8GB  55.0GB  211MB   fat16              raid
 4      55.0GB  69.4GB  14.4GB                     raid
 5      71.8GB  48.0TB  47.9TB  ext4

[root@srv0 ~]# parted /dev/sdb --script print
Model: AVAGO SMC3108 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 48.0TB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  53.7GB  53.7GB                     raid
 2      53.7GB  54.8GB  1075MB                     raid
 3      54.8GB  55.0GB  211MB   fat16              raid
 4      55.0GB  69.4GB  14.4GB                     raid
 5      71.8GB  48.0TB  47.9TB  ext4
[root@srv0 ~]# df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
devtmpfs         16G     0   16G   0% /dev
tmpfs            16G     0   16G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs            16G  250M   16G   2% /run
tmpfs            16G     0   16G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/md127       50G  1.7G   45G   4% /
/dev/md125      991M  133M  792M  15% /boot
/dev/md124      201M   12M  190M   6% /boot/efi
/dev/sda5        44T   23T   22T  52% /mnt/storage1
/dev/sdb5        44T   14T   30T  32% /mnt/storage2
tmpfs           3.2G     0  3.2G   0% /run/user/0

Of course, when there are partitions above 2T the GPT is mandatory.
You can skip the software RAID1 setup if you use only one controller or you have system partitions only in one disk (virtual drive and so on). Here we have two hardware controllers, which we want to use both for the system partitions.
4 RAID1 devices:

  1. EFI partition (/boot/efi)
  2. swap partition
  3. boot parition (/boot)
  4. root partition (/)

The best practice is have total between 30G and 50G for the 4 partitions (in fact, boot partition could be skipped). Have in mind most modern Linux distributions cannot be installed on less than 10G~20G and for optimal results just separate between 30G and 50G for 4 partitions above (or 3 if you choose to skip the boot one).

Upgrade to CentOS 8 with clean install over our old CentOS 7 system partitions preserving the big data partitions.

Couple of things before start:

  • UEFI installation will be selected. So boot in UEFI mode.
  • IPMI KVM is used to install the new Linux distribution – CentOS 8
  • The installation disk is mounted in the Virtual CD/DVD IPMI KVM device – with Mount and boot ISO file from windows share in Supermicro IPMI Virtual media (CD-ROM)
  • All system parititions will be removed (grub, boot, root) and a clean minimal installation will be performed.
  • Network installation – using CentOS-8-x86_64-1905-boot.iso

SCREENSHOT 1) The Server is starting. This is the IPMI KVM window. Press F11 to Boot in Boot Menu.

main menu
SUPERMICRO Server starting – KVM

Keep on reading!

Debug Ubuntu preseed failure – select and install software

Preparing the preseed for unattended installation sometimes could be challenging. This article presents the right way to analyze an installation failure in one of the main steps – “select and install software”.
There is a ubuntu installation preseed file for our Bionic unattended installation, which uses the “pkgsel” to install first packages in the new system:

d-i pkgsel/include string openssh-server wget vim git python gpg ntp
d-i pkgsel/upgrade select full-upgrade
d-i pkgsel/update-policy select unattended-upgrades

When an installation step in the preseed of a unattended installation fails the setup stops with a “Continue” confirmation.

main menu
“select and install software” – step failed

Here is what you can do to check what exactly fails in step “select and install software”:

  1. Start a shell in the current installation boot. Press “Ctrl+Alt+F2” to start the shell. You may use “Ctrl+Alt+F3” and “Ctrl+Alt+F4” for two more consoles and “Ctrl+Alt+F1” to return to the installation wizard.
  2. Check the /var/log/syslog, in which file the debconf writes the logging information.
  3. Find the lines where the step “select and install software” starts and look for errors after that. In this file, you can see all the step titles during, which the setup passes and they are named the same way the windows’ titles during the installation wizard.

Here is the real world output

Presing the “CTRL+ALT+F2” to start the BusyBox built-in shell, which is ash not bash!

Be careful there are some difference between ash and bash.

main menu
Installation wizard – BusyBox built-in shell (ash)

Last 20 lines shows the problem – pkgsel failed to install packages in step “select and install software”.

The installation wizard stops.

main menu
debconf logging using syslog – pkgsel

The problem is in the package “ntp”, the setup cannot install the “ntp” package because of unmet dependencies.

Because it is not so important to install ntp at this stage we added the package to the script executed in “preseed/late_command” and removed the package from the pkgsel line in the preseed file. In general, our problem was because we set local repositories for the bionic packages, but the setup cannot update list of available packages when the you set Bionic mirror to be unofficial local repository.

main menu
Package because of unmet dependencies

Install Cobbler 2.6 under Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from Cobbler source – manual intallation

This article will show how to install Cobbler 2.6.11 (the last from the 2.6 branches) under Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. There is Cobbler package version 2.4.x in the Ubuntu 16 LTS, but Cobbler 2.4 is really old and some options and features are not available anymore, so installing from the Ubuntu package system Cobbler 2.4 would probably just waste your time and you will move to 2.6 or even later. In fact, Ubuntu 18 LTS removed the Cobbler packages at all and only manual install (aka installation from sources is only available or from an anonymous repository like PPA).
Here are the steps to install a working Cobbler 2.6 under Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).

Note: All commands are executed as root user, so it is much easier to just execute ones “sudo su” before you begin following the steps below.

STEP 1) Update your system to the latest state and install the Cobbler 2.6.11 dependencies

Update the system:

apt update
apt upgrade -y

Install the Cobbler 2.6 dependencies:

apt install -y make git python-yaml python-cheetah python-netaddr python-simplejson libapache2-mod-wsgi python-django atftpd debmirror apache2 python-urlgrabber fence-agents isc-dhcp-server

STEP 2) Download and install the Cobbler 2.6.11 source

cd /root
wget https://github.com/cobbler/cobbler/archive/v2.6.11.tar.gz
tar xf v2.6.11.tar.gz
cd cobbler-2.6.11
make install

This will install Cobbler and Cobbler web by replacing all configurations of old Cobbler install! The python files will be installed under “/usr/local”, so a big part of Cobbler will be installed in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/cobbler.

STEP 3) Enable Cobbler in apache2

a2enconf cobbler cobbler_web
a2enmod proxy proxy_http rewrite ssl
a2ensite default-ssl
systemctl enable apache2

Enable apache2 configuration file for cobbler web, enable the apache2 modules and the default HTTPS apache2 virtual host, because the web interface won’t work with HTTP. Opening the Cobbler web interface using HTTP will result in forbidden error (HTTP error 403). The Cobbler web interface is limited to use HTTPS.
Keep on reading!

How to do a network installation of CentOS 8 (8.0.1950) – minimal server installation

Minimal net install is useful when a dedicated server is installed from a IPMI KVM or Dell iDRAC, HP iLO, IBM IMM or where the initial client side download of files need to be minimal.
For amd64 CentOS 8 BaseOS the net install bootable media is located here (now the current latest release is 8.0.1950, but you can check the last directory with 8. for the time you follow this howto):

http://mirror.leaseweb.com/centos/8/isos/x86_64/CentOS-8-x86_64-1905-boot.iso

Note there is no minimal CD for offline installation anymore. Boot CD is to just boot and make “netinstall” installation and a big fat DVD of 6.6Gbytes to install offline.
Software details of CentOS 8 minimal install could be found here – Technical details of a default CentOS 8.0.1950 minimal installation

Download it and put it on a cd or usb, the boot from it and follow the steps bellow:

STEP 1) Enter the BIOS of your machine (desktop or server) to change the boot order.

You can try F11 on most servers to have the boot menu. Here we use DEL to enter the UEFI BIOS.

main menu
Enter BIOS – change boot order

Keep on reading!

Install Fedora Workstation 30 (Gnome GUI)

This tutorial will show you the simple steps of installing a modern Linux Distribution like Fedora 30 Workstation with Gnome for the user graphical interface. First, we present the basic steps for installing the Operating system in addition to your present operating systems (here we also have Windows 10) and then you can see some screenshots of the installed system and the look and feel of it. We have other tutorials showing more screenshots of the installed and working Fedora 29 (Gnome and KDE plasma) – so you can decide which of them to try first – coming soon.

The Fedora 30 Workstation comes with

  • Xorg X server – 1.20.4 XWayland is used by default
  • GNOME (the GUI) – 3.32.1
  • linux kernel – 5.0.9

Check out our article about what software is included in comming soon.

The installation process is very similar to the old Fedora Workstation 27, Fedora Workstation 28 and Fedora Workstation 29, in fact the main difference is the creation of an user, which the setup is not responsible anymore, the creation of an user is done by the first boot after installation. Our system was pretty good – Asus X399 with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and NVIDIA 1080 Ti and the setup loaded successfully and there were no problems till the end.

We used the following ISO for the installation process:

https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/30/Workstation/x86_64/iso/Fedora-Workstation-Live-x86_64-30-1.2.iso

It is a LIVE image so you can try it before installing. The easiest way is just to download the image and burn it to a DVD disk and then follow the installation below:

SCREENSHOT 1) Here is our “UEFI BIOS->Boot->Boot Override” and in most modern motherboard you can choose to override the default boot devices.

Choose the “UEFI: HL-DT-STDVDRAM…” to boot and install Fedora Workstation 30 with UEFI support. You should do this, because most of the new hardware like video cards would not work properly without being in UEFI mode.

main menu
Boot from DVD/USB Installation

Keep on reading!

Install Fedora 29 KDE Plasma Desktop (KDE GUI)

This tutorial will show you the simple steps of installing a modern Linux Distribution Fedora 29 KDE Plasma Desktop with KDE for the user graphical interface. First we present the basic steps for installing the Operating system in addition to your present operating systems (here we have two: Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16) and then you can see some screenshots of the installed system and the look and feel of it. We have another tutorials showing more screenshots of the installed and working Fedora 29 (Gnome and KDE plasma) – so you can decide which of them to try first – coming soon.

The Fedora 29 KDE Plasma Desktop comes with

  • Xorg X server – 1.20.1
  • linux kernel – 4.18.16
  • KDE Plasma version: 5.13.5
  • KDE Frameworks version: 5.50.0
  • QT version: 5.11.1

The installation process is very similar to the old Install Fedora 27 KDE Plasma Desktop. Our system was pretty new – Asus X399 with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and NVIDIA 1080 TI and the setup loaded successfully and there were no problems till the end.

We used the following ISO for the installation process:

https://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/29/Spins/x86_64/iso/Fedora-KDE-Live-x86_64-29-1.2.iso

It is a LIVE image so you can try it before installing. The easiest way is just to download the image and burn it to a DVD disk and then follow the installation below:

SCREENSHOT 1) Here is our “UEFI BIOS->Boot->Boot Override” and in most modern motherboard you can choose to override the default boot devices.

Choose the “UEFI: HL-DT-STDVDRAM…” to boot and install Fedora KDE 29 with UEFI support. You should do this, because most of the new hardware like video cards would not work properly without beeing in UEFI mode.

main menu
Boot from DVD/USB Installation

Keep on reading!

Install CentOS 6.10 minimal

This tutorial will show you the simple steps of installing a modern Linux Distribution CentOS 6.10 – minimal installation no GUI, this installation is suitable for base server installation. We are going to install it on our modern hardware – Asus X399 with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X and NVIDIA 1080 TI. First we tried UEFI mode installation, but during loading of the kernel the system hanged up. Then we booted the installation in BIOS mode and no problem with the installation and after that.
Here we install CentOS 6.10 minimal in BIOS mode on the whole SSD drive (which means the installation will erase everything on the SSD device). No GUI installed.
The kernel is 2.6.32 (2.6.32-754.el6) – as you can see pretty old branch with many back-ports, but still old. CentOS 6 will be updated until November 30 2020! Many enterprise software still support CentOS 6 and you can have a pretty stable system with it for many years. The support is at least 10 years from the initial release!
Here you can see more technical details – Technical details of a default CentOS 6.10 minimal installation What software you could expect to install, what is the default hard drive layout, what is the memory footprint of a newly installed CentOS 6.10 minimal and so on. You should definitely check it!

Here are the steps to install CentOS 6.10:

SCREENSHOT 1) Here is our “UEFI BIOS->Boot->Boot Override” and in most modern motherboard you can choose to override the default boot devices.

Choose the “HL-DT-STDVDRAM…” to boot and install CentOS 6.10. We chose this option here because our system cannot boot in UEFI mode.

main menu
Boot from DVD/USB Installation

Keep on reading!