Custom OS install on SoftLayer


SoftLayer will allow to setup a handful of OS images by default, but requires you to jump through extra hoops if you’d like to provide your own ISO or go through the OS install screens yourself. For example, this is most likely the way you’d install LVM if you’d like to backup your database via LVM snapshots.

You’ll first need to put the ISO in your lockbox, which you can find details for from the hardware page for your instance:

benmccann@mongo2:~$ wget
benmccann@mongo2:~$ ftp
331 Password required for SLLBXXXXXX-X
230 User SLLBXXXXXX-X logged in
ftp> put ubuntu-12.04.1-server-amd64.iso

Next you’ll need to mount the image on your instance. Go to the hardware page for the instance you’re using and click the “IPMI address” link. Connect to the PPTP VPN and then paste the “Remote Mgmt IP” in the URL bar of your browser and enter the accompanying username and password. Go to “Virtual Media” > “CD-ROM Image”. Ping your lockbox to get its IP address since the DNS name will not work here.

$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.

Enter the details making sure to use the IP address instead of hostname and to include the lockbox username in your path:

Share host:
Path to image: \SLLBXXXXXX-X\ubuntu-12.04.1-server-amd64.iso
Password: ********

At this point you’ll need to file a ticket with SoftLayer to change the boot order of your machine to boot off the CD instead of the hard drive. You should probably go ahead and try the next step, but then just be aware if the machine boots up without giving you the option to install the new OS then the support ticket will be required.

From the page where you got the IP address, username, and password for the IPMI web console, you can get instructions for downloading IPMIView and connecting to your instance. Do “File” > “New…” > “System” and after you connect click on the “KVM Console” tab then “Launch KVM Console”. Now click to the “IPM Device” tab and reset the machine. At this point you should see your machine in the KVM window and you can install your OS.

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