Chapter 7. Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Power System LC servers

This guide helps you install Red Hat Enterprise Linux on a Linux on Power Systems LC server. Use these instructions for the following IBM Power System servers:

  • 8335-GCA (IBM Power System S822LC)
  • 8335-GTA (IBM Power System S822LC)
  • 8335-GTB (IBM Power System S822LC)
  • 8001-12C (IBM Power System S821LC)
  • 8001-22C (IBM Power System S822LC for Big Data)
  • 9006-12P (IBM Power System LC921)
  • 9006-22P (IBM Power System LC922)

7.1. Overview

Use this information to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 on a non-virtualized or bare metal IBM Power System LC server. This procedure follows these general steps:

  • Create a bootable USB device
  • Connect to the BMC firmware to set up network connection
  • Connect to the BMC firmware with IPMI
  • Choose your installation method:

    • Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux from USB device
    • Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux with virtual media Download your ISO file from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux website.

7.1.1. Creating a bootable USB device on Linux

Follow this procedure to create a bootable USB device on a Linux system.

Note

This procedure is destructive and data on the USB flash drive is destroyed without a warning.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. Connect the USB flash drive to the system.
  2. Open a terminal window and run the dmesg command:

    $ dmesg|tail

    The dmesg command returns a log that details all recent events. Messages resulting from the attached USB flash drive are displayed at the bottom of the log. Record the name of the connected device.

  3. Switch to user root:

    $ su -
  4. Enter your root password when prompted.
  5. Find the device node assigned to the drive. In this example, the drive name is sdd.

    # dmesg|tail
    [288954.686557] usb 2-1.8: New USB device strings: Mfr=0, Product=1, SerialNumber=2
    [288954.686559] usb 2-1.8: Product: USB Storage
    [288954.686562] usb 2-1.8: SerialNumber: 000000009225
    [288954.712590] usb-storage 2-1.8:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
    [288954.712687] scsi host6: usb-storage 2-1.8:1.0
    [288954.712809] usbcore: registered new interface driver usb-storage
    [288954.716682] usbcore: registered new interface driver uas
    [288955.717140] scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Generic  STORAGE DEVICE   9228 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0
    [288955.717745] sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
    [288961.876382] sd 6:0:0:0: sdd Attached SCSI removable disk
  6. Run the dd command to write the ISO image directly to the USB device.

    # dd if=/image_directory/image.iso of=/dev/device

    Replace /image_directory/image.iso with the full path to the ISO image file that you downloaded, and replace device with the device name that you retrieved with the dmesg command. In this example, the full path to the ISO image is /home/testuser/Downloads/rhel-8-x86_64-boot.iso, and the device name is sdd:

    # dd if=/home/testuser/Downloads/rhel-8-x86_64-boot.iso of=/dev/sdd
    Note

    Ensure that you use the correct device name, and not the name of a partition on the device. Partition names are usually device names with a numerical suffix. For example, sdd is a device name, and sdd1 is the name of a partition on the device sdd.

  7. Wait for the dd command to finish writing the image to the device. The data transfer is complete when the # prompt appears. When the prompt is displayed, log out of the root account and unplug the USB drive. The USB drive is now ready to be used as a boot device.

7.1.2. Creating a bootable USB device on Windows

Follow the steps in this procedure to create a bootable USB device on a Windows system. The procedure varies depending on the tool. Red Hat recommends using Fedora Media Writer, available for download at https://github.com/FedoraQt/MediaWriter/releases.

Note
  • Fedora Media Writer is a community product and is not supported by Red Hat. You can report any issues with the tool at https://github.com/FedoraQt/MediaWriter/issues.
  • This procedure is destructive and data on the USB flash drive is destroyed without a warning.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. Download and install Fedora Media Writer from https://github.com/FedoraQt/MediaWriter/releases.

    Note

    To install Fedora Media Writer on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, use the pre-built Flatpak package. You can obtain the package from the official Flatpak repository Flathub.org at https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.fedoraproject.MediaWriter.

  2. Connect the USB flash drive to the system.
  3. Open Fedora Media Writer.
  4. From the main window, click Custom Image and select the previously downloaded Red Hat Enterprise Linux ISO image.
  5. From Write Custom Image window, select the drive that you want to use.
  6. Click Write to disk. The boot media creation process starts. Do not unplug the drive until the operation completes. The operation may take several minutes, depending on the size of the ISO image, and the write speed of the USB drive.
  7. When the operation completes, unmount the USB drive. The USB drive is now ready to be used as a boot device.

7.1.3. Creating a bootable USB device on Mac OS X

Follow the steps in this procedure to create a bootable USB device on a Mac OS X system.

Note

This procedure is destructive and data on the USB flash drive is destroyed without a warning.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. Connect the USB flash drive to the system.
  2. Identify the device path with the diskutil list command. The device path has the format of /dev/disknumber, where number is the number of the disk. The disks are numbered starting at zero (0). Typically, Disk 0 is the OS X recovery disk, and Disk 1 is the main OS X installation. In the following example, the USB device is disk2:

    $ diskutil list
    /dev/disk0
    #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
    0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *500.3 GB   disk0
    1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
    2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         400.0 GB   disk0s2
    3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
    4:          Apple_CoreStorage                         98.8 GB    disk0s4
    5:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s5
    /dev/disk1
    #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
    0:                  Apple_HFS YosemiteHD             *399.6 GB   disk1
    Logical Volume on disk0s1
    8A142795-8036-48DF-9FC5-84506DFBB7B2
    Unlocked Encrypted
    /dev/disk2
    #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
    0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *8.1 GB     disk2
    1:               Windows_NTFS SanDisk USB             8.1 GB     disk2s1
  3. To identify your USB flash drive, compare the NAME, TYPE and SIZE columns to your flash drive. For example, the NAME should be the title of the flash drive icon in the Finder tool. You can also compare these values to those in the information panel of the flash drive.
  4. Use the diskutil unmountDisk command to unmount the flash drive’s filesystem volumes:

    $ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disknumber
    					Unmount of all volumes on disknumber was successful

    When the command completes, the icon for the flash drive disappears from your desktop. If the icon does not disappear, you may have selected the wrong disk. Attempting to unmount the system disk accidentally returns a failed to unmount error.

  5. Log in as root:

    $ su -
  6. Enter your root password when prompted.
  7. Use the dd command as a parameter of the sudo command to write the ISO image to the flash drive:

    # sudo dd if=/path/to/image.iso of=/dev/rdisknumber
    Note

    Mac OS X provides both a block (/dev/disk*) and character device (/dev/rdisk*) file for each storage device. Writing an image to the /dev/rdisknumber character device is faster than writing to the /dev/disknumber block device.

  8. To write the /Users/user_name/Downloads/rhel-8-x86_64-boot.iso file to the /dev/rdisk2 device, run the following command:

    # sudo dd if=/Users/user_name/Downloads/rhel-8-x86_64-boot.iso of=/dev/rdisk2
  9. Wait for the dd command to finish writing the image to the device. The data transfer is complete when the # prompt appears. When the prompt is displayed, log out of the root account and unplug the USB drive. The USB drive is now ready to be used as a boot device.

7.2. Completing the prerequisites and booting your firmware

Before you power on the system, ensure that you have the following items:

  • Ethernet cable
  • VGA monitor. The VGA resolution must be set to 1024x768-60Hz.
  • USB Keyboard
  • Power cords and outlet for your system.

    • PC or notebook that has IPMItool level 1.8.15 or greater. (Verifying this piece of info)
    • Bootable USB device

Complete these steps:

  1. If your system belongs in a rack, install your system into that rack. For instructions, see IBM Power Systems information at https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/.
  2. Connect an Ethernet cable to the embedded Ethernet port next to the serial port on the back of your system. Connect the other end to your network.
  3. Connect your VGA monitor to the VGA port on back of system.
  4. Connect your USB keyboard to an available USB port.
  5. Connect the power cords to the system and plug them into the outlets.

At this point, your firmware is booting. Wait for the green LED on the power button to start flashing, indicating that it is ready to use. If your system does not have a green LED indicator light, then wait 1 to 2 minutes.

7.3. Configuring the IP address IBM Power

To set up or enable your network connection to the baseboard management controller (BMC) firmware, use the Petitboot bootloader interface. Follow these steps:

  1. Power on your server using the power button on the front of your system. Your system will power on to the Petitboot bootloader menu. This process takes about 1 - 2 minutes to complete. Do not walk away from your system! When Petitboot loads, your monitor will become active and you will need to push any key in order to interrupt the boot process.
  2. At the Petitboot bootloader main menu, select Exit to Shell.
  3. Run ipmitool lan print 1. If this command returns an IP address, verify that is correct and continue. To set a static IP address, follow these steps:

    1. Set the mode to static by running this command: ipmitool lan set 1 ipsrc static
    2. Set your IP address by running this command: ipmitool lan set 1 ipaddr ip_address where ip_address is the static IP address that you are assigning to this system.
    3. Set your netmask by running this command: ipmitool lan set 1 netmask netmask_address where netmask_address is the netmask for the system.
    4. Set your gateway server by running this command: ipmitool lan set 1 defgw ipaddr gateway_server where gateway_server is the gateway for this system.
    5. Confirm the IP address by running the command ipmitool lan print 1 again.

      This network interface is not active until after you perform the following steps:

  4. To reset your firmware, run the following command: ipmitool mc reset cold.

    This command must complete before continuing the process; however, it does not return any information. To verify that this command has completed, ping your system BMC address (the same IP address used in your IPMItool command). When the ping returns successfully, continue to the next step.

    1. If your ping does not return successfully within a reasonable amount of time (2 - 3 minutes), try these additional steps:

      1. Power your system off with this command: ipmitool power off.
      2. Unplug the power cords from the back of the system. Wait 30 seconds and then apply power to boot BMC.

7.4. Powering on your server with IPMI

Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) is the default console to use when connecting to the OPAL firmware.

Use the default values for IPMI:

  • Default user: ADMIN
  • Default password: admin
Note

After your system powers on, the Petitboot interface loads. If you do not interrupt the boot process by pressing any key within 10 seconds, Petitboot automatically boots the first option. To power on your server from a PC or notebook that is running Linux, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal program on your PC or notebook.
  2. To power on your server, run the following command:

    ipmitool -I lanplus -H server_ip_address -U ipmi_user -P ipmi_password chassis power on

    where server_ip_ipaddress is the IP address of the Power system and ipmi_password is the password set up for IPMI.

    Note

    If your system is already powered on, continue to activate your IPMI console.

  3. Activate your IPMI console by running this command

    ipmitool -I lanplus -H server_ip_address -U ipmi_user -P ipmi_password sol activate
Note

Use your keyboard up arrow to display the previous ipmitool command. You can edit previous commands to avoid typing the entire command again. If you need to power off or reboot your system, deactivate the console by running this command:

ipmitool -I lanplus -H server_ip_address -U user-name -P ipmi_password sol deactivate

To reboot the system, run this command:

ipmitool -I lanplus -H server_ip_address -U user-name -P ipmi_password chassis power reset

7.5. Choose your installation method on IBM LC servers

You can either install Red Hat Enterprise Linux from a USB device or through virtual media.

7.5.1. Configuring Petitboot for installation with USB device

After the system powers on, the Petitboot bootloader scans local boot devices and network interfaces to find boot options that are available to the system. For information about creating a bootable USB device, see Section 7.1.1, “Creating a bootable USB device on Linux”.

Use one of the following USB devices:

  • USB attached DVD player with a single USB cable to stay under 1.0 Amps
  • 8 GB 2.0 USB flash drive

Procedure

Follow these steps to configure Petitboot:

  1. Insert your bootable USB device into the front USB port. Petitboot displays the following option:

    [USB: sdb1 / 2015-10-30-11-05-03-00]
        Rescue a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system (64-bit kernel)
        Test this media & install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1  (64-bit kernel)
     *  Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 (64-bit kernel)
    Note

    Select Rescan devices if the USB device does not appear. If your device is not detected, you may have to try a different type.

  2. Record the UUID of the USB device. For example, the UUID of the USB device in the above example is 2015-10-30-11-05-03-00.
  3. Select Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1 (64-bit kernel) and press e (Edit) to open the Petitboot Option Editor window.
  4. Move the cursor to the Boot arguments section and add the following information:

    inst.stage2=hd:UUID=your_UUID
    where your_UUID is the UUID that you recorded.
    Petitboot Option Editor
    qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq
    
      Device:    ( ) sda2 [f8437496-78b8-4b11-9847-bb2d8b9f7cbd]
                 (*) sdb1 [2015-10-30-11-05-03-00]
                 ( ) Specify paths/URLs manually
    
                         Kernel:         /ppc/ppc64/vmlinuz
                         Initrd:         /ppc/ppc64/initrd.img
                         Device tree:
                         Boot arguments: ro inst.stage2=hd:UUID=2015-10-30-11-05-03-00
    
                            [    OK    ]  [   Help   ]  [  Cancel  ]
  5. Select OK to save your options and return to the Main menu.
  6. Verify that Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.x (64-bit kernel) is selected and then press Enter to begin your installation.

7.5.2. Access BMC Advanced System Management interface to configure virtual media

Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) Advanced Systems Management is a remote management controller used to access system information, status, and other process for your server. You can use the BMC Advanced Systems Management to set up your installation and provide the CD image as virtual media to the Power System. However, the actual installation requires a serial-over-LAN (SOL) connection through IPMI.

To access the BMC Advanced Systems Management, open a web browser to http://ip_address where ip_address is the IP address for the BMC. Log in using these default values:

  • Default user name: ADMIN
  • Default password: admin

In order to fully use the BMC Advanced Systems Management, you need to add the IP address of the BMC firmware to the Exceptions list in the Java Control Panel of your laptop or PC. On a Windows system, this is usually located by selecting Control Panel > Control Panel for Java.

On a Linux system, this is usually located by selecting the Control Center and then selecting the Java web browser plugin.

After accessing the Control Panel for Java, select Security tab. Then add the IP address of the BMC firmware to the Exceptions list, by clicking Edit Site List and then clicking Add. Enter the IP address and click OK.

To create a virtual CD/DVD, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the BMC Advanced Systems Management interface from a PC or notebook using the default user name and password.
  2. Select Remote Control > Console Redirection.
  3. Select Java Console. As the console opens, you might need to direct your browser to open the jviewer.jnlp file by selecting to Open with Java Web Start and click OK. Accept the warning and click Run.
  4. In the Console Redirection window, select Media > Virtual Media wizard from the menu.
  5. In the Virtual Media wizard, select CD/DVD Media:1.
  6. Select CD Image and the path to the Linux distribution ISO file. For example, /tmp/RHEL-7.2-20151030.0-Server-ppc64el-dvd1.iso. Click Connect CD/DVD. If the connection is successful, the message Device redirected in Read Only Mode is displayed.
  7. Verify that CD/DVD is shown as an option in Petitboot as sr0:

           CD/DVD: sr0
                           Install
                           Repair
    Note

    Select Rescan devices if CD/DVD does not appear.

  8. Select Install. Ater selecting Install, your remote console may become inactive. Open or reactivate your IPMI console to complete the installation.
Note

Be patient! It can sometimes take a couple minutes for the installation to begin.

7.6. Completing your LC server installation

After you select to boot the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL) installer, the installation program walks you through the steps.

  1. Complete the installation program for Red Hat Enterprise Linux to set up disk options, your user name and password, time zones, and so on. The last step is to restart your system.

    Note

    While your system is restarting, remove the USB device.

  2. After the system restarts, Petitboot displays the option to boot Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. Select this option and press Enter.