DCImanager Documentation

OS installation


A template of an operating system is a set of disk images and installation scripts that consist of a distribution and other data for OS deployment. 

Preliminary steps

To install an operating system :

  1. Enter the IP and MAC-address of the server in DCImanager.
  2. Make sure the server for OS installation is accessible for the server where DCImanager is installed. 
  3. Configure network boot for the server. 
  4. Connect a PDU or  IPMI to the server. 
  5. Install the template in Settings → OS templates.
  6. Enter the interfaces for the DHCP-servers in Settings → Global settings → Interfaces. 


In some cases, you may need to use the WinNtSetup utility to successfully install Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019. To use the utility during OS installation, specify "yes" in the OS template settings for the $WINNTSETUP macro. For more information on template settings, see the article OS template management.


Go to Main menu  → Server → Operations.

  • Operation type — select "Install OS from template";
  • Install OS from the template;
  • Hostname;
  • Password;
  • Confirm password;
  • Recipe— select a script that will be executed on the server after OS installation. Learn more under Recipes;
  • Configure software RAID — a list of available software RAID may vary depending on the operating system and number of similar disks on the server installed in succession.  For more information please refer to the article Software RAID;
  • Inform upon completion:
    • When the operating system is installed from the template "netinstall", if the server is accessible via SSH, the installation failed or was terminated by the user.  For more information about the template "netinstall" please refer to the OS template management;
    • When the operating system is installed from other templates if the installation failed or was terminated by the user.

OS installation procedure

  1. The system generates the values for parameters and macros for the OS template. For more information please refer to OS templates macros. 
  2. In /usr/local/mgr5/var/operations/ adds the information about the operation including the macros and parameters, authentication data, and the log. 
  3. Prepares the files in DCImanager or on the location server for network boot and OS installation:
    1. Files for booting via PXE or iPXE in /var/lib/tftpboot/srv<server id>.
    2. Files for booting via TFTP in /var/lib/tftpboot/srv<server id>.
    3. If the template uses iPXE, for transfer via HTTP the symlink sharedir to the /DCI/<OS template>/sharedir directory is created in /DCI/NFSshare; 
    4. If a Unix OS template is used, for transfer via NFS the symlink files to the /DCI/<OS templates>/files directory is created in  /DCI/NFSshare. A list of files is specified in /DCI/<OS templates>/metainfo.xml.
    5. If a Windows OS template is used, the installer files are sent via  SMB. Preparation of files is not needed. When generating the macros on step 1 /DCI/<OS template> is specified as the ($SMB_PATHv4) macros value.  This directory is connected to the server in Step 10. 
  4. Enables the port of the switch the server is connected to. 
  5. Configures the DHCP configuration file (the default location is /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf) in the section with the server MAC-address.  Network boot is activated and configured for the server. 
  6. Sets the VLAN on the switch port the server is connected to. 
  7. Reboots the server.
  8. Using the DHCP server, the server gets the IP address and the TFTP server address.
  9. PXE or iPXE is downloaded to the server via TFTP .
  10. PXE or iPXE downloads the installation files.
  11. Installs the operating system on the server.
  12. The installer informs DCImanager or the location server that the installation has been completed successfully. 
  13. The server is rebooted. 
  14. The recipes are copied and started on the server via SSH.
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