Custom ISO on Bare Metal

Published on: Wed, May 8, 2019 at 12:54 pm EST
FAQ

Introduction

Vultr does not currently have a system in place to allow custom ISO's to be uploaded and mounted to bare metal. However, this does not stop you from using a custom ISO to install your choice of OS on bare metal instances. Follow the steps in this guide to use a custom ISO on Vultr bare metal.

Deploy a Bare Metal instance

Visit the member's dashboard and deploy a bare metal instance. Select CentOS 7 and no RAID.

After the instance has finished installing, click on the new server to see its control panel.

Next, SSH into the newly created instance using the following command with the IP being replaced with the one provided on the instance's control panel and using the password provided.

ssh root@IP

Download the ISO

Find the URL for the ISO that you want to use. For this guide, we are going to use Linux Mint. Run the following command, replacing the URL with your own.

wget http://mirrors.seas.harvard.edu/linuxmint/stable/19.1/linuxmint-19.1-cinnamon-64bit.iso

After the ISO has completed downloading, proceed to the next step.

Setting up the ISO

What we are going to do is write the ISO we downloaded to the second hard drive in the bare metal instance. This will allow us to boot the second drive and use it as an install media. Run the following command, replacing the ISO file name with the name of the ISO you've downloaded.

dd if=linuxmint-19.1-cinnamon-64bit.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4096 status=progress

When the dd command has completed, you will see output similar to the following text.

1936764928 bytes (1.9 GB) copied, 1.000000 s, 1.9 GB/s
481912+0 records in
481912+0 records out
1973911552 bytes (2.0 GB) copied, 7.16347 s, 276 MB/s
[root@guest ~]# 

Booting the ISO

Open the Web Console on the instance's control panel. From here, click the "Send CtrlAltDel" button at the top right of the Web Console window.

While the instance is starting up, keep tapping DELETE until you see the BIOS screen. Press RIGHT until the Boot tab is selected. From here, use DOWN until Hard Disk Drive BBS Priorities is selected. Press ENTER.

Make sure P3 is set in the option Legacy Boot Order #1. If it isn't, press ENTER and choose it.

Press ESC. Then press RIGHT to highlight the Save & Exit tab and DOWN to Save Changes and Reset. Press ENTER twice.

At this time, your instance will restart and immediately boot from the ISO. From here, install the operating system as you normally would, however do not restart the instance when it is done. If it restarts automatically be aware you will need to restart it again to enter the BIOS.

Restarting after installation

After your operating system is done being installed, we need to restart the server and enter the BIOS. To do this let the installer restart or hit the "Send CtrlAltDel" button at the top right of the Web Console window.

While the instance is starting up, keep pressing DELETE until you see the BIOS screen again. From here, use DOWN until Hard Disk Drive BBS Priorities is selected. Hit ENTER.

Make sure P2 is set in the option Legacy Boot Order #1. If it isn't, press ENTER and choose it.

Press ESC, then save and restart as before. You will now boot into your new operating system.

Note: After you boot for the first time, you will need to format the second drive to regain its functionality as a hard drive.

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