Installing XenServer on a Hetzner root server is not straightforward:
- Hetzner's gateway setup requires special network settings (all XenServer releases)
- the XenServer 5.6 unattended installation has a bug so the installed system will not boot
- XenServer 5.6 FP1 has a problem with the RealTek 8169 NIC which are used in Hetzner's servers
This article explains how to circumvent these problems. Some workarounds are needed even when installing from a physical CD (by using Hetzner's LARA console).
This How-To also works for XenServer 5.61 SP2
Copy contents of the installation CD to a directory on a webserver
Copy the contents of the Citrix XenServer installation CD to a directory on a web server. This directory must be accessible by ip address (in this example it is http://192.168.1.141/download/xenserver), so you might need to set up a default virtual host.
xenserver directory, create a new file
xenserver.xml containing the following XML code. Make sure to enter your own hostname, root password, ip address, subnet mask, gateway and name server ip addresses. The source URL is of course the URL to the installation directory you have just created. It must contain the ip address, not the domain name.
Configure new server for unattended installation
The new XenServer host must be initialized with an arbitrary Linux system. Its only purpose is to boot a special XenServer kernel, which in turn will start the actual installation process by downloading the answerfile and the installation packages from the web server.
When installing the Linux system, do not use a software raid. There seems to be a bug in the XenServer 5.6 installer: if the Linux system used to boot the XenServer installer had software raid turned on, the installed XenServer system was corrupt. Files were missing or had binary data in them.
To install the initial Linux system, do the following for a Hetzner root server:
- boot the server in the rescue console
- wipe all disks so that they do not have partitions of type 0xfd (Linux raid autodetect):
Note that this will destroy all data on your disks.
- install Linux using the
installimagecommand. I was using CentOS 5.5 32bit with good success. Remember to turn off the software raid option, this is done by editing the configuration to
SW RAID = 0.
- After installing Linux, mount the boot partition:
- Replace the file
/mnt/boot/grub/menu.lstwith the following content: Note that the file references the answerfile created earlier. The URL must contain the ip address, a domain name will not work.
- if there is a file
- some files must be copied from the XenServer installation directory into the
/bootdirectory. On the server containing the XenServer installation files (the web server), do the following:
- to see whether the XenServer installer actually retrieves the files from the web server, run the
- if you want to install XenServer 5.5, you can now restart the server. You should see the XenServer installer accessing the installation files a couple of minutes later. After the automatic reboot you should be able to connect to the new server via XenCenter
- if you are installing XenServer 5.6, the configuration must be modified before the reboot. Otherwise XenServer will hang during reboot and there is no chance to log in and fix the settings. therefore the Hetzner rescue system must be set up before the XenServer installation finishes. The easiest way to do this is: log into the Hetzner server administration, restart the server, and right after you see the installer accessing the packages from the web server, turn on the rescue system for this server. This way, when the freshly installed XenServer reboots after the installation has finished, it will boot into the rescue mode.
- in the rescue console, mount the disks again. In the file
/etc/rc.sysinit, find the following line and comment it out:
- After that, edit
/etc/modprobe.confand add the line
- Finally, reboot. The new XenServer 5.6 FP1 system should now be accessible from XenCenter
(later, for now see XenServer 5.5 auf Hetzner Server installieren )