Installing the Frontends

The frontends are installed on VMware clients.

Note that you must have a valid resolvable IP address and name or the install will fail.


Download the following and place them on the NFS store on msu4 that is mounted to the VMware hosts.

Boot and Add Rolls

In VMware if you have trouble seeing the grub boot screen, try forcing the VM to go into the BIOS (in settings, options) and then exit BIOS and grub screen should appear.

Connect the VMware client's CD/DVD drive to the iso image for ROCKS 5.2 Kernel. Boot the client. You should see a grub boot screen with a chimichanga dinner background image. Type "build" and press enter.

(Note that if you don't enter "build" above, system will automatically boot and goes into installer; will try to use DHCP to get an IP for eth0. you don't want this, reset the system. It seems that "build" should be default option, but oh well.)

Installer will start and do a DHCP request for eth1. In our environment, this will fail and installer allows you to manually enter settings for eth1.

You should see "Retrieving images / state..." and then a graphical screen that says "Welcome to ROCKS".

Click load "CD / DVD based roll" button. Select "kernel" and press submit.

Had trouble loading service-roll at install time, recommend adding it later. When this happened, "downloading" the "LTS" roll (the OS) only took a few seconds, impossibly short for the 4GB OS roll.

Click load "CD / DVD based roll" button, now the installer will release the CD. You should see "Insert the roll CD / DVD". Now, go into VMware and change the iso image to the Core roll "area51+base*.iso". I find it easiest to do this in the "edit settings" screen. Remember to connect the CD to the client. Press continue in ROCKS installer.

Select these rolls: base, ganglia, web-server. Press submit.

Repeat above process to connect the SL 5.3 DVD disk1 iso. This will show up as the "LTS" roll. Add it. Repeat for SL53 DVD disk2 iso.

(Note that if you see a roll named "None", the CD isn't properly mounted, don't select "None", continue past this screen and try mounting CD again.)

When done with all Rolls, click "Next"

Cluster Info

Complete form on "Cluster Information" screen. The host name should be correct. Everything else is arbitrary strings.

Misc Settings

Enter/verify eth0, eth1, gateway, DNS servers, timezone and ntp server.


Select manual partitioning. You must make an /export partition or the install will fail.

[root@msurx ~]# cat /root/anaconda-ks.cfg 
# Kickstart file automatically generated by anaconda.

url --url
lang en_US.UTF-8
keyboard us
xconfig --startxonboot
rootpw --iscrypted $1$salt$hash/
firewall --enabled --port=22:tcp
authconfig --enableshadow --enablemd5
selinux --disabled
timezone --utc America/New_York
bootloader --location=mbr --driveorder=sda,sdb,sdc --append="rhgb quiet"
# The following is the partition information you requested
# Note that any partitions you deleted are not expressed
# here so unless you clear all partitions first, this is
# not guaranteed to work
#part / --fstype ext3 --size=16000 --ondisk=sda --asprimary
#part /log-archive --fstype ext3 --size=100 --grow --ondisk=sdc --asprimary
#part /export --fstype ext3 --size=100 --grow --ondisk=sdb --asprimary
#part swap --size=100 --grow --ondisk=sda --asprimary


Reloading the Roll ISOs

After the above information is entered, the install is set to run. However, there is one more manual step. The ISOs must be remounted so that the installer can read data from them. The installer will prompt you.


The system will automatically reboot when done. Disconnect the CD in VMware in order to boot from "hard drive".

-- TomRockwell - 11 Nov 2009
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
cluster-info.pngpng cluster-info.png manage 234 K 11 Nov 2009 - 15:06 TomRockwell Cluster info screen - mostly goes into certificates on frontend
downloading-LTS.pngpng downloading-LTS.png manage 53 K 11 Nov 2009 - 15:20 TomRockwell "Downloading LTS" - what you see when the install has begun automatic portion
ip-number.pngpng ip-number.png manage 10 K 11 Nov 2009 - 15:09 TomRockwell IP setup - Public Network Info
ip-setup-screen.pngpng ip-setup-screen.png manage 9 K 11 Nov 2009 - 15:08 TomRockwell IP setup - select manual
ntp-setup.pngpng ntp-setup.png manage 88 K 11 Nov 2009 - 15:07 TomRockwell NTP (clock) setup
welcome-to-rocks-rolls-done.pngpng welcome-to-rocks-rolls-done.png manage 120 K 11 Nov 2009 - 15:02 TomRockwell Done adding Rolls, note that hpc roll (crossed out here) isn't needed for our use.
welcome-to-rocks.pngpng welcome-to-rocks.png manage 256 K 11 Nov 2009 - 14:56 TomRockwell First "Welcome to Rocks" screen
Topic revision: r7 - 18 Dec 2009, PhilippeLaurens
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