Ubuntu Installation

We offer an automated installation process of CSAIL Ubuntu using the FAI Project.

The first step is to back up any data you've got on your machine's hard drive (if you want to keep it). The installation will take the first hard drive that it finds, and erase everything before installing.

Before installing, your machine must have a static IP address, configured and active in WebDNS and dhreg, and propagated and available on the network. (From another CSAIL Ubuntu machine, you need to be able to type host yournewhostname and get the correct IP address back, and the host needs to automatically get that correct IP address at boot time from the DHCP server.) Otherwise, you'll encounter problems during and after installation.

First, create a hostname in WebDNS. Then, register a static DHCP lease with dhreg and select "Ubuntu Desktop" for machines located in your lab, or "Ubuntu Server" for rack mounted computers located in one of the machine rooms, from the "Operating System" dropdown menu. NOTE: If your computer was previously configured to install CSAIL Debian, the dhreg step is still required! Simply delete your old registration and re-register, selecting the correct OS.

Note that WebDNS changes only take affect once every hour. Dhreg won't know what your machine's IP address is unless you either wait an hour after changing WebDNS or manually enter the appropriate IP address in the appropriate text field in dhreg. Yes, this is a bug.

After network registration is complete, boot your computer off of its network card (PXE/Network booting must be enabled in the BIOS, and can usually be selected as a boot device by pressing F12 at boot time), and you'll be greeted by the CSAIL Ubuntu PXE Boot screen. You'll be given a choice to install the current Ubuntu LTS release, or the latest Ubuntu release. Press 1, or 2, and then Press Enter, and the installation process will begin. After completing, you'll be prompted to press return in order to reboot.

Once your machine has rebooted, you'll be prompted to add CSAIL user accounts to the sudoers file. Once that's complete, you'll find yourself at the login manager, and should be able to log in with your CSAIL username and Kerberos password. Your home directory will be your AFS home directory.

If you wish to be able to log in remotely via SSH without using a password, you'll need to ask somebody with Kerberos administrator privileges (TIG sysadmins) to create a keytab for your host. (See SettingUpSSH for details.)

By default, all CSAIL users are allowed to log in to your host, both on the console and once enabled, via ssh. You can restrict access by following the Instructions on the Ubuntu Admin page.

Installation Caveats

  • If you've previously registered your computer with another operating system in DHREG (e.g. CSAIL Debian), you'll need to delete the existing registration and create a new one.
  • CSAIL Ubuntu requires a clean install. Converting an existing Ubuntu installation to CSAIL Ubuntu is not supported.
  • Dual-booting CSAIL Ubuntu and another operating system is not supported. The installation will repartition and claim the entire first hard drive that it finds in your computer.
  • Only 64-bit installations are supported.

-- StephenJahl - 06 Dec 2012
Topic revision: 10 Oct 2017, GregShomo

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


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