CSAIL Linux Installation

CSAIL Operating System Network Installation

We offer automated installation of CSAIL operating systems, using iPXE and Electrum, an in-house installation tool.

New host setup (skip if reinstalling an existing host)

  1. Boot your computer from the network. (The process will vary by machine, Google is your friend here. Usually F11 or F12 during the boot sequence.)
  2. You’ll be supplied a MAC address and network to register on.
  3. Go to WebDNS
  1. Go to DHReg

Installation (new or old host)

  1. Back up any data you don’t want to lose on the machine. By default, the first disk in the system is wiped completely. Dual-booting is not supported. Please contact TIG if you need to install to a specific disk in a multi-disk system; this functionality will be user-visible soon.
  2. Boot the CSAIL Electrum installer.
    • If your machine is still in the iPXE boot menu, press ‘Enter’ to retry DNS detection. If this fails, wait 5-10 minutes, then try again. If you’re unable to proceed more than 60 minutes after registering your machine, contact TIG at help@csail.mit.edu with your hostname, IP address, and MAC address.
    • If your machine is not at the iPXE menu, boot it from the network by following the first step in the new host instructions above.
  3. At the iPXE menu, use the arrow keys and enter to navigate. You can choose which CSAIL operating system to install, or use the ‘Advanced options’ menus for each operating system to select additional options.
    • If you need sudo access on your newly-installed machine, you can add your user at the iPXE boot menu before installing. If you need sudo post-install, please contact TIG at help@csail.mit.edu.
  4. 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.