ISO and USB boot disk support for Foreman
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README.md

foreman_bootdisk

Foreman's network provisioning model is usually based on PXE, which requires DHCP and TFTP services. However many users don't have these available, so foreman_bootdisk provides both a per-host and generic boot disks to enable deployments in datacentres without these capabilities.

Boot images are written as hybrid ISO images (usable as ISOs or USB disks), and booted either from physical media or virtual disk/CDROM (via a lights out management device).

Installation

Please see the Foreman manual for appropriate instructions:

The gem name is "foreman_bootdisk". Run foreman-rake db:migrate, foreman-rake db:seed after installation.

RPM users can install the "tfm-rubygem-foreman_bootdisk" or "rubygem-foreman_bootdisk" packages.

Debian users can install the "ruby-foreman-bootdisk" package.

Dependencies

  • iPXE images are required
  • syslinux is required
  • genisoimage/mkisofs and isohybrid are required

gPXE images are unsupported due to lack of initrd support.

Compatibility

Foreman Version Plugin Version
<= 1.3 ~> 1.0
>= 1.4 ~> 2.0
>= 1.6 ~> 3.0
>= 1.7 ~> 4.0
>= 1.8 ~> 5.0
>= 1.9 ~> 6.0
>= 1.11 >= 6.1, < 8.0
>= 1.12 ~> 8.0

Usage

Configuration

With all image types, hosts have to be registered to Foreman prior to booting the image by hand. Hosts will be identified by their MAC or IP address to provide the correct provisioning template if the host is in build mode.

For per-host images, ensure host IP addresses and subnets are populated, and the subnet's gateway, subnet mask and DNS resolver(s) are correctly configured under Infrastructure>Subnets in Foreman.

To permit access to images for non-admin users, add the "Boot disk access" role to a user or the "download_bootdisk" permission to an existing role.

Fully Automated Provisioning

On VMWare compute resources it is possible to create a new host with a cd-drive preconfigured and have a per-host image attached before first boot. This allows a fully automated provisioning of hosts via ISO boot. This feature can be used by selecting the Bootdisk Based provisioning method under the OS tab when creating the host, or by setting provision_method: "bootdisk" using the API.

Templates

An OS iPXE provisioning template is required, see the list below for the name. Ensure the OSes are ticked under the Associations tab and that the iPXE template is selected under the Templates tab on the OS.

  • Kickstart (EL/Fedora) OSes, use "Kickstart default iPXE"
  • Preseed (Debian/Ubuntu) OSes, use "Preseed default iPXE"

Standard templates for the kickstart/preseed and optionally finish script still need to be associated, as bootdisk only handles bootstrapping.

  • EL clones or Fedora should use "Kickstart default" as the "provision" template
  • RHEL should use "Kickstart RHEL default" as the "provision" template
  • Preseed (Debian/Ubuntu) OSes, use "Preseed default" as the "provision" template and "Preseed default finish" as the "finish" template

If you're not using Foreman's default kickstart or preseed provisioning templates, then ensure your versions provide the static IP details required to configure the OS. For a kickstart file, the following configuration will do this:

network --bootproto <%= @static ? "static" : "dhcp" %> --hostname <%= @host %> <%= "--ip=#{@host.ip} --netmask=#{@host.subnet.mask} --gateway=#{@host.subnet.gateway} --nameserver=#{@host.subnet.dns_primary},#{@host.subnet.dns_secondary}" if @static %>

Foreman's default kickstart and preseed files are ready to use.

Available images

The image types have trade-offs, but are all meant for environments without total control over the network infrastructure - so no DHCP reservations or TFTP settings are needed.

Type Generic DHCP required DHCP reservation Pre-register host OS-specific
Per-host image No No No Yes No
Full host image No Yes No Yes Yes
Generic image Yes Yes No Yes No
Subnet image Yes Yes No Yes No

Per-host images

Using the host and subnet data in Foreman, per-host images can be created with fully static networking. The behaviour is dynamic, as the image chainloads from Foreman, so the current OS and build state will be provided by Foreman instead of being stored in the image.

To generate the image from the web interface, view the host page, click the "Boot disk" button and select "Host 'FQDN' image".

To generate using the Hammer CLI, install the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk plugin and run:

hammer bootdisk host --host client.example.com

See the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk documentation for more advanced usage.

To generate from the command line on the Foreman server:

foreman-rake bootdisk:generate:host NAME=foo.example.com OUTPUT=/tmp

Set OUTPUT=/path to change the output destination path (directory or file). It must be writable by the 'foreman' user.

Per-host full images

A variant of the per-host image, this version doesn't chainload from Foreman, but contains the initial OS bootloader. It can be useful for hosts that fail to chainload correctly, but has the downsides that it may become out of date if the host OS, bootloader or PXELinux templates change, or build tokens are required and expire. The provisioning template is still fetched from the Foreman server.

To generate the image from the web interface, view the host page, click the "Boot disk" button and select "Full host 'FQDN' image". This image may take a while to generate, as it downloads the OS bootloaders which can be considerable in size.

To generate using the Hammer CLI, install the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk plugin and run:

hammer bootdisk host --host client.example.com --full true

See the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk documentation for more advanced usage.

To generate from the command line on the Foreman server:

foreman-rake bootdisk:generate:full_host NAME=foo.example.com

Set OUTPUT=/path to change the output destination path (directory or file). It must be writable by the 'foreman' user.

Generic image

This provides a single ISO that can be used by all registered hosts, but since IP details can't be stored inside, it requires a DHCP pool on the network to bootstrap. It will boot and contact Foreman for template of a registered host matching a MAC address or the IP the host was assigned by DHCP.

The installation can continue on either the DHCP or static IP depending on how the OS iPXE template is configured, and could configure the assigned IP address statically for the installed system via the kickstart file.

To generate the image from the web interface, view a host page, click the "Boot disk" button and select "Generic image".

To generate using the Hammer CLI, install the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk plugin and run:

hammer bootdisk generic

See the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk documentation for more advanced usage.

To generate from the command line on the Foreman server:

foreman-rake bootdisk:generate:generic

Set OUTPUT=/path to change the output destination path (directory or file). It must be writable by the 'foreman' user.

Subnet images

Subnet images are similar to generic images, but chain-loading is done via the TFTP Smart Proxy assigned to the Subnet of the host. The smart proxy must have the "Templates" module enabled and configured.

This image is generic for all hosts with a provisioning NIC on that subnet.

To generate the image from the web interface, view a host page, click the "Boot disk" button and select "Subnet image".

To generate using the Hammer CLI, install the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk plugin and run:

hammer bootdisk subnet --subnet local.lan

See the hammer_cli_foreman_bootdisk documentation for more advanced usage.

To generate from the command line on the Foreman server:

foreman-rake bootdisk:generate:subnet NAME=subnet-name

Note that foreman-rake does connect to the foreman-proxy.

Set OUTPUT=/path to change the output destination path (directory or file). It must be writable by the 'foreman' user.

Host group images

TODO

USB images

The ISO images generated are run through isohybrid which makes them bootable as disks too, suitable for copying to a USB device.

Use dd if=fqdn.iso of=/dev/sdb or similar to copy the image to a USB disk. Ensure the device name is correct to avoid writing over the wrong disk.

Advanced configuration

Customising boot disk templates

The templates used on the boot disks themselves are read-only so they can be updated in new versions of the plugin. To customise, copy the contents to a new template and set the name in Administer>Settings>Bootdisk.

  • Host image template (bootdisk_host_template) is the name of the per-host boot disk template
  • Generic image template (bootdisk_generic_host_template) is the name of the generic boot disk template

These templates are baked into the downloaded ISO files and generally don't need to be modified.

Full host images boot directly into the OS PXELinux template via ISOLinux, with no intermediate template or bootloader.

Settings

Some more advanced settings are available under Administer>Settings>Bootdisk in the Foreman UI.

  • Installation media caching (bootdisk_cache_media) controls whether to cache OS boot files from installation media for full host images
  • iPXE directory (bootdisk_ipxe_dir) points to the directory containing ipxe.lkrn
  • ISO generation command (bootdisk_mkiso_command) is the name of genisoimage/mkisofs on your OS
  • SYSLINUX directory (bootdisk_syslinux_dir) points to the directory containing syslinux images

RBAC

This plugin provides "Boot disk access" role which requires the following permissions to be present to allow host and subnet image downloading:

  • view_hosts
  • view_subnets

Issues

Report issues on the Redmine project: foreman_bootdisk

Copyright

Copyright (c) 2013-2014 Red Hat Inc.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.