Monday, January 16, 2017

Baremetal Installation of UNetLab (UNL) on Dell PowerEdge 2970

After several nights of hard work, figured out the best way to deploy UNL on a dedicated server. Baremetal means that there is no additional virtualization layer.
Most methods including the tutorials on official website did not work for me. Anyway this is how I could do it on my server and hope this will be helpful for someone who is going to simulate larger networking labs.

After configuring RAID Arrays for the server you can begin the installation process. If you don't know how to configure RAIDs please read Making Logical Disks from Physical Hard Disks (Configuring RAID Controller)

My Server Info:
Model : Dell PowerEdge 2970
CPUs : 2 x Dual-Core AMD Opteron™ 2222SE
RAM: 32 GB
Hard Disks: (4x73GB) + (4x600GB) configured as 1.2 TB + 145.5 GB logical hard disks by RAID

Installing Ubuntu 14.04

First of all you need to install Ubuntu server 14.04 64-bit Server.
This exact image is no longer available to download from the official Ubuntu website. Instead they have 14.04.5 which is an updated version. I'm not sure it will work or not, but for me it didn't work. So from somewhere online, you will be able to find the 14.04.
You can check the integrity of the image by verifying the following MD5 hash.

Create a bootable image with Rufus (download Rufus)

It will ask for this, select ISO image mode and hit ok.

After the bootable USB is ready, plug it to the server and boot it  up.

Select Install Ubuntu Server.
From here it will be an easy to understand GUI.
It is better if the server is connected to a DHCP server and the server must have the reach-ability to internet.

(click on the images to view in full size)

Use "Guided  - use entire disk and setup LVM" in partitions. it will save you some time..

For software selection, choose "OpenSSH Server". I chose "Virtual Machine Host" additionally..

Then it will ask to install Grub boot loader and will ask to reboot.. Continue with the procedure and wait till it comes up with login prompt..

Configuring Ubuntu for UNL and Installing UNL

Login from your username

Enter following commands to get privilaged access
sudo su

Enter your user password

Enter following commands to change root password
sudo passwd root

Enter following commands to edit sshd_config file to allow access to use root user ssh
nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Change this line:
PermitRootLogin without-password
PermitRootLogin yes
and save and exit..

now restart the SSH server:
sudo service ssh restart

Enter following command to install UNetLab..
curl -s | bash

Now enter the following command to to edit the default grub.
nano /etc/default/grub

Change the following lines..
and save and exit..

Now enter the following commands to make the "saved" kernel you placed in the /etc/default/grub to UNetLab one and update the grub..
grub-set-default "Advanced options for Ubuntu>Ubuntu, with Linux 3.16.7-ckt8-unetlab"

Now it will ask for a reboot.. After the reboot, login as the root..
Now answer the questions for the poping up dialog boxes. It is now normal UNL configuration which is same as the installation on VMware Workstation. Please refer this if you are not familiar with it.

After answering the final dialog box, it will restart and boot up with the UNL kernel and if so everything will work fine..


  • August 17, 2017 at 1:17 PM
    gibsonherry says:

    Enthusiastic words written in this blog helped me to enhance my skills as well as helped me to know how I can help myself on my own. I am really glad to come at this platform.
    Windows Server CAL


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