Installing custom images on the dedicated server

Last modified: Tuesday November 21st, 2023

This article explains three methods for installing images that are not available in the client’s area as automatic installations.

Introduction

Important note: We don’t offer any support for the installation of custom images and can’t offer any warranty on the functionality of the installed system on our products.

This article explains the following available options:

  • For installing an older version of a Linux image that is available via the client’s area:
    • Install older Linux images using the Installimage script
  • For installing a custom Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE or CentOS image:
    • Custom image installation using the Installimage script
  • For installing Windows with your own license or any other operating system from a bootable ISO image:
    • Installation via KVM Console and USB drive

Install older Linux images using the Installimage script

By using the Installimage Script, which is already pre-installed in the Rescue System, you can perform customizable installations of all Linux images that are available in the client area. In addition, you can also install older images, for which we do not offer support or guarantee compatibility anymore. You can find those images after starting the Installimage script within the operating system selection menu under the Old images section.

Custom image installation using the Installimage script

Requirements

  • The image must be Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, or CentOS to get the network settings properly configured.
  • The image should be a current version of the distribution. It is usually still possible to install a previous version for a certain amount of time after a new version is released, but we do not actively maintain the previous version.
  • You need to archive the complete OS in the .tar.gz format and placed it on a web, NFS or FTP server, or upload it into the Rescue System (for example, by using SCP). The archive should not contain /dev/proc or /sys folders.
  • The archive must have the name of the distribution and the version (at the second position) within the file name (for example, “debian-123-image.tar.gz” or “suse-123-backup.tar.gz”).
  • You need to select and install the bootloader GRUB in the configuration file.
  • There should only be one kernel in /boot.
  • For signature verification, you need to store the signature image.tar.gz.sig and the corresponding public key public-key.asc in the same directory.

Procedure

To get started, just boot the server to the Rescue System. Then mount the remote filesystem that contains your archive (or just upload it to the Rescue System). Then start the Installimage Script (command: installimage). In the following menu, select custom_images. This will load a blank configuration, which you can customize to suit your requirements. You will also find guidelines and examples there.

Please keep in mind that some settings like IMAGEPATH etc. have no pre-defined parameters, but are required, so you must fill them in.

The available drives are automatically detected and added to the variables DRIVE1,DRIVE2

Installation via KVM Console and USB drive

For this method, just order a KVM Console via the client’s area. To do this, click on the correct server on your account,  and choose the server-specific request “Console request”. In the comment field for the support request, insert a direct download link for the image.

To create a link for the image, you can upload your image to your preferred file hoster, webspace, Storage Box or FTP server. As an alternative, you can send us a direct download link from a foreign website.

Our technicians will then download the image, create a bootable USB stick, and connect it to your server together with the KVM Console. (They will do this free of charge.)

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