DIY DICE Install

The following instructions are for setting-up a user-managed machine that's as close as possible to a standard DICE configuration, but run by you.

1. Computing support preparation

Ask computing support to configure the environment for your DIY DICE machine. Computing Support will:

  • Ensure that your network port is on a network wire which supports DIY DICE
  • Add a dns entry for your machine (in the domain)
  • Create an lcfg stub profile
  • Create a DIY DICE directory for you on the LCFG server.

You might also need to get the BIOS and installation passwords from Computing Support.

2. Prepare the LCFG profile for your machine

  1. If you haven't already done so, create the directory to store the source files for your DIY DICE machine profiles
    mkdir -p ~/LCFG/source
  2. Create an LCFG source profile for your machine (in the above directory). This is a text file with the same (shortened) name as your machine; eg for you would create a text file called kluster.

    The following is an example source profile :-

    /* */
    #define _AUTH_USER      ascobie
    #define FIRST_INSTALL
    #include <diydice/os/sl5.h>
    #include <dice/hw/dell_optiplex_gx620.h>
    #include <dice/options/office.h>
    #include <dice/options/dhcp.h>
    /* eof */
  3. From this source profile, we can see that is a Dell GX620, will be running SL5 (Scientific Linux 5) and ascobie will be the user.

  4. Some of the settings in the file will need to be changed for your machine; for example, you will need to change the CPP definition _AUTH_USER and ensure that you are using the correct include file for the model of your machine.

  5. Submit the source profile using the diysubmit command.

  6. The profile should compile within a minute or so. Check the profile's status on the LCFG status web page at Click on the machine's name for further details. A red insect icon against your machine's name means that there are bugs in the LCFG profile. Edit the profile source to eliminate the bugs then diysubmit again, and repeat until all the bugs have been eliminated.

  7. Once the profile has compiled successfully, you are ready for the installation to begin.

3. Install your machine

  1. Power on or reboot your machine, and select to boot (F12 on Dell PCs) from the 'Integrated NIC' (PXE booting) or 'Onboard Network Controller' option. You might need to go to the BIOS to add this option to the Booting Sequence (if that is the case, you might need to get the BIOS password from Computing Support)

    The machine will now attempt to boot off the network. After 15-30 seconds you should see a menu similar to the following :-

    The following boot options are available
    sl5:- boot to the sl5 install system
    sl564:- boot to the sl5_64 install system
    fc6serial - boot to the fc6 install system with serial console
    ... other options ...

  2. For a Scientific Linux 5 install type sl5 at the boot: prompt. This will boot the Linux kernel and start the LCFG install system.

    boot: sl5
    Loading /kernel-pxe-install-sl5/vmlinux...............
    Loading /kernel-pxe-install-sl5/initrd.gz.............
    Linux version 2.6.18-53.1.13.el5.lcfg.2 ( (gcc 8
    BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
     BIOS-e820: 0000000000000000 - 00000000000a0000 (usable)
     BIOS-e820: 00000000000f0000 - 0000000000100000 (reserved)
     BIOS-e820: 0000000000100000 - 000000003f686c00 (usable)
     BIOS-e820: 000000003f686c00 - 000000003f688c00 (ACPI NVS)
    ... more kernel output ...
    Listening on LPF/eth0/00:13:72:cf:65:b8
    Sending on   LPF/eth0/00:13:72:cf:65:b8
    Sending on   Socket/fallback
    DHCPDISCOVER on eth0 to port 67 interval 4
    DHCPOFFER from
    DHCPREQUEST on eth0 to port 67
    DHCPACK from
    bound to -- renewal in 361 seconds.
    Hostname is
    LCFG client: install                                    [OK]
    (I)nstall, (D)ebug, (S)hell, (P)atchup, (R)eboot : 

    If you don't see output similar to the above or the hostname is incorrect please contact Support.

  3. Up until this point, nothing has been installed on your machine. If you are happy for the install to go ahead type i at the above prompt, followed by y to confirm. The install process will now start to install DIY DICE on your machine.

    (I)nstall, (D)ebug, (S)hell, (P)atchup, (R)eboot : i
    Type Y to confirm, S for shell : y
    [INFO] install: Calling %oneshot% setctx install=true
    [INFO] install: Calling %oneshot% echo lcfg:x:980:980:LCFG user:/tmp:/bin/false >> /etc/passwd
    [INFO] install: Calling %oneshot% echo lcfg:x:980: >> /etc/group
    [INFO] install: Calling client install none:
    [OK] client: install
    [INFO] install: Calling %gettime% ntpdate
    Attempting ntpdate of (
    ... more output ...
    This process will install sufficient software packages (known as RPMs) for the machine to boot off its local disk. This set of ~350 RPMs is known as the "installbase". Once the "installbase" is installed, the machine will reboot off the local disk and continue installing the remaining ~2500 RPMs. This process will take between 1 and 2hrs depending on the speed of the machine. A final reboot is performed and the machine should then be ready for use.

-- AlastairScobie - 02 Oct 2008

Topic revision: r7 - 12 May 2011 - 09:52:27 - AlastairScobie
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