How to Install Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 LTS on Power9 Machines

If you want to install Original LTS Ubuntu 16.04 (with initial LTS Kernel 4.4) on Power9, you were / are out of luck. This is because full kernel support for Power9 got in from 4.10 on wards.

But to some jubilation, 16.04.3 LTS got released today (08/03/17) with support for 17.04 Kernel (4.10). So work around to install Ubuntu LTS on Power9 is to use 16.04.03 LTS HWE kernel / initrd instead of ones I indicated in my previous blog post:

Kernel:

http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/dists/xenial-updates/main/installer-ppc64el/current/images/hwe-netboot/ubuntu-installer/ppc64el/vmlinux

Initrd:

http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/dists/xenial-updates/main/installer-ppc64el/current/images/hwe-netboot/ubuntu-installer/ppc64el/initrd.gz

Again, Follow the same procedure in previous blog post  BUT with NEW kernel / initrd links.

Enjoy the first LTS port on Power9

 

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How to Install Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 LTS on Power9 Machines

How to Install Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 on PPC64LE / OpenPOWER

Here’s how to install Ubuntu 16.04 on PPC64LE server. In my case Barreleye, our openPOWER server is running OPAL as BIOS firmware with Petitboot bootloader:

Here are steps through install:

1) Login to Out of band management and get into host console

  • Logging into host OOB console  is important since Ubuntu 16.04 PPC64EL installer doesn’t have  ASPEED VGA / Graphics drivers. So you cannot see the install progress through the VGA console.
  • In your case this might be a ipmi based command to get to host console
  • In my case since we are running a openBMC firmware for our out of band needs :
    • a) SSH into BMC
    • b) Typed the command:       obmc-console-client

2) Power on the server and get to Petitboot bootloader. Which should look like below:

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.37.12 PM

2) Now type “n” to have add a new boot option.

We are netboot installing 16.04. So let’s grab and add the kernel and initrd url’s for Xenial (16.04 code name) respectively:

Kernel:

http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/dists/xenial/main/installer-ppc64el/current/images/netboot/ubuntu-installer/ppc64el/vmlinux

Initrd:

http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports/dists/xenial/main/installer-ppc64el/current/images/netboot/ubuntu-installer/ppc64el/initrd.gz

Your screen should look like this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.38.58 PM

3) Press OK and you should return to Petitboot main screen. The boot option you just added should come up as “User Item 1”:

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.39.25 PM

4) Select and enter “User Item 1” for starting the install. Following which you will go through standard Ubuntu Install process, that you should be familiar with.

 

Thanks I hope this post helps you Install not just Ubuntu 16.04 but any OS of your choice using Petitboot.

 

How to Install Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 on PPC64LE / OpenPOWER