Installing custom images

Last change on 2020-07-31 • Created on 2020-03-19

Introduction

This article explains three methods for installing images, that are not offered through the Robot as automatic installation.

Please be aware that Hetzner Online doesn'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.

The following options are available and explained in this article:

  • For installing an older version of a Linux image, that is available via the Robot:

    • 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
    • Installation via KVM Console and Virtual Media feature

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, offered via the Robot, but also of 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. Installing a previous version is usually still possible for a certain amount of time after a new version is released, but this is not actively maintained.
  • The complete OS must be archived in the .tar.gz format and be placed on a Web, NFS or FTP server, or upload it into the Rescue System (e.g. 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 (eg. "debian-123-image.tar.gz" or "suse-123-backup.tar.gz").
  • The bootloader GRUB must be installed and selected in the configuration file.
  • There should only be one kernel in /boot.
  • For signature verification, the signature image.tar.gz.sig and the corresponding public key public-key.asc must be stored in the same directory.

Procedure

Therefore, just boot the server to the Rescue System, mount the remote filesystem, that contains your archive (or just upload it to the Rescue System), start the Installimage Script (command: installimage) and in the following menu select custom_images. This will load a blank configuration, which can be customized 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 and must be filled in by you.

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 Robot. Therefore, click on the regarding server inside your Robot account, select the Support section, choose the server specific request "Remote console / KVM" and insert a direct download link into the comment field.

Therefore, you can upload your image to any preferred file hoster, webspace, Storage Box or FTP server. Alternatively, you can also send us a direct download link from a foreign website, or choose an image from our mirror (the login credentials are stated in the server provision mail). There, you will also find several Windows Server images.

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

For more information, please see this article.

Installation via KVM Console and Virtual Media feature

Important:

  • The KVM Console only supports the mounting of ISO files via the SAMBA/SMB/CIFS remote filesystem protocol.
  • Mounting an image can take a significant amount of time, so please make sure the connection to the location of the file is fast enough.
  • Unfortunately, there is no progress bar. You will see a notification once the file has been fully loaded.
  • We cannot guarantee that mounting an ISO file and installing it will always work, due to a firmware bug, that leads to a unresponsive console and/or server under certain circumstances. For that reason, we offer the installation via USB drive (see previous section).

Therefore, just order a KVM Console via the Robot. For this purpose, click on the regarding server inside your Robot account, select the Support section and choose the server specific request "Remote console / KVM". Once you receive the login data for the KVM Console, follow this guide to mount your image.

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