Upload and Use ISO Images on oVirt / RHEV Storage Domain

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In this blog post, we shall show you how to upload an OS installation ISO file to a Storage Domain in oVirt / RHEV Virtualization environment. This is a key requirement if you’re planning to perform either manual or automated installations of virtual
machines. This is an alternative to using a network server, such as HTTP or FTP, to share installation media files. DVD ISO files can sit on network server, while boot ISO being uploaded to a Storage domain.

In oVirt / RHEV terms, storage domain is defined as a repository disk images used by virtual machines for system boot disks, data storage, or as installation media. There are three types of storage domains:

  • Data storage domain
  • ISO storage domain
  • Export storage domain

As of recent oVirt releases, only data domains are needed. Although export and iso domains are available, they have been deprecated. In this post, we shall upload an ISO image to ISO or Data domain. Then see how to boot from ISO for actual operating system installation.

1. Configure Storage domain on oVirt / RHEV

A configured storage domain is requirement before ISO uploads. Any of these storage technologies can be used as storage domain backend:

• Gluster Storage native client (GlusterFS)
• Fiber Channel Protocol (FCP)
• Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI)
• Network File System (NFS)
• Local storage attached directly to a virtualization host.

We had done an article on using NFS as a backend storage. Refer to it using link shared.

2. Download ISO image

With Storage domains configured, we can download ISO image for the operating system we would like to install. In this example, any Linux ISO file will suffice. We’ll use Alpine Linux as target distribution to be installed.

Visit OS ISO downloads page and get the latest release image in the machine used to access the Administration Portal.

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3. Upload ISO ISO Image to oVirt / RHEV Storage Domain

Login to Administration Portal

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From the Portal, navigate to Storage > Storage Domains in the menu:

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Select Disks > Upload

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Click “Start” on Upload drop-down list to initiate file upload.

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Click “Chose File” button to access local filesystem

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Select ISO file to upload from the directory you saved the file.

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The Alias and Description fields will default to the name of the ISO file. You can modify accordingly.

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There should be successful access to portal before upload.

There should be a successful connection to the ovirt-imageio-proxy before being able to upload. Use the “Test Connection
button to test the connection. If you get a green success box, this indicates upload will succeed.

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If an orange warning box is returned by the Test Connection button, click the ovirt-engine certificate link.

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Check the box next to Trust this CA to identify websites. Click OK when done to trust CA.

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Image upload progress should now start.

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Successful upload look – notice OK in status.

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4. Creating Virtual Machine from the uploaded ISO image

At Virtual Machine creation time, an ISO disk image in the data storage domain can be attached to the virtual machine as if was inserted into a CD/DVD drive.

To create a new Virtual machine, navigate to Compute → Virtual Machines→ New in the menu.

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Provide VM parameters under General section – OS, Instance type(can be custom), VM Name and Network to assign the virtual machine.

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For boot disk select “Create” to create a new one.

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Input boot disk size (GiB) in gibibytes, and optionally Alias(usually autogenerated from disk name). You can as well customize other settings relating to virtual disk. Created disk image is stored in the Storage Domain and the virtual machine will boot from that stored image.

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Click on “Show Advanced Options

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Under the Boot Options section, we’ll set second boot device and attach the ISO.

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Select “CD-ROM” as second boot device, and tick “Attach CD” checkbox, then select ISO image to boot from from the drop-down field to the right.

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In summary, We’ll create a new virtual machine according to the following requirements:

  • Cluster: Default
  • Template: Blank | (0)
  • Operating System: Linux
  • Instance Type: Small
  • Optimized for: Server
  • Name: Alpine-Linux
  • Instance Images: Attach the Alpine Linux disk
  • nic1: ovirtmgmt/ovirtmgmt

Once VM skeleton is created, the instance is in powered off state.

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We can change the VM console access in Console menu section.

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VNC / noVNC console and invocation is good for web based installation. It doesn’t need any client installation to access VM console.

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Start the Virtual Machine to begin normal Linux OS installation.

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The Virtual Machine created can be removed by shutting it down gracefully, then right-click the virtual machine and select remove from the context menu. You then click OK in the confirmation dialog box to complete removal of the virtual machine.

We hope this article was of great succour while trying to figure our how ISO image can be uploaded and used on oVirt / RHEV Virtualization platform.

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A systems engineer with excellent skills in systems administration, cloud computing, systems deployment, virtualization, containers, and a certified ethical hacker.