Preface

There are multiple ways to install XenClient on your notebook. Probably the most common one is to use an optical drive. So downalod the ISO image from the Citrix, burn a CD and boot form that media.

What if your notebook has no CD-Rom?

In corporate environments you may consider to use PXE boot and install XenClient a similar way as many customers are doing with XenServer. This blog will explain how to create a USB memory stick, which so you always have your installer media handy.

PLEASE NOTE

The script which creates a bootable installer stick is  broken in the TechPreview of XenClient 2.
Unetbooting wont work neither, but I found that the Universal USB Installer from http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ DOES work. I will update this post if anything changes with the release of XenClient 2.

Background and motivation

I was getting asked for alternate installation methods many times and while the network installation with PXE boot is documented well the USB methid isn’t.

Requirements

  • Computer running Linux
  • XenClient Installer ISO file
  • 1 GB USB stick (512MB might do it)

Step by step guide

Even if XenClient Dom0 is carried by a Linux type of system, some of tools required to build a installer are not available. Remeber we want to keep the hypervisor slim.

After booting your Linux Distro, open a root shell – in the terminal enter:

sudo bash

As you see, the Installer ISO image is located an my dekstop and a memory stick is pluged in.

In the next step we’ll mount that iso image, so we don’t need a optical media at all.

Enter the following commands in the termina windows:

  • mkdir /mnt/iso
  • mount -o Desktop/XenClient_1_0_installer.iso /mnt/iso
  • cd /mnt/iso
  • ls -la

The steps abover assume that the XenClient ISO file is names “XenClient_1_0_installer.iso” and is stored on the your desktop. You should now have a the content os the iso file accessable in the /mnt/iso directory. Before we can run the script, we need to unmount the USB stick, which was mounted automatically in most distros.

Enter the following commands in the terminal:

  • mount

Search the output for a line which contains the string “vfat” and note the device id (e.g. /dev/sdc1)

Based on the findings in the previous step enter the following commands in the terminl:

  • umount /dev/sdc1

    (The icon on your desktop for the USB stick should disapear)

  • /mnt/iso/usb_inst.sh
  • On the screen presented press the space bar to select the USB device – An asterix is shown

Continue as instructed – You will get a message once the process has finished.

Verify that you can boot form the USB memory stick. You may have to press a function key for the boot menu of your PC (F9 on my Hp Elitbook 6930p).

Have fun with your XenClient!

Walter Hofstetter

walter.hofstetter[at]cirix.com