Best Practices for Successfully Creating Custom Images on IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers

1 min read

You can create custom images on IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers to quickly and easily deploy your own images to new bare metal servers.

It is highly recommended that you verify file system health, install the latest available kernel, edit the fstab file and perform operating system-based shutdown. Perform the following checks to better prepare your bare metal server for a successful Linux-based image capture and avoid possible pitfalls during the process.

1. Verify file system health

  • Bare metal image captures will fail if any filesystem inconsistencies are detected.
  • Doing a file system check and/or repair on all of your partitions will help facilitate a successful image capture of your server.
  • The following commands can verify/repair partition file systems:
    • fsck
    • debugfs
    • xfs_check
    • xfs_repair

If you have any questions on completing this step, please feel free to reach out to open a case with our support team for assistance.

2. Install the latest available kernel

  • Confirm your server has the latest kernel and successfully boots via the kernel. Having the latest kernel increases the image compatibility upon deployment to a new server.
  • Follow your OS manufacturer’s recommended update process. Examples: YUM, APT-GET.

3. Edit the fstab file

  • Make sure that the server is set up to mount only a primary drive.
  • If the server has multiple HDDs and you attempt to only capture the primary disk, the fstab file configuration expects the secondary HDDs. 
  • When that image is used to deploy to a new server, even if it has secondary HDDs, it does not match the fstab file configuration and can cause boot failure. 
  • Comment out or remove these unused mount points in /etc/fstab. Failure to do so runs the risk that servers provisioned via the image won't boot without human intervention.

4. Perform operating system-based shutdown

  • One requirement for image capture is to have the server in a powered-off state. 
  • Performing a graceful operating system shutdown helps prevent file system corruption. 
  • Hard shutdowns through management interface control or a power strip reboot can cause file system corruption.

Get started

Now you’re ready to create a custom image on IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers. For more information, see “Creating a custom bare metal server image template.

Don’t forget, we’re celebrating custom image templates by offering 10% off Intel-based IBM Cloud Bare Metal servers. Use the promotion code, “IMAGE10” at check-out. Read the blog for more details.

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