Deploying RHEL with custom device drivers

This scenario installs the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system and additional device drivers that are not available in the base operating system. A custom profile is used that includes the additional device drivers. The custom profile can then be selected on the Deploy OS Images page.

Before you begin

When deploying operating systems using Lenovo XClarity Administrator, the operating system must include the appropriate Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and storage-adapter device drivers for your hardware. If a device driver is not included in the operating system, that adapter is not supported for OS deployment. In XClarity Administrator v1.2.0 and later, you can customize an operating system by adding device drivers.

You can obtain device drivers from the Lenovo YUM Repository webpage, from the vendor (such as Red Hat), or through a custom device driver that you generated yourself. For some Windows device drivers, you can generate a custom device driver by extracting the device driver from the installation .exe to your local system and creating a .zip archive file.

Note: RHEL device drivers must be in .rpm or .iso image format.


To deploy RHEL with custom device drivers, complete the following steps.

  1. Download the base RHEL operating system from the Red Hat website to the local system, and import the image to the OS-images repository. For more information, see Importing operating-system images.
    1. From the XClarity Administrator menu bar, click Provisioning > Manage OS Images to display the Deploy Operating System: Manage OS Images page.

    2. Click the OS Images tab.

    3. Click Import icon (Import icon).

    4. Click Local Import.

    5. Click Browse to find and select the RHEL image to import (for example, RHEL-7.4-20170711.0-Server-x86_64-dvd1.iso).

    6. Click Import to upload the image to the OS-images repository.

    7. Wait for the import to complete. This might take a while.

  2. Download the custom device drivers to the local system and import the files into the OS-images repository. For more information, see Importing device drivers.
    1. Click the Device Drivers tab.

    2. Click the Import icon (Import icon).

    3. Click Local Import.

    4. Select RHEL for the operating system.

    5. Select the operating-system version.

    6. Select the device type.

    7. Click Browse to find and select the device driver to import (for example, kmod-i40e-2.0.12-1.el7.x86_64.rpm).

    8. Click Import to upload the file to the OS-images repository.

  3. Create a custom OS-image profile that includes the custom device drivers. For more information, see Creating a custom OS-image profile.
    1. Click the OS Images tab.

    2. Select an OS-image profile to customize (for example, Virtualization).

    3. Click Create icon (Create icon) to display the Create Customized Profile dialog.

    4. On the General tab:

      1. Enter a name for the profile (for example, Custom RHEL with device drivers).

      2. Use the default value for the Custom data and file path field.

      3. Select None for the customization type.

      4. Click Next.

    5. On the Driver Options tab, select the custom device drivers to include in profile, and click Next. The inbox device drivers are included by default.

    6. On the Software tab, click Next.

    7. Click Customize to create the custom OS-image profile.

  4. Deploy the custom OS-image profile to the target servers. For more information, see Deploying an operating-system image.
    1. From the XClarity Administrator menu bar, click Provisioning > Deploy OS Images to display the Deploy Operating System: Deploy OS Images page.

    2. For each target server:

      1. Select the server.

      2. Click Change Selected > Network Settings, and specify the hostname, IP address, DNS, MTU and VLAN settings for the server.

        Tip: VLAN settings are available only when VLAN mode is set in Global Settings > IP Assignment > Use VLANs.
      3. Select the custom OS-image profile (for example, <base_OS>|<timestamp>_Custom RHEL with device drivers) from the drop-down list in the Image to Deploy column.

        Note: Ensure that all target servers use the same custom profile.
      4. (Optional) Click the License Key icon (License key icon) and specify the license key to use to activate the operating system after it is installed.

      5. Select the preferred storage location where you want to deploy the operating system image from the Storage column.

        Note: To ensure that operating-system deployments are successful, detach all storage from the managed server except the storage that is chosen for the operating-system deployment.
      6. Verify that the deployment status for the selected server is Ready.

    3. Select all target servers, and click the Deploy image icon (Deploy image icon) to initiate the operating-system deployment.

    4. On the Summary tab, review the settings.

    5. Click Deploy to deploy the operating system.