Supported operating systems

Lenovo XClarity Administrator supports the deployment of several operating-systems. Only supported versions of the operating systems can be loaded into the XClarity Administrator OS images repository.


The following table lists the 64-bit operating systems that XClarity Administrator can deploy.

Operating system Versions Notes
CentOS Linux
7.2 and later
  • All existing and future minor versions are supported unless otherwise noted.

  • DHCP, static IPv4, and static IPv6 address are supported.

  • VLAN tagging is not supported.

  • Out-of-box drivers are not supported.

  • OS profile customization is not supported.

Microsoft® Windows® Server
2012 R2
2012 R2U1
Both the retail and volume license copies are supported.
Note: XClarity Administrator is tested with only Windows versions that are supported by Microsoft at the time when the XClarity Administrator version was released.
The following are not supported:
  • Windows Reseller Option Kit (ROK)

  • Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) v1709, v1803, and v1809

  • Windows Server 2019 Essentials

  • Windows Server 2016 Nanoserver

  • Windows Server 2012 Evaluation Copy

  • Windows Server images to managed servers with embedded hypervisor keys

    Windows Server 2012 R2 on servers that contain Intel CLX processors

    You must physically remove the embedded hypervisor key from the target servers before deploying a Windows image. This includes Hyper-V through one of the virtualization profiles.

    • Datacenter
    • Datacenter Core
    • Datacenter Virtualization (Hyper-V)
    • Datacenter Virtualization Core (Hyper-V with Core)
    • Standard
    • Standard Core
    • Standard Virtualization (Hyper-V)
    • Standard Virtualization Core (Hyper-V with Core)
Microsoft® Windows® Hyper-V Server
Red Hat® Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Server
6.8 and later
7.2 and later
Includes KVM
  • All existing and future minor versions are supported unless otherwise noted.

  • When importing the DVD version of the OS image, only DVD1 is supported.

  • When installing RHEL on ThinkSystem servers, RHEL v7.4 or later is recommended.

  • To deploy RHEL 7.2, the global IP-assignment must be set to use IPv4 addresses. For information about global settings, see Configuring global OS-deployment settings.

  • OS deployment failures have been observed on IPv6 networks with lower bandwidths due to timeouts in the OS installer.

SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)
Includes KVM and Xen hypervisors
  • All existing and future service packs are supported unless otherwise noted.

  • When importing the DVD version of the OS image, only DVD1 is supported.

  • OS deployment failures have been observed on IPv6 networks with lower bandwidths due to timeouts in the OS installer.

  • If you want to deploy SLES 12 SP2 on a ThinkSystem server, you must use a kISO profile. To get the kISO profiles, you must import the appropriate SLES kISO image. For more information, see Operating-system deployment considerations.

  • For SLES 15 and later, you must import both the installer image and the associated package image from the Server OS Support Center webpage.

VMware vSphere® Hypervisor (ESXi)
Base VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) images and Lenovo VMware ESXi Custom images are supported.

Lenovo VMware ESXi Custom images are customized for select hardware to give you online platform management, including updating and configuring firmware, platform diagnostics, and enhanced hardware alerts. Lenovo management tools also support simplified management of the ESXi with select System x servers. This image is available for download from the VMware Support – Downloads webpage. The license that is provided with the image is a 60-day free trial. You are responsible for meeting all VMware licensing requirements.

  • All existing and future update packs are supported for 6.0, 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0 unless otherwise noted.

  • Base ESXi images (without Lenovo customization) include only basic in-box device drivers for network and storage. The base image does not include the out-of-box device drivers (which are included in Lenovo VMware ESXi Custom images). You can add out-of-box device drivers by creating your own custom OS0image profiles (see Customizing OS-image profiles).

  • For some versions of Lenovo VMware ESXi Custom images, separate images might be available for System x, ThinkSystem, and ThinkServer. Only one image for a specific release can exist in the OS-images repository at a time.

  • ESXi deployment is not supported for certain older servers. For information about which servers are supported, see the Lenovo OS Interoperability Guide website.

  • The following versions are supported for ThinkServer devices: ESXi 6.0u3, 6.5 and later.

  • During the installation of ESXi 5.5 (any update), or 6.0 onto a server in a Flex System chassis, the server might become unresponsive or restart shortly after the following message:
    Loading image.pld
  • ESXi 5.5 requires Memory Mapped I/O (MMIO) space to be configured within the initial 4 GB of the system. Depending on the configuration, certain systems attempt to use memory higher than 4 GB, which can cause a failure. To resolve the issue, see VMware deployment causes system hang or restart.

  • When deploying ESXi using a static IPv6 mode, the hostname that is defined on the Network Settings page in XClarity Administrator is not configured in the deployed ESXi instance. Instead, the default hostname localhost is used. You must manually set the hostname in the deployed ESXi to match the hostname that is defined in XClarity Administrator.

  • When deploying ESXi on a managed server, the operating system does not explicitly move the drive on which the operating system is installed to the top of the boot-order list. If a boot device containing a bootable OS or a PXE server is specified before the boot device containing ESXi, then ESXi does not boot. For ESXi deployment, XClarity Administrator updates the boot-order list for most servers to ensure the ESXi boot device is at the top of the boot-order list; however, ThinkServer servers do not provide a way for XClarity Administrator to update the boot-order list. You must disable PXE boot support or remove bootable devices other than the installation drive before deploying the operating system. For more information, see Operating system does not reboot to complete ESXi deployment on a ThinkServer server.

Tip: Instead of setting MM Config through the Setup utility for each server, consider using one of the predefined extended UEFI patterns that are related to virtualization, which sets the MM Config option to 3 GB and disables the PCI 64-bit resource allocation. For more information about these patterns, see Defining extended UEFI settings.