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July 5, 2015

Nutanix Community Edition Installation

I’ve decided to put together a walk through of the Nutanix CE installation process I completed a month or so ago.  I received an early invite just after the .Next conference from @ccstockwell who is one of our Nutanix SE’s here in Brisbane.  If you need to get your hands on the software be sure to register for the software here.  Just a note you need to have a company/personal e-mail domain.  My gmail.com and outlook.com addresses did not work.  If you own your own domain you should be all good.

Before Starting you need hardware greater than or equal to the following

  1. Intel Processor with VT-x support.  (I believe AMD also works, but I have not tested)
  2. You need at least 32GB RAM even thou this is not the minimum.  The CVM VM takes 16GB and you need a few GB to run VM’s.  You can also run NCE as a nested VM which I’ve tested on VMware Fusion.  In a nested config the CVM VM uses 12GB of RAM.
  3. 1 x 200GB SSD (Minimum size)
  4. 1 x 500GB HDD (Minimum size and this can also be an SSD if you have that lying around)
  5. Intel Nic (My install is actually working with an on-board Realtek NIC)

My white-box server details for your reference

  • Motherboard:  Asus P9X79 Pro
  • Processor:  Intel Core i7-3930K LGA 2011
  • SSD Disk:  Samsung 840 EVO 500GB 2.5″ SATA III SSD
  • HDD Disk:  Seagate 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6GB HDD
  • RAM:  64GB
  • Configuration:  Nutanix CE installed as a Single Node cluster currently

So the first step is to register and complete the download from the link provided.  I originally received a code and populated this field.  If you have not received a code just submit without it.

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Once you have registered you should receive an e-mail with download link.  Looks similar to the following.

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Go ahead and login to my.nutanix.com click on forgot password as the e-mail above suggests and have the password reset form e-mail you a temporary password.

Once logged into the portal click Community Edition and then Click the Download Software link and click on image download.  This will download a file called ce-2015.06.08-beta.img.gz which for me was 1.5GB.  Once the file download has completed extract the img.gz file which should extract a file called ce-2015.06.08-beta.img.  The file name will be different with any new releases.  This was the version at the time I downloaded this.

Now that you have the latest img file we need to create a bootable USB drive with the NutanixCE firmware loaded.  I used a product that you can download from the web called Rufus.  If you don’t have this software go ahead and download it from the link provided.  It’s free and a quick download.

Open up Rufus and follow the following screenshots selecting the Image file.  Make sure you have a USB Key/Drive preferably a USB 3.0 version that is at least 8GB in size.

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Once the image file has been written to your USB key insert this into your server computer.  Start up your computer and configure the BIOS to boot from USB device first.  If all is well you will boot to a screen shown below.

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Type “install” and hit enter key.

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You will be presented with which keyboard layout to use.  In my case the “us” keyboard layout is perfect.  Hit the tab key to move down to the proceed button and hit enter.

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You will be presented with the network and EULA section of the installation.  The Host IP is the IP of your physical PC hosting the Nutanix controller and other Windows or Linux virtual machines.  The Nutanix controller virtual machine (CVM) section is for the IP of the controller VM.  In my lab both of these are on the same network.  If you desire to split them off you can, but my recommendations are to keep them on the same network subnet for simplicity.  For users that want more flexibility and isolation for management the option is there to split them into two different networks.

Note:  Do not set your controller virtual machine on the 192.168. private ip range.  I initially configured my host and cvm in this range as it was what I was using, but the installation fails.  I started a thread on the Nutanix Community Edition discussion forum and I received a prompt response from Adam Fried-Gintis (Lead Developer – Community Edition) that the controller virtual machine needs to be on a different private ip network subnet.  I changed my IP using the IP’s shown in the screenshot below and it worked straight away.

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Note:  You need to actually scroll down the EULA before selecting the Start option.  If you do it without this you will receive the following message.
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If all is well the installer will script will start installing Nutanix Community Edition.  It will format the disks and install software.

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If all went well you should see a screenshot similar to the one below advising “Success!” which sounds like a good thing.  It takes approx. 5/10 mins depending on what type of USB drive you use.  I’ve installed using both USB 3.0 and 2.0 and the 3.0 took me around 5 mins where the 2.0 took me around 10 minutes.  If you do not see success a log will be generated.  You can retrieve this log by logging onto the host using the following login details.  Take note of the log location on the screen before logging on.

username: root
password:  nutanix/4u

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Once you have installed hit enter from the shell where you will be presented with a login screen.  You will see the CVM IP in the header if you’ve forgotten what you set it as in the installation screen.

Open up your favorite web browser, in my case Firefox and browse to the CVM IP using SSL and appending port 9440.  In my example it would be https://10.100.15.200:9440.  You will need to accept the certificate warning in your browser and if all is good you should see the following screen.

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Configure a new password for your cluster and re-type that password.  Once set hit the enter key at which point you will be re-prompted to login again.  Login with your configured password.

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The Nutanix cluster will then prompt you for your NEXT credentials.  This is the e-mail and password you used to register for the Nutanix Community Edition software from the registration portal.  If you received this .img file from a colleague or friend you have the opportunity to create an account as well which I’ve not tested or tried before, but I’m sure will do the trick.

Note:  You need a NEXT account so the Nutanix Community Edition software can be registered to before using the software.

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After successful authentication of NEXT account you will see page load and display your cluster home page.

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So you almost have a fully working cluster that you can start building virtual machines on.  All you need to do now is create a container and storage pool which is basically allocating your storage to be made available to your Nutanix cluster so you can start building virtual machines.

You notice under the Acropolis hyper-visor label on the top left hand corner there is a box labelled “Storage Summary”  You notice there is no storage currently set.  Click on the link “create a container” which opens the configuration screen

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Give you container a name.  In my example I just went for “Container-01”.  Choose what you desire.  Then also click on the plus (+) sign to create your storage pool.  You need to create your storage pool before you can have a container.

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Give your Storage Pool a name, again I went for “StoragePool-01” and click “Save”.   This will take you back to the container config and you can click on “Save” again which commits these changes.

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You will be taken back to the home dashboard and you will see that you can now see available disk space in the cluster.

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That’s it.  You’re now ready to start configuring Virtual Machines and configure networking in Acropolis.  I will post a new blog post soon outlining this.  I’ve been using Acropolis for a month now and I must say I really like it and Prism a lot.  The ease of setup and configuration is really great compared to all the other major hyper-visors I’ve used.

I hope this information was informative and helpful.  If you have any questions specific to the product use the Discussion Forum in the Community Edition area on my.nutanix.com the feedback and help from the community and Nutanix staff is great.

Happy installing.

4 Comments on “Nutanix Community Edition Installation

Chris
September 10, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Great guide – good work! Found this very useful.

Reply
Sean Ferguson
September 25, 2016 at 2:10 am

How did you get the realtek onboard ethernet to work – pass the requirements check.

Reply
Gareth Chapman
October 28, 2016 at 8:14 am

Sean I did not have issues with the on-board adapter, what issues are you having?

Reply
Ankit Kumar Singh
October 24, 2016 at 5:23 pm

superb!! worked for me..:)

Reply

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