There are several great posts which show how to setup Nutanix CE in a HomeLab.
I will focus on my own setup , based on the Intel NUC6i7KYK. The setup is pretty straight forward up to the point when the onboard network comes into play. The Intel driver which is included in the Nutanix CE does not provide the right ones needed for the Intel NUC6i7KYK onboard network.
Overview of the Nutanix CE install process
- Make sure your environment meets the minimum requirements. The table shows that a minimum of two disks are needed, at least one SSD. That´s the reason why I used 2x SanDisk X400 M.2 2280 in my environment. Remember that NVMe drives are not working atm.
- Download the Nutanix CE disk image which will be copied to an USB flash drive. This will be the install and the boot device for this environment. The USB drive should be at least 8 GB in size but I recommend to use a device as big as possible. 32 GB flash drives starting at 10€. The reason is simple. If your environment for any reason starts to write extensive logs or data to the flash drive an 8 GB drive may end up with a wear out. Second! Maybe the image becomes bigger in the future?
- Boot from USB flash drive and start the installer with the right values (IP,DNS..) This step will install the Controller VM (CVM) to one of the SSD drives where all the Nutanix “Magic” resides. All local disks will be directly mapped to the CVM. This means the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV) which is KVM based is not able to use the storage directly anymore.
- If chosen a single node cluster will be created. In my case where I will build a three node cluster I will leave this option blank.
Step-by-Step Installation of Nutanix CE based on Intel NUC6i7KYKD
Download the Nutanix Community Edition. You need to register first!
Download the software by scrolling down to the latest build.
The image itself is packed with “.gz”. I used the tool 7zip to unpack the file. A file like ce-2016.04.19-stable.img will be unpacked which is ready to be copied to the USB flash drive.
Now attach the USB flash drive and download the tool called Rufus. This program enables to “raw” copy an img like this one byte by byte to an USB flash drive. Choose the right USB flash drive, then switch to “DD Image” (dd means disk dump). Last step is to choose the img file and “Start”.
ATTENTION !!!! Make sure to choose the right device!!!
The copy process takes a while!
Now we need to install the Intel network drivers
Now we need to copy the file “e1000e.ko” which is a kernel module to the USB flash drive. But the filesystem which is used on the USB flash drive is ext4 which MS Windows is not able to edit by default. So we need a tool like EXT2FSD to do so.
After the installation of EXT2FSD and a reboot you start the Ext2 volume Manager. In my case I needed to choose a drive letter manually to be able to work with the USB drive. So scroll down to the right device in the bottom window and select the drive and hit the “F4” key which should assign an unused drive letter.
Copy the file “e1000e.ko” to the USB flash drive in the following directory: “/lib/modules/3.10.0-229.4.2.e17.nutanix.20150513.x8
The USB flash drive is ready to boot on the Intel NUC6i7KYK!
Attach the USB flash drive to your Intel NUC6i7KYK and boot it. Feel free to change the boot order right now so that the Intel NUC6i7KYK will always boot from the USB flash drive.
Now the Intel NUC6i7KYK is ready to boot from the USB flash drive.
After the boot you should see the login screen.
Login as user “root” with the password “nutanix/4u”. Loading the Intel network driver works with the command “modprobe e1000e”. Use “exit” to return to the login screen.
The user “install” starts the installation.
Choose your keyboard setting. In my case I used “de-nodeadkeys”.
The following screen shows a small form. This is an examples for a single node setup.
You may miss the configuration for a 3 or 4 node cluster. If you would like to setup a multi-node cluster your setup could look like this. This means that the cluster itself will be created later and we just install the environment. (Acropolis Hypervisor = Host, CVM = Nutanix Controller VM)
There are two IPs which are needed to be configured. Host IP is the IP of the hypervisor. In the case of Nutanix CE the Acropolis hypervisor will be installed, which is based on the KVM hypervisor. There are a lot of changes compared to the vanilla KVM so it is not the same. The logic of all Nutanix functions are implemented in the Controller VM. This is the reason why the OS which is installed in the VM is called NOS (Nutanix OS). NOS is based on Centos.
The installation takes a while. In the end you should see a login screen with a random hostname.
The next post will show the configuration of the cluster.