Install and Set Up an Environment for Razor

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Razor is a powerful tool created to automatically discover bare-metal hardware and dynamically configure operating systems and/or hypervisors. Because Razor will install on any eligible system, we highly recommend that you test Razor in an isolated test environment before you install it in your production environment.

The following sections describe the environment necessary for running Razor. This set up uses dnsmasq; however, you can use any DHCP and TFTP service with Razor.

Warning: We recommend first testing Razor on a completely isolated test environment because running a second DHCP server on your company’s network could bring down the network. In addition, running a second DHCP server that will boot into the Razor microkernel and register with the server has a bigger risk. In such a case, if someone has established a policy that node matches, a simple reboot could cause Razor to replace a server with a fresh OS install. See these strategies for provisioning in a brownfield environment for strategies for avoiding data loss.

Before You Begin

Things you should know before you set up provisioning:

  • Razor has been validated on RHEL/CentOS 6.x and 7.x versions.
  • It’s supported on these installer/agents: Win2012R2, ESXi 5.5, RHEL 6 & 7, CentOS 6 & 7, Ubuntu 14.04
  • The Razor microkernel is 64-bit only. Razor can only provision 64-bit machines.
  • Razor must not be installed on your PE master.

Installation Overview

Below are the essential steps. Each of these steps is described in more detail in the following sections.

  1. Install PE.
  2. Install and configure DHCP/DNS/TFTP service. We’ve chosen dnsmasq for this example setup.
  3. Configure SELinux to enable PXE boot.

    Note: you’ll download iPXE software in the steps for installing and setting up Razor.

  4. Optional: If you installed dnsmasq, then configure dnsmasq for PXE booting and TFTP.

Install PE in Your Razor Environment

Set up a Puppet master running a standard install of Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. For more information, see Installing Puppet Enterprise.

Later, when you’re provisioning machines, you need to make sure that PE is prepared to manage them. To do this, add the appropriate class for the repo that contains the agent packages, and then classify the PE Master node group with that class.

Note: Your Puppet master should not be installed on the same machine as your Razor server and client. Also: For virtual environments, we recommend using VirtualBox 4.2.22, because we have had the problem that VirtualBox 4.3.6 gets to the point of downloading the microkernel from the Razor server and hangs at 0% indefinitely. We don’t have this problem with VirtualBox 4.2.22.

Install and Configure dnsmasq DHCP/TFTP Service

The installation that’s described here, particularly these prerequisites, are one way to configure your Razor environment.

As stated in the Warning above, to avoid breaking your company network or inadvertently overwriting machines or servers on your network, we recommend that you first test Razor in a completely isolated test environment.

  1. Use YUM to install dnsmasq:

     yum install dnsmasq
  2. If it doesn’t already exist, create the directory /var/lib/tftpboot .
  3. Change the permissions for /var/lib/tftpboot:

     chmod 655 /var/lib/tftpboot

Temporarily Disable SELinux to Enable PXE Boot

  1. Disable SELinux by changing the following setting in the file /etc/sysconfig/selinux:


    Note: Disabling SELinux is highly insecure and should only be done for testing purposes.

    Another option is to craft an enforcement rule for SELinux that will enable PXE boot but will not completely disable SElinux.

  2. Restart the computer and log in again.

Edit dnsmasq.conf to enable DHCP

  1. Edit /etc/dnsmasq.conf. You must provide a DHCP range as indicated in this file. For example, if you want an IP range from - with a 24 hour lease, your file should look like this:

    # Uncomment this to enable the integrated DHCP server, you need
    # to supply the range of addresses available for lease and optionally
    # a lease time. If you have more than one network, you will need to
    # repeat this for each network on which you want to supply DHCP
    # service.
  2. Indicating a range name can be helpful for more complex setups. However, this is not required.

    dhcp-range=range1,,,24h dhcp-range=range2,,,48h

Edit the dnsmasq Configuration File to Enable PXE Boot

  1. Edit the file /etc/dnsmasq.conf, by adding the following line at the bottom of the file:

  2. Write and exit the file.
  3. Create the file /etc/dnsmasq.d/razor and add the following configuration information:

     # This works for dnsmasq 2.45
     # iPXE sets option 175, mark it for network IPXEBOOT
     # TFTP setup
  4. Enable dnsmasq on boot:

     chkconfig dnsmasq on
  5. Start the dnsmasq service:

     service dnsmasq start

Next: Install and Set Up Razor

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