Note: Updated to work with XCP 1.5b/1.6

Install Type

  • Interactive
  • Network boot
  • Commandline
  • Paravirtualized


  • XCP/Xenserver
  • Access to Internet
  • Working DHCP server
  • Working DNS name resolution


This tutorial was written in the spirit of my CentOS 6 VM (64 bit) automated installation on XCP  howto. In that tutorial I do an automated network installation of CentOS 6. This has proven very popular since you can't install a paravirtualized domain using a physical install media. This has been a very nice installation howto because you don't have to download any install CD/DVDs and you could create VMs using nothing more than a commandline login. It's also very nice because it can be mirrored locally if you're doing a bunch of them just by rsyncing a CentOS mirror locally then downloading my files and editing them.

There became a need to do the same thing using OpenSuse thus this tutorial.  

 Note: This tutorial is designed so you can copy and paste the text inside the yellow boxes. I don't actually type any of this in and neither should you.


1. Getting the network info

This line gets the Network UUID for xenbr0. If you're using a different bridge you will want to insert it here. Get a list of XCP networks with xe network-list. This network is connected to the outside interface. This tutorial requires there to be a DHCP server on this network answering requests and providing network access to the Internet. 

Note: If you're using a different bridge/network than xenbr0 change it here before continuing otherwise the install will fail.

NETUUID=$(xe network-list bridge=xenbr0 --minimal)


2. Creating the VM and setting parameters

Here we create the VM from the RHEL6 template, create a network interface and add it to our network from step one. Additional settings are for configuring the install repository and specifying the kickstart file from my site. The last setting turns off VNC so we can watch the install via a text console (very important in my environment).  Even if you can't see all the text below just highlight and paste. The text is there even if it's not visible.

TMPLUUID=$(xe template-list | grep -B1 'name-label.*SUSE.*11 SP.*64-bit' | awk -F: '/uuid/{print $2}' | tr -d " ")
VMUUID=$(xe vm-install new-name-label="openSUSE11" template=${TMPLUUID})
xe vif-create vm-uuid=$VMUUID network-uuid=$NETUUID mac=random device=0
xe vm-param-set uuid=$VMUUID other-config:install-repository=
xe vm-param-set uuid=${VMUUID} other-config:disable_pv_vnc=1

3. Starting the VM and watching the install

The VM installs without any interraction from the user at this point. It is however, nice to watch it using xenconsole. Once it's done installing it will shutdown. Don't be alarmed if it hangs a bit during this step as that seems to be normal in my experience.

If you're using XCP 1.0/1.1

xe vm-start uuid=$VMUUID
DOMID=$(xe vm-list uuid=${VMUUID} params=dom-id --minimal)
/usr/lib/xen/bin/xenconsole ${DOMID}

If you're using XCP 1.5b/1.6

xe vm-start uuid=$VMUUID
xe console uuid=$VMUUID

4. Starting the VM and configuring settings

We need to boot the VM up again and using xenconsole login as root to configure the network.

If you're using XCP 1.0/1.1

xe vm-start uuid=$VMUUID
DOMID=$(xe vm-list uuid=${VMUUID} params=dom-id --minimal)
/usr/lib/xen/bin/xenconsole ${DOMID}

If you're using XCP 1.5b/1.6

xe vm-start uuid=$VMUUID
xe console uuid=$VMUUID

Now that your openSUSE 11 VM is running you can login using the credentials you set during install.


5. Shutting down the VM and re-enabling VNC

If you're going to use XVP or some other method of connecting to the VMs direct VNC connection you'll need to enable it.

xe vm-shutdown uuid=$VMUUID
xe vm-param-remove uuid=${VMUUID} param-name=other-config param-key=disable_pv_vnc
xe vm-start uuid=$VMUUID

6. Export our VM for safe keeping

Before you start modifying the base image you should back it up.

xe vm-export uuid=$VMUUID filename=openSUSE-base.xvaCentOS

Be aware that you may not have enough space on the Control Domain's disk to export it. A good solution (and shorter than explaining how to add disks to the control domain) is to mount an nfs volume and export it there.

mount nfsserver:/share /media/share
xe vm-export uuid=$VMUUID filename=/media/share/openSUSE-base.xva

This would mount the NFS share on nfsserver to /media/share. The exported disk would be saved on the NFS share.