Note: This is not quite functional. Ubuntu is asking a few questions during the install and then ultimately failing. I would recommend using my other Ubuntu 12.04 tutorial using a preseed file to auto install.

Note: Updated to work with XCP 1.5b/1.6

Thanks goes out to Alastair Brunton for troubleshooting this tutorial for me.

Install Type

  • Non-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 this tutorial I create a disk, download a kernel, kickstart file and install Ubuntu using the kickstart file. This has proven very popular since you can't install a paravirtualized domain using an install disk. 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 Ubuntu mirror locally then downloading my files and editing them.

This tutorial isn't "debian pure" since I chose to use a kickstart file instead of a preseed file. I've created preseed files for doing automated installations of Ubuntu before but in this case I wanted this tutorial to be as close to the CentOS one as possible making it easier for me to maintain thus the kickstart file.


 Note: This tutorial is designed so you can copy and paste the text inside the 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.

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

2. Creating the VM and setting parameters

Here we create a new template from the Ubuntu 10.04 template. Then we create the VM from the new Ubuntu 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.*Ubuntu.*04.*64-bit' | awk -F: '/uuid/{print $2}'| tr -d " ")
NEW_TMPLUUID=$(xe vm-clone uuid=$TMPLUUID new-name-label="Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit)")
xe template-param-set other-config:default_template=true other-config:debian-release=precise uuid=$NEW_TMPLUUID
VMUUID=$(xe vm-install new-name-label="Ubuntu 12.04" template=${NEW_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 PV-args="ks= ksdevice=eth0"
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 interaction from the user at this point. It is however, nice to watch it using xenconsole. Once it's done installing it will shutdown.

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 log in as root to configure the network and reset the root users password.

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 Ubuntu 12.04 VM is running you can login. The password was automatically set by the kickstart file.

  • Username: root
  • Password: password

Reset the root users password as well as the Ubuntu user. If you want to keep the IP assignment dynamic note the ip address.

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} other-config:disable_pv_vnc
xe vm-start uuid=$VMUUID

7. Export our VM for safe keeping

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

xe vm-export uuid=$VMUUID filename=Ubuntu12.04-base.xva

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/Ubuntu12.04-base.xva

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