Install XenServer via usb flash drive

Rob —  September 3, 2013 — 1 Comment

USB Flash drives are getting cheaper and cheaper lately. I just picked up few at staples – 16GB flash drives for just under $8. I like to use them to install Linux – I always seem to scratch CDs or DVDs by the time I get to the datacenter!

This short article will show you how to install XenServer using a usb flash drive, though, you could use this similarly for other distributions of Linux as well like CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, etc..

We are going to use Linux to do this because chances are, if you’re a Linux admin, you’re using Linux on your workstation. Also, I’m not sure how to do this in Windows because I don’t use it.

First, download Unetbootin. You can install it using the package manager that is on your distribution:
(Debian, Ubuntu, etc..)

(CentOS, Fedora, etc..)

Next, let’s find out what your PC sees your usb drive as.  Plug it in and tail the /var/log/syslog (or /var/log/messages in CentOS/Fedora) to see what it tells you.  You’ll see something similar to this:


Next, let’s create a partition on your usb drive so that Unetbootin will play with it nicely. Once you plug it in, umount it, open fdisk and create a partition.  You’ll want to make sure you toggle the type as vfat (type ‘c’).  See the image below:



Write the changes (type ‘w’ in fdisk), then make the vfat filesystem (as root):

Once that finishes, you’re ready to go.  Unplug and plug your usb flash drive so that your PC mounts it automatically for you.  Then, fire up Unetbootin:



Pay no attention to the top half of it.  In the lower half, choose the diskimage (iso) that you want to write to the usb drive, then select the drive in the bottom section.

Click ‘OK’ and wait for it to tell you it finished.

Next, we’ll have to move some things around so that it will boot properly.

When it is done, type ‘mount’ to see where your usb is mounted:

If you don’t see it, you’ll want to mount it:

Let’s say it’s on /mnt/usb.  You’ll want to run the following to move and rename some files around:

That should be it. You can now boot up the server with your usb flash drive and install XenServer (or whatever iso you chose)

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One response to Install XenServer via usb flash drive

  1. Thanks so much for posting this,

    It has helped me out so much,

    I’ve finally figured this out.


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