Prepare the Management Node

These steps prepare the Management Node or xCAT Installation

Install an OS on the Management Node

Install one of the supported operating systems on your target management node.

The system requirements for your xCAT management node largely depend on the size of the cluster you plan to manage and the type of provisioning used (diskful, diskless, system clones, etc). The majority of system load comes during cluster provisioning time.

Memory Requirements:

Cluster Size

Memory (GB)

Small (< 16)





> 16

Configure the Base OS Repository

xCAT uses the apt package manager on Ubuntu Linux distributions to install and resolve dependency packages provided by the base operating system. Follow this section to create the repository for the base operating system on the Management Node

  1. Copy the DVD iso file to /tmp on the Management Node:

    # This example will use ubuntu-18.04-server-ppc64el.iso
    cp /path/to/ubuntu-18.04-server-ppc64el.iso /tmp
  2. Mount the iso to /mnt/iso/ubuntu on the Management Node.

    mkdir -p /mnt/iso/ubuntu
    mount -o loop /tmp/ubuntu-18.04-server-ppc64el.iso /mnt/iso/ubuntu
  3. Create an apt repository file /etc/apt.repos.d/ubuntu18-dvd.repo that points to the locally mounted iso image from the above step. The file contents should appear as the following:

    name=Ubuntu 18.04 Server packages

Configure the Management Node

By setting properties on the Management Node before installing the xCAT software will allow xCAT to automatically configure key attributes in the xCAT site table during the install.

  1. Ensure a hostname is configured on the management node by issuing the hostname command. [It’s recommended to use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) when setting the hostname]

    1. To set the hostname of

    2. Add the hostname to the /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts to persist the hostname on reboot.

    3. Reboot or run service hostname restart to allow the hostname to take effect and verify the hostname command returns correctly:

      • hostname

      • hostname -d - should display the domain

  2. Reduce the risk of the Management Node IP address being lost by setting the interface IP to STATIC in the /etc/network/interfaces configuration file.

  3. Configure any domain search strings and nameservers using the resolvconf command.