A Commodity XenServer: The XenServer Install

This is the second part in my Commodity XenServer series.  Check out Part 1 here.

The XenServer Install

Now that I had the basic system  stable and ready to roll, I fired up the XenServer install CD.  (At this point, I was running a SATA hardrive, with an IDE DVD-ROM Drive.)  

The installer would run fine up until the point where I had to choose where I wanted to install from.  When I selected the local DVD drive, I would get the error message, “Base installation repository was not found at that location. Please check and try again.”  

After searching the Citrix support forums, I found that other people were having the same issue, but nobody had any answers yet.  So I did a ton of troubleshooting:

-I re-downloaded and burned another copy of the installer

-I tried installing via FTP and NFS

-I disabled all non-essential BIOS functions

-I removed all non-essential hardware

None of these worked, but I got a tip from the Citrix forums–That the issue probably had something to do with hard disks/SATA/IDE.  So I tried disabling all unused IDE/SATA channels, which was a no go.

 I then swapped out the IDE DVD drive for a SATA DVD drive and disabled all IDE channels on the motherboard–And it worked!

I posted my results in this Citrix forum thread.  

As I’m looking at the thread, it looks like there is another workaround, without having to go to SATA: (From the thread)

After starting the install and selecting the keyboard …

1) Hit Alt+F2 to switch to another console window
2) enter “modprobe ide-generi
c” return
3] switch back to the install window by hitting 

After I got this issue worked out, everything else fell into place, and I came up with a working XenServer 5.0 Update 3 install.

The only other issuing I am still having is that the onboard NIC is realtek, and I can’t seem to get working drivers–This is not a big deal though, since I threw in a Netgear NIC I had laying around, and then bought an Intel Pro dual-nic PCI card, which XenServer had drivers for out-of-the-box.

This wraps up the Xen-Server install, which I am happy to say is humming along just fine with 5 VMs currently active.


3 thoughts on “A Commodity XenServer: The XenServer Install

  1. Which Intel NIC did you use?


  2. ‘modprobe ide-generic’ did not work for me. I did a ‘modprobe -l’ on a subsequent reboot and found that the ide-generic module was already loaded. What I did find was that switching to a SATA DVDRW drive did work as yours did.


  3. I agree with Owen. we have a few Dell Optiplex desktops that are our test Xen Servers. Been tring to upgrade them from XenServer v5.5 to v5.6.1 fp1 and couldn’t becusae of an error during the install. Somthnig about repository not found.

    The dvd drives in these desktop are sliml ones similar to the type that fit into laptops.

    Anyway the solution was to attach another dvd drive (it was a dvd r/w) and the installed worked fine.


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