Node Deployment Guide (with an HSM)

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This runbook covers all steps necessary to install the Internet Computer Operating System (IC-OS) using the legacy NitroKey HSM instructions. To use the non-HSM onboarding instructions, follow the IC-OS Installation Runbook.

The physical machine is expected to be racked and stacked according to its respective manual.

To complete these steps, you are expected to be physically present in the data center your machine(s) reside(s). Once you successfully onboard your first node, you can bring up the others in parallel.

If you encounter issues through any of these steps, check the Node Provider Troubleshooting page. If that does not solve your problem, you are encouraged to ask for assistance in the Node Provider Matrix channel.

1. Choose onboarding path (HSM vs no HSM)

If you chose the HSM Node Provider Onboarding Path, continue to the next step.

If you chose to onboard without a Nitrokey HSM, follow the IC-OS Installation Runbook to onboard your nodes.

2. Obtain requirements

  • A USB (3.0 speed that can hold at least 4GB) to put the image file on.
    • Faster USBs will allow the process to go much faster.
  • The NitroKey HSM for your data center.
  • [Optional] A USB hub
    • This is helpful at some data centers for simultaneously connecting keyboard, mouse, Nitrokey, etc.
  • It is recommended that each server has a label with the BMC's MAC address for ease of identification in future dashboard upgrades.

3. Download installation image

Download the latest release of the IC-OS USB Installer Image and the corresponding checksum from the Internet Computer Dashboard Releases.

  • Note that you should always use a release from the last 6 weeks (newer is better) in order to ensure that your node can correctly correct to the network.

4. Verify checksum and unarchive file

Mac OS X

  1. Open the Terminal and type:
    shasum -a 256 ~/Downloads/disk-img.tar.gz
    
  2. Compare the calculated checksum with the IC-OS installation image checksum file downloaded in the previous step. Warning: Only continue if they are identical, otherwise please post your issue in the Node Provider Matrix channel.
    Open the Terminal and type:
    tar xzvf ~/Downloads/disk-img.tar.gz
    

Linux / Ubuntu

  1. Open the Terminal and type:
    sha256sum ~/Downloads/disk-img.tar.gz
    
  2. Compare the calculated checksum with the IC-OS installation image checksum file downloaded in the previous step. Warning: Only continue if they are identical, otherwise please post your issue in the Node Provider Matrix channel.
    Open the Terminal and type:
    tar xzvf ~/Downloads/disk-img.tar.gz
    

Windows

  1. Open PowerShell and type:
    Get-FileHash -Algorithm SHA256 .\Downloads\disk-img.tar.gz
    
  2. Compare the calculated checksum with the IC-OS installation image checksum file downloaded in the previous step. Warning: Only continue if they are identical, otherwise please post your issue in the Node Provider Matrix channel.
    Open PowerShell and type:
    tar xzvf .\Downloads\disk-img.tar.gz
    

5. Create Bootable USB Stick

Mac OS X

  1. Open the Terminal and type:
    diskutil list
    
  2. All available drives should be shown. Identify which device corresponds to your USB stick. You may need to unmount the USB drive:
    sudo diskutil unmount /dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE_MOUNTED_PARTITION # E.g. /dev/disk4s1
    
  3. Replace /dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE with the device that corresponds to your USB stick. Additionally, replace the path to your downloaded IC-OS disk.img file. Warning: You risk losing your own data if you specify a wrong drive.
    sudo dd if=/Users/YOUR_USER_NAME/Downloads/disk.img of=/dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE bs=1M status=progress
    
    If you get a “device is busy” error from the dd command, you can try running the following command to unmount all of the partitions on the disk, then re-run the dd command:
    sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE # E.g. /dev/disk4
    

Linux / Ubuntu

  1. Open the Terminal and type
    blkid
    
  2. All available drives should be shown. Identify which device corresponds to your USB stick. You may need to unmount the USB drive:
    sudo diskutil unmount /dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE_MOUNTED_PARTITION # E.g. /dev/sdb1
    
  3. Replace /dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE with the device that corresponds to your USB stick. Additionally, replace the path to your downloaded IC-OS disk.img file. Warning: You risk losing your own data if you specify a wrong drive.
    sudo dd if=/home/YOUR_USER_NAME/Downloads/disk.img of=/dev/YOUR_USB_DEVICE bs=1M status=progress
    

Windows

  1. Download and install Rufus Portable
  2. Start Rufus
  3. Select the USB stick under device and select the previously downloaded IC-OS disk image and press start
    screenshot
  4. You may see some warnings. Make sure you don't have any other USBs in your computer and chose OK
    screenshot
    screenshot
  5. The "Ready" bar will go from left to right as it completes.

6. Add configuration

A. Open Config.ini in a text editor

Mac OS X

  1. Open Finder. You should now be able to see the CONFIG partition. If it's not visible, remove the USB and insert it again.
    screenshot
  2. Double-click config.ini to open it in TextEdit.


Linux

  1. Open the File Manager. You should now be able to see the CONFIG partition. If it's not visible, remove the USB and insert it again.
    screenshot
  2. Double-click config.ini to open it in KWrite.


Windows

  1. Open the Disk Management utility with a right click on the Start menu.
    screenshot#:
  2. Right click the CONFIG partition.
  3. Select Change drive letter or paths...
    screenshot
  4. Select any letter from the drop-down list.
    screenshot
  5. Click OK.
  6. You should now be able to see the CONFIG partition in your Windows Explorer. Select the config.ini configuration file.
    screenshot
  7. Click on Edit to open it.

B. Edit Config.ini

Edit the config.ini file to add your network configuration.

Note that all Node Providers are requested to deploy two nodes with IPv4 and a domain name for every data center they operate in. Node Providers should deploy IPv4 to the first two nodes in their first rack.

  1. Insert your IPv6 prefix and gateway.
    screenshot
    • The IPv6 prefix should consist of four groups of hexadecimal digits, separated by colons (':'). Each group can contain up to four hex digits.
    • For example, a valid prefix could look like this: 2a00:fb01:400:200
    • Important:
      • The prefix should not have a trailing ':'
      • IPv6 CIDR notation allows for a double colon ('::') to represent consecutive groups of zeroes in an address. However, the prefix configuration in this context does not support '::'. The '::' shorthand should not be used. Even if some groups are all zeros, they must be explicitly written out.
  2. [Optional] Insert your IPv4 info and domain name.
    screenshot
    • Configuring your node with IPv4 settings is optional, but if you do configure your node with IPv4 settings, you must also define the domain name for your node.
    • Important:
      • Please note that you must use a unique IPv4 address for each node you deploy. This means that you cannot use a single IC-OS installation image to deploy multiple nodes (like you are able to do when just configuring IPv6 nodes). After each IPv4 node deployment, you must plug your IC-OS Installation USB stick back into your laptop and return to step 6 in the node deployment guide to reconfigure your installation image.
      • You can add, remove, or update your node’s IPv4 address and domain name after completing node deployment using dfx commands. See here for details.
  3. Save the changes.
    • If you have trouble saving this file directly, you may need to save to a known location first, then copy the file into place.
    • If you need help, please do not hesitate to post your issue in the Node Provider Matrix channel.
      screenshot

7. Connect Crash Cart

  1. In order to configure the UEFI and initiate the installation of the IC-OS, please connect a crash cart to the physical machine.
  2. Plug-in the VGA/Video, keyboard and IC-OS USB stick
    screenshot

8. UEFI Setup and Boot Menu

Use the related page below to set up the BIOS/UEFI according to your hardware vendor.

Important: Do NOT enable the RAID bios setting. Doing so will cause issues with the IC-OS installation.

Resume from this point when you are finished configuring the BIOS.

9. IC-OS Installation

  1. Please wait while the USB Installer is booting up. This process can take up to 3 minutes.
    screenshot
  2. The IC-OS installation starts. Please keep an eye on the progress. This part can take up to 10 minutes. Please remember to check the Possible Node Onboarding Errors page if you encounter any errors.
    screenshot
  3. Once you get asked to insert the HSM, please remove the keyboard and instead insert the HSM USB device.
    screenshot
  4. If the installation finished successfully, it will initiate a reboot. Please do not unplug the USB stick or HSM USB device at this point.
    screenshot


10. First Boot

Please remember to check the Possible Node Onboarding Errors page if you encounter any errors onboarding.

🚨 Do NOT re-try the IC-OS installation after completing this section, as this can cause duplication within the registry.

  1. The first boot of the IC-OS still requires the HSM USB device. Please wait until further instructions. This step can take up to 2 minutes.
    screenshot
  2. Once you see this message, you may unplug the HSM USB device, USB stick and VGA/Video. Your machine successfully joined the Internet Computer! **Label the server with the node ID for easy future identification in the dashboard (at least the first 10 characters).*** Note that each redeployment will assign a new node ID, so you will need to update your label if this was a 2nd redeployment.
    screenshot

Congratulations! Your machine successfully joined the Internet Computer! The machine has joined the IC and the Node Provider will start receiving rewards!

🚨 Again: Once you reach this stage and see this message, do not attempt to restart the onboarding process. Doing so may cause duplicate entries in the registry.

11. Verify node onboarding

  1. Verify that your node was successfully onboarded by checking its status on the dashboard is set to either “Awaiting Subnet” or “Active in Subnet”.
    • The dashboard can be searched by your Node Provider principal. There, you should see the Node ID of your node (Node ID outputted in step 10).
    • If the status of your node is not either “Awaiting Subnet” or “Active in Subnet”, or if it is not listed under your Node Provider principal, you should contact the Node Provider Matrix channel for assistance.
      screenshot