Node Deployment Guide

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This runbook covers all steps necessary to install the Internet Computer Operating System (IC-OS).

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

To complete these steps, you are expected to by physically present with your machine(s). Once you successfully onboarded your first node, you can bring up the other nodes in parallel.

If you encounter issues during any of these steps, consult the Troubleshooting Node Deployment Errors page.

1. Choose onboarding path (HSM vs. no HSM)

If you chose the HSM Node Provider Onboarding Path, follow the NitroKey HSM installation runbook to onboard your nodes.

If you chose to onboard without a Nitrokey HSM, continue to the next step.

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 node_operator_private_key.pem for your data center (Acquired from Node Provider Onboarding step 6)
  • It is recommended that each server have 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 that is less than 6 weeks old in order to ensure that your node can correctly connect 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.
      screenshot

C. Copy Node Operator private key to config partition

  1. Copy node_operator_private_key.pem (created in Node Provider Onboarding step 6) to the CONFIG partition. This file should have the name node_operator_private_key.pem, and sit next to config.ini, NOT inside the ssh_authorized_keys folder.

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

Make sure that server date/time is set to UTC (Universal Time Coordinated)

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 Troubleshooting Node Deployment Errors page if you encounter any errors.
    screenshot
  3. If the installation finished successfully, it will initiate a reboot.
    screenshot

10. First Boot

Please remember to check the Troubleshooting Node Deployment Errors page if you encounter any errors.

  1. Once you see this message, you may unplug the USB stick and VGA/Video.
    screenshot

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

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 is 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 consult the Troubleshooting Node Deployment Errors page.
      screenshot