Installing Ubuntu on A Dell Poweredge R710

After running a prototyped version of the Othernet off of my computer, I found that I needed a more stable long term solution.  I purchased a refurbished Dell-PowerEdge-R710-8-Core-2-5-034-Server-48GB-RAM from 2006 and figured I’d learn how to configure my own server to host the Othernet in Bed Stuy. This post will be about that.

Here is a photo of the Server:

Of course, it came with no instructions.  So I figured the first thing I would need to do is install an operating system…I chose Ubuntu.

To do this the first thing you need to do is create a virtual hard drive using your physical hard drive to boot into.  I had two one Terabyte of hard disks that I created a virtual disk with using the RAID interface.  Do not ask me what RAID stands for and why I need to do this. Here are the steps:

  • Boot up your server
  • Enter RAID controller using ctrl+R
  • hit F2 and select create New VD
    RAID 0 is the default.
  • Hit enter to enter the menu with choices(you want RAID 1, 10, or 5)
  • select the physical disks to put into the raid. Space bar selects them or deselects the
  • hit OK once you have selected all of the virtual disks
    now the virtual disk must be initialized.
  • To do this hit F2. Choose initialization and then “fast init” Use the arrow keys
  • Hit “yes” to confirm changes

Now you can reboot your server.  To install Ubuntu you need to download the .iso file to a usb and insert it. I used this:

Its sort of challenging and frightening when working with a refurbished server because you don’t know if the ports work.  In theory when the server is booting you can hit f11 to choose the boot options.  Typically you can find your inserted USB listed here.  However, I ran into issues because your USB must be formatted in a way that the server can read.  here is how i formatted my USB.

  • hdiutil convert -format UDRW -o /path/to/target.img /path/to/source.iso
  • mv /path/to/target.img.dmg /path/to/target.img
  • diskutil list ( and find your usb )
  • diskutil unmountDisk /dev/(your usb)
  • sudo dd if=/path/to/downloaded.img of=/dev/rdiskN bs=1m
  • diskutil eject /dev/(your disk)

NOW you can install ubuntu on a server.