The easiest way to get new images into your Emulab is to import them from
Utah. In fact, when you setup your new Emulab, several standard images were
imported during the install process. If you log into the web interface,
click on the 'Experimentation' menu, and then click on 'List Images', you
will see a small set of images, which include recent versions of Ubuntu,
CentOS, and FreeBSD.
In general, these images should boot on most typical 64 bit x86 nodes. If
they do boot, most of the time it is simply missing drivers. If this turns
out to be a problem for you, it is a good idea to contact Utah via the
emulab-admins google group so we can help you out.
Note that we no longer support 32-bit OS images. If you have 32-bit only machines, then contact Utah. We have some older (Ubuntu 12, FreeBSD 8) images you could start with.
When we talk about images, we are referring to images created with Emulab's Frisbee disk imaging system. By (our) convention, these files end in .ndz. There are two basic types of images: whole-disk and partition.
Whole-disk images include an x86 DOS-style Master Boot Record (MBR) which includes a partition table describing one or more partitions on the disk. Each partition has a type, offset and size. The type is used by the imaging system to determine what OS is in the partition. These images are no longer supported.
Partition images include the contents of a single DOS partition. The important thing to understand here is that a partition image cannot be properly restored to a disk unless the disk already has a valid MBR which defines the partitions.
Note that at this time, booting with GPT partitions is not supported. Since we only support MBR on the boot disk, you will not be able to use more that 2TB of the boot disk.
Images in the database
The Emulab database has a record for each image in the system. In addition
to the name of the image and its unique ID, it also contains info about
whether it is a whole-disk image or not, what MBR version, and what OS is
in each partition.
Once you have an initial set of images in the database, new images are
created through the web interface by customizing an existing image and
taking snapshot of disk after you have finished making your changes.
This is described below.
As mentioned above, you probably already have a set of images downloaded
during the installation process. More images and new versions of images
you already have are probably available from Utah. Contact Utah via the
emulab-admins google group to find out the URL(s) you need for the image
import process. Once you have that URL, you would do the following:
wap image_import -g URL_OF_IMAGE
A note about the URL; this points to an XML file that describes the image,
and inside the XML is another URL, for the .ndz file (bucket of bits). The
'-g' option says to go ahead and actually download the .ndz file. Once the
ndz file is downloaded, you will be able to view the details on the 'List
Images' web page.