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Installing flexVDI 3.0

Unlike previous versions, that shipped as a full CentOS 6.5-based distribution, flexVDI 3.0 consists of a repository of RPM packages that can be installed on either Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or CentOS 7. So, first of all you have to install one of these two operating systems.

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During the installation, please follow these simple guidelines:

  • The minimal edition is enough to have flexVDI up and running. Although we do our best to avoid problems, installing other packages, in particular qemu-kvm and its dependencies, may result in conflicts.
  • On Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, you will have to enable the rhel-server-extras-rpms yum repository for some of the flexVDI dependencies.

  • Upgrade to the latest revision of the distribution with yum update, and reboot if the kernel version has been upgraded too.
  • The flexvdi package will conflict with any kernel for which an OCFS2 module is not yet available. This may cause some problems when a new RHEL / CentOS release becomes public (e.g. upgrading from 7.4 to 7.5), so try to stick to the previous version until we publish the new module.
  • Do not create a normal user named "flexvdi". Some flexVDI components make use of a user account with that name and they may fail in unexpected ways if you also use it to log in.

Then, the flexVDI 3.0 installer will help you configure the access to the repository. Download it to your first host and run it:

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# chmod u+x ./flexvdi-installer-3.0
# sudo ./flexvdi-installer-3.0

The installer will first show you the End User License Agreement. You must accept it in order to install flexVDI 3.0. You can use "space" key to move forward, and "q" to end viewing the license terms (as you do when using the "less" command). Then, follow the instructions to log in the Customer Portal:

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1.- Subscribe this host with the flexVDI Customer Portal
   Enter a name for this host [flexhost01.example.com]:
   Enter your Customer Portal username: test
   Enter your Customer Portal password: ********
Successfully logged in the Customer Portal!

The next step will show you a list with your currently active contracts, and you can select one of them. If there is only one, it is selected for you:

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2.- Configure yum repositories

- Repository flexVDI 3.0 needs an active contract.
  Using contract flexVDI 3.0 30-day Evaluation (2017-08-22 - 2017-09-21)

Finally, the installer will use yum to install the flexVDI packages for you. Once done, you can continue configuring your first flexVDI host.

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If you have any problem during package installation, you do not have to run the installer again. Just run 'yum install flexvdi' as you would do with any other package.

Updating flexVDI 3.0

In general, updating the flexVDI packages when a new version is published is as easy as running yum update on your hosts. However, always take these considerations into account:

  1. For binary compatibility issues, there must be a different kmod-ocfs2-flexvdi package for each CentOS/RHEL release. So, the flexvdi metapackage will block the installation of a new kernel for which a compatible kmod-ocfs2 package version does not exist yet. However, this is not bulletproof, so be advised that your image storages will not be accessible if you boot into such a kernel. Always check that your kmod-ocfs2-flexvdi package version matches your kernel release. Besides, if you update your kernel, you have to manually install the appropriate kmod-ocfs2-flexvdi package, because it is not automatically updated.
  2. Although they seldom change, updating ocfs2-tools-* packages will restart the ocfs2/o2cb service. This, in turn, will remount your shared storage volumes, killing any virtual machine that was using a virtual disk image in any of these volumes. So, better cleanly stop your virtual machines before updating these packages.

For more details about updating see Updating flexVDI host packages