Install OpenFiler from USB Drive

We just received a new storage server from DELL which will be used to host web server cluster. We will use Openfiler, a free NAS/SAN operating system to manage our RAID-10 storage.

The problem we have now is our storage server has no optical drive and we do not have any external optical drive available here in office. Alternatively, we can use USB stick drive and make sure our server are able to boot from USB.

Server: DELL PowerEdge R510
OS version: Openfiler 2.99 64bit
USB flash drive: /dev/sdb
RAID 10 virtual disk: /dev/sda

Preparing the Flash Drive

1. Download the ISO from here into your local PC. In my case, I downloaded the x86_64 distribution ISO.

2. Download UNetbootin from here. We will use this application to burn our ISO into flash drive.

3. Prepare our flash drive. Format it to FAT32 or FAT file system. Since I am using Windows 7, just right click to the drive and click ‘Format’.

4. Launch UNetbootin and select ‘Diskimage’. Locate the ISO file in your PC and click OK as screenshot below:

5. Once ready, we need to copy the whole ISO into a directory called ‘root’. Navigate to your USB pendrive and create a directory ‘root’ at the parent directory:


Once the copy completed, verify and make sure the ISO is exist as screenshot below:


Installing into the Server

1. Plug into the server’s USB port and press F11 to show boot options as below:

2. Accept default value up until you see installation method page. Choose “Hard Drive” and you just need to select /dev/sdb1 (our flash drive) and enter “root/” (without quote) so the installer can try to find the Openfiler ISO file (which we have save it earlier):

3. The installer should loaded properly now and you can proceed with the Openfiler installation wizard. Up until you see Bootloader Configuration setting, select “/dev/sda1    First sector of boot partition” as screenshot below:

4. Proceed with the installation wizard until Finish. It will required a reboot after installation completed. REMOVE THE USB DRIVE AS WELL!


Post-Installation Configuration

1. By default, Openfiler will boot to “Other” because this is the disk partition that we have install from (see below screenshot). Make sure during the first boot after installation finish, select the Openfiler kernel manually and press Enter:

2. After sysinit complete, you should see the login page of Openfiler. Login as root user and open this text file:

$ vi /etc/bootloader.conf

And change following line from this:

default other0

To this:

default 2.6.32-71.18.1.el6-0.20.smp.gcc4.1.x86_64

3. Save the file and run following command to apply the new bootloader configuration:

$ bootman

If you see some error, ignore it. This error indicate that /dev/sdb1 (the USB flash drive) is not exist which is correct.

Done. You can try to reboot once more to make sure that the bootloader will automatically select Openfiler instead of other device when booting.

12 thoughts on “Install OpenFiler from USB Drive

  1. Excellent Article, that’s exactly what I was looking for, because I don’t have a blank CD with me right now, thanks a lot 🙂

    Update: The installation couldn’t continue, giving an Exception which at it’s end states that “trying to mount already-mounted iso image!”

    Any idea why?


  2. In installing the server under step 2 the drive could be a different device i.e mine was sdc1 just fyi


  3. Actually, triggering bootman post-install may not be necessary. You may just do:
    # conary update conary
    # conary updateall

    The latest update (as of the time of writing) updates the kernel which makes it the default boot option in grub. If you won’t be doing updates (for whatever reason) or would be probably doing this during the first few weeks/days of OpenFiler’s existence, then you would really have to run/tweak the bootloader.


  4. Hi, Im getting the same error as Ahmad Amr.
    Ahmad Amr, did you ever find a resolution for this?

    Error: trying to mount alredy-mounted iso image!



  5. Good article, thanks.

    Tested & validate.

    Just be sure of the /dev/sdx …


  6. I just installed openfiler 2.99 on usb but when I do

    logon with root

    $ vi /etc/bootloader.conf

    I get error “Permission denied”

    Please help


    1. What is the file permission? What is the output of:
      ls -al /etc/bootloader.conf

      Try to remove the immutable if have:
      chattr -aui /etc/bootloader.conf


  7. thanks you work for me. before i used isohybrid (with other iso centos/redhat is working) but for this iso is fail. using this methode will be appear sdb1 (usb device).


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