Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) – Linux Templates Will Not Boot To CD/DVD

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It seems that the Linux templates in XCP 1.0 & 1.1 are all bugged and will not boot to a CD/DVD drive upon first boot of the virtual machine. This makes it very difficult to start up your installation media. In order to work around this you can either use the “Other Installation Media” template and fill in the blanks, or you can do a little command line magic once you create your virtual machine from one of the Linux templates. The problem is that the boot order does not get set from the template upon VM creation, so once you have the VM created do the following:

List all of the Virtual Machines currently on the server:

xe vm-list

You should see a list that contains all of your virtual machines in this format:

uuid ( RO): 68e93b9f-705c-a8c6-66df-4da9cec8ed9d
name-label ( RW): CentOS 5 (64-bit) (2011-07-14)
power-state ( RO): halted

Next check the current boot order setting by issuing the following command:

xe vm-param-list uuid=68e93b9f-705c-a8c6-66df-4da9cec8ed9d | grep HVM 

You will see something like this:

HVM-boot-policy ( RW): BIOS order
HVM-boot-params (MRW): order: 
HVM-shadow-multiplier ( RW): 1.000

Notice there is no boot order setting listed, add one by issuing the following command:

xe vm-param-set uuid=<VM UUID> HVM-boot-policy=BIOS\ order \
HVM-boot-params:order="dc"

Now check the boot order setting again:

xe vm-param-list uuid=68e93b9f-705c-a8c6-66df-4da9cec8ed9d | grep HVM

And we see that it is now set to “dc” a.k.a. CDROM/DISK

HVM-boot-policy ( RW): BIOS order
HVM-boot-params (MRW): order: dc
HVM-shadow-multiplier ( RW): 1.000

That’s it! You should now be able to start the virtual machine and have it boot to it’s installation media.