If you need to host your server in some hosting facility, it can be useful to install it in headless regime, for two reasons. One is that you are going to be sure that you will be able to access it using your laptop only; you do not need monitor or keyboard. Second is that, since your server is accessible through net or serial console only, local watchman or cleaner will not mess up something for sure.
1. iLO setup
All modern HP servers come with iLO integrated. iLO does not have default IP address so you need to have DHCP server on your subnet where you are installing your HP server. Connect iLO port to network so it can obtain IP address. Connect to that IP address using browser. Default username is �Administrator� and default password is written on tag attached to your server. When you login to iLO you will see �Remote Console� tab. Here is explanation what it is:
Remote Console allows you to securely view and manage a server with Integrated Lights-Out. You can view the server console in both text and graphics modes, and use the keyboard and mouse, just as if you were standing in front of the remote server.
Remote Console - Text Mode support
Remote Console support for Text Mode is an iLO Standard feature that is included with your server. Using this feature you may view and interact with the boot-up sequence of your server, perform maintenance activities in text mode and manage non-graphical mode operating systems.
(copy/pasted from iLO)
By default you have only text mode. For graphical mode you need to pay additional license, which is not necessary if you intent to run Linux.
So start remote console, power on server and run �ROM-Based Setup Utility� (which is basically BIOS setup). Find virtual console settings, and set it up to COM1. By this, you will achieve that virtual console is on and it can be accessed as serial port also (ttyS0 or COM1, depends on how do you like it), which is important for Linux installation.
2. Download install disks from Red Hat Network and modify first one
I suppose you will download latest update for installation. Red Hat Linux in most versions starts up in frame buffer mode. Since you have only text based console, you will not be able to see anything on it, so you should modify boot disk so it will start in text mode. It is little bit tricky, since you need to modify ISO image.
Modifying ISO image
First of all mount image somewhere
mount -o loop example.iso /mnt/cdrom
Copy all contents to temp dir:
cp -vR /mnt/cdrom/* /somewhere
Now you need to change file isolinux/isolinux.cfg. First, remove the timeout line. Then modify default line to read:
default linux nofb
I also added same nofb directive to linux section (although I am not sure if it is necessary):
append initrd=initrd.img ramdisk_size=9216 nofb
Now you need to create new bootable ISO image and burn it to CD.
mkisofs -o /tmp/example_new.iso -R -J -hide-rr-moved -v -d -N -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -b isolinux/isolinux.bin .
3. Start the installation
Before starting installation, make sure that you are connected to your server.
-Connect to iLO using browser and start Remote Console (you will need Java support for this)
-SSH to iLO, login (Administrator/pass written on tag) and start virtual console port (VCP)
Burn newly created ISO image to CD and boot server from it. If you were lucky you will have prompt on console. Start installation using
and installation will start using serial console.