Phoenics Help Desk

Installing RHEL on ThunderX using BMC vMedia


This is a video of a Phoenics FAE installing RHEL onto a Gigabyte ThunderX system using the BMC interface and  vMedia to locally mount an ISO (DVD image) file from the laptop hard drive.


NOTE: This video is being revised to include more information, yet; at a lower resolution so as to be more visible.  The current version can be obtained by emailing your Phoenics Electronics Sales Executive or at 

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    Frank Motta

    Preface for this posting:


    DO NOT EXPECT THE VGA TO BE USABLE AS A X INTERFACE AFTER INSTALL (although, newer versions are getting VGA and HID to work better)
    DO NOT EXPECT THE CONSOLE (BMC Ethernet) RJ45 TO BE USABLE WITHIN ThunderX (it is for the BMC)

    DO NOT EXPECT TO USE ANYTHING BUT 10GbE OPTICAL cables attached to one of the on-motherboard NIC ports for PXE install.

    1) If you are connecting to an RJ45 copper connector and it is not a PCIE card, It is the Ethernet/BMC OR RS232/BMC console like most modern servers.
    The RJ45 connectors on the back are either BMC serial or ethernet unless they are on a PCIe card.

    2) To install using the method that I prefer, you will need the following resources:
    - 1GbE network with DHCP server which you can also have a PC/workstation for use in install (I use my ThinkPad running Ubuntu)
    - USB Keyboard and USB mouse connected directly to the 2 console USB ports on the back of the system (some HUBS have failed)
    - A VGA monitor connected to the DB15 connector on the back of the chassis
    - RS232 DB9 connector (via Null modem) between your workstation and the DB9 Console connector on the back (I use minicom for this, Teraterm can work too)
    - 10GbE is optional if you want to allow the installer to upgrade the packages from the internet.
    - The OS ISO file on your workstation hard drive (Note: IceTea or the equivalent will be required to run via a web browser on this system)
    - A web browser to browse to the BMC WebUI (via the BMC Ethernet RJ45). This means you need to get the IP of the BMC (shown on VGA).
    - Recommended: Pictures of the CentOS install screens as the VGA will not be very readable (see attached pic)

    The process for Ubuntu image downloaded from The process that I use frequently is below:
    1) Connect to the RS232 serial console via DB9 (115200/8n1)
    2) Connect to the VGA and power on the chassis.
    3) Connect the BMC Ethernet RJ45 to a network with DHCP
    4) (optional for Ubuntu) Connect mouse and keyboard to the USB ports on back
    5) Power on the system and wait for the BMC IP to display on the VGA monitor
    6) Bring up a browser and navigate to the IP shown on the BMC VGA console monitor
    7) Log into the BMC WebUI using the IP shown on VGA (UID: admin PWD: password)
    8) Mount the Ubuntu ISO via vMedia (see link above)
    9) Use the BMC power control to power down the ThunderX (not the power button nor the power cable, the WebUI)
    10) Follow the install screens using the RS232 Console
    11) Reboot when install is done and follow instructions on RS232 serial to finish install.

    12) Install any addition NIC drivers for add-on card.

    If you need to get this system onto a 1GbE backbone after using the 10GbE or vMedia install, then; you will need to add a NIC card. We recommend QLogic 1/10GbE RJ45 cards. sales@phoenicselectronics can help you with this.

    Edited by Frank Motta