Install New Machine

1. GTPI Registration

When you receive a new machine, make sure it has been registered to Inria’s inventory (GTPI). An Inria tag with a QR code and a number should be on the machine. If that is not the case, open a ticket.

2. IPAM Registration

Once the machine has a GTPI number, you need to register it to IPAM. IPAM is the service responsible for assigning an IP address to the machine. You will not be able to connect to the wire network if the machine is not registered to IPAM.

To register the machine to IPAM, open a ticket for installing a new machine. In the body of the ticket, you have to specify the following information:

  • Machine name: You need to find a name for the machine. The naming convention we adopted is the following :

    • Macbooks : mk-<name>

    • Linux laptops : lp-<name>

    • GPU cluster nodes : gpuhost<number>

    • Workstations : free

    You can check that a name is free on Beside that, you are free to use any reasonable name.

  • Model: for example Dell Latitude 5420.

  • Keyboard: QWERTY or AZERTY.

  • GTPI Number : number written on the GTPI tag, starting with 07 at the time of writing.

  • Serial Number

  • Mac Addresses: you can specify up to 3 mac addresses. You can give the ethernet addresses (there might be multiple interfaces), wifi address or the passthrough address. The passthrough address is transmitted via all interfaces (wifi and ethernet), so it should be enough by itself (I never tried it though). The passthrough address can be found in the BIOS.

  • VLAN : identifies our subnetwork at Inria. It is 21.

  • Network Group : the group of all machines of the team. It is net_thoth. You can check all machines of our network group with the command getent netgroup net_thoth on any machine.

  • OS (only for Macbooks) : Target OS to install.

3. OS Installation

Mac OS

We cannot install the Inria’s MacOS distribution ourselves. You should drop the machine at the office of the person responsible for the installation (Laurent Belhair, F206 at the time of writing), or let them know where is your office so they can come and get it. This should be mentionned in the ticket.

Linux (Ubuntu)

We can install the Inria’s distribution of Ubuntu via PXE (Ubuntu 18.04 is the latest version available as of September 2021). The machine needs to be connected to the network via wire (to an active ethernet outlet), and registered to IPAM.

1. BIOS setup

Make sure you are booting in UEFI and that Secure Boot is disabled (although you may not have a choice on older machines), and Network Boot is enabled. Change to boot order so that the network interface comes first. You can choose which disk you want to install the OS onto by disabling the other ones.


For workstations or servers, you can also physically unplug the other disks if it is easier. Disks can be identified with lshw -C storage and by looking at their serial number or storage capacity.

2. PXE Installation


If you are installing a machine with multiple drives, make sure to enable only the OS drive in the BIOS (or remove the other drives physically) before running the PXE install. If not, you will overwrite the scratch data.

The PXE interface should show up after booting, select Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Desktop for workstations and servers and Ubunut 18.04 LTS Laptop for laptops. The installation process can take a while.

When finished, you will receive and email (given that you are well registered to the mailing list) with a temporary root password.


For the Dell Latitude laptops, a Dell ethernet adapter is required.


The initial encryption password for laptops is linuxubuntu.

3. Post-Installation

Mac OS

When finished, go see the person responsible for the OS installation and create with them an administrator user thoth-admin with the laptop root password.


The post-installation scripts are available at : This repo needs to be cloned to your homedir.

On the new machine, log in with the temporary root password using tty (CTRL + ALT + f2), and go to your homedir to the post-install folder. If your are installing Ubuntu 18.04 LTS then cd post_install/ubuntu_1804.

  • Workstations : ./ install workstation and check the local storage.

  • GPU cluster node : ./ install gpu_node and check the local storage and OAR setup.


    Workstations and GPU node might require an additional step to setup the software RAID in /etc/fstab. (To complete)

  • Laptops : ./ install laptop

4. User Setup

Mac OS

Create a new user with the thoth-admin account. You can grant users administrator privileges.


  • Workstations/GPU nodes : Nothing to do.

  • Laptops : Make sure you are connnected to the wire network and execute the command /admin/ -l <username> with <username> corresponding to the target user. This will encrypt the disk. The user should use their LDAP password as the encryption password. If the LDAP password is changed afterwards, the encryption password will not change. The MI have a way to decrypt the disk if the password is lost.