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Cubbli USB install and rescue stick

The Cubbli install and rescue USB stick has the following useful features:

  • Can install Cubbli in any network, where cubbli.cs.helsinki.fi server is available (normal network, eduroam, CS Wifi , HY VPN, install network)
  • Can do automatic AD joining (this was first implemented for fuxi laptops 2017)
  • Works with UEFI and Secure boot
  • Installs Cubbli from a premade filesystem image, so installation is much faster than with Debian installer (with a new machine takes about 10-20 minutes)
  • By default the stick boots Cubbli to a ramdisk, so the stick can be removed immediately after boot
  • It also has a persistent small Ubuntu installation, if you want to save files to the stick
  • It provides an ssh server to which Cubbli admins can login remotely if there are installation or rescue problems on Cubbli hosts (this probably won't work on eduroam)
  • Can do LUKS encrypted installations

Create the USB install and rescue disc

  1. Insert a USB stick of at least 16G size to your Cubbli host where you have no data that you wish to keep. Larger sticks work fine too and you can add new partitions to the larger sticks. 
  2. First make sure that you belong to Cubbli administration group grp-it-lnxadm (Cubbli sudo-rights, if missing then contact Antti Luukkonen)
  3. If you are using a laptop, mount the /cs/group/ directory with command mount /cs/group
  4. Run command bash /cs/group/grp-it-lnxadm/cubbli-make-usb
  5. Select your USB stick from the dialog.
  6. Answer YES to wipe your stick and provide your password to sudo prompt.
jjaakkol@lx7-fuxi001:~$ bash /cs/group/grp-it-lnxadm/cubbli-make-usb
Wiping out this USB disk with Cubbli installer:
NAME MODEL SERIAL FSTYPE LABEL SIZE
sdb Storage Device 125C20100726 14.5G
├─sdb2 ext4 Cubbli-install 5G
├─sdb3 8.7G
└─sdb1 vfat CUBBLI-USB 300M
Type uppercase YES to wipe /dev/sdb: YES
Running command:
$ pv /cs/group/grp-it-lnxadm/cubbli-usb-16-current.gz | gunzip | sudo dd bs=1M conv=fdatasync of=/dev/sdb
You need to type you password for sudo.
[sudo] password for jjaakkol:
6.96GiB 0:59:42 [1.99MiB/s] [==================================================================>] 100%
0+286777 records in
0+286777 records out
15000000000 bytes (15 GB, 14 GiB) copied, 3818.1 s, 3.9 MB/s
jjaakkol@lx7-fuxi001:~$

Using the Cubbli USB stick

  • DO NOT RUN THE INSTALLER ON A HOST WHERE THERE IS DATA TO BE PRESERVED. IT WILL WIPE YOUR HARD DRIVES.
  • Make sure that you have USB boot enabled in BIOS
  • You don't need to turn off secure boot: as long as MS UEFI key is enabled in the system BIOS the stick should boot even with secure boot on
  • With HP BIOS hold down F9 when you turn the machine on (Enters boot menu):

HP Bios boot menu

  • Select your USB stick with UEFI boot
  • If you are confident that there are no bits to be preserved in the host to be installed, you can select AUTOMATICAL WIPE AND INSTALL from the menu. It will attempt install Cubbli with no further questions asked
  • With Cubbli ramdisk Live Install boot option you can use the stick as a rescue media to doublecheck that there is no data that needs preserving

  • Wait while the ramdisk loads and the nice penguin walks
  • After the desktop is loaded, you can safely remove the usb drive
  • If you didn't select AUTOMATICAL WIPE, you can now doubleclick the "Fuksi-laptop-installer" icon:

  • If everything goes well, the installer will guess your settings based on your hardware (including the keytab file for AD joining):

  • After about the 20 minutes the new installation should be ready to boot:

If there are problems with the installer, you can write down the IP address of the Linux host and notify it4science group. They can then remotely debug what went wrong.


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