Adding your system to Beaker

To add a system, go to any system search page, then click the Add button at the bottom of the page. Fill in the system’s details and click the Save Changes button to create a new record for your system. Define which architectures your system supports on the Arches tab. Then fill in the other details as described below.


In order to provision the system, Beaker needs to be able to resolve its FQDN consistently. The system must have a static IPv4 address assigned by DHCP and a matching A record in DNS which resolves to that address. It is also recommended to add a corresponding PTR record so that reverse hostname lookups work correctly on the system after it is provisioned.

If the system has multiple network interfaces, ensure that the MAC address in the DHCP reservation matches the network interface which the system’s firmware boots from.

DHCP option 42 (“NTP servers”) must be set, so that the system’s clock can be synchronized at the start of each recipe. Use a public NTP server if none are available in your lab.

The DHCP configuration must also include suitable netboot options for the system. Typically DHCP option 66 (“TFTP Server Name”) is set to the address of the lab controller and option 67 (“Boot File Name”) can either be set to bootloader/fqdn/image to take advantage of Beaker’s custom netboot loader support or a specific bootloader such as pxelinux.0 (see Boot loader images and Boot loader configuration directory).

Power control

If the system supports remote power control, either through an out-of-band management controller or using a switchable power port, configure the details on the Power Config tab. Virtual machines can use the virsh power type.

This is a prerequisite for automatic (unattended) provisioning. If the system has no remote power control, you will have to reboot it manually when Beaker provisions it.

Boot order

For automatic provisioning, you must also configure the system’s firmware to boot from the network first. Beaker will ensure that the system either boots an installer image over the network or falls back to booting from the local hard disk as appropriate. See Provisioning process for details about how automatic provisioning works in Beaker.

Remote console

If your system supports remote console access (serial-over-LAN or similar), you can hook it up to the conserver in your lab. This will allow Beaker to capture console logs and detect kernel panics.

Install options

Use the Install Options tab to set default install options for your system, if necessary. See Install options to learn about these settings. Refer to the Anaconda documentation for the available kernel options.

If you have connected the system’s serial console to conserver, set the console kernel option appropriately. For example, assuming the system’s serial-over-LAN device appears as the second serial port, set console=ttyS1,115200n8.

By default Beaker will apply ksdevice=bootif to the kernel options (this is defined in /etc/beaker/server.cfg). This setting is suitable for x86-based systems booting PXELINUX, but for other systems (including UEFI-based systems) which have more than one network interface, you must set the ksdevice option explicitly, otherwise Anaconda will prompt for which interface to use during installation. If only one network interface has a cable connected, you can set ksdevice=link. If more than one interface has a cable connected, you must nominate a specific interface to be used for installation: ksdevice=00:11:22:33:44:55.

Next steps

To test your system’s configuration, try provisioning it (see Provisioning a system). You can watch the provisioning process through the console. Please, be patient. The provisioning may take some time.

To populate your system’s hardware details in Beaker, you should create a job to run the Beaker-provided /distribution/inventory task on the machine. The easiest way to do this is to use the bkr machine-test command to generate and submit an appropriate job definition:

bkr machine-test --inventory --family=RedHatEnterpriseLinux6 \
     --arch=x86_64 --machine=<FQDN>

Once your system is operational, you may want to use Beaker’s system sharing features to let others use or administer your system.