Release Notes 7.1

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LEAP (7.1)

Release Date: July 16th 2015
Kernel Version: 4.1
Architecture: ARMv8/AArch64


The LEAP (Linux for Enterprise Arm Platforms) Project is a Linux software distribution specifically intended to showcase the capabilities of these emerging 64-bit Enterprise ARM Server platforms under a variety of workloads. It has as its foundation an ARMv8/AArch64 build of the CentOS 7 sources, with various patches, backports, package up-versioning as appropriate and additional benchmarking packages to enable the effective evaluation and demonstration of AArch64 server systems.

The advent of ARM architecture based systems opened a door towards more energy efficient systems throughout the world. This technology had already begun to permeate deeply in the mobile sector thanks to their low energy consumption. However the same can not be said in an enterprise context. With the ever growing use of internet and mobile based computing for things such as e-commerce and social networks, the datacentres that power these networks grow as well. These datacentres consume vast amounts of energy as well as occupy large plots of land. ARM holds promise in enabling the reduction of the power, space and cooling needed in datacentres today. To allow for these ARM systems to find footing outside of a closed lab and into open deployment, a software distribution is needed to show what these machines are truly capable of. LEAP looks to become the bridge between the hardware and the rest of the world, providing a significant step towards the widespread use and commercialization of these energy efficient systems.

Extra tools

  • Iozone
  • Fio
  • Bonnie++
  • Koji
  • Mock

Supported Hardware

APM X-Gene X-C1

  • UEFI firmware
  • 1G (1GBase-T) network interface
  • 10G (sfp+) network interface
  • Multiple kernel bug fixes

AMD Overdrive Seattle (Bx)

  • UEFI firmware
  • 1G (1GBase-T) network interface
  • 10G (10GBase-KR) network interface


Supported installation methods:

  • PXE Boot with a Kickstart file (Default)
  • PXE Boot with the text mode installer
  • PXE Boot with the VNC GUI installer

WARNING: The default Kickstart file uses the entire first SATA disk (/dev/sda) and will wipe out any pre-existing partions.

PXE Boot

The requirements to enable a PXE Boot installation are as follows:

  • A DHCP Server
  • A TFTP Server

Instructions as to how these two servers can be set up and more generally how PXE Booting is set up can be found on Fedora's documentation.

After the set up of the above servers proceed as follows:

  1. Add the following options to the dhcp server's dhcpd.conf (It might be advisable to create a new group in the conf file for LEAP installations):
    next-server [ip-address-of-tftp-server]; 
    filename "leap/bootaa64.efi"; 
  2. Download this file and extract it in the root directory of the TFTP server: [link to TFTPBOOT directory for leap]
  3. This file structure will be produced:
    ├── bootaa64.efi
    ├── EFI
    │   ├── BOOT
    │   │   ├── bootaa64.efi
    │   │   └── fonts
    │   │       └── unicode.pf2
    │   └── leap
    │       ├── initrd.img
    │       └── vmlinuz
    ├── fonts
    │   └── unicode.pf2
    ├── grubaa64.efi
    ├── grub.cfg
    └── MokManager.efi
  4. Start up the TFTP and DHCP server.
  5. On the APM X-GENE X-C1 via serial console:
    1. Make sure this machine is being served by the dhcp server.
    2. Go into the UEFI boot menu.
    3. Add a new boot option with the Boot Device Manager.
    4. Select the PXE boot option where the MAC Address matches the respective entry for this X-C1 in the dhcpd.conf file on the DHCP server.
    5. Name the option "PXE Boot".
    6. When asked for additional arguments, there are none required.
    7. Boot from this new "PXE Boot" option.
    8. The installer should now start. Proceed with the installion through kickstart, VNC or text mode.
    9. When the installation is complete, it will reboot into the installed LEAP system

Installing with an Alternate Kickstart Configuration

The Kickstart file controls the installation: it determines the partitioning, root password, network configuration, software installed, and more.

To use an alternate Kickstart configuration file:

  1. Download the file
  2. Modify that file as desired.
  3. Install the Kickstart file on a location accessible via http to the target machine.
  4. Edit the grub.cfg file on your tftp server: change the URL in the boot argument 'ks=' to point to your edited Kickstart file.

For assistance on customizing your Kickstart file, documentation on how Kickstart installations work as well as the variety of installation options available can be found on the official github page for pykickstart.

Non-Kickstart Installation

To allow for Non-Kickstart installations edit the grub.cfg file on your tftp server and change the boot argument 'ks=' to 'inst.repo={URL of the repo}'.

For more information on Anaconda boot arguments to customize your installation, refer to the Anaconda page.

Post Installation

Logging In

One may log into the newly installed LEAP server through serial connection or ssh. Using the default Kickstart file the following root user is created:

   Username: root
   Password: leap

Obviously, public-facing systems should be secured against root login via ssh.

Updating and Installing Additional Software

To update the system to include all current updates (this should be run periodically):

   yum update 

To install additional software, use standard yum commands:

   yum list pattern # lists packages with pattern in the package name
   yum install package # installs the named package
   yum install --skip-broken @group # installs the named group of packages
   yum remove package # removes the named package
   yum info package # provides information about uninstalled package
   rpm -qi package # provides information about installed package

Known Issues

  • UEFI secure boot features are not used to authenticate the kernel.
  • Anaconda installer does not work in vnc or text mode, you must use a kickstart file. Will be fixed in a near future update.
  • X-Gene X-C1 10G interface may not provide full 10 Gbps throughput and must use fiber using Finisar fibre modules -- sfp+ direct attach do not work
  • grub2.cfg file uses initrdefi and breaks, kickstart %post script modifies this back to initrd
  • Package groups may not correctly reflect available packages. Use the --skip-broken option when installing groups with yum and/or install packages individually.
  • There are some package dependencies failures in the current package set, which will be addressed via updates.