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REPLACED BY (Example script to install NixOS on a Leaseweb dedicated server via the Leaseweb GRML rescue mode)
#!/usr/bin/env bash
# Installs NixOS on a Leaseweb server, wiping the server.
# This is for a specific server configuration; adjust where needed.
# Originally written for a Leaseweb HP DL120 G7 server.
# Prerequisites:
# * Update the script to adjust SSH pubkeys, hostname, NixOS version etc.
# Usage:
# ssh root@YOUR_SERVERS_IP bash -s <
# When the script is done, make sure to boot the server from HD, not rescue mode again.
# Explanations:
# * Following largely
# * Adapted from
# * Following largely
# * **Important:** We boot in legacy-BIOS mode, not UEFI, because that's what the HP DL120 G7 supports,
# see
# * NVMe devices aren't supported for booting (those require EFI boot)
# * We set a custom `configuration.nix` so that we can connect to the machine afterwards.
# * This server has 2 HDDs.
# We put everything on RAID1.
# Storage scheme: `partitions -> RAID -> LVM -> ext4`.
# * A root user with empty password is created, so that you can just login
# as root and press enter when using a KVM.
# Of course that empty-password login isn't exposed to the Internet.
# Change the password afterwards to avoid anyone with physical access
# being able to login without any authentication.
# * The script reboots at the end.
set -eu
set -o pipefail
set -x
# Inspect existing disks
# Undo existing setups to allow running the script multiple times to iterate on it.
# We allow these operations to fail for the case the script runs the first time.
set +e
umount /mnt
vgchange -an
set -e
# Stop all mdadm arrays that the boot may have activated.
mdadm --stop --scan
# Prevent mdadm from auto-assembling arrays.
# Otherwise, as soon as we create the partition tables below, it will try to
# re-assemple a previous RAID if any remaining RAID signatures are present,
# before we even get the chance to wipe them.
# From:
# We use `>` because the file may already contain some detected RAID arrays,
# which would take precedence over our `<ignore>`.
echo 'AUTO -all
ARRAY <ignore> UUID=00000000:00000000:00000000:00000000' > /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf
# Create partition tables (--script to not ask)
parted --script /dev/sda mklabel gpt
parted --script /dev/sdb mklabel gpt
# Create partitions (--script to not ask)
# We create the 1MB BIOS boot partition at the front.
# Note we use "MB" instead of "MiB" because otherwise `--align optimal` has no effect;
# as per documentation
# > Note that as of parted-2.4, when you specify start and/or end values using IEC
# > binary units like "MiB", "GiB", "TiB", etc., parted treats those values as exact
# Note: When using `mkpart` on GPT, as per
# the first argument to `mkpart` is not a `part-type`, but the GPT partition name:
# ... part-type is one of 'primary', 'extended' or 'logical', and may be specified only with 'msdos' or 'dvh' partition tables.
# A name must be specified for a 'gpt' partition table.
# GPT partition names are limited to 36 UTF-16 chars, see
parted --script --align optimal /dev/sda -- mklabel gpt mkpart 'BIOS-boot-partition' 1MB 2MB set 1 bios_grub on mkpart 'data-partition' 2MB '100%'
parted --script --align optimal /dev/sdb -- mklabel gpt mkpart 'BIOS-boot-partition' 1MB 2MB set 1 bios_grub on mkpart 'data-partition' 2MB '100%'
# Relaod partitions
# Wait for all devices to exist
udevadm settle --timeout=5 --exit-if-exists=/dev/sda1
udevadm settle --timeout=5 --exit-if-exists=/dev/sda2
udevadm settle --timeout=5 --exit-if-exists=/dev/sdb1
udevadm settle --timeout=5 --exit-if-exists=/dev/sdb2
# Wipe any previous RAID signatures
mdadm --zero-superblock --force /dev/sda2
mdadm --zero-superblock --force /dev/sdb2
# Create RAIDs
# Note that during creating and boot-time assembly, mdadm cares about the
# host name, and the existence and contents of `mdadm.conf`!
# This also affects the names appearing in /dev/md/ being different
# before and after reboot in general (but we take extra care here
# to pass explicit names, and set HOMEHOST for the rebooting system further
# down, so that the names appear the same).
# Almost all details of this are explained in
# and the followup comments by Doug Ledford.
mdadm --create --run --verbose /dev/md0 --level=1 --raid-devices=2 --homehost=leaseweb --name=root0 /dev/sda2 /dev/sdb2
# Assembling the RAID can result in auto-activation of previously-existing LVM
# groups, preventing the RAID block device wiping below with
# `Device or resource busy`. So disable all VGs first.
vgchange -an
# Wipe filesystem signatures that might be on the RAID from some
# possibly existing older use of the disks (RAID creation does not do that).
# See
wipefs -a /dev/md0
# Disable RAID recovery. We don't want this to slow down machine provisioning
# in the rescue mode. It can run in normal operation after reboot.
echo 0 > /proc/sys/dev/raid/speed_limit_max
# PVs
pvcreate /dev/md0
# VGs
vgcreate vg0 /dev/md0
# LVs (--yes to automatically wipe detected file system signatures)
lvcreate --yes --extents 95%FREE -n root0 vg0 # 5% slack space
# Filesystems (-F to not ask on preexisting FS)
mkfs.ext4 -F -L root /dev/mapper/vg0-root0
# Creating file systems changes their UUIDs.
# Trigger udev so that the entries in /dev/disk/by-uuid get refreshed.
# `nixos-generate-config` depends on those being up-to-date.
# See
udevadm trigger
# Wait for FS labels to appear
udevadm settle --timeout=5 --exit-if-exists=/dev/disk/by-label/root
# NixOS pre-installation mounts
# Mount target root partition
mount /dev/disk/by-label/root /mnt
# Installing nix
# Allow installing nix as root, see
mkdir -p /etc/nix
echo "build-users-group =" > /etc/nix/nix.conf
curl -L | sh
set +u +x # sourcing this may refer to unset variables that we have no control over
. $HOME/.nix-profile/etc/profile.d/
set -u -x
# Keep in sync with `system.stateVersion` set below!
# nix-channel --add nixpkgs
nix-channel --add nixpkgs
nix-channel --update
# Getting NixOS installation tools
nix-env -iE "_: with import <nixpkgs/nixos> { configuration = {}; }; with; [ nixos-generate-config nixos-install nixos-enter manual.manpages ]"
nixos-generate-config --root /mnt
# Find the name of the network interface that connects us to the Internet.
# Inspired by
RESCUE_INTERFACE=$(ip route get | grep -Po '(?<=dev )(\S+)')
# Find what its name will be under NixOS, which uses stable interface names.
# See
# There is a known complication in that Linux somewhere between 4.19 and 5.4.27
# switched from classifying only 1 of the 2 network interfaces of the server as
# "onboard" to classifying both as "onboard", thus "enp2s0" shows up as "eno0"
# instead in newer kernels.
# See:
# So once the Leaseweb GRML rescue mode upgrades to a newer kernel, the value of
# `NIXOS_INTERFACE` should be successfully found from `RESCUE_INTERFACE` using
# the `ID_NET_NAME_ONBOARD` grep below; but until then (when the grep is empty)
# we have to detect this situation, turning `enp2s0` into `eno0` ourselves,
# because we want to boot a NixOS that uses the new kernel (>= 5.4.27) of which
# we know that it will detect the card as "onboard" and thus call it "eno".
INTERFACE_DEVICE_PATH=$(udevadm info -e | grep -Po "(?<=^P: )(.*${RESCUE_INTERFACE})")
UDEVADM_PROPERTIES_FOR_INTERFACE=$(udevadm info --query=property "--path=$INTERFACE_DEVICE_PATH")
set +o pipefail # allow the grep to fail, see comment above
set -o pipefail
# The following `if` logic can be deleted once versions < 20.03 are no longer relevant.
if [ -z "$NIXOS_INTERFACE" ]; then
echo "Could not determine NIXOS_INTERFACE from udevadm, RESCUE_INTERFACE is '$RESCUE_INTERFACE'"
# Set this to 1 iff you are installing a newer kernel as described in the comment above:
if [ "$INSTALLING_NEWER_KERNEL" == "1" ]; then
echo "INSTALLING_NEWER_KERNEL=1 is active, setting NIXOS_INTERFACE=eno0"
IP_V4=$(ip route get | grep -Po '(?<=src )(\S+)')
echo "Determined IP_V4 as $IP_V4"
# From
read _ _ DEFAULT_GATEWAY _ < <(ip route list match 0/0); echo "$DEFAULT_GATEWAY"
# The Leaseweb GRML Rescue mode as of writing has no IPv6 connectivity,
# so we cannot get the IPv6 address here.
# Generate `configuration.nix`. Note that we splice in shell variables.
cat > /mnt/etc/nixos/configuration.nix <<EOF
{ config, pkgs, ... }:
imports =
[ # Include the results of the hardware scan.
# Use GRUB2 as the boot loader.
# We don't use systemd-boot because this Leaseweb server model uses BIOS legacy boot.
boot.loader.systemd-boot.enable = false;
boot.loader.grub = {
enable = true;
efiSupport = false;
devices = [ "/dev/sda" "/dev/sdb" ];
boot.loader.grub.extraGrubInstallArgs = [
# The HP DL120 G7 server's BIOS has a bug that it apparently cannot
# correctly address disk contents past 2 TiB. This makes booting fail
# when booting from a single big "/" disk. Booting from a small "/boot"
# is one workaround, but another is to use GRUB2's "nativedisk" disk
# driver module instead of the ones the BIOS provides.
# Because we cannot load those modules from disk before the disk is
# accessible, we need to bake them into the GRUB2 "core.img" kernel
# using the following commands, also providing the device specific
# disk drivers (we give both "ahci" for SATA and "pata" for IDE, and
# both "part_gpt" and "part_msdos", to support more configurations).
# Requires:
"--modules=nativedisk ahci pata part_gpt part_msdos diskfilter mdraid1x lvm ext2"
# Switch GRUB2 to console output.
# This disables the graphical (pixel-based) menu with the custom boot splash
# ("terminal_output gfxterm") and renders the simpler console-based menu instead.
# This allows it to appear on remote administration consoles like "TEXTCONS".
# See also:
# At least in NixOS 20.03, an alternative would be to set
# "boot.loader.grub.font = null;", because that not being null by default is
# what enables "gfxterm" in the first place (which I think is bad and unclear).
# See for that.
boot.loader.grub.extraConfig = ''
terminal_output console
terminal_input console
'' +
# Enable serial input/ouput in addition, and use it.
# This enables administering the machine via serial, e.g. HP's iLO3 "VSP" command.
# (We do not combine this with the above but do it afterwards, so that in case
# any serial-related activation fails, we at least still have console output.)
# Note that using e.g. "TEXTCONS" first and then switching to "VSP" (serial)
# in the same GRUB2 session may not work (likely, GRUB2 detects at start whether
# a serial is attached).
terminal_output --append serial
terminal_input --append serial
boot.kernelParams = [
# * "vga=normal" because e.g. HP's iLO3 "TEXTCONS" does
# apparently not support extended VGA modes.
# GRUB2 will print something about "vga=normal" being deprecated, but that
# is just its own opinion, Linux did not deprecate the boot option.
# * "nomodeset" to prevent the kernel to switch away from normal VGA display
# Without them, one gets after a short time:
# Monitor is in graphics mode or an unsupported text mode.
"vga=normal" "nomodeset"
networking.hostName = "leaseweb";
# The mdadm RAID1s were created with 'mdadm --create ... --homehost=leaseweb',
# but the hostname for each machine may be different, and mdadm's HOMEHOST
# setting defaults to '<system>' (using the system hostname).
# This results mdadm considering such disks as "foreign" as opposed to
# "local", and showing them as e.g. '/dev/md/leaseweb:root0'
# instead of '/dev/md/root0'.
# This is mdadm's protection against accidentally putting a RAID disk
# into the wrong machine and corrupting data by accidental sync, see
# and onward.
# We set the HOMEHOST manually go get the short '/dev/md' names,
# and so that things look and are configured the same on all such
# machines irrespective of host names.
# We do not worry about plugging disks into the wrong machine because
# we will never exchange disks between machines.
environment.etc."mdadm.conf".text = ''
HOMEHOST leaseweb
# The RAIDs are assembled in stage1, so we need to make the config
# available there.
boot.initrd.mdadmConf = config.environment.etc."mdadm.conf".text;
# Network
# Leaseweb uses static IP assignments only, see:
networking.useDHCP = false;
networking.interfaces."$NIXOS_INTERFACE".ipv4.addresses = [
address = "$IP_V4";
prefixLength = 24;
networking.defaultGateway = "$DEFAULT_GATEWAY";
networking.nameservers = [ "" ];
# Initial empty root password for easy login:
users.users.root.initialHashedPassword = "";
services.openssh.permitRootLogin = "prohibit-password";
users.users.root.openssh.authorizedKeys.keys = [
"ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEAtwCIGPYJlD2eeUtxngmT+4yR7BMlK0F5kzj+84uHsxxsy+PXFrP/tScCpwmuoiEYNv/9WKnPJJfCA9XlIDr6cla1MLpaW6eg672TRYMmKzH6SLlkg+kyDmPxSIJw+KdKfnPYyva+Y/VocACYJo0voabUeLAVgtSKGz/AFzccjfOR0GmFO911zjAaR+jFb9M7t7dveNVKm9KbuBfu3giMgGg3/mKz1TKY8yk2ZOxpT5CllBb+B5BcEf+7IGNvNxr1Z0zz5cFXQ3LyBIZklnC/OaQCnD78BSiyPTkIXcmBFal2TaFwTDvki6PuCRpJy+dU1fDdgWLql97D0SVnjmmomw=="
services.openssh.enable = true;
# This value determines the NixOS release with which your system is to be
# compatible, in order to avoid breaking some software such as database
# servers. You should change this only after NixOS release notes say you
# should.
system.stateVersion = "20.03"; # Did you read the comment?
# TODO Remove once is merged and
# backported to 20.03, or this script installs a newer version that has it.
rm -f extra-grub-install-flags-20.03.tar.gz
wget ''
rm -rf nixpkgs-extra-grub-install-flags-20.03
tar xf extra-grub-install-flags-20.03.tar.gz
# Install NixOS
PATH="$PATH" NIX_PATH="$NIX_PATH" `which nixos-install` --no-root-passwd --root /mnt --max-jobs 40
umount /mnt
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