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Alternative Method for Installing Cumulus Linux on a New System



  • How do I manually load the OS from the ONIE boot-loader?


  • Switch with the ONIE network operating system installer
  • Cumulus Linux, all versions


The following article outlines an alternative procedure for installing Cumulus Linux on an ONIE-based system (Open Network Install Environment). Use this method if you experience issues running ONIE (such as being unable to reach your HTTP server, or if you need to specify the switch's IP address).

All hardware systems supported by Cumulus Networks are shipped with ONIE. For more information on ONIE, please go to If the system you have is on our HCL and is not running ONIE, please contact your hardware supplier or Cumulus Networks support at

  1. Download the appropriate Cumulus Linux install image from the Downloads page.
  2. Place the image in a server accessible from HTTP from the switch. In this example, cumulus-install-powerpc.bin will be located at, with the URL to access the image as
  3. Boot the system into the ONIE prompt. ONIE has a DHCP client running on it, and should pick up an IP address in the network. Iif you need the MAC address for static assignment through DHCP, the following command will provide it:

    ONIE:/ # printenv eth_addr 
    ONIE:/ #
  4. At the ONIE:/# prompt, ensure the switch can contact to the HTTP server with the install image:

    ONIE:/ # ping
    PING ( 56 data bytes
    64 bytes from seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.544 ms
    64 bytes from seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.243 ms
    64 bytes from seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.228 ms
    64 bytes from seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.230 ms
  5. If the HTTP server is unreachable, ensure you have an IP address, type ifconfig:

    ONIE:/ # ifconfig
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 44:38:39:00:30:41  
              inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: fe80::4638:39ff:fe00:3041/64 Scope:Link
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:65583 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:12710 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
              RX bytes:5844096 (5.5 MiB)  TX bytes:1236728 (1.1 MiB)
              Base address:0x6000 
    ONIE:/ #

    WARNING: If there is no IP address assigned to the system, then please troubleshoot the DHCP server for the network and ensure you do not need to add a static IP address.

  6. Execute the onie-nos-install command. The switch will reboot at the end of the installation process.

    ONIE:/ #onie-nos-install
  7. Allow the system to reboot until you see a login prompt:

    cumulus login:
  8. For your initial login to the system, use the default user name and password. For security reasons, please update the password as soon as possible using the passwd command.

See Also


This support portal has moved

Cumulus Networks is now part of the NVIDIA Networking Business Unit! The NVIDIA Cumulus Global Support Services (GSS) team has merged its operations with the NVIDIA Mellanox support services team.

You can access NVIDIA Cumulus support content from the Mellanox support portal.

You open and update new cases on the Mellanox support portal. Any previous cases that have been closed have been migrated to the Mellanox support portal.

Cases that are still open on the Cumulus portal will continue to be managed on the Cumulus portal. Once these cases close, they will be moved to the Mellanox support portal.

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