Install Clear Linux* OS from the live server

This page explains how to install Clear Linux* OS on bare metal from a bootable USB drive using a live server image.

System requirements

Before installing Clear Linux OS, verify that the host system supports the installation:

Download the latest Clear Linux OS live server image

  1. Visit our Downloads page.

  2. Download the file clear-<release number>-live-server.iso, also called the Clear Linux OS Server.

    Note

    <release-number> is the latest Clear Linux OS auto-numbered release.

  3. Follow your OS instructions to create a bootable usb drive.

Install Clear Linux OS on your target system

Ensure that your system is configured to boot UEFI. The installation method described below requires a wired Internet connection with DHCP.

Note

Alternatively, you can install Clear Linux OS over a wireless connection by first using nmtui. Follow the nmtui instructions shown in Figure 2.

Follow these steps to install Clear Linux OS on the target system:

  1. Insert the USB drive into an available USB slot.

  2. Power on the system.

  3. Open the system BIOS setup menu by pressing the F2 key. Your BIOS setup menu entry point may vary.

    Note

    Clear Linux OS supports UEFI boot. Some hardware may list UEFI and non-UEFI USB boot entries. In this case, you should select the UEFI boot option.

  4. In the setup menu, enable the UEFI boot and set the USB drive as the first option in the device boot order.

  5. Save these settings and exit.

  6. Reboot the target system.

  7. This action launches the Clear Linux OS installer boot menu, shown in Figure 1.

    Clear Linux OS Installer boot menu

    Figure 1: Clear Linux OS Installer boot menu

  8. With Clear Linux OS highlighted, select Enter.

Launch the Clear Linux OS Installer

  1. At the login prompt, enter root.

  2. Follow the onscreen instructions, shown in Figure 2, and enter a temporary password.

    root login

    Figure 2: root login

  3. At the root prompt, enter clr-installer and press Enter.

    clr-installer command

    Figure 3: clr-installer command

Minimum installation requirements

To fulfill minimum installation requirements, complete the Required options. While not required, we encourage you to apply the Recommended options. Advanced options are optional.

Note

Required options

Choose Timezone

  1. From the Main Menu, navigate to Choose Timezone. UTC is the default.
  2. Select Enter.
  3. In Select System Timezone, use Up/Down arrows navigate to the desired timezone.
  1. Press Enter to confirm.

    Select System Timezone

    Figure 5: Select System Timezone

Choose Language

  1. From the Main Menu, navigate to Choose Language.

  2. Select Enter.

  3. In Select System Language, navigate to your desired language.

  4. Press Enter to confirm.

    Select System Language

    Figure 6: Select System Language

Configure the Keyboard

  1. From the Main Menu, select Configure the Keyboard.

  2. Select Enter.

  3. In Select Keyboard, navigate to the desired option.

  4. Select Enter to Confirm.

  5. Optional: In Test keyboard, type text to assure that the keys map to your keyboard.

    Select Keyboard menu

    Figure 7: Select Keyboard menu

Configure Installation Media

  1. From the Main Menu, select Configure Installation Media.

  2. Choose an installation method: * Safe Installation * Destructive Installation * Advanced Installation

    Select Installation Media

    Figure 8: Select Installation Media

  3. Select Rescan Media to show available installation targets.

Safe Installation

Use this method to safely install Clear Linux OS on media with available space, or alongside existing partitions, and accept the Default partition schema. If enough free space exists, safe installation is allowed. See also Troubleshooting below.

Destructive Installation

Use this method to destroy the contents of the target device, install Clear Linux OS on it, and accept the Default partition schema.

Note

From the Select Installation Media menu, select Enable Encryption to encrypt the root filesystem for either option above. See also Disk encryption for more information.

Advanced Installation

Use this method to manually configure partitions using cgdisk. This example uses the Default partition schema. The space you allocate for your root, or additional partitions, may vary.

  1. Navigate to Advanced Installation and press Spacebar.

    Advanced installation

    Figure 9: Advanced installation

  2. If no target media appears, select Rescan Media.

  3. Navigate to Partition and and press Spacebar to launch cgdisk.

Partition codes

  • ef00 - EFI System
  • 8200 - Linux swap
  • 8300 - Linux filesystem

boot partition

  1. With the free space highlighted in the cgdisk utility, select [New].

    Select New

    Figure 10: Select New

    Note

    The /boot partition must be VFAT(FAT32).

  2. Where First sector appears, press Enter.

  3. For Size in sectors, type 150M.

    Size in sectors

    Figure 11: Size in sectors

  4. Press Enter.

  5. Enter the hex code ef00 and press Enter.

    `ef00` partition code

    Figure 12: ef00 partition code

  6. For the partition name, enter CLR_BOOT, the EFI boot partition.

    CLR_BOOT

    Figure 13: CLR_BOOT

    Note

    Encryption is not allowed on the CLR_BOOT partition.

Now follow the same process to configure the remaining partitions.

swap partition

  1. Use the Up/Down arrow to select free space.
  2. Select [New] at bottom and press Enter.
  3. Under First sector, press Enter.
  4. For Size in sectors, type 256M, and press Enter.
  5. Enter the hex code 8200 and press Enter.
  6. In Enter new partition name…, type CLR_SWAP.
  7. Press Enter.

root partition

  1. Use the Up/Down arrow to select free space.

  2. Select [New] at bottom and press Enter.

  3. Under First sector, press Enter.

  4. For Size in sectors, type in desired size. Optionally, press Enter to use the remaining space available.

  5. Press Enter.

  6. Enter the hex code 8300 and press Enter.

  7. In Enter new partition name…, type: CLR_ROOT. The /root partition must be ext[234] or XFS. If no filesystem exists, the installer will default to VFAT(FAT32) for /boot, and ext4 for all others.

    Note

    You may also append _F to the partition name to force the formatting.

    • CLR_ROOT_F: Force the formatting of the root partition prior to
      use.
    • CLR_F_SWAP: Force the formatting of the swap partition prior to
      use; helpful when re-using a partition for swap which was previously formatted for a file system.
    • CLR_F_MNT_/data: Force the formatting of the extra data
      partition prior to use
  8. Press Enter.

  9. After all partitions are defined, verify that your partition configuration is similar to Figure 14.

    Final partition configuration

    Figure 14: Final partition configuration

Additional partitions (optional)

  1. Use the Up/Down arrow to select free space.

  2. Now select [New] at bottom and press Enter.

  3. Under First sector, press Enter.

  4. For Size in sectors, type in desired size.

    Note

    If you do not specify a size, it will use the remaining space.

  5. Press Enter.

  6. Enter the hex code 8300. Then press Enter.

  7. In Enter new partition name…, type: CLR_MNT_<mount_point>. For example, replace <mount_point> with /home, shown in Figure 15.

    CLR_MNT

    Figure 15: CLR_MNT

    Note

    If formatting is desired, the _F must precede _MNT.

  8. Alternatively, you may create CLR_MNT_/srv or other partitions.

Write configuration to disk

  1. When you’re satisfied with the partition configuration, press the Right Arrow until [Write] is highlighted.
  2. Press Enter.
  3. When the prompt appears asking if you want to write the partition table to disk, type “yes”.
  4. Finally, select [Quit].

Disk encryption

For greater security, disk encryption is supported using LUKS for the any partition except /boot on Clear Linux OS. To encrypt the root partition, see the example below. Encryption is optional.

Encryption Passphrase

Clear Linux OS uses a single passphrase for encrypted partitions. Additional keys may be configured post-installation using the cryptsetup tool.

  1. Optional: Select [X] Enable encryption to encrypt the root partition, as shown in Figure 16.

    Encrypt partition

    Figure 16: Encrypt partition

  2. The Encryption Passphrase dialog appears.

    Note

    Minimum length is 8 characters. Maximum length is 94 characters.

    Encryption Passphrase

    Figure 17: Encryption Passphrase

  3. Enter the same passphrase in the first and second field.

  4. Navigate to Confirm and press Enter.

    Note

    Confirm is only highlighted if passphrases match.

Manage User

Add New User

  1. In Required Options, select Manage User.

  2. Select Add New User as shown in Figure 18.

    Add New User, User Name

    Figure 18: Add New User

  3. Optional: Enter a User Name.

    User Name

    Figure 19: User Name

  4. Enter a Login.

    Note

    The User Login must be alphanumeric and can include hyphens and underscores. Maximum length is 31 characters.

  5. Enter a Password.

  6. In Confirm, enter the same password.

  7. The Administrator checkbox is selected by default.

    Note

    Selecting Administrator enables sudo privileges for the user. For the installation to proceed, at least one user must be assigned as an Administrator.

  8. Select Confirm. To reset the form, select Reset.

  9. In Manage User, navigate to Confirm.

  10. With Confirm highlighted, select Enter.

Modify / Delete User

  1. In Manage User, navigate to the user you wish to modify until highlighted, as shown in Figure 20.

  2. Select Enter to modify the user.

    Modify User

    Figure 20: Modify User

  3. Modify user details as desired.

  4. Navigate to Confirm until highlighted.

    Note

    Optional: Select Reset to rest the form.

  5. Select Confirm to save the changes you made.

  6. Optional: In Modify User, to delete the user, navigate to the Delete button and select Enter.

    Delete User

    Figure 21: Delete User

You are returned to Manage User.

  1. Navigate to Confirm until highlighted.
  2. Select Enter to complete Manage User options.

Telemetry

Telemetrics is a Clear Linux OS feature that reports failures and crashes to the Clear Linux OS development team for improvements.

Select your desired option on whether to participate in telemetry.

  1. In the Main Menu, navigate to Telemetry and select Enter.

  2. Select Tab to highlight your choice.

  3. Select Enter to confirm.

    Enable Telemetry

    Figure 22: Enable Telemetry

Advanced options

Configure Network Interfaces

By default, Clear Linux OS is configured to automatically detect the host network interface using DHCP. However, if you want to use a static IP address or if you do not have a DHCP server on your network, follow these instructions to manually configure the network interface. Otherwise, default network interface settings are automatically applied.

Note

If DHCP is available, no user selection may be required.

  1. Navigate to Configure Network Interfaces and select Enter.

  2. Navigate to the network interface you wish to change.

  3. When the desired interface is highlighted, select Enter to edit.

    Note

    Multiple network interfaces may appear.

    Configure Network Interfaces

    Figure 23: Configure Network Interfaces

  4. Notice Automatic / dhcp is selected by default (at bottom).

    Optional: Navigate to the checkbox Automatic / dhcp and select Spacebar to deselect.

    Network interface configuration

    Figure 24: Network interface configuration

  5. Navigate to the appropriate fields and assign the desired network configuration.

  6. To save settings, navigate to Confirm and select Enter.

    Note

    To revert to previous settings, navigate to the Cancel and select Enter.

  7. Upon confirming network configuration, the Testing Networking dialog appears. Assure the result shows success. If a failure occurs, your changes will not be saved.

  8. Upon confirmation, you are returned to Network interface settings.

  9. Navigate to and select Main Menu.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Proxy

Clear Linux OS automatically attempts to detect proxy settings, as described in Autoproxy. If you need to manually assign proxy settings, follow this instruction.

  1. From the Advanced options menu, navigate to Proxy, and select Enter.

  2. Navigate to the field HTTPS Proxy.

    Configure the network proxy

    Figure 25: Configure the network proxy

  3. Enter the desired proxy address and port using conventional syntax, such as: http://address:port.

  4. Navigate to Confirm and select Enter.

  5. To revert to previous settings, navigate to Cancel and select Cancel.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Test Network Settings

To manually assure network connectivity before installing Clear Linux OS, select Test Network Settings and select Enter.

Note

If using the off-line installer, this option is not available.

A progress bar appears as shown in Figure 26.

Testing Networking dialog

Figure 26: Testing Networking dialog

Note

Any changes made to network settings are automatically tested during configuration.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Select Additional Bundles

This option is only available with a valid network connection. Bundle selection is disabled if no network connection exists.

  1. On the Advanced menu, select Select Additional Bundles.

  2. Navigate to the desired bundle using Tab or Up/Down arrows.

  3. Select Spacebar to select the checkbox for each desired bundle.

    Bundle Selection

    Figure 27: Bundle Selection

  4. Optional: To start developing with Clear Linux OS, we recommend adding os-clr-on-clr.

  5. Navigate to and select Confirm.

    You are returned to the Advanced options menu.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Kernel Command Line

For advanced users, Clear Linux OS provides the ability to add or remove kernel arguments. If you want to append a new argument, enter the argument here. This argument will be used every time you install or update a new kernel.

  1. In Advanced Options, select Tab to highlight Kernel Command Line.

  2. Select Enter.

    Kernel Command Line

    Figure 28: Kernel Command Line

  3. Choose from the following options.

    • To add arguments, enter the argument in Add Extra Arguments.
    • To remove an argument, enter the argument in Remove Arguments.
  4. Select Confirm.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Kernel Selection

  1. Select a kernel option. By default, the latest kernel release is selected. Native kernel is shown in Figure 29.

  2. To select a different kernel, navigate to it using Tab.

    Kernel selection

    Figure 29 Kernel selection

  3. Select Spacebar to select the desired option.

  4. Navigate to Confirm and select Enter.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Swupd Mirror

If you have your own custom mirror of Clear Linux OS, you can add its URL.

  1. In Advanced Options, select Swupd Mirror.

  2. To add a local swupd mirror, enter a valid URL in Mirror URL:

  3. Select Confirm.

    Swupd Mirror

    Figure 30: Swupd Mirror

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Assign Hostname

  1. In Advanced Options, select Assign Hostname.

  2. In Hostname, enter the hostname only (excluding the domain).

    Note

    Hostname does not allow empty spaces. Hostname must start with an alphanumeric character but may also contain hyphens. Maximum length of 63 characters.

    Assign Hostname

    Figure 31: Assign Hostname

  3. Navigate to Confirm until highlighted.

  4. Select Confirm.

Optional: Skip to Finish installation.

Automatic OS Updates

Automatic OS updates are enabled by default. In the rare case that you need to disable automatic software updates, follow the onscreen instructions, shown in Figure 32.

  1. In Advanced Options, select Automatic OS Updates.

  2. Select the desired option.

    Automatic OS Updates

    Figure 32: Automatic OS Updates

You are returned to the Main Menu.

Save Configuration Settings

  1. In Advanced Options, select Save Configuration Settings.

  2. A dialog box shows the installation configuration was saved to clr-installer.yaml

    Automatic OS Updates

    Figure 33: Automatic OS Updates

  3. Use the clr-installer.yaml file to install Clear Linux OS, with the same configuration, on multiple targets.

Finish installation

  1. When you are satisfied with your installation configuration, navigate to Install and select Enter.

    Select Install

    Figure 34: Select Install

  2. Select reboot.

    Note

    If you do not assign an administrative user, upon rebooting, enter root and set the root password immediately.

  3. When the system reboots, remove any installation media present.

Default partition schema

Create partitions per requirements in Table 1.

Table 1. Default partition schema
FileSystem Label Mount Point Default size
VFAT(FAT32) boot /boot 150MB
linux-swap swap   256MB
ext[234] or XFS root / Size depends upon use case/desired bundles.

Troubleshooting

For Configure Installation Media

If a warning message appears that no media or space is available after entering Configure Installation Media:

  • Verify that target media has enough free space.
  • Confirm the USB is properly connected to and mounted on target media.
  • Review the size of existing partitions on the target media:
    • Linux* OS: lsblk -a
    • Windows* OS: diskpart, then list disk
    • macOS* platform: diskutil list

Erase LVM Partitions Before Installing Clear Linux OS

If you’re planning to install Clear Linux OS on a drive that has LVM partitions, you must erase them first before using clr-installer.

Here is an example of a drive (/dev/sda) with LVMs:

NAME         MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
loop0          7:0    0 627.6M  1 loop
sda            8:0    0 335.4G  0 disk
├─sda1         8:1    0   200M  0 part
├─sda2         8:2    0     1G  0 part
└─sda3         8:3    0 334.2G  0 part
  ├─LVM-root 252:0    0    70G  0 lvm
  ├─LVM-home 252:1    0 248.4G  0 lvm
  └─LVM-swap 252:2    0  15.7G  0 lvm

If you do not erase the LVMs first, you will encounter a clr-installer error like this:

root@clr-live~ # clr-installer

Please report this crash using GitHub Issues:
https://github.com/clearlinux/clr-installer/issues

Include the following as attachments to enable diagnosis:
/root/pre-install-clr-installer.yaml
/root/clr-installer.log

You may need to remove any personal data of concern from the attachments.
The Installer will now exit.
exit status 1

Error Trace:
errors.Wrap()
     errors/errors.go:91
storage.makeFs()
     storage/ops.go:79

The quickest and simplest method to erasing the LVMs is to execute these commands:

sudo sgdisk -Z /dev/<device>
sudo partprobe
sudo dmsetup remove_all --force
sudo partprobe