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  • This sections in this chapter are ordered from the most repeatable to the least repeatable methods. For instance, DHCP can scale to hundreds of switch installs with zero manual input, compared to something like USB installs. Installing via USB is fine for a single switch here and there but is not scalable. 
  • You can name your Cumulus Linux installer binary using any of the ONIE naming schemes mentioned here.
  • In the examples below, [PLATFORM] can be any supported Cumulus Linux platform, such as x86_64, arm, or powerpc.



The most common method is for you to send DHCP option 114 with the entire URL to the Web server (this could be the same system). However, there are many other ways to use DHCP even if you don't have full control over DHCP. See the ONIE user guide for help.

Here's an example DHCP configuration with an ISC DHCP server:


One thing to note is ONIE is in discovery mode, so if you are setting a static IPv4 address for the eth0 management port, you need to disable discovery mode or else ONIE may get confused.


  1. Set up DHCP or static addressing for eth0, as in the examples above.
  2. If you are utilizing static addressing, disable ONIE discovery mode.
  3. Use scp to copy the Cumulus Linux binary to the switch.

    Note: Windows

    Windows users can use WinScp.

  4. Run the following command:
    ONIE# onie-nos-install /path/to/local/file/cumulus-install-[PLATFORM].bin


  1. Download the appropriate Cumulus Linux image for your x86, ARM or PowerPC platform from the Cumulus Networks Downloads page.
  2. Prepare your flash drive by formatting in one of the supported formats: FAT32, vFAT or EXT2. 

    titleOptional: Preparing a USB Drive inside Cumulus Linux

    It is possible that you could severely damage your system with the following utilities, so please use caution when performing the actions below!

    1. Insert your flash drive into the USB port on the switch running Cumulus Linux and log in to the switch.
    2. Determine and note at which device your flash drive can be found by using output from cat /proc/partitions and sudo fdisk -l [device]. For example, sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb.


      These instructions assume your USB drive is the /dev/sdb device, which is typical if the USB stick was inserted after the machine was already booted. However, if the USB stick was plugged in during the boot process, it is possible the device could be /dev/sda. Make sure to modify the commands below to use the proper device for your USB drive!

    3. Create a new partition table on the device:

      Code Block
      sudo parted /dev/sdb mklabel msdos

      The parted utility should already be installed. However, if it is not, install it with: sudo apt-get install parted

    4. Create a new partition on the device:

      Code Block
      sudo parted /dev/sdb -a optimal mkpart primary 0% 100%
    5. Format the partition to your filesystem of choice using ONE of the examples below:

      Code Block
      sudo mkfs.ext2 /dev/sdb1
      sudo mkfs.msdos -F 32 /dev/sdb1
      sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1

      To use mkfs.msdos or mkfs.vfat, you need to install the dosfstools package from the Debian software repositories (step 3 here shows you how to add repositories from Debian), as they are not included by default.

    6. To continue installing Cumulus Linux, mount the USB drive in order to move files to it.

      Code Block
      sudo mkdir /mnt/usb
      sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb



  3. Copy the image and license files over to the flash drive and rename the image file to:

    • onie-installer-x86_64, if installing on an x86 platform
    • onie-installer-powerpc, if installing on a PowerPC platform
    • onie-installer-arm, if installing on an ARM platform

    You can also use any of the ONIE naming schemes mentioned here.


    When using a Mac or Windows computer to rename the installation file the file extension may still be present. Make sure to remove the file extension otherwise ONIE will not be able to detect the file!

  4. Insert the USB stick into the switch, then continue with the appropriate instructions below for your x86, ARM or PowerPC platform.