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Universal Workflow Linux Provision

This section will address usage of the Universal Workflow system for deploying Linux systems (with DRP v4.8+). The architecture and implementation of the Universal Workflow system is described at Universal Workflow Architecture.

Universal Linux Provision Requirements

The following requirements must be met to utilize the Universal Pipelines and Workflows to successfully install Linux systems:

  • Digital Rebar Platform (DRP) v4.8.0 or newer
  • DRP Community Content bundle version v4.8.0 or newer
  • Universal content bundle v4.8.0 or newer
  • An appropriate Operating System ISO installed as per the BootEnv specification for the OS version you are installing

Universal Pipelines

Universal Pipelines are declarative definitions that describe the end state of a Machine. Within the Digital Rebar system, Pipelines are defined as a profile which contains the basic param definitions to drive the Pipeline. Pipelines are not separate objects in the system.

The primary Param that is used to describe the declarative state of the Machine is:

  • universal/application

Additional Params may be used to configure or supplement the final declarative state.

In the case of the Linux Provision/Install, additional values need to be set since the core Workflow (universal-linux-install) is a generic installer workflow that needs to be configured to tell it what Linux distro and version to install.

Specifying Linux Distro and Version

The universal-linux-install workflow in the Universal Linux Pipeline supports multiple distro and versions of Linux. To differentiate each install, appropriate Params must be set to define the Distro and version. The Param essentially references a bootenv, which contains the Distro, version, and appropriate install templates for the automated install program (eg kickstart, preseed, or autoinstall).

Additionally, the workflow chain map needs to be adjusted to use the correct set of chained Workflows from the default map set.

The Params are as follows:

  • linux/install-bootenv-override: the Linux BootEnv to install
  • universal/workflow-chain-index-override: set this to linux-install

Prebuilt Linux Install Profiles

To help make the process easier to use, DRP contains several Profiles which are set to install the supported selection of Linux Distros and versions.

To view these, visit the Profiles menu in the Web UI, and filter for all profiles wthat begin with universal-application-. You can also perform this operation at the command line, with the following drpcli syntax.

drpcli profiles list | jq -r '.[] | select( .Name | test("universal-application-.*")) | .Name'

An example Profile for a Photon 4 Linux OS install Pipeline contains the following Params:

  • universal/application: photon-4
  • linux/install-bootenv-override: photon-4-c001795b8-install
  • universal/workflow-chain-index-override: linux-install

Customizing the Operating System Install

All the standard DRP mechanisms for customizing the installed OS are supported in this path. Generally speaking; this is done by setting Param values on the Machine object, either directly, or as attached Profiles (or also in the global Profile).

For example, if the Machine you are installing to requires that the OS be installed on /dev/sdb instead of the default /dev/sda; the installers support setting the Param operating-system-disk to an appropriate value.

Using the Pipeline

To use the Pipeline simply perform the following steps for a given Machine:

  • Add the Pipeline Profile to the Machine (eg universal-application-photon-4)
  • Set the Machine to one of the starting Workflows in the Pipeline; usually universal-discover


If the Machine is already in the starting Workflow (eg universal-discover), you must clear and reset the Workflow. This can be accomplished by using the Web UI "Actions" --> "Restart Workflow" selection; with the Machine's checkbox selected (the left most checkbox)

The machine will then Chain through the defined Workflows as specified by the linux-install chain map. At the time of this writing, that chainmap example looks like:

# Example workflow chain map for Linux Installations
  universal-discover: universal-hardware
  universal-hardware: universal-burnin
  universal-burnin: universal-linux-install
  universal-linux-install: universal-runbook

# the below are NOT installable Workflows, they are included here
# for completeness sake of the chain maps full set of values
  universal-start: universal-runbook
  universal-maintenance: universal-discover
  universal-rebuild: universal-discover

This is specified as the default values in the universal/workflow-chain-map Param.

The chain map is a series of right side rules, which if in that currently named Workflow, moves to the next workflow defined on the left hand side, until no further map entries match. In this example, the Machine will end in the universal-runbook Workflow, assuming starting from universal-discover.

The chaining action is performed by the Workflow Stage and Task named universal-chain-workflow.

Important notes on other chain maps starting workflows:


The universal-start Workflow is designed for public cloud use systems, and does not include the actual Linux Install workflows in the chain map, as it is assumed that a public Cloud virtual machine has been instantiated with and Operating System already.



Both the decommision and maintenance Workflows are designed to take an existing (already) installed system to a Sledgehammer BootEnv for performing maintenance tasks. These workflows will modify the Machine object and the changes are not compatible with Installation workflows.