How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso

My friend came up with question about OpenBSD. He ask me about possibility of install OpenBSD remotely and continue to manage it for different purpose. I promise to help but due to time constraint I can not visit his house and teach him. I decide to make this post for him but I hope this simple guide will also help others that might face similar problem.

I use vps service from Vultr for this guide since I can use my existing credit and also quick setup process.

Others series that related to custom iso vps :

Upload OpenBSD iso to VPS server

I use Australia for VPS server location so I use nearest OpenBSD mirror close to Australia (Internode amd64 OpenBSD 5.5). This tutorial use OpenBSD 5.5 but you can change the iso file (I’ll update latest iso list when OpenBSD release new version).

Update on May 12 2015:

OpenBSD 5.7 has released. You can use these iso :

  • 64 bit OpenBSD 5.7 iso, (http://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/5.7/amd64/install57.iso)
  • 32 bit OpenBSD 5.7 iso, (http://ftp.openbsd.org/pub/OpenBSD/5.7/i386/install57.iso)

If you want to use 5.6 release then you can use this iso :

Enter the link on “remote URL” section.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - choose your openbsd iso location file

Wait for while as Vultr will upload it to their server.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - list of uploaded iso

Create New VPS Instance

I choose $5/month server that give me 768MB memory, 15 GB space and 1000GB transfer.

Location Sydney, Australia

Operating System : Custom

Choose : ISO and pick install55.iso

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - 12 location available for vps : New York/New Jersey, Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago Illionis, Dallas Texas, Los Angeles California, Miami Florida, Seattle Washington, Silicon Valley California, Tokyo Japan, Sydney Australia, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Frankfurt German

Hit “Place Order” button.

Vultr will mounting iso file (wait for while as their server will figure out location mirror and will try to relocate iso file). System will automatically restart when its done.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - Attach iso file and reboot

Write down IPV4 information as this info will be needed when install process begin.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - ipv4 information for setting ip address for your openbsd vps

Click “Console” to see what is going on now and continue install like you see it in front of your eye.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - see whats going on while process during installation process

If you see this view then you can continue with the rest steps as OpenBSD provide detailed process in their manual. Click here to view.

I continue install process follow OpenBSD guide.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - continue install openbsd follow openbsd.org guide

To get real server then you need to remove iso from mounting or you’ll see install step over and over 🙂

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - don't forget to remove iso after installation work successfully

Click “OK” button to remove iso file.

How to install OpenBSD in VPS using custom iso - hit OK button to remove attached iso image

Testing OpenBSD Server

Try to access the server using SSH ( I activate ssh access during install process).

$ ssh root@108.61.213.1
The authenticity of host ‘108.61.213.1 (108.61.213.1)’ can’t be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is f6:3c:02:77:42:1a:e2:54:3a:f9:ca:1d:0b:f0:66:66.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ‘108.61.213.1’ (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
root@108.61.213.1’s password:
Permission denied, please try again.
root@108.61.213.1’s password:
Permission denied, please try again.
root@108.61.213.1’s password:

I forgot that I already add user that also block root user from login remotely (login as user first then use su to change to root).
$ ssh alam@108.61.213.1
alam@108.61.213.1’s password:
OpenBSD 5.5 (GENERIC) #271: Wed Mar  5 09:31:16 MST 2014

Welcome to OpenBSD: The proactively secure Unix-like operating system.

Please use the sendbug(1) utility to report bugs in the system.
Before reporting a bug, please try to reproduce it with the latest
version of the code.  With bug reports, please try to ensure that
enough information to reproduce the problem is enclosed, and if a
known fix for it exists, include that as well.

$ su
Password:
#

Great at this point I have working OpenBSD server using KVM virtualization.

Update :

Some email I got and my answer :

In case you get confuse what I should enter during install :

1. What should i put in “Default iPV4 route”  ?  Gateway
 

2. What should i put in “DNS domain name” ? anything you want.  I used to enter my domain.

3. What should i put in “DNS name servers” ? I use google dns (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) or other dns server you know.

4. I live in Europe, which location should I choose for my OpenBSD VPS ? Amsterdam, London, France or Frankfurt.

5. Do they backup my vps? yes, auto backup available with extra payment. Depend on your server size. If you choose $5/month then you pay $1 for auto backup. Feel free to try choose different server size and enable auto backup feature. You’ll see different charge.

6. I bit confuse which type (32 or 64 bit of OpenBSD iso ) I should use? In general, choose 32 bit for memory lower than 1 GB and use 64 bit for memory more than 1 GB.

7. What is the impact of utilize different type that I can see? in general 32 bit consume lower memory (try type top command and see the difference) than 64 bit but 64 bit is more stable than 32 bit. You decide.

8. I have working OpenBSD 5.5 should I upgrade to 5.6 ? yes and no. Never fix something ain’t broke. If you need a feature that not available in 5.5 and that feature exist in 5.6 then you need to upgrade.

9. I have problem with my email server. I don’t get email in my mailbox. I did not touch any email configuration in my server. Any idea? Check for log. By default Vultr block email port. You need to open a ticket. Asking them to unblock it.

10. Why Vultr make it hard to enable email port? I don’t know. In my opinion that policy is good. By set the policy to block email port they want to make sure their network free of spam and in long term they will gain respects from other network and system administrator.