Create Host

The create host page can be accessed via The Hosts Menu, as well as the All Hosts page:

Hosts > Create host

Hosts > All hosts > Create host

Creating hosts (also referred to as provisioning hosts) is one of the core features of orcharhino. With it’s own menu entry in the host menu, the create host page is given a prominent position within the orcharhino interface. (See also: Management UI).

Successfully provisioning hosts using orcharhino, presupposes a relevantly configured provisioning setup. (See also: Provisioning Setup). This provisioning setup will provide various options, (like what operating system to use), for the creation of new hosts. The create hosts page is then used to choose a concrete set of provisioning options for an actual host that is to be created.

The create hosts page is organized into several tabs as follows:

Tabs on the create host page
  • The Host tab (1) is used to choose core feature settings for the host. (See Host Tab below).

  • The Puppet Classes tab (2) is used to choose puppet classes for the host. (See Puppet Classes Tab below, see also: Puppet Classes).

  • The Interfaces tab (3) is used to configure any network interfaces needed by the host. (See Interfaces Tab below).

  • The Operating System tab (4) is used to choose the operating system of the host. (See Operating System Tab below, see also: Operating Systems).

  • The Virtual Machine tab (5) (only present if an appropriate compute resource has been selected on the Host tab (1)) is used to override any compute profile settings for the virtual machine the host will run on. (See Virtual Machine Tab below, see also: Compute Resources and Compute Profiles).

  • The Parameters tab (6) is used to set host specific parameters and/or override global paramters and/or puppet class parameters for the host. (See Parameters Tab below, see also: Global Parameters and Puppet Smart Class Parameters).

  • The Additional Information tab (7) is used to set miscellaneous additional information for the host. (See Additional Information Tab below).

The create hosts page includes a Cancel and a Submit button (irrespective of what tab is selected):

Buttons on the create host page
  • The Cancel button (1), will take you to the hosts page (see also: All Hosts). Any selections made in any tab will be lost.

  • The Submit button (2), instructs orcharhino to create a new host with settings as selected.

  • Clicking the Submit button (2) only makes sense once all settings, in all relevant tabs have been chosen. (Though many of these settings can be changed later, see: Editing a Host).

  • In case orcharhino is still missing information necessary to creating a new host, when the Submit button (2) is clicked, it will provide a relevant warning, and allow the user to make adjustments as needed.

Host Tab

The host tab with example settings selected (these settings don’t come prefilled):

Options on the host tab
  • The host Name (1) should be descriptive and follow the rules for host names. (It should be comprised of lower case letters, numbers and dashes “-“).

  • The button (2) next to the Name field (1) can be used to generate a random unused host name. (You should use a descriptive name whenever possible).

  • Every host requires an Organization and Location (3). (See also: The Context Menu).

  • Selecting a Host Group (4) will automatically fill any fields configured for that host group with the values of that host group. (For a fully configured host group, this will be most of the remaining fields on the Host tab). (See also: Host Groups).

  • The Deploy on field (5) is set to “Bear Metal” by default. Select a compute resource to deploy virtual machines. The Virtual Machine tab will only be visible if a compute resource is selected. (See also: Compute Resources).

  • The Compute profile field (6) (only visible if a compute resource is selected) will let you choose the compute profile of the host’s virtual machine. (See also: Compute Profiles).

  • The content management options (7) are usually set by the Host Group (4). (See also: Content Management Guide).

  • The puppet options (8) are usually set by the Host Group (4).

Puppet Classes Tab

The Puppet classes tab with some tomcat puppet classes manually selected:

Options on the puppet classes tab
  • The Available Classes area (1) will list Puppet classes that can be used for the new host. The available classes are grouped. Clicking on the blue plus signs will fold out all classes in a grouping. The white pluses on the black circles will add their corresponding class to the Included Classes area (2).

  • The Included Classes area (2) will list Puppet classes manually selected for inclusion in the new host. The white minuses on the black circles will remove their corresponding class.

  • The Inherited Classes from Puppet area (3) lists puppet classes that will be added to the host by virtue of the selected host group. (See also: Host Groups).

Interfaces Tab

The interfaces tab with one example network interface:

Options on the interface tab
  • The primary network interface may be preconfigured if a corresponding host group was selected on the host tab. It can be edited via the Edit button (1).

  • The Add Interface button (2) can be used to add additional interfaces.

Operating System Tab

The operating system tab with example settings selected:

Options on the operating system tab
  • Various OS provisioning options (1) can be chosen on this tab. In particular this includes Architectures, Operating Systems, Installation Media, and various Templates. (See also: Provisioning Setup).

  • The new host’s Root password (2) may be chosen on this tab. (Alternatively, the root password may also be set via the host group.)

  • Clicking the Resolve button (3) will list each template that will be used by the new host.

Virtual Machine Tab

A sample part of the virtual machine tab:

Options on the virtual machine tab
  • The virtual machine tab will only be visible, if the host is slated for deployment on a VM type compute resource on the host tab. (See also: Compute Resources).

  • This tab allows you to override the settings from the currently selected compute profile (also on the host tab). Compute profiles are used to configure virtual machine properties (1). (See also: Compute Profiles).

Parameters Tab

The parameters tab:

Options on the parameters tab
  • The Puppet class parameters area (1) will list any puppet class parameters set for any puppet classes included on the puppet classes tab. These parameters may be overridden using the provided editing buttons (2).

  • Any global parameters will be displayed in the Global parameters area (3). They may be overridden using the override buttons (4).

  • The Host parameters area (5) will allow you to set additional parameters exclusively for the host being created. Use the Add Parameter button (6) to do so.

Additional Information Tab

The addtitional information tab is used to set various oddball settings:

Options on the additional information tab
  • The Owned By field (1) will allow you to associate an orcharhino user with the host being created.

  • The Hardware Model field (3) (only present if the host is slated for “Bare Metal” deploy) allows you to record what physical hardware the host will run on. For a host being deployed on a compute resource the corresponding information may be set automatically some time after the host was deployed. (Generally to something generic like “VMware Virtual Platform”). (See also Hardware Models).

  • Finally you may add an arbitrary Comment (4) in the field provided.

Bootdisk Provisioning


Bootdisk provisioning is a part of the bootdisk plugin and will only be available if this plugin is installed on your orcharhino.

Bootdisk provisioning allows users to, provision hosts without using the PXE Network boot facilities. To do so, the option bootdisk must be used as the provisioning method in the Operating System tab of the create host page. When provisioning to a VMware Compute Resource, the generated bootdisk image is automatically configured as the boot device for the new virtual machine.

However, if deploying on bare metal for example, the bootdisk images can be downloaded in the bootdisk drop down menu next to the console button.

Bootdisk drop down menu

Those images are bootable if burned on CD, or dumped to floppy or USB-drive (with dd). Four flavours of bootdisks are available:

  1. The host image contains the full static network configuration for the host. After booting, it fetches the bootloader of the operating system installer via tftp and chainloads into it. From there, the usual installation process continues. Those bootdisks can be used without any dhcp service.

  2. The full host image additionally contains the kernel and initrd of the operating system installer. This image is provided for cases, where either chainloading is impossible, or the tftp service is unavailable.

  3. The generic image does not contain any host or network specific configuration. It can be used to provision hosts in a network with basic dhcp and dns services that can reach orcharhino directly. After booting, it fetches the hosts configuration and operating system installer via tftp. This bootdisk image is reusable for all hosts provisioned this way.

  4. The generic subnet image is similar to the generic image with the difference, that it is preconfigured to use the smart-proxy for the corresponding subnet to fetch the configuration and installer. In this scenario, the smart-proxy must be equipped with the Templates module.


After the installation, the bootdisk should be removed from the host.

The generic behaviour of the bootdisk creation process can be configured in the Boot disk section of the settings page. Further customization is possible by providing specialized bootdisk creation templates.