I'm trying to figure out how to install a custom made OS image of NI Real Time Linux on a Compact RIO 9065.
The tool I need to use is: http;//maas.io which has a means to provision an OS image onto a device using PXE booting, curtain and cloud-init.
The process is described in detail here: https://docs.maas.io/2.5/en/nodes-add
There will be many challenges here I realize, but the first step is to get to know if and how I can get my cRIO 9065 to PXE boot and from that install a "custom" NI OS or perhaps even an IoT Ubuntu Core https://www.ubuntu.com/download/iot.
Any help in this direction appreciated.
I did some research and might help you with your question. I found that on never cRIOs with a screen connector (VGA/dvi/mDP) you can access a BIOS setup utility (see cRIO-9039 user manual). the 906x series is headless, therefore it seems impossible to reach such a tool. NI MAX does not allow enabling PXE, therefore it seems to me it is not possible to set your cRIO-9065 to PXE boot.
Apart from that: What is the goal you have with this? If I understand you correctly, you want to use MAAS with your (I assume: dozens of) cRIOs, to be able to provision them with an OS with a single mouse click. Is that correct? Because if so, my ideas on how to install alternate OSs are not what you need (e.g. finding out how NI MAX installed the OS and planting your custom one in NI MAX, or installing the extra packages you need after installing NI Linux RT by configuring your own package source (NI Linux RT is based on Angstrom Linux, so that's easy).
Thanx for your input and I think I've identified the PXE possibly missing from the cRIO 9065 or 9064 will pose a real problem deploying the OS onto the device.
The goal is to be able to install a custom OS image on these devices (and yes, we will have alot of them) and this being possible to provision via MAAS. Its all part of a larger work to provide automation to the whole development process and where the hardware is fundamental to this.
I guess it will come down to addressing National Instruments on this because being able to manage these devices from an automation perspective is absolutely a have to when building up a larger stack.
We will make some more investigations on what we can do with this device from a OS perspective and open up some relation to NI on the topic. Do you know anyone specific we should try work with?
Hello everyone and thanx for your input.
I'm still trying to collect more information about this and have got some initial contact with NI staff aswell as Canonical on this. I'm going to try to involve them here aswell but I want to make sure I've done as much as possible on my own end.
The fundamental issue for me, it that I can't really rely solely on "NI native tools" since the cRIO device will co-exists with other vendor equipment making up a more complex system which all need to be automated. DHCP, TFTP, PXE are vendor agnostic which allows us to handle these different devices "uniformly" and consistently in a context to achieve automation in many steps. This is why I'm really keen on getting this to work. Oh, by the way - the device is a cRIO 9064 but I think its more or less the same challenge.
We have hooked the device up to a switch and will try to see how it behaves on the network.