Teacher Lab Process to connect the server to the internet run OS and NEAT updates

User documentation

  • Last Updated: 08/03/2021

This process is used to connect a neat rack server to the internet to download updates, or download a new VM guest image. You can also download a VM image to a laptop or thumb drive and copy an image down that way. But to update the host software you will need to connect it to the internet.

As new tools are published for the NEAT program you may want to update to be able to run these tools. A subversion (SVN) code repository is maintained for the NEAT program. Getting the latest copy of scripts and programs is a simple matter of getting internet access and running an svn update command.

How to connect a server to the internet:

The IBM 3550s have 3 nics on the back. NIC1 and NIC2 from left to right can be used for network access. The third NIC is a system management nic for remote access (IBM RSA) and cannot be used by the host.

On the Dell servers, the management NIC is all the way to the left, and NIC1 and NIC2 are in the middle of the server.

1. Power on the server and connect NIC1 to a port on the school network that can get a DHCP ip address and get out to the internet. You do not need the NEAT switches for this; plug the server directly into the school network.

Connect each of the servers to the power strip, and power them on. Connect them to the closest ethernet port, and connect the keyboard and monitor to one of the servers.

Note: Make sure only one ethernet cable is connected to the server. You only want to use one to avoid confusion between two different cables.

2. Log in to the server with the monitor and keyboard. The username is "root", and the password is "15.learner". You won't see your password being typed for security reasons.

3. Use the ethtool command to verify that eth0 is up and has a link:

Refer to this document for more instructions:

ethtool eth0

4. Log in and get an ip address

Now that you're in, run this command to get internet access to the server and update the machine:


[show them how to use ship or ip link to verify that they have an ip address]
[make sure you can ping]

apt-get update; apt-get upgrade

***Note: Make sure that you can run "ship" (a helpful Richweb command that shows all of the IPs on your interfaces). If this command does not work, it could be because the ".bash_profile" file is not updated. To fix this issue, try adding the line ". /etc/bashrc" in the .bash_profile file. Also, make sure to edit the "/etc/bashrc" file and add the following line: ". /opt/shared/etc/bash_aliases.cfg".

Note about proxies:

Some schools require a proxy to get out to the internet.

You may find that this server has a proxy configured for using apt. For example this server is using on port 3128

cat /etc/apt/apt.conf

Acquire::http::proxy  "";
Acquire::ftp::proxy   "";
Acquire::https::proxy "";

If this proxy is not valid for your school, remove this file and retry your update:

rm /etc/apt/apt.conf
apt-get update; apt-get upgrade

Use this document to update the SVN repositories:

Note - if you have to login with a username and password to use your proxy server you can configure a proxy server that the apt-tools and wget will use. This is not a good idea though as your password will be exposed to students. Instead ask your administrator for a port that will allow internet access without a login and password. You will also want to explain that you will be updating multiple servers from this port so that if the admin is using MAC port security on this port you use, he/she should allow at least 3 different MAC addresses to access this port.

The only ports that NEAT needs open to perform updates are:

TCP 80/443 outbound for debian updates
DNS (which should come off your internal DNS servers) ports 2398 and 2397

Do the exact same thing for the other server. Make sure to switch the mouse and keyboard over before doing anything to the server.

Unplug your servers from any ethernet ports. You will eventually connect them to the switch, but DO NOT do this yet.

Your lab should be all good to go! The students can now continue with their setup guide.


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