Procedure to install CentOS 7.4/7.8 

in a Mistika Ultima system.


This procedure describes how to install the CentOS operating system by using the Mistika Ultima iso distribution. 

This procedure is supported for Hp Z820, Hp z840, Z8, and Supermicro Threadripper Pro workstations. Other workstations models should work, but they have not been tested. 

Preliminary preparation steps. 

  • Backup any user data existing in the system disk 

  • If you are doing an upgrade , buy or get a new hard disk (recommended: SSD drive with at least 480 GB ). In general, the performance of the boot disk is irrelevant for Mistika Ultima (providing that  you have a realtime storage mounted elsewhere), so better chose reliability than speed.

  • The CentOS installation needs to be done with the SGO iso distribution and NOT with a standard CentOS distribution. 

  • Contact SGO support to plan the collection of configuration data and to get the latest iso download for the new OS.

  • Create a USB pen drive with the new iso to use as installable device.


CentOS operting system needs to be installed with the Mistika installation iso. Custom installations not using the official Mistika iso are not be supported (depending on the case they may require additional packages and manual customisation that is not documented anywhere ).

Installation procedure.

  • Get the new system disk (minimum 480 GB size)

  • If it is an upgrade, confirm you have the Backup of Media, Projects and configuration. It is also recommended to replace the system disk (to keep the old boot disk as a reference and as a way to go back in case of problems)

  • Download  the new ISO from the FTP site (around 8GB).

  • Create a Pen Drive. See “Creating a bootable pen drive with the ISO” below.

  • Power Off Mistika.

  • VERY IMPORTANT. Disconnect all external storage, all Fiber Channel cables, all internal and external disks.

  • Insert and connect the new system disk.

  • Insert the Pen Drive or Installation DVD and power on the Workstation (choose to boot from DVS or USB as needed)

  • Follow the procedure below. “CentOS 7 Installation Procedure for Customers”

  • Optional: Once installed and internet access is configured, contact Support again to arrange for a remote installation appointment to make the final configuration and testing. (meanwhile, you can power off the system, swap boot disks and reconnect all the storage, to continue using it with the old one until the appointment.

  • When the support appointment arrives:   

    • Power off and swap disks to boot with the new system disk. Also connect the OLD SYSTEM disk in other slot of the workstation or in a external dock, to provide access to old configuration settings to the support engineer.

    • Power On the system.

    • Open a remote session and give access to the SGO engineer to test and fine tune the configuration.

Creating a bootable pen drive with the ISO


Always disconnect all the storage devices before installing the operating system. otherwise they will at high risk during the OS installation (mainly because the installer may propose to use them as destination targets by default ).

To install it in a pen drive, download the iso to the Mistika system and execute this:

 In a Linux system:


dd if=Path_To_ISO_file of=/dev/sdX bs=1048576

Where  X   is the device letter assigned to the pendrive (just one letter with no numbers at the end). If you are not sure execute this:


tail -f /var/log/messages

Now plug the pen drive, the assigned device will appear somewhere in the console output.  You have to use the device id without any partition number ( for example  /dev/sdc, not /dev/sdc1 )

Please only continue if you are sure about the pen drive device, otherwise please contact support.  This step is critical because choosing the wrong device you can destroy all data in your system disks or in the disk array.

For example, if you have downloaded an iso named MISTIKA_INSTALLATION_TOOL_NV352_CentOS72_20170420.iso and the pendrive has been assigned /dev/sdc, you have to execute something like this :


dd if=MISTIKA_INSTALLATION_TOOL_NV352_CentOS72_20170420.iso   of=/dev/sdc  bs=1048576

It will take several minutes (as a side note the “bs” parameter is just to make it faster, but you could ignore it) .

 Then, boot with the ne pendrive and follow instructions below.

In a windows system:

If you don’t have a linux system, you can create the bootable pen drive in a windows system by using  a bootable pen drive tool supporting “dd” mode. A well tested one is the “Rufus” tool, but please make sure that you select the “dd” mode. This option will appear once you press the 'start' button to create the bootable pen drive.

Install an NVIDIA GPU

Any nvidia GPU from Maxwell generation are supported.  The GPU must be installed in the system before the iso installation. This is because the lack of a nvidia gpu will make the last reboot to fail to reach graphics mode, so the Mistika scripts will fail to be completed and you will be left with a text only boot. Only NVIDIA GPUs are supported for Mistika Ultima (both professional models and GeForce)

CentOS Installation.    

  • Confirm that you have followed all the previous considerations.

  • Important: Check that the workstation firmware (BIOS or UEFI) is in the right  mode: 

    • Hp Z8 and posterior models from 2018:  BIOS legacy mode deactivated. It needs to be installed in “UEFI”         mode. Otherwise some modern HBAs  may fail to be recognized by the system.  

    • Hp Z800, Z820, Z840:  BIOS legacy mode activated. The “UEFI” mode may work but was not supported in these systems, and it could lead to potential failures of the boot disk (even losing the partition table)

  • If you are doing a new Installation you should setup the BIOS to optimize for Mistika. (basically, activate hyper threading and deactivate energy saving options. This is covered in release notes), and select to boot from usb first. 

  • Connect Pen Drive and power On the system. 

  • Confirm the system is booting from the new boot device.

If you are in BIOS legacy mode you should see a screen like this, then select the “Install a SGO system”:

Alternatively, if you are in UEFI mode (as required for Z8 workstations) then you should see a much more simple screen, with only the CentOS Installation and the Rescue lines. (Select the CentOS installation line)

  •    Install SGO System

  •    Select KEYBOARD.

  •    Select English or your prefered language according to your keyboard.

  •    Done.


  •    Select DATE & TIME.   

  •    Select your Region.

  •    Set Date and Time.

  •    Done


  • Device Selection  >  Local Standard Disks  >  Select Destination Disk


IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the most critical step. The checkmark on each hard disk icon represent which hard disks are going to be used for the installation, potentially reformatting them.  If for whatever reason you still have more than one disk, uncheck all hard disks except the new boot disk.

  • Device selection

    • Confirm Other Storage Options  >  Partitioning  >  I will configure partitioning = Enabled

  • Done

  • New CentOS 7 Installation.

  • Press +


SYSTEMS IN UEFI MODE (not BIOS LEGACY MODE) will need two extra boot partitions for /boot and /boot/efi:    

In the Add a new mount point menu, select /boot/efi mount point and desired capacity 1G. Then press Add mount point.


    • Mount Point = /boot

    • Desired Capacity = 1024 MB

    • Press Add mount point

    • Device Type = Standard Partition

    • File System = xfs

    • Label = boot

    • Update Settings

    • Press +


    • Mount Point = /boot/efi

    • Desired Capacity = 500 MB

    • Press Add mount point

    • Device Type = Standard Partition

    • File System = EFI System

    • Label = <empty>

    • Update Settings

    • Press +

FOR ALL SYSTEMS (both BIOS and UEFI), add the following partitions:


    • Mount Point = swap 

    • Desired Capacity = 20 GiB (Note: In general more swap is not recommended because it will lead to unpredictable performance, what is recommended is to install all the RAM than you may need. But as a workaround if you don´t have enough RAM, if you have an NVMe drive with enough space you can create a swap parttition in there, with a size similar to the physical RAM).

    • Press Add mount point

    • Device Type = Standard Partition

    • File System = swap

    • Label = swap

    • Update Settings

    • Press +


    • Mount Point = /

    • Desired Capacity = 100 GiB

    • Press Add mount point

    • Device Type = Standard Partition

    • File System = ext4

    • Label = centos

    • Update Settings

    • Take note of the Available Space to define the last Partition (In our example: AVAILABLE SPACE = 112.88 GiB)

    • Press +

  • ADD A NEW MOUNT POINT            

    • Mount Point = /home

    • Desired Capacity = 113 GiB (or more if you have available space)

    • Press Add mount point

    • Device Type =     Standard Partition

    • File System =     ext4 (choose xfs if you plan to have media files on the system drive, for extra performance  )

    • Label = home

    • Update Settings

NOTE ON PARTITIONS SIZE: Even with a 500 GB drive size, 250 GB should remain free in case a 2nd OS installation is required by sgo engineers. Please adjust partitions size as indicated in this document. 

  • Done

  • Summary of changes show the different actions take it on the system disk.

  • Accept changes.

  •    Begin installation.     

  •    Installation start and a status bar show the progress.

  •    Installation Complete

  • Reboot.

  • Disconnect the Installation Pen Drive.

  • Boot the system.

  • Select CentOS Linux marked in White.

  • Boot process start     

Note: The last part can take a long time to complete when compared to a standard CentOS witohut an obvious reason (up to an hour or so, that is because some Mistika installation scripts are running silently and take a lot of time)

Mistika Installation   

  • After the reboot, the CentOS Installation starts the Mistika Ultima program installation and at the end of that the Mistika Configuration program will start.  You can answer all questions by default, all those settings can be changed later if you want.

  • Reboot the system, it should login into a "mistika" user automatically.

  • Follow your SGO representative instructions to activate a license for Mistika Ultima.


Network Configuration. Internet Access.

CentOS default configuration is done using DHCP in all the ethernet ports. If the workstation is connected to a Local Area Network with DHCP Server it should get a right IP address and to be able to access Internet.

To confirm this configuration please follow this steps.

  • Connect a network cable from your Local Area Network to the upper ethernet connector of the Workstation.   

  • In the Taskbar you can see a RJ-45 connector icon showing the connection.

  • Select the icon.

  • Manage Connections.

  • Wired tab

  • Confirm the State is connected and check that you have internet connection, for example by using a web browser.

    • Start CentOS Application Launcher  >  Internet  >  Google Chrome

  • Finally it is strongly recommended to consolidate the ip address as a manual ip , not DHCP.  This will make a lot of services much more robust (stornext, totem,  BatchManager, etc). However, the exact details depend on each case and this is out of the scope of this document.