Nutanix has been released Nutanix Acropolis Operating System AOS version 5.16 STS / AHV version AHV 20190916.96 on January 7, 2020 with new features and updates and allow to enter / boot in Nutanix AHV hosted running guest Windows / Linux VM’s BIOS UEFI setup mode to change the VM’s BIOS settings i.e booting device sequence, Access Boot manager to enable the Secure Boot UEFI on Guest VMs.
Nutanix AOS version has built new features are supports UEFI and Secure Boot of UEFI, enable Secure Boot feature of UEFI on user guest Windows / Linux VMs running on Nutanix AHV clusters, Nutanix AHV allow to change the Windows / Linux guest VMs UEFI firmware menu to press the Fn + F2 keys on your keyboard.
I will share the Nutanix latest 2020 early AOS version 5.16 STS new updates and features.
Nutanix AOS 5.16 Comparability Matrix
Nutanix AOS 5.16 STS compatible software list is here:
Nutanix AOS 5.16 STS Features
Lets explore the new updates and features of Nutanix AOS version 5.16 with AHV version 20190916.96.
1. Secure Boot Support for Node running Nutanix AHV – With AOS 5.16, AHV can run on hardware which supports UEFI and Secure Boot of UEFI.
2. Secure Boot Support for VMs – With AOS 5.16, you can now enable Secure Boot feature of UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface ) on user / guest Windows / Linux VMs running on Nutanix AHV clusters.
3. Upgrading AHV Hosts Through Life Cycle Manager (LCM) – Nutanix AOS supports AHV host upgrade that you apply by using the Life Cycle Manager in the Prism web console. Life Cycle Manager is now linked from Upgrade Software in the Prism web console.
Advantages of UEFI Mode
The pre-operating system environment is vulnerable to attacks by possible malicious loaders. Secure boot addresses this vulnerability with UEFI secure boot using policies present in the firmware along with certificates, to ensure that only properly signed and authenticated components are allowed to execute.
UEFI firmware is a successor to legacy BIOS firmware that supports larger hard drives, faster boot time and provides more security features.
Creation and starting guest Windows / Linux VMs with UEFI firmware provide the following advantages.
- Boot faster
- Avoid legacy option ROM address constraints
- Include robust reliability and fault management
- Use UEFI drivers
You can create or update VMs with UEFI firmware by using the acli commands, Prism web console, or Prism Central UI.
Read also: Nutanix Block Vs Nutanix Node
UEFI Supported Operating System
Here is list of Operating System Windows / Linux OS supports the UEFI secure booting BIOS feature :
- Nutanix does not support converting a VM that uses IDE disks or Legacy BIOS to VMs that use Secure Boot.
- It is only supported on Q35, a new virtual hardware platform.
- It is only supported on AHV.
- Recovery of the secure boot enabled VMs is not supported on AOS 5.16.
|OS vendor||OS name||OS bits||Platform|
|Microsoft||Windows 10 home edition||64||x86|
|Microsoft||Windows 10 professional||64||x86|
|Microsoft||Windows server 2012 R2||64||x86|
|Microsoft||Windows 2016 server||64||x86|
|Red Hat||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0||64||x86|
|Red Hat||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1||64||x86|
|Canonical||Ubuntu 12.04.x LTS desktop||64||x86|
|Canonical||Ubuntu 12.04.x LTS server||64||x86|
|Canonical||Ubuntu 16.04.x LTS desktop||64||x86|
|Canonical||Ubuntu 16.04.x LTS server||64||x86|
|Canonical||Ubuntu 18.04.x LTS desktop||64||x86|
|Canonical||Ubuntu 18.04.x LTS server||64||x86|
|SUSE||SUSE Linux enterprise server 12 SP 3||64||x86|
Read more: Nutanix AHV Supported Guest OS List
Create Secure UEFI VMS From acli Command
In AHV-managed clusters, you can create a Windows / Linux VM to start with UEFI firmware by using the aCLI command. This topic describes the procedure to create a VM by using Acropolis CLI (aCLI).
Step 1: SSH to any Nutanix CVM
Step 2: Run following command to enter in acli command mode
Step 3: Create secure boot UEFI firmware VM to run following command
cvm$ vm.create uefi_boot=true nvram_container=<Container_Name>
Note: By default, the UEFI firmware and variables are stored in an NVRAM container. The UEFI variables are stored in a default NVRAM container. Nutanix recommends you to choose a storage container with at least RF2 storage policy to ensure the VM high availability for node failure scenarios.
Read also: Configure Nutanix Virtual Network with IPAM
Change VM’s BIOS Booting Firmware to UEFI
If you have migrated the UEFI firmware enabled physical server to virtual P2V / Virtual to Virtual V2V but your VM is booting up with default BIOS booting firmware. It means you need to change the VM’s BIOS booting firmware booting type.
Change VM’s BIOS booting firmware type from legacy to UEFI firmware
Step 1: shutdown your running VM on Nutanix platform
Step 2: SSH to any Nutanix CVM
Step 3: Run following command to enter in acli command mode
Step 4: Change the BIOS firmware type to UEFI firmware
cvm$ vm.update <VM_Name> uefi_boot=true
Step 5: Now Power-on the VM
Boot Nutanix VM in BIOS Mode
Now you can Enter / boot your Nutanix AHV hosted Windows / Linux VM in BIOS UEFI mode to just press the Fn + F2 keys on your keyboard and can change the VM’s booting sequence, booting device, booting type, booting delay, screen resolution etc.
Just follow the steps to boot the Nutanix AHV hosted VM in BIOS mode:
Ensure that the Windows / Linux VM is in powered on state.
Step 1: Log on to Prism web console.
Step 2: Power-on VM
To go to the UEFI firmware menu, press the Fn + F2 keys on your keyboard.
Final Step: Do one of the following.
- To save the changed resolution, press the F10 key.
- To go back to the previous screen, press the Esc key.
Note: After saving the changes, the OS reflects the changed resolution.
Hopefully, You enjoyed the Nutanix new feature to boot up the Nutanix AHV hosted VM in BIOS UEFI firmware secure mode.
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