Installing SIMP from an ISO

SIMP can be installed from a bootable ISO, which provides many advantages:

  • Provides a ready-to-go OS, Puppet server, and SIMP installation

  • Suitable for use in network-isolated enclaves/offline environments

  • Ensures OS is configured with compliance-relevant install-time options:

    • The Disk Partitioning scheme is compatible with most security guides

    • The OS will boot in FIPS mode

    • Disks will be encrypted Obtaining a SIMP ISO file

You can obtain a SIMP installation ISO using one of the following methods:

  1. Downloading an ISO image file

  2. [Advanced] Building a SIMP ISO for yourself

    • The contents of the ISO can be customized to your preferences.

    • This is the only way to obtain a SIMP ISO that installs a licensed commercial OS, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Installing the OS

A SIMP ISO will install its OS + SIMP on any host that supports the underlying operating system.

Install as follows:

  1. Boot the system using the SIMP ISO.

    The ISO will load into a screen of boot options. The presentation will differ, depending on the boot firmware and ISO OS:


    SIMP boot options screen (BIOS)


    SIMP boot options screen (UEFI, el7)

    UEFI (submenu)

    SIMP boot options screen (UEFI, el7)

  2. Press Enter to boot the standard SIMP installer, or customize the installation using the boot options.


    For details about how SIMP implements disk encryption (enabled by default), see: Disk Encryption.

  3. Once installation starts, you may see the graphical interface spawn.


    You should NOT interact with the GUI unless you have elected to manage your own disk partitions (e.g., simp-prompt).


    If you have opted to manage your own disk partitions with (e.g., simp-prompt), follow the GUI instructions to enter your partition scheme.

    For example, using SIMP for CentOS 7:

    1. Click the INSTALLATION DESTINATION button

    2. Configure the desired partitioning

    3. Click the DONE button to finalize your disk selections

    4. Click the Begin Installation button on the main GUI page to continue.

    No further GUI interaction will be required.


    When applying disk encryption (enabled by default), the system may seem to pause and display messages about increasing entropy. You can speed up the installation by pressing random keys on the keyboard for a bit (this will generate additional entropy).

  4. When the installation is complete, the system will restart automatically.


    When the system boots, it may display: error on start module sha1 not found could not insert sha_256 [...]. This is expected and is a known issue.

  5. Change the default passwords.


    There are default passwords present on the system that should be changed prior to deploying the system.

    Please make sure that you change these passwords!


    See the What is the Password Complexity for SIMP? FAQ for tips on setting a functional password.

  1. Change the root user password.

  1. At the console, log on as root and type the default password shown in SIMP Default Passwords

  2. Follow the prompts to complete the password change

  1. Change the simp user password.

  1. At the console, log on as simp and type the default password shown in SIMP Default Passwords

  2. Follow the prompts to complete the password change SIMP Default Passwords

Below is a table containing the default passwords found on a basic SIMP server upon install.


All default passwords must be changed during the initial configuration process.





Root User


Simp User


Table: SIMP Default Passwords Next Steps

Now that your system has been installed, you should proceed to Initial SIMP Server Configuration to complete the initial setup.