At this point of time I’m tired of using OSX and I’ve this feeling that I’m losing
my grip on my system. I no longer know why some processes are running and for
what, and if I should allow those processes to run.
For quite some time I was thinking to migrate back to some Linux distro; Ubuntu
was out of question, Debian release processes are too slow for me, Fedora/CentOS
are not much fun either. So, I decided to checkout Arch Linux one more time
because it’s gaining a lot of traction lately and few of my hardcore friends
have already taken refuge under Arch and one of i3/xmonad/awesome.
From my last memories, I liked its minimalistic approach and the fact that no process
will run on it unless I wanted. Getting the installation media
was easy. Esoteric and technical, but the installation process is quite simple:
Disk partioning and formatting
Mount partitions, generate filesystem table
Installing Arch Linux base system
Chroot to configure locale, time, install grub etc. and reboot and done!
Before wiping my MBA and install Arch I’ll be evaluating Arch for next few weeks
in a VBox VM. To keep it simple, I’ll have only two partitions; one for / and ones for swap.
# Partition disks
# Format partitions
mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sda1
# Mount partitions
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
# Fix mirror list
# Install base system
pacstrap /mnt base base-devel
# Generate filesystem table
genfstab /mnt >> /etc/fstab
# Chroot, config system
# Change root password
# Select en/US locale
# Configure timezone
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Kolkata /etc/localtime
# Set hostname
echo myawesomehostname > /etc/hostname
# Install bootloader
pacman -S grub-bios
mkinitcpio -p grub
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
# Exit out of chrooted env
# Cleanup reboot
After rebooting to the installed system, I enabled bunch of services like dhcpcd
so it autoconfigures network/ip for me, edit pacman conf file, update/upgrade using
pacman Arch’s package manager, configure sound, x-server, bunch of kernel modules,
and install i3 because all the good desktop environments are so messed up and I
like tiling window managers.
CloudStack uses virtual appliances as part of its orchestration. For example, it
uses virtual routers for SDN, secondary storage vm for snapshots, templates etc.
All these service appliances are created off a template called a systemvm
template in CloudStack’s terminologies. This template appliance is patched to create
secondary storage vm, console proxy vm or router vm. There was an old way of building
systemvms in patches/systemvm/debian/buildsystemvm.sh which is no longer maintained
and we wanted to have a way for hackers to just build systemvms on their own box.
James Martin did a great job on automating DevCloud appliance
building using veewee, a tool with
which one can build appliances on VirtualBox. The tool itself is easy to use, you
first define what kind of box you want to build, configure a preseed file and add
any post installation script you want to run, once done you can export the appliance in
various formats using vhd-util, qemu-img and vboxmanage. I finally fixed a
solution to this problem
today and the code lives in tools/appliance on master branch but this post is
not about that solution but about the issues and challenges of setting up an
automated jenkins job
and on replicating the build job.
I used Ubuntu 12.04 on a large machine which runs a jenkins slave and connects
to jenkins.cloudstack.org. After little housekeeping I installed VirtualBox from
virtualbox.org. VirtualBox comes up with its command line tool, vboxmanage
which can be used to clone, copy and export appliance. I used it to export it to
ova, vhd and raw image formats. Next, installed qemu which gets you qemu-img for
exporting a raw disk image to the qcow2 format.
The VirtualBox vhd format is compatible to HyperV virtual disk format, but for
exporting VHD for Xen, we need to export the appliance to raw disk format and
then use vhd-util to convert it to Xen VHD image.
sudo apt-get install bzip2 python-dev gcc g++ build-essential libssl-dev
uuid-dev zlib1g-dev libncurses5-dev libx11-dev python-dev iasl bin86 bcc
gettext libglib2.0-dev libyajl-dev
# On 64 bit system
sudo apt-get install libc6-dev-i386
# Build vhd-util from source
wget -q http://bits.xensource.com/oss-xen/release/4.2.0/xen-4.2.0.tar.gz
tar -xzf xen-4.2.0.tar.gz
wget https://github.com/citrix-openstack/xenserver-utils/raw/master/blktap2.patch -qO - | patch -p0
./configure --disable-monitors --disable-ocamltools --disable-rombios --disable-seabios
make -j 2
sudo make install
Last thing was to setup rvm for the jenkins user:
$ \curl -L https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable --ruby
# In case of dependency or openssl error:
$ rvm requirements run
$ rvm reinstall 1.9.3
One issue with rvm is that it requires a login shell, which I fixed in build.sh
using #!/bin/bash -xl. But the build job failed for me due to missing env variables.
$HOME needs to be defined and rvm should be in path. The shell commands used to
run the jenkins job:
Apache CloudStack development is
not an easy task, for the simplest of deployments one requires a server where
the management server, mysql server and NFS server would run, at least
one host or server which would run a hypervisor (to run virtual machines) or
would be used for baremetal deployment and some network infrastructure.
And talk about development, sometimes reproducing a bug can take hours or days
(been there done that :) and moreover a developer may not have access to such
an infrastructure all the time.
To solve the problem of infrastructure availability for development and testing,
earlier this year Edison,
one of the core committers and PPMC members of Apache CloudStack (incubating),
DevCloud is a virtual appliance shipped as an OVA image which runs on VirtualBox
(an opensource type-2 or desktop hypervisor) and can be used for CloudStack’s
development and testing. The original DevCloud required 2G of RAM, and ran
Ubuntu Precise as dom0 over xen.org’s Xen server which runs as a VM on VirtualBox.
A developer would build and deploy CloudStack artifacts (jars, wars) and files
to DevCloud, deploy database and start the management server inside DevCloud.
The developer may then use CloudStack running inside DevCloud to add DevCloud as
a host and whatnot. DevCloud is now used by a lot of people, especially during
the first release of Apache CloudStack, the 4.0.0-incubating, DevCloud was used
for the release testing.
When I tried DevCloud for the first time, I thought it was neat, an awesome all
in a box solution for offline development. The limitations were; only one host
could be used that too in basic zone and it would run mgmt server etc. all inside
DevCloud. I wanted to run mgmt server, MySQL server on my laptop and debug with
IntelliJ, so I made my own
setup which would run two XenServers on separate VirtualBox VMs, NFS running on
a separate VM and all the VMs on a host-only network.
The host-only network in VirtualBox is a special network which is shared by
all the VMs and the host operating system. My setup allowed me to have two hosts
so I could do things like VM migration in a cluster etc. But it would crash a lot
and network won’t work. I learnt how bridging in Xen worked and using tcpdump
found that the packets were dropped but ARP request was allowed, the fix was to
just enable host-only adapter’s promiscuous mode to allow all. I also tried to
run KVM on VirtualBox, which did not work as KVM does not support PV and requires
HVM so it cannot run on processors without Intel-VT or Amd-V. None of which is
emulated by VirtualBox.
CloudStack’s build system was changed from Ant to Maven, and this required some
changes in DevCloud
which made it possible to use the original appliance with the new build system.
The changes were not straight forward so I decided to work on the next iteration
of DevCloud with the following goals:
Two network interfaces, host-only adapter so that the VM is reachable from
host os and a NAT so VMs can access Internet.
Can be used both as an all in one box solution like the original DevCloud but
the mgmt server and other services can run elsewhere (on host os).
Reduce resource requirements, so one could run it in 1G limit.
Allow multiple DevCloud VMs hosts.
x86 dom0 and xen-i386 so it runs on all host os.
Reduce exported appliance (ova) file size.
It should be seamless, it should work out of the box.
I started by creating an appliance using Ubuntu 12.04.1 server which failed for me.
The network interfaces would stop working after reboot and few users reported
blank screen. I never caught the actual issue, so I tried to create the
appliance using different distributions including Fedora, Debian and Arch.
Fedora did not work and stripping down to a bare minimum required a lot of work.
Arch VM was very small in size but I dropped my idea to work on it as it can be
unstable, people may not be familiar with pacman and may fail to appreciate the
simplicity of the distribution.
Finally, I hit the jackpot with Debian! Debian Wheezy just worked, took me some
time to create it from scratch (more than ten times) and figure out the correct
configurations. The new appliance is available for download, get DevCloud 2.0
(867MB, md5checksum: 144b41193229ead4c9b3213c1c40f005).
Install VirtualBox and import the new DevCloud2 appliance and start it. In
default settings, it is reachable on ip 192.168.56.10 with username root and
password password. Next start hacking either inside the DevCloud appliance or
on your laptop (host os):
# ssh inside DevCloud if building inside it:
$ ssh -v [email protected]
$ cd to /opt/cloudstack # or any other directory, it does not matter
# Get the source code:
$ git clone https://git-wip-us.apache.org/repos/asf/incubator-cloudstack.git
$ cd incubator-cloudstack
# Build management server:
$ mvn clean install -P developer,systemvm
# Deploy database:
$ mvn -pl developer,tools/devcloud -Ddeploydb -P developer
# Export the following only if you want debugging on port 8787
$ export MAVEN_OPTS="-Xmx1024m -XX:MaxPermSize=800m -Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,address=8787,server=y,suspend=n"
# Run the management server:
$ mvn -pl client jetty:run
# In Global Settings check `host` to 192.168.56.1 (or .10 if inside DevCloud)
# and `system.vm.use.local.storage` to true, restart mgmt server.
# Set the maximum number of console proxy vms to 0 if you don't need one from
# CloudStack's global settings, this will save you some RAM.
# Now add a basic zone with local storage. May be start more DevCloud hosts by
# importing more appliances and changing default IPs and reboot!
Make sure your mgmt server is running and you may deploy a basic zone using
preconfigured settings in tools/devcloud/devcloud.cfg:
$ mvn -P developer -pl tools/devcloud -Ddeploysvr
# Or in case mvn fails try the following, (can fail if you run mgmt server in debug mode on port 8787)
$ cd tools/devcloud
$ python ../marvin/marvin/deployDataCenter.py -i devcloud.cfg
Install VirtualBox and get the Debian Wheezy
7.0. I used the netinst i386
iso. Create a new VM in VirtualBox with Debian/Linux as the distro, 2G RAM, 20G
or more disk and two nics: host-only with promiscuous mode “allow-all” and a NAT
adapter. Next, install a base Debian system with linux-kernel-pae (generic),
and openssh-server. You may download my base system from
About 2-3 weeks ago I started writing a CLI (command line interface) for Apache CloudStack. I researched some options and finally chose Python and cmd. Python comes preinstalled on almost all Linux distros and Mac (Windows I don’t care :P it’s not developer friendly), cmd is a standard package in Python with which one can write a tool which can work as a command line tool and as an interactive shell interpretor. I named it cloudmonkey after the project’s mascot. In this blog and elsewhere I use the name as Cloudmonkey or cloudmonkey, but not CloudMonkey :P
Cloudmonkey on OSX
Apache CloudStack has around 300 restful APIs give or take, and writing handlers (autocompletion, help, request handlers etc.) seemed a mammoth task at first. Marvin (the ignored robot) came to rescue. Marvin is a Python package within CloudStack and was written by Edison and now maintained by Prasanna which provides bunch of classes with which one can implement a client for CloudStack and provides cloudstackAPI. It’s interesting how cloudstackAPI is generated. A developer writes an API and fills the boilterplate with API specific details such as required params etc. and java doc string. This information is picked up by an api writer class which generates an xml containing information about each API, its docstring and parameters. This is used by apidocs artifact to generate API help docs and used by Marvin’s code generator to create a module for cloudstackAPI which contains command and response classes. When I understood the whole process I thought if I can reuse this somehow I won’t have to deal with the 300 APIs directly.
Cloudmonkey on Ubuntu
I’ve always been a fan of functional programming, iterative or object oriented programming was not going to help. So, I grouped the apis based on their first lowercase chars, for example for the api listUsers, the verb is list. Based on such pattern, I wrote the code so that it would group APIs based on such verbs and create handlers on the fly and add them to the shell class. The handlers are actually closures so, this way every handler is actual a dynamic function in memory enclosed by the closure generator for a verb. In the initial version, when a command was executed first time based on its verb, command class from appropriate module from cloudstackAPI would be loaded and a cache dictionary would be populated if a cache miss was hit. In later version, I wrote a cache generator which would precache all the APIs at build time to cheat on the runtime lookup overhead from O(n) to O(1). This cache would contain for each verb the api name, required params, all params and help strings. This dictionary is used for autocompletion for the verbs, the commands and their parameters, and for help strings.
grammar = ['list', 'create', 'update', 'delete', ...]
for rule in grammar:
def grammar_closure(self, args):
if not rule in self.cache_verbs:
args_partition = args.partition(" ")
res = self.cache_verbs[rule][args_partition]
except KeyError, e:
self.print_shell("Error: invalid %s api arg" % rule, e)
if ' --help' in args or ' -h' in args:
self.default(res + " " + args_partition)
Right now cloudmonkey is available as a community distribution on the cheese shop, so pip install cloudmonkey already! It has a wiki on building, installation and usage instructions, or watch a screencast (transcript, alternate link) I made for users. As the userbase grows, it will only get better. Feel free to reachout to me and the Apache CloudStack team on IRC or on the mailing lists.
We had our first official Apache CloudStackmeetup in Hyderabad yesterday, 1 Nov 2012, at Lemon Tree, Hyderabad. Earlier we gave a small bird eye view presentation on Apache CloudStack during a local Hadoop User Group (HUG) meetup. This time, the meetup was totally focussed on Apache CloudStack.
The meetup started at 5PM and the presentations ended at 7:20PM, followed by about an hour of networking and discussions, and t-shirts for everyone. It was attended by 134 people and organised by 7 people that includes (Nitin who was out of station at the time), Kishan, Prasanna, Bidisha, Sadhu, Praveen, Hari P and myself.
We started by welcoming the attendees and showed them an introductory video on Apache CloudStack. Next we did a poll and found that all of the attendees have heard of cloud computing, most of them use or are going to use cloud or are excited to learn about it. Most of the crowd rated themselves as users, some managers and some engineers. Most of them said they use open source technologies on daily basis and there were few who contribute to opensource.
Kevin Kluge (Apache CloudStack committer and VP Cloud Platforms Group, Citrix) gave his keynote on building your own IaaS cloud with Apache CloudStack and gave a small demo of CloudStack.
Next, Prasanna Santhanam (Apache CloudStack committer, amateur violinist dude) gave a brief talk on Apache Software Foundation, how the opensource community works and how to participate.
The last presentation was by Chirag Jog (CTO, Clogeny) on migrating application to the IaaS clouds.
All the presentations and photos are downloadable from here, some select photos are here. The meetup presentations were followed by questions;
and people picking up the CloudStack t-shirts on their way out. Big thanks to all the speakers, attendees and my co-organizers. See you in the next meetups, in FOSS.in 2012 or during CloudStack Collaboration 2012.