Easy OpenStack Folsom with VirtualBox and Vagrant

Testing OpenStack is now as easy thanks to VirtualBox and Vagrant. To run a mini test environment with Compute, Cinder, Keystone and Horizon you just need the following tools:

  • VirtualBox
  • Vagrant
  • Git client

Getting Ready

To set up a sandbox environment within VirtualBox to run OpenStack Folsom you will need to download:

Installation of these tools are simple – follow the on-screen prompts.

When ready we need to configure the VirtualBox “Host-Only” Networking. This networking mode allows us to communicate with our VirtualBox guest and our underlying host.
We will set up the following:

  • Host-Only Network: IP; Network; Disable DHCP
  • Host-Only Network #2: IP; Network; Disable DHCP

(Hint: there is a bash script @ https://raw.github.com/uksysadmin/OpenStackInstaller/folsom/virtualbox/vbox-create-networks.sh to create these for you).

How To Do It

To create a VirtualBox VM, running Ubuntu 12.04 with OpenStack Folsom from Ubuntu’s Cloud Archive, carry out the following

1. Clone the GitHub OpenStackInstaller scripts

git clone https://github.com/uksysadmin/OpenStackInstaller.git

2. Make the scripts the ‘folsom’ branch

cd OpenStackInstaller
git checkout folsom

3. Run ‘vagrant’ to launch your OpenStack instance which will come up with IP

cd virtualbox
vagrant up

4. After a short while your instance will be ready. Note that on the first run, Vagrant will download a 384Mb Precise64 “box”. Subsequent launches will not require this step.

Launch a web browser at and log in with:

Username: admin
Password: openstack

(Note, to edit the IP it is assigned, modify virtualbox/vagrant-openstack-bootstrap.sh (Warning its a bit of a sed hack!).


Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha + Beta Kernel Panic Fix

If you are getting a Kernel Panic accompanied by text such as

init: log.c:786: Assertion failes in log_clear_unflushed:

Then see this thread: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/upstart/+bug/935585 regarding a bug introduced in a recent upstart package.

Fix is simple

  1. apt-get install python-software-properties
  2. add-apt-repository ppa:jamesodhunt/bug-935585
  3. apt-get update
  4. apt-get upgrade

When you reboot all should be great thanks to James Hunt.

Upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 problem: Waiting for network configuration then black screen solution

Have you just upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and now getting the “Waiting for network configuration” message followed by “Waiting up to 60 seconds more for network”? This then might be accompanied by a black blank screen.

[update] I’ve updated this post to reflect the copy step mentioned in the bug post below is surplus as /run is mounted tmpfs – the refined steps are below. The fix is removing the old /var/run and /var/lock then pointing those old locations to /run and /run/lock respectively. I’m suspecting this bug only comes about after an upgrade from your existing session (e.g. apt-get dist-upgrade) where it must have trouble removing these directories because existing services have files needed in there.

[update 8th March 2012] Ubuntu 12.04 is just around the corner. I strongly advise you resist upgrading to 11.10 at this stage when 12.04 is to be released next month.

The bug is here (https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/sysvinit/+bug/858122) and the fix is based on this: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dbus/+bug/811441/comments/24 :

  1. Hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 at the blank screen to get you to a non-X terminal (tty1)
  2. Login in with your username and password
  3. Change to root with: sudo -i and enter your password
  4. mkdir -p /run /run/lock
  5. rm -rf /var/run /var/lock
  6. ln -s /run /var
  7. ln -s /run/lock /var
  8. reboot

You should have 11.10 back again.

OpenStack Diablo, updates and work in progress!

It has been a while since I blogged, and in that time OpenStack has come on leaps and bounds with Diablo being the latest official release. This will change as I work pretty much full-time on testing OpenStack as an end-user (and day job as architect) based on Diablo. This will also help with some book projects that are in the pipe-line for which I’m very humbled and excited about. I’ll blog my experiences as I go along – after all, it’s the reason you’ve stumbled upon this corner of the internet in the first place to learn from my experiences in using OpenStack.
The project I’m working on will be based on Ubuntu running the latest release of OpenStack, Diablo (2011.3). I’ll be investigating Crowbar from Dell to see how remote bare-metal provisioning of OpenStack is coming along – a crucial element for this to be adopted in established enterprises where it is the norm to roll-out enterprise class software in this way. I’ll try to squeeze in JuJu too. Most importantly though is playing catch up on the raft of projects that are flowing through OpenStack from Keystone for authentication, Quantum (although probably more relevant to Essex as this develops) as well as playing catch up on where Swift, Glance and the Dashboard are.

Protecting SSH against brute force attacks

Running a public AWS instance is always asking for unexpected trouble from script kiddies and bots trying to find a vector in to compromise your server.
Sshguard (www.sshguard.net) monitors your log and alters your IPtables firewall accordingly to help keep persistent brute force attackers at bay.

1. Download the latest version from http://www.sshguard.net @ http://freshmeat.net/urls/6ff38f7dc039f95efec2859eefe17d3a

wget -O sshguard-1.5.tar.bz2

2. Unpack

tar jxvf sshguard-1.5.tar.bz2

3. Configure + Make

cd sshguard-1.5
./configure --with-firewall=iptables

4. Install (to /usr/local/sbin/sshguard)

sudo make install

5. /etc/init.d/sshguard (chmod 0755)

! /bin/sh
# this is a concept, elaborate to your taste
case $1 in
/usr/local/sbin/sshguard -a 4 -b 5:/var/sshguard/blacklist.db -l
     /var/log/auth.log &
killall sshguard
echo "Use start or stop"
exit 1

6. /etc/iptables.up.rules

# Firewall
-N sshguard
-A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp --dport http -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp --dport ftp-data -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp --dport ftp -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp --dport ssh -j sshguard
-A INPUT -p udp --source-port 53 -d 0/0 -j ACCEPT
# Completed

7. Read in the IPtables rules

iptables-restore < /etc/iptables.up.rules

8. Start Sshguard

mkdir /var/sshguard&&/etc/init.d/sshguard start


tail -f /var/log/auth.log
iptables -L -n

Upgrade Ubuntu 10.04 to Ubuntu 10.10 with ATI Proprietary Driver

I’ve just upgraded my Ubuntu 10.04 installation to 10.10 Maverick Meercat and encountered an issue with X failing to load.
During the upgrade, Ubuntu complained about the upgrade of the fglrx proprietary driver. I didn’t think too much of it – I was of course going to let it continue.
After the reboot, the screen stopped at a purple screen of death. Not good.
Rebooting, the same thing happened.


  • At the Grub menu choose Rescue Mode
  • Choose drop to netroot shell
    (WARNING: Don’t select drop to root shell unless you’ve set a root password, most default Ubuntu installs won’t have this set)
  • Log in as yourself
  • Sudo edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and make sure it only contains these lines:
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "Configured Video Device"
        Driver          "vesa"
Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Configured Monitor"
Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Monitor         "Configured Monitor"
        Device          "Configured Video Device"
  • Type startx
  • On your desktop’s menu choose “System… Administration… Additional Drivers”
  • Choose “ATI/AMD proprietary FGLRX graphics driver”
  • Restart your computer