New blog entry on OpenStack Pulls It Out Of The Bag

You can read my newest blog entry on the trials and tribulations of my experience of OpenStack at

OpenStack is a true Open Source Cloud Platform, backed by many companies who have full-time staff writing code and fixing bugs.  It has a large community of intelligent minds powering OpenStack that you won’t find in any other community cloud ecosystem.  They’re the rock stars of cloud computing.


Screencast / Video of an Install of OpenStack Essex on Ubuntu 12.04 under VirtualBox

A 12 minute screencast showing an installation of OpenStack ‘Essex’ on Ubuntu 12.04 running on VirtualBox

OpenStack Essex Installation Screencast

OpenStack Essex Installation Screencast

Note that this screencast has no sound.

  1. Configure VirtualBox with the following
    Network Interfaces:
    eth0 (nat)
    eth1 host-only:
    eth2 host-only:
    Memory: 1536Mb
    Hard Disk: 20Gb
    System Processor (optional but recommended): Increase CPU from 1
  2. Install Ubuntu 12.04, specifying eth0 as your default interface
  3. Configure networking:
    eth1 is your public network set to be
    eth2 is your private VLAN
  4. Run an update on the machine, and reboot
  5. Install Git which allows you to pull down a script to perform the installation of OpenStack
  6. Grab the script using the following:
    git clone
  7. Ensure you’re running the ‘essex’ version of the script by running: git checkout essex
  8. Run the script with the following:
    ./ -F -f -s 512 -t demo -v qemu
  9. Upload an image using the test supplied script:
    ./ -a admin -p openstack -t demo -C
  10. Log into the Dashboard: with ‘demo/openstack’
  11. Create your access keys
  12. Edit the default security group (add in SSH access and ability to ping)
  13. Launch your instance
  14. Log into your new instance!

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: 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.

OpenStack Essex Keystone Changes – script showing use

The latest release of OpenStack Essex has changed the way Keystone is managed.  Rather than most of the work being done by nova-manage, this has moved to a ‘keystone’ client command (which can be found in the Ubuntu package, python-keystoneclient).

An example of its use can be seen here:

OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook – Book Available for Pre-Order

I’m very pleased to announce that you can pre-order my book on OpenStack: OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook

Understand, install and configure Nova, OpenStack’s Cloud Compute resource
Learn how to install Swift, how it operates—with practical recipes to troubleshooting and maintaining OpenStack’s Object Storage service
Configure Keystone, OpenStack’s Identity Service which underpins the authentication of all OpenStack services
Manage cloud computing images using the OpenStack Image Service, Glance
Learn how to create custom Windows and Linux images for use in your private cloud environment
Configure and install Horizon, the OpenStack Dashboard service for managing your cloud environment
Learn how to secure your private cloud and the instances running on them
Learn how to troubleshoot, monitor and deploy OpenStack environments beyond test environments and into real-world datacenters

Available around September 2012

CloudCamp Warrington, February 23rd hosted by @appsense #aws #openstack

I’ll be doing a short (well, I can get carried away but the plan is short) talk on what is doing in terms of cloud computing which includes efforts and plans around OpenStack and AWS.

You will find some great people at the informal event – from people who are actively involved in cloud technology, to those that are just starting their cloud journey.

If you’re in the North West of the UK and fancy coming along – it is being kindly hosted by the Warrington offices of AppSense Ltd.  The evening is turning out to be a great forum and the hope is that more events in the area will follow.  If you have an interest in the cloud bubble, please come along for a chat over some drinks and some food.

Full details here:

Updated OpenStackInstaller script for Precise and Essex installs

I’ve updated the OpenStackInstaller script which now gives you a Development (Trunk) OpenStack Essex installation on Ubuntu Precise (Currently Alpha 2) with the following

Nova Compute (and associated services)

This set up allows you to use nova client tools to launch instances

Install Ubuntu Precise
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

(as root)

  1. git clone
  2. cd OpenStackInstaller
  3. git checkout essex
  4. ./

A lot of this wouldn’t be possible without the help of people in #openstack on
For an equally awesome installation from scripts for a Diablo release view these scripts:

OpenStack Auto Assign Floating IP Not Working in Diablo

Being able to spin up instances in OpenStack is one thing, but they’re not much use if you can’t connect to them using the public network you’ve assigned to it.

Unfortunately in Diablo, the flag –auto_assign_floating_ip=true causes instances to be stuck at pending, and the nova-network.log spews out the something like the following snippet:

(nova.rpc): TRACE:     raise exception.FloatingIpNotFoundForAddress(address=address)
(nova.rpc): TRACE: FloatingIpNotFoundForAddress: Floating ip not found for address
<nova.db.sqlalchemy.models.FloatingIp object at 0x2fc5d90>.

This is down to a bug introduced in Diablo,

The fix is simple though (tested on Ubuntu 11.10 running Python 2.7):

  1. wget -O
  2. unzip
  3. mv /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/nova/network/{,.orig}
  4. cp /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/nova/network/
  5. restart nova-network
  6. restart nova-compute


Update 08/01/2012:  Alternatively you can use the oneiric-proposed repository that has the fix in for Diablo:

Add the following to /etc/apt/sources.list

 deb oneiric-proposed main restricted universe multiverse

Then run

apt-get update
apt-get -y dist-upgrade

Then reboot your host.

My response to “OpenStack is overstretched” – The Register

What do we get from writing an opinion online? Noteriety? Fame? Publicity?  I’m doing it because sometimes I need to fill in the blank space between the last post and this one.
I’ve just finished reading a Register article entitled “OpenStack is overstretched” in which a Enrico Signoretti writes that due to the popularity of OpenStack it seems like everyone needs to stick their awe in – good and bad – and the outcome is too many cooks.
Whilst I don’t question the burden of having to juggle a large number of vendors interests into a popular Open Source Cloud “Operating System” is a large one – isn’t this where Open Source projects shine? Sub groups work on particular code that may have a small group of people’s interests at heart. But The source code is available to do that right? What makes that feature get into the final cut? Does it matter so long as the core platform exists to serve the general public?
There is no doubt that OpenStack is a challenging product to use and implement and equally one that must keep the release manager busy and community as a whole – but their interests are to make a fantastic Open Source product available to all that want to take it in any direction they want.
We live in a world where we expect products to be able to have one-click installs – and in fact, a part of my job is to get to this stage in all aspects by automate everything. But sometimes it isn’t possible – but we can make it easier and certainly strive to get there. What we can do is to contribute back rather than sit back and watch a product mature enough to then add your own SKU that you can resell to keep your shareholders happy.
It sounds like people are frustrated because OpenStack has the potential to be big but its not ready to shine yet. There are companies using it, there are companies investigating it and there are companies that are contributing to it.

This is Open Source. You get the choice of what you want to do with it.

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot on the desktop – my thoughts (and it’s not good)

So Ubuntu 11.10, aka Oneiric Ocelot has been out for a short while now and so far it has been nothing but pain for people upgrading from an earlier release. Not only are the bugs racking up (and some are showstoppers like my post regarding the “Waiting for network configuration” shows, but the move to Unity seems disastrous and is losing people’s allegiance to the once admired desktop Linux of choice for many.
Has Ubuntu lost its way here? Ubuntu’s parental backers, Canonical, are concentrating their efforts on their Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure project and Ubuntu 11.10 on a server is great, even bringing with it an easier way to get OpenStack installed.
For me, Unity is a mistake. It made sense on my netbook, does it make sense on a touchscreen maybe, but it doesn’t make sense on my desktop. Integration with even the most basic apps are causing problems (Gvim anyone? Empathy?), its sluggish (Gwibber status updates

Overall I’ve lost my faith in Ubuntu on the desktop, which is a shame as it was on the way to make adoption to an Open Source desktop possible.