Bifrost Installation

Bifrost Installation


Installation and use of bifrost is split into roughly three steps:

  • install: prepare the local environment by downloading and/or building machine images, and installing and configuring the necessary services.
  • enroll-dynamic: take as input a customizable hardware inventory file and enroll the listed hardware with ironic, configuring each appropriately for deployment with the previously-downloaded images.
  • deploy-dynamic: instruct ironic to deploy the operating system onto each machine.

Supported operating systems:

  • Ubuntu 14.04, 14.10, 15.04, 16.04
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7
  • CentOS 7
  • Fedora 22
  • openSUSE Leap 42.1, 42.2


Pre-install steps

Installing bifrost on RHEL or CentOS requires a few extra pre-install steps, in order to have access to the additional packages contained in the EPEL repository. Some of the software bifrost leverages, can only be obtained from EPEL on RHEL and CentOS systems.


Use of EPEL repositories may result in incompatible packages being installed by the package manager. Care should be taken when using a system with EPEL enabled.


Enable additional repositories (RHEL only)

The extras and optional yum repositories must be enabled to satisfy bifrost’s dependencies. To check:

sudo yum repolist | grep 'optional\|extras'

To view the status of repositories:

sudo yum repolist all | grep 'optional\|extras'

The output will look like this:

!rhui-REGION-rhel-server-debug-extras/7Server/x86_64        Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-debug-optional/7Server/x86_64       Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras/7Server/x86_64               Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional/7Server/x86_64             Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-source-extras/7Server/x86_64        Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-source-optional/7Server/x86_64      Red H disabled

Use the names of the repositories (minus the version and architecture) to enable them:

sudo yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional
sudo yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras
Enable the EPEL repository

The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository contains some of bifrost’s dependencies. To enable it, install the epel-release package as follows:

sudo yum install


Enable the EPEL repository (CentOS)

To enable EPEL on CentOS, run:

sudo yum install epel-release

Performing the installation

Installation is split into four parts:

  • Cloning the bifrost repository
  • Installation of Ansible
  • Configuring settings for the installation
  • Execution of the installation playbook


The documentation expects that you have a copy of the repository on your local machine, and that your working directory is inside of the copy of the bifrost repository.


Clone the Bifrost repository:

git clone
cd bifrost

Installation of Ansible

Installation of Ansible can take place using the provided environment setup script located at scripts/ which is present in the bifrost repository. This may also be used if you already have ansible, as it will install ansible and various dependencies to ~/.local in order to avoid overwriting or conflicting with a system-wide Ansible installation.

If you use, ansible will be installed along with its missing Python dependencies into user’s ~/.local directory.

Alternatively, if you have a working Ansible installation, under normal circumstances the installation playbook can be executed.


All testing takes place utilizing the scripts/ script. Please feel free to submit bug reports or patches to OpenStack Gerrit for any issues encountered if you choose to directly invoke the playbooks without using

Pre-installation settings

Before performing the installation, it is highly recommended that you edit ./playbooks/inventory/group_vars/* to match your environment. Several files are located in this folder, and you may wish to review and edit the settings across multiple files:

  • The target file is used by roles that execute against the target node upon which you are installing ironic and all required services.
  • The baremetal file is geared for roles executed against baremetal nodes. This may be useful if you are automating multiple steps involving deployment and configuration of nodes beyond deployment via the same roles.
  • The localhost file is similar to the target file, and likely contains identical settings. This file is referenced if no explicit target is defined, as it defaults to the localhost.

Duplication between variable names does occur within these files, as variables are unique to the group that the role is being executed upon.

  • If MySQL is already installed, update mysql_password to match your local installation.
  • Change network_interface to match the interface that will need to service DHCP requests.
  • Change the ironic_db_password which is set by ansible in MySQL and in ironic’s configuration file.

The install process, when executed will either download, or build disk images for the deployment of nodes, and be deployed to the nodes.

If you wish to build an image, based upon the settings, you will need to set create_image_via_dib to true.


Bifrost does not overwrite pre-existing IPA ramdisk and deployment image files. As such, you will need to remove the files if you wish to rebuild them. These files typically consist the default files: /httpboot/deployment_image.qcow2, /httpboot/ipa.kernel, /etc/httpboot/ipa.initramfs.

If you are running the installation behind a proxy, export the environment variables http_proxy, https_proxy and no_proxy so that ansible will use these proxy settings.



In order to really get started, you must install dependencies.

If you used the environment setup script:

bash ./scripts/
export PATH=${HOME}/.local/bin:${PATH}
cd playbooks


pip install -r requirements.txt
cd playbooks

Once the dependencies are in-place, you can execute the ansible playbook to perform the actual installation. The playbook will install and configure ironic in a stand-alone fashion.

A few important notes:

  • The OpenStack Identity service (keystone) is NOT installed by default, and ironic’s API is accessible without authentication. It is possible to put basic password authentication on ironic’s API by changing the nginx configuration accordingly.


Bifrost playbooks can leverage and optionally install keystone. See Keystone install details.

  • The OpenStack Networking service (neutron) is NOT installed. Ironic performs static IP injection via config-drive or DHCP reservation.
  • Deployments are performed by the ironic python agent (IPA).
  • dnsmasq is configured statically and responds to all PXE boot requests by chain-loading to iPXE, which then fetches the Ironic Python Agent ramdisk from nginx.
  • By default, installation will build an Ubuntu-based image for deployment to nodes. This image can be easily customized if so desired.

The re-execution of the playbook will cause states to be re-asserted. If not already present, a number of software packages including MySQL and RabbitMQ will be installed on the host. Python code will be reinstalled regardless if it has changed. RabbitMQ user passwords will be reset, and services will be restarted.

Playbook Execution

If you have passwordless sudo enabled, run:

ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml

Otherwise, add the -K to the ansible command line, to trigger ansible to prompt for the sudo password:

ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml

With regard to testing, ironic’s node cleaning capability is disabled by default as it can be an unexpected surprise for a new user that their test node is unusable for however long it takes for the disks to be wiped.

If you wish to enable cleaning, you can achieve this by passing the option -e cleaning=true to the command line or executing the command below:

ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml -e cleaning=true

After you have performed an installation, you can edit /etc/ironic/ironic.conf to enable or disable cleaning as desired. It is highly encouraged to utilize cleaning in any production environment.

Additional ironic drivers

An additional collection of drivers are maintained outside of the ironic source code repository, as they do not have Continuous Integration (CI) testing.

These drivers and information about them can be found in ironic-staging-drivers docs. If you would like to install the ironic staging drivers, simply pass -e staging_drivers_include=true when executing the install playbook:

ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml -e staging_drivers_include=true
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