Deployment of Kolla on Bare Metal or Virtual Machine

Evaluation and Developer Environments

Two virtualized development environment options are available for Kolla. These options permit the development of Kolla without disrupting the host operating system.

If developing Kolla on an OpenStack cloud environment that supports Heat, follow the Heat developer environment guide.

If developing Kolla on a system that provides VirtualBox or Libvirt in addition to Vagrant, use the Vagrant virtual environment documented in Vagrant developer environment guide.

If evaluating Kolla, the community strongly recommends using bare metal or a virtual machine during the evaluation period. Follow the instructions in this document to get started with deploying OpenStack on bare metal or a virtual machine with Kolla.

Host machine requirements

The recommended deployment target requirements:

  • 2 (or more) network interfaces.
  • At least 8gb main memory
  • At least 40gb disk space.


Some commands below may require root permissions (e.g. pip, apt-get).

Installing Dependencies

Kolla is tested on CentOS, Oracle Linux, RHEL and Ubuntu as both container OS platforms and bare metal deployment targets.

Fedora: Kolla will not run on Fedora 22 and later as a bare metal deployment target. These distributions compress kernel modules with the .xz compressed format. The guestfs system in the CentOS family of containers cannot read these images because a dependent package supermin in CentOS needs to be updated to add .xz compressed format support.

Ubuntu: For Ubuntu based systems where Docker is used it is recommended to use the latest available LTS kernel. The latest LTS kernel available is the wily kernel (version 4.2). While all kernels should work for Docker, some older kernels may have issues with some of the different Docker backends such as AUFS and OverlayFS. In order to update kernel in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to 4.2, run:

apt-get install linux-image-generic-lts-wily


Install is very sensitive about version of components. Please review carefully because default Operating System repos are likely out of date.

Component Min Version Max Version Comment
Ansible 1.9.4 < 2.0.0 On deployment host
Docker 1.10.0 none On target nodes
Docker Python 1.6.0 none On target nodes
Python Jinja2 2.6.0 none On deployment host

Make sure the “pip” package manager is installed before proceeding:

# Centos 7
easy_install pip

# Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
apt-get install python-pip

Since Docker is required to build images as well as be present on all deployed targets, the Kolla community recommends installing the official Docker, Inc. packaged version of Docker for maximum stability and compatibility with the following command:

curl -sSL | bash

This command will install the most recent stable version of Docker, but please note that Kolla releases are not in sync with docker in any way, so some things could stop working with new version. The latest release of Kolla is tested to work with docker-engine >= 1.10.0. To check your docker version run this command:

docker --version

When running with systemd, setup docker-engine with the appropriate information in the Docker daemon to launch with. This means setting up the following information in the docker.service file. If you do not set the MountFlags option correctly then Kolla-Ansible will fail to deploy the neutron-dhcp-agent container and throws APIError/HTTPError. After adding the drop-in unit file as follows, reload and restart the docker service:

# Create the drop-in unit directory for docker.service
mkdir -p /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d

# Create the drop-in unit file
tee /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d/kolla.conf <<-'EOF'

# Run these commands to reload the daemon
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart docker

For Ubuntu 14.04 which uses upstart instead of systemd, run the following:

mount --make-shared /run

On the system where the OpenStack CLI/Python code is run, the Kolla community recommends installing the OpenStack python clients if they are not installed. This could be a completely different machine then the deployment host or deployment targets. Before installing the OpenStack python client, the following requirements are needed to build the client code:

# Ubuntu
apt-get install -y python-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev gcc git

# Centos 7
yum install -y python-devel libffi-devel openssl-devel gcc git

To install these clients use:

pip install -U python-openstackclient

To clone the Kolla repo:

git clone

To install Kolla tools and Python dependencies use:

pip install kolla/

Copy Kolla configuration to /etc:

cd kolla
cp -r etc/kolla /etc/

Optionally, you can install tox and generate the build configuration using following steps.

pip install tox
tox -e genconfig

The location of the generated configuration file is etc/kolla/kolla-build.conf, You can also copy it to /etc/kolla. The default location is one of /etc/kolla/kolla-build.conf or etc/kolla/kolla-build.conf.

OpenStack, RabbitMQ, and Ceph require all hosts to have matching times to ensure proper message delivery. In the case of Ceph, it will complain if the hosts differ by more than 0.05 seconds. Some OpenStack services have timers as low as 2 seconds by default. For these reasons it is highly recommended to setup an NTP service of some kind. While ntpd will achieve more accurate time for the deployment if the NTP servers are running in the local deployment environment, chrony is more accurate when syncing the time across a WAN connection. When running Ceph it is recommended to setup ntpd to sync time locally due to the tight time constraints.

To install, start, and enable ntp on CentOS execute the following:

# Centos 7
yum -y install ntp
systemctl enable ntpd.service
systemctl start ntpd.service

To install and start on Debian based systems execute the following:

apt-get install ntp

Libvirt is started by default on many operating systems. Please disable libvirt on any machines that will be deployment targets. Only one copy of libvirt may be running at a time.

# Centos 7
systemctl stop libvirtd.service
systemctl disable libvirtd.service

# Ubuntu
service libvirt-bin stop
update-rc.d libvirt-bin disable

Kolla deploys OpenStack using Ansible. Install Ansible from distribution packaging if the distro packaging has recommended version available.

Some implemented distro versions of Ansible are too old to use distro packaging. Currently, CentOS and RHEL package Ansible 1.9.4 which is suitable for use with Kolla. Note that you will need to enable access to the EPEL repository to install via yum – to do so, take a look at Fedora’s EPEL docs and FAQ.

On CentOS or RHEL systems, this can be done using:

yum -y install ansible

Many DEB based systems do not meet Kolla’s Ansible version requirements. It is recommended to use pip to install Ansible 1.9.4.

Some ansible dependencies, like pycrypto, may need gcc installed on the build system. Install it using system packaging tools if it’s not installed already:

# Centos 7
yum -y install gcc

# Ubuntu
apt-get install gcc

Finally Ansible 1.9.4 may be installed using:

pip install -U ansible==1.9.4

If DEB based systems include a version of Ansible that meets Kolla’s version requirements it can be installed by:

apt-get install ansible

Deploy a registry (required for multinode)

A Docker registry is a locally hosted registry that replaces the need to pull from the Docker Hub to get images. Kolla can function with or without a local registry, however for a multinode deployment a registry is required.

The Docker registry prior to version 2.3 has extremely bad performance because all container data is pushed for every image rather than taking advantage of Docker layering to optimize push operations. For more information reference pokey registry.

The Kolla community recommends using registry 2.3 or later. To deploy registry 2.3 do the following:

docker run -d -p 4000:5000 --restart=always --name registry registry:2

Note: Kolla looks for the Docker registry to use port 4000. (Docker default is port 5000)

After enabling the registry, it is necessary to instruct Docker that it will be communicating with an insecure registry. To enable insecure registry communication on CentOS, modify the “/etc/sysconfig/docker” file to contain the following where is the IP address of the machine where the registry is currently running:


Docker Inc’s packaged version of docker-engine for CentOS is defective and does not read the other_args configuration options from “/etc/sysconfig/docker”. To rectify this problem, ensure the following lines appear in the drop-in unit file at “/etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d/kolla.conf”:

# It's necessary to clear ExecStart before attempting to override it
# or systemd will complain that it is defined more than once.
ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker daemon -H fd:// $other_args

And restart docker by executing the following commands:

# Centos
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl stop docker
systemctl start docker

Building Container Images

The Kolla community does not currently generate new images for each commit to the repository. The push time for a full image build to the docker registry is about 5 hours on 100mbit Internet, so there are technical limitations to using the Docker Hub registry with the current OpenStack CI/CD systems.

The Kolla community builds and pushes tested images for each tagged release of Kolla, but if running from master, it is recommended to build images locally.

Before running the below instructions, ensure the docker daemon is running or the build process will fail. To build images using default parameters run:


By default kolla-build will build all containers using Centos as the base image and binary installation as base installation method. To change this behavior, please use the following parameters with kolla-build:

--base [ubuntu|centos|fedora|oraclelinux]
--type [binary|source]

If pushing to a local registry (recommended) use the flags:

kolla-build --registry registry_ip_address:registry_ip_port --push

Note –base and –type can be added to the above kolla-build command if different distributions or types are desired.

A docker build of all containers on Xeon hardware with NVME SSDs and 100mbit network takes roughly 30 minutes to a v1 Docker registry. The CentOS mirrors are flakey and the RDO delorean repository is not mirrored at all. As a result occasionally some containers fail to build. To rectify build problems, the build tool will automatically attempt three retries of a build operation if the first one fails.

It is also possible to build individual containers. As an example, if the glance containers failed to build, all glance related containers can be rebuilt as follows:

kolla-build glance

In order to see all available parameters, run:

kolla-build -h

Deploying Kolla

The Kolla community provides two example methods of Kolla deploy: all-in-one and multinode. The “all-in-one” deploy is similar to devstack deploy which installs all OpenStack services on a single host. In the “multinode” deploy, OpenStack services can be run on specific hosts. This documentation only describes deploying all-in-one method as most simple one.

Each method is represented as an Ansible inventory file. More information on the Ansible inventory file can be found in the Ansible inventory introduction.

All variables for the environment can be specified in the files: “/etc/kolla/globals.yml” and “/etc/kolla/passwords.yml”

Generate passwords for /etc/kolla/passwords.yml using the provided kolla-genpwd tool. The tool will populate all empty fields in the “/etc/kolla/passwords.yml” file using randomly generated values to secure the deployment. Optionally, the passwords may be populate in the file by hand.


Start by editing /etc/kolla/globals.yml. Check and edit, if needed, these parameters: kolla_base_distro, kolla_install_type.

Please specify an unused IP address in the network to act as a VIP for kolla_internal_vip_address. The VIP will be used with keepalived and added to the “api_interface” as specified in the globals.yml

kolla_internal_vip_address: ""

If the environment doesn’t have a free IP address available for VIP configuration, the host’s IP address may be used here by disabling HAProxy by adding:

enable_haproxy: "no"

Note this method is not recommended and generally not tested by the Kolla community, but included since sometimes a free IP is not available in a testing environment.

The “network_interface” variable is the interface to which Kolla binds API services. For example, when starting up Mariadb it will bind to the IP on the interface list in the “network_interface” variable.

network_interface: "eth0"

The “neutron_external_interface” variable is the interface that will be used for the external bridge in Neutron. Without this bridge the deployment instance traffic will be unable to access the rest of the Internet. In the case of a single interface on a machine, a veth pair may be used where one end of the veth pair is listed here and the other end is in a bridge on the system.

neutron_external_interface: "eth1"

If using a local docker registry, set the docker_registry information where the local registry is operating on IP address and the port 4000.

docker_registry: ""

For “all-in-one” deploys, the following commands can be run. These will setup all of the containers on the localhost. These commands will be wrapped in the kolla-script in the future. Note even for all-in-one installs it is possible to use the docker registry for deployment, although not strictly required.

First, check that the deployment targets are in a state where Kolla may deploy to them:

kolla-ansible prechecks

Run the deployment:

kolla-ansible deploy

If APIError/HTTPError is received from the neutron-dhcp-agent container, remove the container and recreate it:

docker rm -v -f neutron_dhcp_agent
kolla-ansible deploy

In order to see all available parameters, run:

kolla-ansible -h

A bare metal system with Ceph takes 18 minutes to deploy. A virtual machine deployment takes 25 minutes. These are estimates; different hardware may be faster or slower but should be near these results.

After successful deployment of OpenStack, the Horizon dashboard will be available by entering IP address or hostname from kolla_external_fqdn, or kolla_internal_fqdn. If these variables were not set during deploy they default to kolla_internal_vip_address.

Useful tools

After successful deployment of OpenStack, run the following command can create an openrc file /etc/kolla/ on the deploy node. Or view tools/openrc-example for an example of an openrc that may be used with the environment.

kolla-ansible post-deploy

After the openrc file is created, use the following command to initialize an environment with a glance image and neutron networks:

source /etc/kolla/


Nearly always when Kolla fails, it is caused by a CTRL-C during the deployment process or a problem in the globals.yml configuration.

To correct the problem where Operators have a misconfigured environment, the Kolla developers have added a precheck feature which ensures the deployment targets are in a state where Kolla may deploy to them. To run the prechecks, execute:

kolla-ansible prechecks

If a failure during deployment occurs it nearly always occurs during evaluation of the software. Once the Operator learns the few configuration options required, it is highly unlikely they will experience a failure in deployment.

Deployment may be run as many times as desired, but if a failure in a bootstrap task occurs, a further deploy action will not correct the problem. In this scenario, Kolla’s behavior is undefined.

The fastest way during evaluation to recover from a deployment failure is to remove the failed deployment:

On each node where OpenStack is deployed run:


The Operator will have to copy via scp or some other means the cleanup scripts to the various nodes where the failed containers are located.

Any time the tags of a release change, it is possible that the container implementation from older versions won’t match the Ansible playbooks in a new version. If running multinode from a registry, each node’s Docker image cache must be refreshed with the latest images before a new deployment can occur. To refresh the docker cache from the local Docker registry:

kolla-ansible pull

Debugging Kolla

The container’s status can be determined on the deployment targets by executing:

docker ps -a

If any of the containers exited, this indicates a bug in the container. Please seek help by filing a bug or contacting the developers via IRC.

The logs can be examined by executing:

docker exec -it heka bash

The logs from all services in all containers may be read from /var/log/kolla/SERVICE_NAME

If the stdout logs are needed, please run:

docker logs <container-name>

Note that most of the containers don’t log to stdout so the above command will provide no information.

To learn more about Docker command line operation please refer to Docker documentation.