Configuring the Bare Metal (ironic) service (optional)


This feature is experimental at this time and it has not been fully production tested yet. These implementation instructions assume that ironic is being deployed as the sole hypervisor for the region.

Ironic is an OpenStack project which provisions bare metal (as opposed to virtual) machines by leveraging common technologies such as PXE boot and IPMI to cover a wide range of hardware, while supporting pluggable drivers to allow vendor-specific functionality to be added.

OpenStack’s ironic project makes physical servers as easy to provision as virtual machines in a cloud.

OpenStack-Ansible deployment

  1. Modify the environment files and force nova-compute to run from within a container:

    sed -i '/is_metal.*/d' /etc/openstack_deploy/env.d/nova.yml

Setup a neutron network for use by ironic

In a general case, neutron networking can be a simple flat network. However, in a complex case, this can be whatever you need and want. Ensure you adjust the deployment accordingly. The following is an example:

neutron net-create cleaning-net --shared \
                                --provider:network_type flat \
                                --provider:physical_network ironic-net

neutron subnet-create ironic-net --name ironic-subnet
                      --ip-version=4 \
                      --allocation-pool start=,end= \
                      --enable-dhcp \
                      --dns-nameservers list=true

Building ironic images

Images using the diskimage-builder must be built outside of a container. For this process, use one of the physical hosts within the environment.

  1. Install the necessary packages:

    apt-get install -y qemu uuid-runtime curl
  2. Install the disk-imagebuilder package:

    pip install diskimage-builder --isolated


    Only use the --isolated flag if you are building on a node deployed by OpenStack-Ansible, otherwise pip will not resolve the external package.

  3. Optional: Force the ubuntu image-create process to use a modern kernel:

    echo 'linux-image-generic-lts-xenial:' > \
  4. Create Ubuntu initramfs:

    disk-image-create ironic-agent ubuntu -o ${IMAGE_NAME}
  5. Upload the created deploy images into the Image (glance) Service:

    # Upload the deploy image kernel
    glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.kernel --visibility public \
     --disk-format aki --container-format aki < ${IMAGE_NAME}.kernel
    # Upload the user image initramfs
    glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.initramfs --visibility public \
     --disk-format ari --container-format ari < ${IMAGE_NAME}.initramfs
  6. Create Ubuntu user image:

    disk-image-create ubuntu baremetal localboot local-config dhcp-all-interfaces grub2 -o ${IMAGE_NAME}
  7. Upload the created user images into the Image (glance) Service:

    # Upload the user image vmlinuz and store uuid
    VMLINUZ_UUID="$(glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.vmlinuz --visibility public --disk-format aki --container-format aki  < ${IMAGE_NAME}.vmlinuz | awk '/\| id/ {print $4}')"
    # Upload the user image initrd and store uuid
    INITRD_UUID="$(glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME}.initrd --visibility public --disk-format ari --container-format ari  < ${IMAGE_NAME}.initrd | awk '/\| id/ {print $4}')"
    # Create image
    glance image-create --name ${IMAGE_NAME} --visibility public --disk-format qcow2 --container-format bare --property kernel_id=${VMLINUZ_UUID} --property ramdisk_id=${INITRD_UUID} < ${IMAGE_NAME}.qcow2

Creating an ironic flavor

  1. Create a new flavor called my-baremetal-flavor.


    The following example sets the CPU architecture for the newly created flavor to be x86_64.

    nova flavor-create ${FLAVOR_NAME} ${FLAVOR_ID} ${FLAVOR_RAM} ${FLAVOR_DISK} ${FLAVOR_CPU}
    nova flavor-key ${FLAVOR_NAME} set cpu_arch=x86_64
    nova flavor-key ${FLAVOR_NAME} set capabilities:boot_option="local"


Ensure the flavor and nodes match when enrolling into ironic. See the documentation on flavors for more information:

After successfully deploying the ironic node on subsequent boots, the instance boots from your local disk as first preference. This speeds up the deployed node’s boot time. Alternatively, if this is not set, the ironic node PXE boots first and allows for operator-initiated image updates and other operations.


The operational reasoning and building an environment to support this use case is not covered here.

Enroll ironic nodes

  1. From the utility container, enroll a new baremetal node by executing the following:

    # Source credentials
    . ~/openrc
    # Create the node
    KERNEL_IMAGE=$(glance image-list | awk "/${IMAGE_NAME}.kernel/ {print \$2}")
    INITRAMFS_IMAGE=$(glance image-list | awk "/${IMAGE_NAME}.initramfs/ {print \$2}")
    ironic node-create \
          -d agent_ipmitool \
          -i ipmi_address="${IPMI_ADDRESS}" \
          -i ipmi_username="${IPMI_USER}" \
          -i ipmi_password="${IPMI_PASSWORD}" \
          -i deploy_ramdisk="${INITRAMFS_IMAGE}" \
          -i deploy_kernel="${KERNEL_IMAGE}" \
          -n ${NODE_HOSTNAME}
    # Create a port for the node
    ironic port-create \
          -n $(ironic node-list | awk "/${NODE_HOSTNAME}/ {print \$2}") \
          -a ${NODE_MACADDRESS}
    # Associate an image to the node
    ironic node-update $(ironic node-list | awk "/${IMAGE_NAME}/ {print \$2}") add \
        driver_info/deploy_kernel=$KERNEL_IMAGE \
        driver_info/deploy_ramdisk=$INITRAMFS_IMAGE \
        instance_info/deploy_kernel=$KERNEL_IMAGE \
        instance_info/deploy_ramdisk=$INITRAMFS_IMAGE \
    # Add node properties
    # The property values used here should match the hardware used
    ironic node-update $(ironic node-list | awk "/${NODE_HOSTNAME}/ {print \$2}") add \
        properties/cpus=48 \
        properties/memory_mb=254802 \
        properties/local_gb=80 \
        properties/size=3600 \
        properties/cpu_arch=x86_64 \

Deploy a baremetal node kicked with ironic


You will not have access unless you have a key set within nova before your ironic deployment. If you do not have an ssh key readily available, set one up with ssh-keygen.

nova keypair-add --pub-key ~/.ssh/ admin

Now boot a node:

nova boot --flavor ${FLAVOR_NAME} --image ${IMAGE_NAME} --key-name admin ${NODE_NAME}