Getting started with

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1. Environment Setup


For the v1alpha3 release, the Cluster API provider for Metal3 was renamed from Cluster API provider BareMetal (CAPBM) to Cluster API provider Metal3 (CAPM3). Hence, from v1alpha3 onwards it is Cluster API provider Metal3.

1.1. Prerequisites

  • System with CentOS 8 or Ubuntu 18.04
  • Bare metal preferred, as we will be creating VMs to emulate bare metal hosts
  • Run as a user with passwordless sudo access
  • Minimum resource requirements for the host machine: 4C CPUs, 16 GB RAM memory.

1.2. Setup


If you need detailed information regarding the process of creating a Metal³ emulated environment using metal3-dev-env, it is worth taking a look at the blog post “A detailed walkthrough of the Metal³ development environment”.

This is a high-level architecture of the Metal³-dev-env. Note that for Ubuntu based setup, either Kind or Minikube can be used to instantiate an ephemeral cluster, while for CentOS based setup only Minikube is currently supported. Ephemeral cluster creation tool can be manipulated with EPHEMERAL_CLUSTER environment variable.

tl;dr - Clone metal³-dev-env and run

$ make

The Makefile runs a series of scripts, described here:

  • - Installs all needed packages.

  • - Creates a set of VMs that will be managed as if they were bare metal hosts. It also downloads some images needed for Ironic.

  • - Launches a management cluster using minikube or kind and runs the baremetal-operator on that cluster.

  • - Runs a set of tests that verify that the deployment completed successfully.

When the environment setup is completed, you should be able to see BareMetalHost (bmh) objects in Ready state.

To tear down the environment, run

$ make clean


When redeploying metal³-dev-env with a different release version of CAPM3, you must set the FORCE_REPO_UPDATE variable in config_${user}.sh to true.


If you see this error during the installation:

error: failed to connect to the hypervisor \
error: Failed to connect socket to '/var/run/libvirt/libvirt-sock':  Permission denied

You may need to log out then login again, and run make clean and make again.

1.3. Using Custom Image

Whether you want to run target cluster Nodes with your own image, you can override the three following variables: IMAGE_NAME, IMAGE_LOCATION, IMAGE_USERNAME. If the requested image with name IMAGE_NAME does not exist in the IRONIC_IMAGE_DIR (/opt/metal3-dev-env/ironic/html/images) folder, then it will be automatically downloaded from the IMAGE_LOCATION value configured.

1.4. Setting environment variables

To set environment variables persistently, export them from the configuration file used by metal³-dev-env scripts:

$ cp config_$(whoami).sh
$ vim config_$(whoami).sh

2. Working with Environment

2.1. BareMetalHosts

This environment creates a set of VMs to manage as if they were bare metal hosts. You can see the VMs using virsh.

$ sudo virsh list
 Id    Name                           State
 6     minikube                       running
 9     node_0                         running
 10    node_1                         running

Each of the VMs (aside from the minikube management cluster VM) are represented by BareMetalHost objects in our management cluster. The yaml definition file used to create these host objects is in bmhosts_crs.yaml.

$ kubectl get baremetalhosts -n metal3 -o wide
node-0   OK       ready              ipmi://   unknown            true
node-1   OK       ready              ipmi://   unknown            true

You can also look at the details of a host, including the hardware information gathered by doing pre-deployment introspection.

$ kubectl get baremetalhost -n metal3 -o yaml node-0

kind: BareMetalHost
  annotations: |
  creationTimestamp: "2020-02-05T09:09:44Z"
  generation: 1
  name: node-0
  namespace: metal3
  resourceVersion: "16312"
  selfLink: /apis/
  uid: 99f4c905-b850-45e0-bf1b-61b12f91182b
    address: ipmi://
    credentialsName: node-0-bmc-secret
  bootMACAddress: 00:f8:16:dd:3b:9b
  online: true
  errorMessage: ""
      name: node-0-bmc-secret
      namespace: metal3
    credentialsVersion: "1242"
      arch: x86_64
      clockMegahertz: 2399.998
      count: 4
      model: Intel Xeon E3-12xx v2 (Ivy Bridge)
        date: 04/01/2014
        vendor: SeaBIOS
        version: 1.10.2-1ubuntu1
    hostname: node-0
    - ip:
      mac: 00:f8:16:dd:3b:9d
      model: 0x1af4 0x0001
      name: eth1
      pxe: false
      speedGbps: 0
      vlanId: 0
    - ip:
      mac: 00:f8:16:dd:3b:9b
      model: 0x1af4 0x0001
      name: eth0
      pxe: true
      speedGbps: 0
      vlanId: 0
    ramMebibytes: 8192
    - hctl: "0:0:0:0"
      model: QEMU HARDDISK
      name: /dev/sda
      rotational: true
      serialNumber: drivMetal3-dev-env setupe-scsi0-0-0-0
      sizeBytes: 53687091200
      vendor: QEMU
      manufacturer: QEMU
      productName: Standard PC (Q35 + ICH9, 2009)
      serialNumber: ""
  hardwareProfile: unknown
  lastUpdated: "2020-02-05T10:10:49Z"
      end: null
      start: null
      end: "2020-02-05T09:15:08Z"
      start: "2020-02-05T09:11:33Z"
      end: null
      start: null
      end: "2020-02-05T09:11:33Z"
      start: "2020-02-05T09:10:32Z"
  operationalStatus: OK
  poweredOn: true
    ID: b605df1d-7674-44ad-9810-20ad3e3c558b
      checksum: ""
      url: ""
    state: ready
      name: node-0-bmc-secret
      namespace: metal3
    credentialsVersion: "1242"

2.2. Provision Cluster and Machines

This section describes how to trigger provisioning of a cluster and hosts via Machine objects as part of the Cluster API integration. This uses Cluster API v1alpha4 and assumes that metal3-dev-env is deployed with the environment variable CAPM3_VERSION set to v1alpha4. This is the default behaviour. The v1alpha4 deployment can be done with Ubuntu 18.04 or Centos 8 target host images. Please make sure to meet resource requirements for successful deployment:

The following scripts can be used to provision a cluster, controlplane node and worker node.

$ ./scripts/provision/
$ ./scripts/provision/
$ ./scripts/provision/

At this point, the Machine actuator will respond and try to claim a BareMetalHost for this Machine. You can check the logs of the actuator here:

$ kubectl logs -n capm3-system pod/capm3-manager-7bbc6897c7-bp2pw -c manager

09:10:38.914458       controller-runtime/controller "msg"="Starting Controller"  "controller"="metal3cluster"
09:10:38.926489       controller-runtime/controller "msg"="Starting workers"  "controller"="metal3machine" "worker count"=1
10:54:16.943712       Host matched hostSelector for Metal3Machine
10:54:16.943772       2 hosts available while choosing host for bare metal machine
10:54:16.944087       Associating machine with host
10:54:17.516274       Finished creating machine
10:54:17.518718       Provisioning BaremetalHost

If you look at the yaml representation of the Machine object, you will see a new annotation that identifies which BareMetalHost was chosen to satisfy this Machine request.

$ kubectl get machine centos -n metal3 -o yaml

  annotations: metal3/node-1

You can also see in the list of BareMetalHosts that one of the hosts is now provisioned and associated with a Machine.

$ kubectl get baremetalhosts -n metal3

NAME     STATUS   STATE                 CONSUMER               BMC                         HARDWARE_PROFILE   ONLINE   ERROR
node-0   OK       provisioning          test1-md-0-m87bq       ipmi://   unknown            true
node-1   OK       provisioning          test1-controlplane-0   ipmi://   unknown            true

You should be able to ssh into your host once provisioning is completed. The default username for both CentOS & Ubuntu image is metal3. For the IP address, you can either use API endpoint IP of the target cluster which is - by default or use predictable IP address of the first master node -

2.3. Deprovision Cluster and Machines

Deprovisioning of the target cluster is done just by deleting Cluster and Machine objects or by executing the deprovisioning scripts in reverse order than provisioning:

$ ./scripts/deprovision/
$ ./scripts/deprovision/
$ ./scripts/deprovision/

Note that you can easily deprovision worker Nodes by decreasing the number of replicas in the MachineDeployment object created when executing the script:

$ kubectl scale machinedeployment test1-md-0 --replicas=0


control-plane and cluster are very tied together. This means that you are not able to deprovision the control-plane of a cluster and then provision a new one within the same cluster. Therefore, in case you want to deprovision the control-plane you need to deprovision the cluster as well and provision both again.

Below, it is shown how the deprovisioning can be executed in a more manual way by just deleting the proper Custom Resources (CR)

$ kubectl delete machine test1-md-0-m87bq -n metal3 "test1-md-0-m87bq" deleted

$ kubectl delete machine test1-controlplane-0 -n metal3 "test1-controlplane-0" deleted

$ kubectl delete cluster test1 -n metal3 "test1" deleted

Once the deprovisioning is started, you can see that the BareMetalHost and Cluster are going through a deprovisioning process too.

$ kubectl get baremetalhosts -n metal3
node-0   OK       deprovisioning        test1-md-0-m87bq       ipmi://   unknown            false
node-1   OK       deprovisioning        test1-controlplane-0   ipmi://   unknown            false

$ kubectl get cluster -n metal3
test1   deprovisioning

2.4. Running Custom Baremetal-Operator

The baremetal-operator comes up running in the cluster by default, using an image built from the metal3-io/baremetal-operator repository. If you’d like to test changes to the baremetal-operator, you can follow this process.

First, you must scale down the deployment of the baremetal-operator running in the cluster.

kubectl scale deployment metal3-baremetal-operator -n metal3 --replicas=0

To be able to run baremetal-operator locally, you need to install operator-sdk. After that, you can run the baremetal-operator including any custom changes.

cd ~/go/src/
make run

2.5. Running Custom Cluster API Provider Metal3

There are two Cluster API related managers running in the cluster. One includes set of generic controllers, and the other includes a custom Machine controller for Metal3. If you want to try changes to cluster-api-provider-metal3, you want to shut down the custom Machine controller manager first.

$ kubectl scale statefulset capm3-controller-manager -n capm3-system --replicas=0

Then you can run the custom Machine controller manager out of your local git tree.

cd ~/go/src/
make run

2.6. Accessing Ironic API

Sometimes you may want to look directly at Ironic to debug something. The metal3-dev-env repository contains a clouds.yaml file with connection settings for Ironic.

Metal3-dev-env will install the unified OpenStack and standalone OpenStack Ironic command-line clients on the provisioning host as part of setting up the cluster.

Note that currently you can use either unified OpenStack client or Ironic client. In this example we are using Ironic client to interact with Ironic API.

Please make sure to export CONTAINER_RUNTIME environment variable before you execute commands.


[[email protected] metal3-dev-env]$ export CONTAINER_RUNTIME=docker
[[email protected] metal3-dev-env]$ baremetal node list
| UUID                                 | Name   | Instance UUID | Power State | Provisioning State | Maintenance |
| 882cf206-d688-43fa-bf4c-3282fcb00b12 | node-0 | None          | None        | enroll             | False       |
| ac257479-d6c6-47c1-a649-64a88e6ff312 | node-1 | None          | None        | enroll             | False       |

To view a particular node’s details, run the below command. The last_error, maintenance_reason, and provisioning_state fields are useful for troubleshooting to find out why a node did not deploy.

[[email protected] metal3-dev-env]$ baremetal node show 882cf206-d688-43fa-bf4c-3282fcb00b12
| Field                  | Value                                                      |
| allocation_uuid        | None                                                       |
| automated_clean        | None                                                       |
| bios_interface         | no-bios                                                    |
| boot_interface         | ipxe                                                       |
| chassis_uuid           | None                                                       |
| clean_step             | {}                                                         |
| conductor              | localhost.localdomain                                      |
| conductor_group        |                                                            |
| console_enabled        | False                                                      |
| console_interface      | no-console                                                 |
| created_at             | 2019-10-07T19:37:36+00:00                                  |
| deploy_interface       | direct                                                     |
| deploy_step            | {}                                                         |
| description            | None                                                       |
| driver                 | ipmi                                                       |
| driver_info            | {u'ipmi_port': u'6230', u'ipmi_username': u'admin', u'deploy_kernel': u'', u'ipmi_address': u'', u'deploy_ramdisk': u'', u'ipmi_password': u'******'} |
| driver_internal_info   | {u'agent_enable_ata_secure_erase': True, u'agent_erase_devices_iterations': 1, u'agent_erase_devices_zeroize': True, u'disk_erasure_concurrency': 1, u'agent_continue_if_ata_erase_failed': False}                                                                          |
| extra                  | {}                                                         |
| fault                  | clean failure                                              |
| inspect_interface      | inspector                                                  |
| inspection_finished_at | None                                                       |
| inspection_started_at  | None                                                       |
| instance_info          | {}                                                         |
| instance_uuid          | None                                                       |
| last_error             | None                                                       |
| maintenance            | True                                                       |
| maintenance_reason     | Timeout reached while cleaning the node. Please check if the ramdisk responsible for the cleaning is running on the node. Failed on step {}.                                                                                                                                |
| management_interface   | ipmitool                                                   |
| name                   | master-0                                                   |
| network_interface      | noop                                                       |
| owner                  | None                                                       |
| power_interface        | ipmitool                                                   |
| power_state            | power on                                                   |
| properties             | {u'cpu_arch': u'x86_64', u'root_device': {u'name': u'/dev/sda'}, u'local_gb': u'50'}                                                                                                                                                                                        |
| protected              | False                                                      |
| protected_reason       | None                                                       |
| provision_state        | clean wait                                                 |
| provision_updated_at   | 2019-10-07T20:09:13+00:00                                  |
| raid_config            | {}                                                         |
| raid_interface         | no-raid                                                    |
| rescue_interface       | no-rescue                                                  |
| reservation            | None                                                       |
| resource_class         | baremetal                                                  |
| storage_interface      | noop                                                       |
| target_power_state     | None                                                       |
| target_provision_state | available                                                  |
| target_raid_config     | {}                                                         |
| traits                 | []                                                         |
| updated_at             | 2019-10-07T20:09:13+00:00                                  |
| uuid                   | 882cf206-d688-43fa-bf4c-3282fcb00b12                       |
| vendor_interface       | ipmitool                                                   |