Kubernetes clusters with Oh-My-Vagrant

I’ve added the ability to deploy a Kubernetes cluster with Oh-My-Vagrant (omv). I’ve also built an automated developer experience so that you can test your Kubernetes powered app in minutes. If you want to redeploy a new version, or see how your app behaves during a rolling update, you can use omv to test this out in minutes! I’ve recorded a screencast (~15 min), if you’d like to see some of this in action.


Kubernetes is a container cluster manager. It groups containers into pods, and those pods get scheduled to run on a certain machine in the cluster. We’ll be talking about Docker containers in this article, although there are lots of great new technologies such as nspawn.

An advantage of using Kubernetes is that it was created by a team at Google, who has a lot of experience running containers. A lot of smart folks (including many from Red Hat) are working on this project too! It is becoming the foundation for other software such as OpenShift v3. Google has released a paper on their earlier work (Borg), which is interesting, but lacks many details, and (unsurprisingly) no source code is present.

Some big disadvantages include the requirement of a CLA to contribute to the project, and the lack of good documentation and articles about it. Kubernetes itself, can’t yet be decentralized, but this might change in the future. It’s (currently) very difficult to construct the foo.json files required to build an application.

While the project is open source (ALv2) I’ve gotten the feeling that Google has a pretty strong hold on the project and has some changes to make before the community really trusts them. This can be a learning experience for any company where proprietary software is the culture. I wish them well on their journey!

Oh-My-Vagrant integration:

To deploy a Kubernetes cluster with omv, the kubernetes variable needs to be set to something meaningful. It’s also recommended that you boot up a minimum of three machines. Here is an except from an example omv.yaml config:

:domain: example.com
:image: centos-7.1-docker
:sync: rsync
- type: git
  system: docker
  repository: https://github.com/purpleidea/docker-simple1
  directory: docker-simple1
- type: git
  system: kubernetes
  repository: https://github.com/purpleidea/kube-simple1
  directory: kube-simple1
:puppet: false
:docker: []
  - kube-simple1/simple1.json
:vms: []
:namespace: omv
:count: 3

In the above example, you can see that we’ve only listed one Kubernetes application, but an arbitrary number can be included. The kubernetes variable can also accept a key named master if you’d like to choose which of your vm’s should be the primary. If you don’t specify this, the first vagrant machine will be chosen.

In the list of applications, instead of only specifying the .json file, you can instead specify a dictionary of key/value pairs. The .json key (file) is required, but you can also specify additional keys, such as the boolean key roll. When true, it will cause a rolling update to occur instead of a normal” update.

If you’re interested to see what needs to be done to set up Kubernetes, the bulk of the work was done by me in 1f26, but figuring out manual steps was only possible thanks to the work of my hacker friends: scollier and eparis.

Due to the power of the omv project, when you vagrant up, the necessary docker and Kubernetes projects listed in the extern variable will be automatically cloned and pulled into your omv environment.


You’re probably due for a screencast (~15 min). Have a watch, and then if you need review, go back and read what I’ve written above.


(Thanks to the Gluster community for generously hosting this video!)

Final thoughts:

I haven’t talked about networking, or actually building applications.

Container network might be a lot easier if you use an overlay network like flannel. Unfortunately, this isn’t yet built into Oh-My-Vagrant, but is in the list of feature requests if someone shows some interest.

Building useful applications is harder. In my screencast, you’ll see where to put the code, and how to iterate on it, but not what kind of code to write, or architecturally how your multi-container applications should work. Unfortunately this is out of scope for today’s article! My goal was to make it easy for you to focus on that topic, instead of having to figure out how to build the infrastructure. Hopefully Oh-My-Vagrant helps you accomplish that!

Happy hacking,



Docker containers in Oh-My-Vagrant

The Oh-My-Vagrant (omv) project is an easy way to bootstrap a development environment. It is particularly useful for spinning up an arbitrary number of virtual machines in Vagrant without writing ruby code. For multi-machine container development, omv can be used to help this happen more naturally.

Oh-My-Vagrant can be very useful as a docker application development environment. I’ve made a quick (<9min) screencast demoing this topic. Please have a look:


If you watched the screencast, you should have a good overview of what’s possible. Let’s discuss some of these features in more detail.

Pull an arbitrary list of docker images:

If you use an image that was baked with vagrant-builder, you can make sure that an arbitrary list of docker images will be pre-cached into the base image so that you don’t have to wait for the slow docker registry every time you boot up a development vm.

This is easily seen in the CentOS-7.1 image definition file seen here. Here’s an excerpt:

DOCKER='centos fedora'		# list of docker images to include

The GlusterFS community gracefully hosts a copy of this image here.

If you’d like to add images to a vm you can add a list of things to pull in the docker omv.yaml variable:

:domain: example.com
:image: centos-7.1-docker
- ubuntu
- busybox
:count: 1
: vms: []

This key is also available in the vms array.

Automatic docker builds:

If you have a Dockerfile in a vagrant/docker/*/ folder, then it will get automatically added to the running vagrant vm, and built every time you run a vagrant up. If the machine is already running, and you’d like to rebuild it from your local working directory, you can run: vagrant rsync && vagrant provision.

Automatic docker environments:

Building and defining docker applications can be a tricky process, particularly because the techniques are still quite new to developers. With Oh-My-Vagrant, this process is simplified for container developers because you can build an enhanced omv.yaml file which defines your app for you:

:domain: example.com
:image: centos-7.0-docker
- type: git
  system: docker
  repository: https://github.com/purpleidea/docker-simple1
  directory: simple-app1
:docker: []
:vms: []
:count: 3

By listing multiple git repos in your omv.yaml file, they will be automatically pulled down and built for you. An example of the above running would look similar to this:

$ time vup omv1
Cloning into 'simple-app1'...
remote: Counting objects: 6, done.
remote: Total 6 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 6
Unpacking objects: 100% (6/6), done.
Checking connectivity... done.

Bringing machine 'omv1' up with 'libvirt' provider...
==> omv1: Creating image (snapshot of base box volume).
==> omv1: Creating domain with the following settings...
==> omv1:  -- Name:              omv_omv1
==> omv1:  -- Domain type:       kvm
==> omv1:  -- Cpus:              1
==> omv1:  -- Memory:            512M
==> omv1:  -- Base box:          centos-7.0-docker
==> omv1:  -- Storage pool:      default
==> omv1:  -- Image:             /var/lib/libvirt/images/omv_omv1.img
==> omv1:  -- Volume Cache:      default
==> omv1:  -- Kernel:            
==> omv1:  -- Initrd:            
==> omv1:  -- Graphics Type:     vnc
==> omv1:  -- Graphics Port:     5900
==> omv1:  -- Graphics IP:
==> omv1:  -- Graphics Password: Not defined
==> omv1:  -- Video Type:        cirrus
==> omv1:  -- Video VRAM:        9216
==> omv1:  -- Command line : 
==> omv1: Starting domain.
==> omv1: Waiting for domain to get an IP address...
==> omv1: Waiting for SSH to become available...
==> omv1: Starting domain.
==> omv1: Waiting for domain to get an IP address...
==> omv1: Waiting for SSH to become available...
==> omv1: Creating shared folders metadata...
==> omv1: Setting hostname...
==> omv1: Rsyncing folder: /home/james/code/oh-my-vagrant/vagrant/ => /vagrant
==> omv1: Configuring and enabling network interfaces...
==> omv1: Running provisioner: shell...
    omv1: Running: inline script
==> omv1: Running provisioner: docker...
    omv1: Configuring Docker to autostart containers...
==> omv1: Running provisioner: docker...
    omv1: Configuring Docker to autostart containers...
==> omv1: Building Docker images...
==> omv1: -- Path: /vagrant/docker/simple-app1
==> omv1: Sending build context to Docker daemon 54.27 kB
==> omv1: Sending build context to Docker daemon 
==> omv1: Step 0 : FROM fedora
==> omv1:  ---> 834629358fe2
==> omv1: Step 1 : MAINTAINER James Shubin <james@shubin.ca>
==> omv1:  ---> Running in 2afded16eec7
==> omv1:  ---> a7baf4784f57
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container 2afded16eec7
==> omv1: Step 2 : RUN echo Hello and welcome to the Technical Blog of James > README
==> omv1:  ---> Running in 709b9dc66e9b
==> omv1:  ---> b955154474f4
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container 709b9dc66e9b
==> omv1: Step 3 : ENTRYPOINT python -m SimpleHTTPServer
==> omv1:  ---> Running in 76840da9e963
==> omv1:  ---> b333c179dd56
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container 76840da9e963
==> omv1: Step 4 : EXPOSE 8000
==> omv1:  ---> Running in ebf83f08328e
==> omv1:  ---> f13049706668
==> omv1: Removing intermediate container ebf83f08328e
==> omv1: Successfully built f13049706668

real	1m12.221s
user	0m5.923s
sys	0m0.932s

All that happened in about a minute!


I hope these tools help, if you’re following my git commits, you’ll notice that there are some new features I haven’t blogged about yet. Kubernetes integration exists, so please have a look, and hopefully I’ll have some screencasts and blog posts about this shortly.

Happy hacking,


Sharing dev environments with Oh-My-Vagrant

With Oh-My-Vagrant (omv) you can set up a dev environment in seconds. (Read the omv introduction if you’ve never used it before!) Since everything is defined in a single omv.yaml file, it is easy to share your cluster prototype with a friend! The one missing feature was associating code with this config file. This is now possible! Let me show you how it works…

In the omv.yaml file there is an extern variable. It is a list of each external repository which you’d like to include. Each element in this list is a hash of key value pairs. Currently four are supported: type, system, repository, directory.

An example will help you visualize this:

:domain: example.com
:image: fedora-21
- type: git
  system: ansible
  repository: https://github.com/eparis/kubernetes-ansible
  directory: kubernetes
:reallyrm: true

In this example, we list one external repository. It is of type git, it is intended for use with the ansible integration provided by omv, the repository is hosted by eparis, and we’ll store this in a local directory called kubernetes.

We currently only support git repositories, but patches for other systems are welcome. A few different “systems” are supported, including puppet, docker and kubernetes. They each integrate with omv, and, as a result can pull code and modules into the appropriate places. Any repository path that is valid is acceptable (including local file paths) and lastly, the directory you choose is entirely up to you!

The most important part that I need to mention is the reallyrm variable. If this is set to true, and you remove a git repository from the list, omv will make sure that it removes it! Since some users might not expect this behaviour, it defaults to false, and shouldn’t bite you! If you’re not comfortable with it, don’t use it! I find it incredibly helpful.

Here’s a small screencast to show you some examples of this in action:


I hope you enjoyed this. Please share and enjoy, and I’ll be back soon to explain some more of the features! Documentation patches are appreciated!

Happy hacking,


Screencasts of Puppet-Gluster + Vagrant

I decided to record some screencasts to show how easy it is to deploy GlusterFS using Puppet-Gluster+Vagrant. You can follow along even if you don’t know anything about Puppet or Vagrant. The hardest part of this process was producing the actual videos!

If recommend first reading my earlier articles if you’re planning on following along:

Without any further delay, here are the screencasts:

Part 1: Intro, and provisioning of the Puppet server.

Part 2: Initial building of the Gluster hosts.

Part 3: Finishing the Gluster builds.

Part 4: GlusterFS client mounting and tests.

Part 5: Mixed bag of code, infrastructure tours, examples and other details.

I hope you enjoyed these videos. Thank you to the Gluster.org community for hosting them. If you liked these videos, please consider sponsoring some of my work, or making a donation!

As a side note, the only screencast tool that worked was gtk-recordmydesktop, however it deleted my second recording (which had to be re-recorded) and the audio stopped working one minute into my third recording (which had to then be separately recorded, and mixed in). Amazingly, pitivi was the only tool which worked to properly mix them together!

Happy Hacking,


PS: Please note, you may not sell, edit, redistribute, perform, or host these videos elsewhere without my permission. I especially don’t want to see them on youtube until Google let’s me unlink my youtube account! If you do want my permission to use these videos for something, contact me, and we can work something out. I’ll surely allow it if it’s not for something evil. If you’d rather have an interactive, live demo, let me know!