Use the baremetal CLI

If you wish to utilize the baremetal CLI in no-auth mode, there are two options for configuring the authentication parameters.


During installation, Bifrost creates a clouds.yaml file with credentials necessary to access Ironic. A cloud called bifrost is always available. For example:

export OS_CLOUD=bifrost
baremetal node list
baremetal introspection list


Previously, a separate cloud bifrost-inspector was provided for introspection commands. It is now deprecated, the main bifrost cloud should always be used.

Environment variables

The following two environment variables can be set:

  • OS_AUTH_TYPE - set to none to bypass authentication.

  • OS_ENDPOINT - A URL to the ironic API, such as http://localhost:6385/

For convenience, an environment file called openrc is created in the home directory of the current user that contains default values for these variables and can be sourced to allow the CLI to connect to a local Ironic installation. For example:

. ~/openrc bifrost
baremetal node list

This should display a table of nodes, or nothing if there are no nodes registered in Ironic.

Installing OpenStack CLI

Starting with the Victoria release, the openstack command is only installed when Keystone is enabled. Install the python-openstackclient Python package to get this command.

Enroll Hardware

The openstacksdk library is installed during the install process as documented in the install documentation.

In order to enroll hardware, you will naturally need an inventory of your hardware. When utilizing the dynamic inventory module and accompanying roles the inventory can be supplied in one of three ways, all of which ultimately translate to JSON data that Ansible parses.

The current method is to utilize a JSON or YAML document which the inventory parser will convert and provide to Ansible.

In order to use, you will need to define the environment variable BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE to equal a file, which then allows you to execute Ansible utilizing the file as the data source.

JSON file format

The JSON format closely resembles the data structure that ironic utilizes internally. The name, driver_info, nics, driver, and properties fields are directly mapped through to ironic. This means that the data contained within can vary from host to host, such as drivers and their parameters thus allowing a mixed hardware environment to be defined in a single file.


    "testvm1": {
      "uuid": "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001",
      "driver_info": {
        "power": {
          "ipmi_address": "",
          "ipmi_username": "admin",
          "ipmi_password": "pa$$w0rd"
      "nics": [
          "mac": "52:54:00:f9:32:f6"
      "driver": "ipmi",
      "ansible_ssh_host": "",
      "ipv4_address": "",
      "provisioning_ipv4_address": "",
      "properties": {
        "cpu_arch": "x86_64",
        "ram": "3072",
        "disk_size": "10",
        "cpus": "1"
      "name": "testvm1"

The additional power of this format is easy configuration parameter injection, which could potentially allow a user to provision different operating system images onto different hardware chassis by defining the appropriate settings in an instance_info variable.

Examples utilizing JSON and YAML formatting, along host specific variable injection can be found in the playbooks/inventory/ folder.

How this works?

Starting with the Wallaby cycle, you can use bifrost-cli for enrolling:

./bifrost-cli enroll /tmp/baremetal.json

Utilizing the dynamic inventory module, enrollment is as simple as setting the BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE environment variable to your inventory data source, and then executing the enrollment playbook.:

export BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE=/tmp/baremetal.json
ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/ enroll-dynamic.yaml

When ironic is installed on remote server, a regular ansible inventory with a target server should be added to ansible. This can be achieved by specifying a directory with files, each file in that directory will be part of the ansible inventory. Refer to ansible documentation

export BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE=/tmp/baremetal.json
rm inventory/*.example
ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/ enroll-dynamic.yaml

Note that enrollment is a one-time operation. The Ansible module does not synchronize data for existing nodes. You should use the ironic CLI to do this manually at the moment.

Additionally, it is important to note that the playbooks for enrollment are split into three separate playbooks based on the ipmi_bridging setting.

Deploy Hardware

How this works?

After the nodes are enrolled, they can be deployed upon. Bifrost is geared to utilize configuration drives to convey basic configuration information to the each host. This configuration information includes an SSH key to allow a user to login to the system.

To utilize the newer dynamic inventory based deployment:

export BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE=/tmp/baremetal.json
ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/ deploy-dynamic.yaml

When ironic is installed on remote server, a regular ansible inventory with a target server should be added to ansible. This can be achieved by specifying a directory with files, each file in that directory will be part of the ansible inventory. Refer to ansible documentation

export BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE=/tmp/baremetal.json
rm inventory/*.example
ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/ deploy-dynamic.yaml


Before running the above command, ensure that the value for
`ssh_public_key_path` in ``./playbooks/inventory/group_vars/baremetal``
refers to a valid public key file, or set the ssh_public_key_path option
on the ansible-playbook command line by setting the variable.
Example: "-e ssh_public_key_path=~/.ssh/"

If the hosts need to be re-deployed, the dynamic redeploy playbook may be used:

export BIFROST_INVENTORY_SOURCE=/tmp/baremetal.json
ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/ redeploy-dynamic.yaml

This playbook will undeploy the hosts, followed by a deployment, allowing a configurable timeout for the hosts to transition in each step.

Deployment and configuration of operating systems

By default, Bifrost deploys a configuration drive which includes the user SSH public key, hostname, and the network configuration in the form of network_data.json that can be read/parsed by the glean utility. This allows for the deployment of Ubuntu, CentOS, or Fedora “tenants” on baremetal.

By default, Bifrost utilizes a utility called simple-init which leverages the previously noted glean utility to apply network configuration. This means that by default, root file systems may not be automatically expanded to consume the entire disk, which may, or may not be desirable depending upon operational needs. This is dependent upon what base OS image you utilize, and if the support is included in that image or not. At present, the standard Ubuntu cloud image includes cloud-init which will grow the root partition, however the ubuntu-minimal image does not include cloud-init and thus will not automatically grow the root partition.

Due to the nature of the design, it would be relatively easy for a user to import automatic growth or reconfiguration steps either in the image to be deployed, or in post-deployment steps via custom Ansible playbooks.

Build Custom Ironic Python Agent (IPA) images

Bifrost supports the ability for a user to build a custom IPA ramdisk utilizing diskimage-builder and ironic-python-agent-builder. In order to utilize this feature, the download_ipa setting must be set to false and the create_ipa_image must be set to “true”. By default, the install playbook will build a Debian Buster based IPA image, if a pre-existing IPA image is not present on disk. If you wish to explicitly set a specific release to be passed to diskimage-create, then the setting dib_os_release can be set in addition to dib_os_element.

If you wish to include an extra element into the IPA disk image, such as a custom hardware manager, you can pass the variable ipa_extra_dib_elements as a space-separated list of elements. This defaults to an empty string.

Configuring the integrated DHCP server

Setting static DHCP assignments with the integrated DHCP server

You can set up a static DHCP reservation using the ipv4_address parameter and setting the inventory_dhcp setting to a value of true. This will result in the first MAC address defined in the list of hardware MAC addresses to receive a static address assignment in dnsmasq.

Forcing DNS to resolve to ipv4_address

dnsmasq will resolve all entries to the IP assigned to each server in the leases file. However, this IP will not always be the desired one, if you are working with multiple networks. To force DNS to always resolve to ipv4_address please set the inventory_dns setting to a value of true. This will result in each server to resolve to ipv4_address by explicitly using address capabilities of dnsmasq.

Extending dnsmasq configuration

Bifrost manages the dnsmasq configuration file in /etc/dnsmasq.conf. It is not recommended to make manual modifications to this file after it has been written. dnsmasq supports the use of additional configuration files in /etc/dnsmasq.d, allowing extension of the dnsmasq configuration provided by bifrost. It is possible to use this mechanism provide additional DHCP options to systems managed by ironic, or even to create a DHCP boot environment for systems not managed by ironic. For example, create a file /etc/dnsmasq.d/example.conf with the following contents:

dhcp-match=set:<tag>,<match criteria>
dhcp-boot=tag:<tag>,<boot options>

The tag, match critera and boot options should be modified for your environment. Here we use dnsmasq tags to match against hosts that we want to manage. dnsmasq will use the last matching tagged dhcp-boot option for a host or an untagged default dhcp-boot option if there were no matches. These options will be inserted at the conf-dir=/etc/dnsmasq.d line of the dnsmasq configuration file. Once configured, send the HUP signal to dnsmasq, which will cause it to reread its configuration:

killall -HUP dnsmasq

Using Bifrost with your own DHCP server

The possibility exists that a user may already have a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server on their network.

Currently Ironic, when configured with Bifrost in standalone mode, does not utilize a DHCP provider. This would require a manual configuration of the DHCP server to deploy an image. Bifrost utilizes dnsmasq for this functionality; however, any DHCP server can be utilized. This is largely intended to function in the context of a single flat network although conceivably the nodes can be segregated.

What is required:

  • DHCP server on the network segment

  • Appropriate permissions to change DHCP settings

  • Network access to the API and conductor. Keep in mind the iPXE image does not support ICMP redirects.

Example DHCP server configurations

In the examples below port 8080 is used. However, the port number may vary depending on the environment configuration.


dhcp-match=set:ipxe,175 # iPXE sends a 175 option.
dhcp-boot=tag:ipxe,http://<Bifrost Host IP Address>:8080/boot.ipxe
dhcp-boot=/undionly.kpxe,<TFTP Server Hostname>,<TFTP Server IP Address>

Internet Systems Consortium DHCPd:

if exists user-class and option user-class = "iPXE" {
      filename "http://<Bifrost Host IP Address>:8080/boot.ipxe";
} else {
      filename "/undionly.kpxe";
      next-server <TFTP Server IP Address>;


It should be emphasized that Ironic in standalone mode is intended to be used only in a trusted environment.

         | DHCP Server |
       |                    |
+-------------+       +-----------+
|Ironic Server|       |   Server  |
+-------------+       +-----------+

Use Bifrost with Keystone

Content moved, see Using Keystone.