Installation via playbooks

Countrary to Quick start with bifrost-cli, this method of installation allows full control over all parameters, as well as injecting your own ansible playbooks.

Installation is split into four parts:

  • Installation of Ansible

  • Configuring settings for the installation

  • Execution of the installation playbook

Installation of Ansible

Installation of Ansible can take place using the provided environment setup script located at scripts/ which is present in the bifrost repository. This may also be used if you already have ansible, as it will install ansible and various dependencies to a virtual environment in order to avoid overwriting or conflicting with a system-wide Ansible installation.

Alternatively, if you have a working Ansible installation, under normal circumstances the installation playbook can be executed, but you will need to configure the Virtual environment.


All testing takes place utilizing the scripts/ script. Please feel free to submit bug reports or patches to OpenStack Gerrit for any issues encountered if you choose to directly invoke the playbooks without using

Virtual environment

To avoid conflicts between Python packages installed from source and system packages, Bifrost defaults to installing everything to a virtual environment. scripts/ will automatically create a virtual environment in /opt/stack/bifrost if it does not exist.

If you want to relocate the virtual environment, export the VENV variable before calling

export VENV=/path/to/my/venv

If you’re using the ansible playbooks directly (without the helper scripts), set the bifrost_venv_dir variables accordingly.


Because of Ansible dependencies Bifrost only supports virtual environments created with --system-site-packages.

Pre-installation settings

Before performing the installation, it is highly recommended that you edit ./playbooks/inventory/group_vars/* to match your environment. Several files are located in this folder, and you may wish to review and edit the settings across multiple files:

  • The target file is used by roles that execute against the target node upon which you are installing ironic and all required services.

  • The baremetal file is geared for roles executed against baremetal nodes. This may be useful if you are automating multiple steps involving deployment and configuration of nodes beyond deployment via the same roles.

  • The localhost file is similar to the target file, and likely contains identical settings. This file is referenced if no explicit target is defined, as it defaults to the localhost.

Duplication between variable names does occur within these files, as variables are unique to the group that the role is being executed upon.

  • If MySQL is already installed, update mysql_password to match your local installation.

  • Change network_interface to match the interface that will need to service DHCP requests.

  • Set service_password which is used for communication between services. If unset, a random password is generated during the initial installation and stored on the controller in ~/.config/bifrost/service_password.

The install process, when executed will either download, or build disk images for the deployment of nodes, and be deployed to the nodes.

If you wish to build an image, based upon the settings, you will need to set create_image_via_dib to true.

If you are running the installation behind a proxy, export the environment variables http_proxy, https_proxy and no_proxy so that ansible will use these proxy settings.

TLS support

Bifrost supports TLS for API services with two options:

  • A self-signed certificate can be generated automatically. Set enable_tls=true and generate_tls=true.


    This is equivalent to the --enable-tls flag of bifrost-cli.

  • Certificate paths can be provided via:


    Path to the TLS certificate (must be world-readable).


    Path to the private key (must not be password protected).


    Path to the certificate signing request file.

    Set enable_tls=true and do not set generate_tls to use this option.


If using Keystone, see TLS notes for important notes.


In order to really get started, you must install dependencies.

With the addition of ansible collections, the will install the collections in the default ansible collections_paths (according to your ansible.cfg) or you can specify the location setting ANSIBLE_COLLECTIONS_PATHS:

$ export ANSIBLE_COLLECTIONS_PATHS=/mydir/collections


If you are using a virtual environment ANSIBLE_COLLECTIONS_PATHS is automatically set. After Ansible Collections are installed, a symbolic link to to the installation is created in the bifrost playbook directory.

The script automatically invokes and creates a virtual environment for you:

$ bash ./scripts/
$ source /opt/stack/bifrost/bin/activate
$ cd playbooks

Once the dependencies are in-place, you can execute the ansible playbook to perform the actual installation. The playbook will install and configure ironic in a stand-alone fashion.

A few important notes:

  • The OpenStack Identity service (keystone) is NOT installed by default, and ironic’s API is accessible without authentication. It is possible to put basic password authentication on ironic’s API by changing the nginx configuration accordingly.


Bifrost playbooks can leverage and optionally install keystone. See Keystone install details.

  • The OpenStack Networking service (neutron) is NOT installed. Ironic performs static IP injection via config-drive or DHCP reservation.

  • Deployments are performed by the ironic python agent (IPA).

  • dnsmasq is configured statically and responds to all PXE boot requests by chain-loading to iPXE, which then fetches the Ironic Python Agent ramdisk from nginx.

  • By default, installation will build an Ubuntu-based image for deployment to nodes. This image can be easily customized if so desired.

The re-execution of the playbook will cause states to be re-asserted. If not already present, a number of software packages including MySQL will be installed on the host. Python code will be reinstalled regardless if it has changed.

Playbook Execution

Playbook based install provides a greater degree of visibility and control over the process and is suitable for advanced installation scenarios.


First, make sure that the virtual environment is active (the example below assumes that bifrost venv is installed into the default path /opt/stack/bifrost).

$ . /opt/stack/bifrost/bin/activate (bifrost) $

Verify if the ansible-playbook executable points to the one installed in the virtual environment:

(bifrost) $ which ansible-playbook /opt/stack/bifrost/bin/ansible-playbook (bifrost) $

change to the playbooks subdirectory of the cloned bifrost repository:

$ cd playbooks

If you have passwordless sudo enabled, run:

$ ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml

Otherwise, add the -K to the ansible command line, to trigger ansible to prompt for the sudo password:

$ ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml

With regard to testing, ironic’s node cleaning capability is enabled by default, but only metadata cleaning is turned on, as it can be an unexpected surprise for a new user that their test node is unusable for however long it takes for the disks to be wiped.

If you wish to enable full cleaning, you can achieve this by passing the option -e cleaning_disk_erase=true to the command line or executing the command below:

$ ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml -e cleaning_disk_erase=true

If installing a stable release, you need to set two more parameters, e.g.:

-e git_branch=stable/train -e ipa_upstream_release=stable-train


Note the difference in format: git branch uses slashes, IPA release uses dashes.

After you have performed an installation, you can edit /etc/ironic/ironic.conf to enable or disable cleaning as desired. It is highly encouraged to utilize cleaning in any production environment.

Additional ironic drivers

An additional collection of drivers are maintained outside of the ironic source code repository, as they do not have Continuous Integration (CI) testing.

These drivers and information about them can be found in ironic-staging-drivers docs. If you would like to install the ironic staging drivers, simply pass -e staging_drivers_include=true when executing the install playbook:

$ ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml -e staging_drivers_include=true