New Manila Plugin Configuration Charm

Typically, a Manila backend configuration simply needs to provide one or more configuration sections to the manila.conf file. It might also need to install some additional software to the node that manila is running on. (Note that, at present, all the manila services run on the same machine unit.)

In order to make it easier to write a configuration charm for a backend, a template has been provided to bootstrap the process. This example shows how to get started and provides pointers to help understand what to do next.

In the example below we will assume that a new charm provides a simple configuration to the manila charm.


(Note. This will change once the OpenStack templates are on pypi)

In order get the OpenStack charm templates installed into the charm create command, the charm-templates-openstack module needs to be installed alongside the charm-tools module. The code assumes that the charm-tools module is already installed.

mkdir working
cd working
git clone
cd charm_templates_openstack
sudo ./ install

Create Charm

Charm tools provides a utility for building an initial charm from a template. During the charm generation charm tools asks a few questions about the charm.

Note that the charm created from the template is not functional and needs further editing to produce the functional charm needed.

charm-create  -t openstack-manila-plugin new-manila-plugin
INFO: Generating charm for new-manila-plugin in ./new-manila-plugin
INFO: No new-manila-plugin in apt cache; creating an empty charm instead.
What is the earliest OpenStack release this charm will support? mitaka
What packages should this charm install (space separated list)?
What is the package to take the version from (manila-api is probably ok)?

Three questions are asked:

  1. The first is about the earliest version of OpenStack that is supported. The src/metadata.yaml file must also be checked/changed to support the versions of Ubuntu that the charm will support (e.g. xenial, yakkety, etc.)

  2. The second is whether any additional packages (over and above the manila packages) should be installed. Normally, this is just left empty.

  3. The third is about where the charm should try and obtain the version from (this is the package). Normally, the driver version will be the same as the manila version, and therefore the default is acceptable. If the driver installs further packages, then the version should probably be from one of those packages.

Exploring the skeleton charm

The files that the template creates is:

├── requirements.txt
├── src
│   ├── config.yaml
│   ├── copyright
│   ├── icon.svg
│   ├── layer.yaml
│   ├── lib
│   │   └── charm
│   │       └── openstack
│   │           ├──
│   │           └──
│   ├── metadata.yaml
│   ├── reactive
│   │   └──
│   ├──
│   ├── templates
│   │   └── mitaka
│   │       └── manila.conf
│   ├── tests
│   │   ├──
│   │   ├── gate-basic-trusty-icehouse
│   │   ├── gate-basic-trusty-liberty
│   │   ├── gate-basic-trusty-mitaka
│   │   ├── gate-basic-xenial-mitaka
│   │   ├──
│   │   └── tests.yaml
│   └── tox.ini
├── test-requirements.txt
└── unit_tests

This is a reactive source charm layer that is used to build the final charm. The files in the template are:


The source layer for the charm. This layer is compiled with other layers to build the full charm.


This is the config for the charm. This will almost certainly need to be extended to support the configuration options that the backend provider needs to set in the config for manila.conf.


The layer.yaml describes the reactive layers that are used to create the charm. Unless the charm needs to relate to something else in addition to the manila charm, then this file doesn’t need to be altered.


The metadata.yaml file describes the relations to other charms. This file won’t need changing unless additional relations are needed for the charm (e.g. a connection to a master controller charm or something similar).


The tox.ini file contains the configuration for tox to unittest, lint and build a charm. This file shouldn’t need changing.


This file contains the reactive handlers for the charm. If the default behavior of the charm needs to be altered then this is the starting point for that change.


This file contains the charm definition and logic to determine if the configuration is complete and to generate the configuration for the manila charm. This file will need editing.


The template file makes it easier to write out the configuration section that will be supplied to the manila.conf file in the manila charm. This file will need editing. If the earliest release is something other than mitaka, then the folder name will need to be renamed to the earliest release.


These are the functional tests that can be run on the charm to demonstrate that it is functionally correct. The version in the template checks that the configuration gets written. However, it will probably have to be edited to provide sufficient config to the plugin charm so that it will not be blocked.


The unit_tests files may be used to demonstrate that the functions used within the charm layer are correct, which is especially useful for reducing regression tests. It is recommended that the unit_tests files are inspected and altered to be test any functionality that is included in the charm.

How the subordinate charm updates the manila.conf file

The basic theory of operation of a manila configuration plugin charm is to use the config that is presented to the charm to write a configuration section for a backend for manila. The charm may also need to install software, and the charm can be altered to do this, but normally the manila software comes with all of the supported drivers as part of the code base. Here only the configuration is considered.

The plugin charm has access to the same authentication credentials as the manila charm if it needs to configure OpenStack services or needs to write authentication credentials to other configuration files. The manila-generic charm needs to configure [nova], [neutron] and [glance] sections and uses the authentication data to do so.

  1. The charm author should first modify the src/templates/mitaka/manila.conf file which contains the section that will be used to configure the backend.

  2. Then the charm author will modify the src/lib/charm/openstack/{package}.py file.

Configuration Options

It is probably that the configuration charm will use config parameters as part of the template. This are exposed via the config. option in the template, and on the options member in the charm instance. It is sometimes useful to compute a configuration option that can be used in the template or charm (e.g. a boolean to say that the config is available).

A computed config option is done as:

def is_config_okay(config):
    if config.something and config.something_else > 10:
        return True
    return False

This can then be used as {{ config.is_config_okay}} in a template or in the charm instance as:

def some_method(self):
    if self.options.is_config_okay:

Generating the configuration section

The configuration for manila.conf is generated in the get_config_for_principal() method in the charm class defined in the src/lib/charm/openstack directory. The key steps to be aware of are:

  1. If the configuration is not complete or can’t be generated for the backend then the function should return an empty dictionary: {}

  2. The default template only assumes that the manila-plugin.available state is required to render the config. If your interfaces (via states) are needed then they should be added as appropriate.

PEP8 the charm

It’s useful to verify that the charm code is valid Python code and that all the imports needed are met and other linting issues. With tox installed, this can easily be done by:

tox -e pep8

Build Charm

The charm now needs to be built to pull down all the interfaces and layers the charm depends on and rolled into the built charm which can be deployed.

tox -e build

Deploy/Test Charm

Testing/deploying the charm can only be really done with a fragment of an OpenStack system and the tox func27-smoke target gives an easy method to deploy and verify the small system. Note that once it is deployed, if there are errors then they can be modified and the charm rebuilt and re-deployed. A test session might look something like:

cd build/builds/{package-name}
tox -e func27-smoke   # this will run the gate-basic-xenial-mitaka

This will get an OpenStack fragment running. The gate-basic-xenial-mitaka may need to be changed if that target is not supported by the charm.

Then if there are errors:

cd {package-name}
# make changes
tox -e build
juju remove-relation manila {package-name}
# wait until the subordinate is removed/and or destroy the manila unit.
# If destroying the manila unit, then remember to redploy it
juju upgrade-charm --path=build/builds/{package-name} {package-name}
juju add-relation manila {package-name}

This will re-install the subordinate charm which may show further errors, etc.

juju status will now show both charms deployed.