Bifrost (pronounced bye-frost) is a set of Ansible playbooks that automates the task of deploying a base image onto a set of known hardware using ironic. It provides modular utility for one-off operating system deployment with as few operational requirements as reasonably possible.

Team and repository tags

Use Cases

  • Installation of ironic in standalone/noauth mode without other OpenStack components.
  • Deployment of an operating system to a known pool of hardware as a batch operation.
  • Testing and development of ironic in a standalone use case.

How to Use

Installation and use of bifrost is split into roughly three steps:

  • install: prepare the local environment by downloading and/or building machine images, and installing and configuring the necessary services.
  • enroll-dynamic: take as input a customizable hardware inventory file and enroll the listed hardware with ironic, configuring each appropriately for deployment with the previously-downloaded images.
  • deploy-dynamic: instruct ironic to deploy the operating system onto each machine.

Supported operating systems:

  • Ubuntu 14.04, 14.10, 15.04, 16.04
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7
  • CentOS 7
  • Fedora 22
  • openSUSE Leap 42.1, 42.2


Pre-install steps

Installing bifrost on RHEL or CentOS requires a few extra pre-install steps.

Enable additional repositories (RHEL only)

The extras and optional yum repositories must be enabled to satisfy bifrost’s dependencies. To check:

sudo yum repolist | grep 'optional\|extras'

To add the repositories:

sudo yum repolist all | grep 'optional\|extras'

The output will look like this:

!rhui-REGION-rhel-server-debug-extras/7Server/x86_64        Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-debug-optional/7Server/x86_64       Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras/7Server/x86_64               Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional/7Server/x86_64             Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-source-extras/7Server/x86_64        Red H disabled
rhui-REGION-rhel-server-source-optional/7Server/x86_64      Red H disabled

Use the names of the repositories (minus the version and architecture) to enable them:

sudo yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-optional
sudo yum-config-manager --enable rhui-REGION-rhel-server-extras

Enable the EPEL repository (RHEL)

The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository contains some of bifrost’s dependencies. To enable it, install the epel-release package as follows:

sudo yum install

Enable the EPEL repository (CentOS)

To enable EPEL on CentOS, run:

sudo yum install epel-release

Bifrost Installation

The installation is split into two parts.

The first part is a bash script which lays the basic groundwork of installing Ansible itself.

Bifrost source code should be pulled directly from git first:

git clone
cd bifrost

Edit ./playbooks/inventory/group_vars/* to match your environment. The target file is intended for steps executed upon the target server, such as installation, or image generation. The baremetal file is geared for steps performed on baremetal nodes, such as enrollment, deployment, or any other custom playbooks that a user may bolt on to this toolkit.

  • 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.
  • Change the ironic_db_password which is set by Ansible in MySQL and in ironic’s configuration file.

The install process builds or modifies a disk image to deploy. The following two settings (which are mutually exclusive) allow you to choose if a partition image is used or an image is created with diskimage-builder:

create_image_via_dib: true
transform_boot_image: false

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

The recommended path for use is with a local Ansible installation, and to install the library requirements. Alternatively the script will install ansible and all of bifrost’s dependencies.

If you use, ansible will be installed along with its missing Python dependencies into user’s ~/.local directory.


Use of the ```` script can squash an existing
Ansible installation, and is intended primarily for development
and testing.


The next setup steps require elevated privilges, and might need to
be executed with the ``sudo`` command, depending on the access rights
of the user executing the command.

If using the environment setup script:

bash ./scripts/
export PATH=${HOME}/.local/bin:${PATH}
cd playbooks


pip install -r requirements.txt
cd playbooks

The second part is an Ansible playbook that installs and configures ironic in a stand-alone fashion.

  • Keystone is NOT installed by default, and ironic’s API is accessible without authentication. It is possible to put basic password auth on ironic’s API by changing the nginx configuration accordingly.
    • Bifrost playbooks can leverage and optionally install keystone. See keystone.
  • Neutron is NOT installed. Ironic performs static IP injection via config-drive.
  • 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.
  • Deployments are performed by the Ironic Python Agent, which as configured supports IPMI, iLO, and UCS drivers.
  • 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 and RabbitMQ will be installed on the host. Python code will be reinstalled regardless if it has changed, RabbitMQ user passwords will be reset, and services will be restarted.


If you have passwordless sudo enabled, run:
   ansible-playbook -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml
Otherwise, add -K option to let Ansible prompting for the sudo  password:
   ansible-playbook -K -vvvv -i inventory/target install.yaml

With regard to testing, ironic’s node cleaning capability is disabled by default 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 cleaning, you can achieve this by passing the option -e cleaning=true to the command line or executing the command below:

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

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

The ironic community maintains a repository additional of drivers outside ironic. 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

Driver Support

Testing Mode

When setup in testing mode, bifrost configures ironic to utilize the agent_ssh driver to help facilitate the deployment of local test machines.

Default Mode

When not in testing mode, bifrost enables the following ironic drivers:

  • agent_ipmitool
  • agent_ilo
  • agent_ucs

OneView Driver Support

As the OneView driver requires configuration information to be populated in the ironic.conf configuration file that points to the OneView manager node as well as credentials, bifrost does not support installation and configuration of the driver.

Please reference the ironic OneView driver documentation at if you wish to update the configuration after installation in order to leverage bifrost for mass node deployment.

More information about this driver can be found in the OneView driver documentation.