Install Guide

Install Guide

Install from PyPI (you may want to use virtualenv to isolate your environment):

pip install ironic-inspector

Also there is a DevStack plugin for ironic-inspector - see How To Contribute for the current status.

Finally, some distributions (e.g. Fedora) provide ironic-inspector packaged, some of them - under its old name ironic-discoverd.

There are several projects you can use to set up ironic-inspector in production. puppet-ironic provides Puppet manifests, while bifrost provides an Ansible-based standalone installer. Refer to Configuration if you plan on installing ironic-inspector manually.


Please beware of possible DNS issues when installing ironic-inspector on Ubuntu.

Version Support Matrix

ironic-inspector currently requires the Bare Metal API version 1.11 to be provided by ironic. This version is available starting with the Liberty release of ironic.

Here is a mapping between the ironic versions and the supported ironic-inspector versions. The Standalone column shows which ironic-inspector versions can be used in standalone mode with each ironic version. The Inspection Interface column shows which ironic-inspector versions can be used with the inspection interface in each version of ironic.

Ironic Version Standalone Inspection Interface
Juno 1.0 N/A
Kilo 1.0 - 2.2 1.0 - 1.1
Liberty 1.1 - 2.2.7 2.0 - 2.2.7
Mitaka 2.3 - 3.X 2.3 - 3.X
Newton 3.3 - 4.X 3.3 - 4.X
Ocata+ 5.0 - 5.X 5.0 - 5.X


3.X means there are no specific plans to deprecate support for this ironic version. This does not imply that it will be supported forever.


Copy example.conf to some permanent place (e.g. /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf). Fill in these minimum configuration values:

  • The keystone_authtoken section - credentials to use when checking user authentication.
  • The ironic section - credentials to use when accessing ironic API.
  • connection in the database section - SQLAlchemy connection string for the database.
  • dnsmasq_interface in the firewall section - interface on which dnsmasq (or another DHCP service) listens for PXE boot requests (defaults to br-ctlplane which is a sane default for tripleo-based installations but is unlikely to work for other cases).

See comments inside example.conf for other possible configuration options.


Configuration file contains a password and thus should be owned by root and should have access rights like 0600.

Here is an example inspector.conf (adapted from a gate run):

debug = false
rootwrap_config = /etc/ironic-inspector/rootwrap.conf

connection = mysql+pymysql://root:<PASSWORD>@

dnsmasq_interface = br-ctlplane

os_region = RegionOne
project_name = service
password = <PASSWORD>
username = ironic-inspector
auth_url =
auth_type = password

auth_uri =
project_name = service
password = <PASSWORD>
username = ironic-inspector
auth_url =
auth_type = password

ramdisk_logs_dir = /var/log/ironic-inspector/ramdisk
store_data = swift

os_region = RegionOne
project_name = service
password = <PASSWORD>
username = ironic-inspector
auth_url =
auth_type = password


Set debug = true if you want to see complete logs.

ironic-inspector requires root rights for managing iptables. It gets them by running ironic-inspector-rootwrap utility with sudo. To allow it, copy file rootwrap.conf and directory rootwrap.d to the configuration directory (e.g. /etc/ironic-inspector/) and create file /etc/sudoers.d/ironic-inspector-rootwrap with the following content:

Defaults:stack !requiretty
stack ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/ironic-inspector-rootwrap /etc/ironic-inspector/rootwrap.conf *


Be very careful about typos in /etc/sudoers.d/ironic-inspector-rootwrap as any typo will break sudo for ALL users on the system. Especially, make sure there is a new line at the end of this file.


rootwrap.conf and all files in rootwrap.d must be writeable only by root.


If you store rootwrap.d in a different location, make sure to update the filters_path option in rootwrap.conf to reflect the change.

If your rootwrap.conf is in a different location, then you need to update the rootwrap_config option in ironic-inspector.conf to point to that location.

Replace stack with whatever user you’ll be using to run ironic-inspector.

Configuring IPA

ironic-python-agent is a ramdisk developed for ironic and support for ironic-inspector was added during the Liberty cycle. This is the default ramdisk starting with the Mitaka release.


You need at least 1.5 GiB of RAM on the machines to use IPA built with diskimage-builder and at least 384 MiB to use the TinyIPA.

To build an ironic-python-agent ramdisk, do the following:

  • Get the new enough version of diskimage-builder:

    sudo pip install -U "diskimage-builder>=1.1.2"
  • Build the ramdisk:

    disk-image-create ironic-agent fedora -o ironic-agent


    Replace “fedora” with your distribution of choice.

  • Use the resulting files ironic-agent.kernel and ironic-agent.initramfs in the following instructions to set PXE or iPXE.

Alternatively, you can download a prebuilt TinyIPA image or use the other builders.

Configuring PXE

For the PXE boot environment, you’ll need:

  • TFTP server running and accessible (see below for using dnsmasq). Ensure pxelinux.0 is present in the TFTP root.

    Copy ironic-agent.kernel and ironic-agent.initramfs to the TFTP root as well.

  • Next, setup $TFTPROOT/pxelinux.cfg/default as follows:

    default introspect
    label introspect
    kernel ironic-agent.kernel
    append initrd=ironic-agent.initramfs ipa-inspection-callback-url=http://{IP}:5050/v1/continue systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes
    ipappend 3

    Replace {IP} with IP of the machine (do not use loopback interface, it will be accessed by ramdisk on a booting machine).


    While systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes is not actually required, it will substantially simplify debugging if something goes wrong. You can also enable IPA debug logging by appending ipa-debug=1.

    IPA is pluggable: you can insert introspection plugins called collectors into it. For example, to enable a very handy logs collector (sending ramdisk logs to ironic-inspector), modify the append line in $TFTPROOT/pxelinux.cfg/default:

    append initrd=ironic-agent.initramfs ipa-inspection-callback-url=http://{IP}:5050/v1/continue ipa-inspection-collectors=default,logs systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes


    You probably want to always keep the default collector, as it provides the basic information required for introspection.

  • You need PXE boot server (e.g. dnsmasq) running on the same machine as ironic-inspector. Don’t do any firewall configuration: ironic-inspector will handle it for you. In ironic-inspector configuration file set dnsmasq_interface to the interface your PXE boot server listens on. Here is an example dnsmasq.conf:

    dhcp-range={DHCP IP RANGE, e.g.,}
    tftp-root={TFTP ROOT, e.g. /tftpboot}


    dhcp-sequential-ip is used because otherwise a lot of nodes booting simultaneously cause conflicts - the same IP address is suggested to several nodes.

Configuring iPXE

iPXE allows better scaling as it primarily uses the HTTP protocol instead of slow and unreliable TFTP. You still need a TFTP server as a fallback for nodes not supporting iPXE. To use iPXE, you’ll need:

  • TFTP server running and accessible (see above for using dnsmasq). Ensure undionly.kpxe is present in the TFTP root. If any of your nodes boot with UEFI, you’ll also need ipxe.efi there.

  • You also need an HTTP server capable of serving static files. Copy ironic-agent.kernel and ironic-agent.initramfs there.

  • Create a file called inspector.ipxe in the HTTP root (you can name and place it differently, just don’t forget to adjust the dnsmasq.conf example below):

    dhcp || goto retry_dhcp
    kernel --timeout 30000 http://{IP}:8088/ironic-agent.kernel ipa-inspection-callback-url=http://{IP}>:5050/v1/continue systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes BOOTIF=${mac} initrd=agent.ramdisk || goto retry_boot
    initrd --timeout 30000 http://{IP}:8088/ironic-agent.ramdisk || goto retry_boot


    Older versions of the iPXE ROM tend to misbehave on unreliable network connection, thus we use the timeout option with retries.

    Just like with PXE, you can customize the list of collectors by appending the ipa-inspector-collectors kernel option. For example:

  • Just as with PXE, you’ll need a PXE boot server. The configuration, however, will be different. Here is an example dnsmasq.conf:

    dhcp-range={DHCP IP RANGE, e.g.,}
    tftp-root={TFTP ROOT, e.g. /tftpboot}

    First, we configure the same common parameters as with PXE. Then we define ipxe and efi tags. Nodes already supporting iPXE are ordered to download and execute inspector.ipxe. Nodes without iPXE booted with UEFI will get ipxe.efi firmware to execute, while the remaining will get undionly.kpxe.

Managing the ironic-inspector Database

ironic-inspector provides a command line client for managing its database. This client can be used for upgrading, and downgrading the database using alembic migrations.

If this is your first time running ironic-inspector to migrate the database, simply run:

ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf upgrade

If you have previously run a version of ironic-inspector earlier than 2.2.0, the safest thing is to delete the existing SQLite database and run upgrade as shown above. However, if you want to save the existing database, to ensure your database will work with the migrations, you’ll need to run an extra step before upgrading the database. You only need to do this the first time running version 2.2.0 or later.

If you are upgrading from ironic-inspector version 2.1.0 or lower:

ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf stamp --revision 578f84f38d
ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf upgrade

If you are upgrading from a git master install of the ironic-inspector after rules were introduced:

ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf stamp --revision d588418040d
ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf upgrade

Other available commands can be discovered by running:

ironic-inspector-dbsync --help


ironic-inspector --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf

A good starting point for writing your own systemd unit should be one used in Fedora (note usage of old name).

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