Ironic - Bare Metal provisioning


Ironic is the OpenStack service for handling bare metal, i.e., the physical machines. It can work standalone as well as with other OpenStack services (notably, Neutron and Nova).

Pre-deployment Configuration

Enable Ironic in /etc/kolla/globals.yml:

enable_ironic: "yes"

In the same file, define a network interface as the default NIC for dnsmasq and a range of IP addresses that will be available for use by Ironic inspector. The optional netmask of the network should be provided in case when DHCP-relay is used. Finally, define a network to be used for the Ironic cleaning network:

ironic_dnsmasq_interface: "eth1"
ironic_dnsmasq_dhcp_range: ",,"
ironic_cleaning_network: "public1"

In the same file, optionally a default gateway to be used for the Ironic Inspector inspection network:


In the same file, specify the PXE bootloader file for Ironic Inspector. The file is relative to the /tftpboot directory. The default is pxelinux.0, and should be correct for x86 systems. Other platforms may require a different value, for example aarch64 on Debian requires debian-installer/arm64/bootnetaa64.efi.

ironic_dnsmasq_boot_file: pxelinux.0

Ironic inspector also requires a deploy kernel and ramdisk to be placed in /etc/kolla/config/ironic/. The following example uses coreos which is commonly used in Ironic deployments, though any compatible kernel/ramdisk may be used:

$ curl \
  -o /etc/kolla/config/ironic/ironic-agent.kernel

$ curl \
  -o /etc/kolla/config/ironic/ironic-agent.initramfs

You may optionally pass extra kernel parameters to the inspection kernel using:

ironic_inspector_kernel_cmdline_extras: ['ipa-lldp-timeout=90.0', 'ipa-collect-lldp=1']

in /etc/kolla/globals.yml.

Enable iPXE booting (optional)

You can optionally enable booting via iPXE by setting enable_ironic_ipxe to true in /etc/kolla/globals.yml:

enable_ironic_ipxe: "yes"

When iPXE booting is enabled, the ironic_ipxe container is used to serve the iPXE boot images as described below. Regardless of the setting above, the same container is used to support the direct deploy interface.

The port used for the iPXE webserver is controlled via ironic_ipxe_port in /etc/kolla/globals.yml:

ironic_ipxe_port: "8089"

The following changes will occur if iPXE booting is enabled:

  • Ironic will be configured with the ipxe_enabled configuration option set to true

  • The inspection ramdisk and kernel will be loaded via iPXE

  • The DHCP servers will be configured to chainload iPXE from an existing PXE environment. You may also boot directly to iPXE by some other means e.g by burning it to the option rom of your ethernet card.

Note that due to a limitation in Kolla Ansible, PXE and iPXE cannot be used together in a single deployment.

In order to enable the iPXE driver in Ironic, set the [DEFAULT] enabled_boot_interfaces option in /etc/kolla/config/ironic.conf:

enabled_boot_interfaces = ipxe

Attach ironic to external keystone (optional)

In multi-regional deployment keystone could be installed in one region (let’s say region 1) and ironic - in another region (let’s say region 2). In this case we don’t install keystone together with ironic in region 2, but have to configure ironic to connect to existing keystone in region 1. To deploy ironic in this way we have to set variable enable_keystone to "no".

enable_keystone: "no"

It will prevent keystone from being installed in region 2.

To add keystone-related sections in ironic.conf, it is also needed to set variable ironic_enable_keystone_integration to "yes"

ironic_enable_keystone_integration: "yes"


Run the deploy as usual:

$ kolla-ansible deploy

Post-deployment configuration

The Ironic documentation describes how to create the deploy kernel and ramdisk and register them with Glance. In this example we’re reusing the same images that were fetched for the Inspector:

openstack image create --disk-format aki --container-format aki --public \
  --file /etc/kolla/config/ironic/ironic-agent.kernel deploy-vmlinuz

openstack image create --disk-format ari --container-format ari --public \
  --file /etc/kolla/config/ironic/ironic-agent.initramfs deploy-initrd

The Ironic documentation describes how to create Nova flavors for bare metal. For example:

openstack flavor create my-baremetal-flavor \
  --ram 512 --disk 1 --vcpus 1 \
  --property resources:CUSTOM_BAREMETAL_RESOURCE_CLASS=1 \
  --property resources:VCPU=0 \
  --property resources:MEMORY_MB=0 \
  --property resources:DISK_GB=0

The Ironic documentation describes how to enroll baremetal nodes and ports. In the following example ensure to substitute correct values for the kernel, ramdisk, and MAC address for your baremetal node.

openstack baremetal node create --driver ipmi --name baremetal-node \
  --driver-info ipmi_port=6230 --driver-info ipmi_username=admin \
  --driver-info ipmi_password=password \
  --driver-info ipmi_address= \
  --resource-class baremetal-resource-class --property cpus=1 \
  --property memory_mb=512 --property local_gb=1 \
  --property cpu_arch=x86_64 \
  --driver-info deploy_kernel=15f3c95f-d778-43ad-8e3e-9357be09ca3d \
  --driver-info deploy_ramdisk=9b1e1ced-d84d-440a-b681-39c216f24121

openstack baremetal port create 52:54:00:ff:15:55 \
  --node 57aa574a-5fea-4468-afcf-e2551d464412 \
  --physical-network physnet1

Make the baremetal node available to nova:

openstack baremetal node manage 57aa574a-5fea-4468-afcf-e2551d464412
openstack baremetal node provide 57aa574a-5fea-4468-afcf-e2551d464412

It may take some time for the node to become available for scheduling in nova. Use the following commands to wait for the resources to become available:

openstack hypervisor stats show
openstack hypervisor show 57aa574a-5fea-4468-afcf-e2551d464412

Booting the baremetal

Assuming you have followed the examples above and created the demo resources as shown in the Quick Start, you can now use the following example command to boot the baremetal instance:

openstack server create --image cirros --flavor my-baremetal-flavor \
  --key-name mykey --network public1 demo1

In other cases you will need to adapt the command to match your environment.


Debugging DHCP

The following tcpdump command can be useful when debugging why dhcp requests may not be hitting various pieces of the process:

tcpdump -i <interface> port 67 or port 68 or port 69 -e -n

Configuring the Web Console

Configuration based off upstream Node web console.

Serial speed must be the same as the serial configuration in the BIOS settings. Default value: 115200bps, 8bit, non-parity.If you have different serial speed.

Set ironic_console_serial_speed in /etc/kolla/globals.yml:

ironic_console_serial_speed: 9600n8

Deploying using virtual baremetal (vbmc + libvirt)