Building Octavia Amphora Images

Octavia is an operator-grade reference implementation for Load Balancing as a Service (LBaaS) for OpenStack. The component of Octavia that does the load balancing is known as amphora. Amphora may be a virtual machine, may be a container, or may run on bare metal. Creating images for bare metal amphora installs is outside the scope of this version but may be added in a future release.


Python pip should be installed as well as the python modules found in the requirements.txt file.

To do so, you can use the following command on Ubuntu:

$ # Install python pip
$ sudo apt install python-pip
$ # Eventually create a virtualenv
$ sudo apt install python-virtualenv
$ virtualenv octavia_disk_image_create
$ source octavia_disk_image_create/bin/activate
$ # Install octavia requirements
$ cd octavia/diskimage-create
$ pip install -r requirements.txt

Your cache directory should have at least 1GB available, the working directory will need ~1.5GB, and your image destination will need ~500MB

The script will use the version of diskimage-builder installed on your system, or it can be overridden by setting the following environment variables:

DIB_REPO_PATH = /<some directory>/diskimage-builder
DIB_ELEMENTS = /<some directory>/diskimage-builder/elements

The following packages are required on each platform:


$ sudo apt install qemu-utils git kpartx debootstrap

Fedora, CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

$ sudo dnf install qemu-img git e2fsprogs policycoreutils-python-utils

Test Prerequisites

The tox image tests require libguestfs-tools 1.24 or newer. Libguestfs allows testing the Amphora image without requiring root privileges. On Ubuntu systems you also need to give read access to the kernels for the user running the tests:

$ sudo chmod 0644 /boot/vmlinuz*


This script and associated elements will build Amphora images. Current support is with an Ubuntu and CentOS Stream base OS and HAProxy. The script can use RHEL and Fedora as a base OS but these will not initially be tested or supported. As the project progresses and/or the diskimage-builder project adds support for additional base OS options they may become available for Amphora images. This does not mean that they are necessarily supported or tested.


If your cloud has multiple hardware architectures available to nova, remember to set the appropriate hw_architecture property on the image when you load it into glance. For example, when loading an amphora image built for “amd64” you would add “–property hw_architecture=’x86_64’” to your “openstack image create” command line.

The script will use environment variables to customize the build beyond the Octavia project defaults, such as adding elements.

The supported and tested image is created by using the defaults (no command line parameters or environment variables set). As the project progresses we may add additional supported configurations.

Command syntax:

        [-a **amd64** | armhf | aarch64 | ppc64le ]
        [-b **haproxy** ]
        [-c **~/.cache/image-create** | <cache directory> ]
        [-d **jammy**/**9-stream**/**9** | <other release id> ]
        [-g **repository branch** | stable/train | stable/stein | ... ]
        [-i **ubuntu-minimal** | fedora | centos-minimal | rhel ]
        [-k <kernel package name> ]
        [-l <log file> ]
        [-o **amphora-x64-haproxy** | <filename> ]
        [-r <root password> ]
        [-s **2** | <size in GB> ]
        [-t **qcow2** | tar ]
        [-w <working directory> ]

    '-a' is the architecture type for the image (default: amd64)
    '-b' is the backend type (default: haproxy)
    '-c' is the path to the cache directory (default: ~/.cache/image-create)
    '-d' distribution release id (default on ubuntu: jammy)
    '-e' enable complete mandatory access control systems when available (default: permissive)
    '-f' disable tmpfs for build
    '-g' build the image for a specific OpenStack Git branch (default: current repository branch)
    '-h' display help message
    '-i' is the base OS (default: ubuntu-minimal)
    '-k' is the kernel meta package name, currently only for ubuntu-minimal base OS (default: linux-image-virtual)
    '-l' is output logfile (default: none)
    '-m' enable vCPU pinning optimizations (default: disabled)
    '-n' disable sshd (default: enabled)
    '-o' is the output image file name
    '-p' install amphora-agent from distribution packages (default: disabled)"
    '-r' enable the root account in the generated image (default: disabled)
    '-s' is the image size to produce in gigabytes (default: 2)
    '-t' is the image type (default: qcow2)
    '-v' display the script version
    '-w' working directory for image building (default: .)
    '-x' enable tracing for diskimage-builder
    '-y' enable FIPS 140-2 mode in the amphora image

Building Images for Alternate Branches

By default, the script will build an amphora image using the Octavia Git branch of the repository. If you need an image for a specific branch, such as “stable/train”, you need to specify the “-g” option with the branch name. An example for “stable/train” would be: -g stable/train

Advanced Git Branch/Reference Based Images

If you need to build an image from a local repository or with a specific Git reference or branch, you will need to set some environment variables for diskimage-builder.


These advanced settings will override the “-g” setting.

Building From a Local Octavia Repository

Set the DIB_REPOLOCATION_amphora_agent variable to the location of the Git repository containing the amphora agent:

export DIB_REPOLOCATION_amphora_agent=/opt/stack/octavia

Building With a Specific Git Reference

Set the DIB_REPOREF_amphora_agent variable to point to the Git branch or reference of the amphora agent:

export DIB_REPOREF_amphora_agent=refs/changes/40/674140/7

See the Environment Variables section below for additional information and examples.

Amphora Agent Upper Constraints

You may also need to specify which version of the OpenStack upper-constraints.txt file will be used to build the image. For example, to specify the “stable/train” upper constraints Git branch, set the following environment variable:

export DIB_REPOLOCATION_upper_constraints=

See Dependency Management for OpenStack Projects for more information.

Environment Variables

These are optional environment variables that can be set to override the script defaults.

  • The Git reference to checkout for the amphora-agent code inside the image.

  • Default: The current branch

  • Example: stable/stein

  • Example: refs/changes/40/674140/7

  • The Git reference to checkout for the octavia-lib code inside the image.

  • Default: master or stable branch for released OpenStack series installs.

  • Example: stable/ussuri

  • Example: refs/changes/19/744519/2

  • Comma separated list of cloud-int datasources

  • Default: ConfigDrive

  • Options: NoCloud, ConfigDrive, OVF, MAAS, Ec2, <others>

  • Reference:

  • URL to a mirror for the base OS selected

  • Default: None

  • Override the elements used to build the image

  • Default: None

  • Elements to add to the build (requires DIB_LOCAL_ELEMENTS_PATH be specified)

  • Default: None

  • Path to the local elements directory

  • Default: None


Using distribution packages for amphora agent

By default, amphora agent is installed from Octavia Git repository. To use distribution packages, use the “-p” option.

Note this needs a base system image with the required repositories enabled (for example RDO repositories for CentOS/Fedora). One of these variables must be set:

  • Path to the locally downloaded image

  • Default: None

  • Directory base URL to download the image from

  • Default: depends on the distribution

RHEL specific variables

Building a RHEL-based image requires:
  • a Red Hat Enterprise Linux KVM Guest Image, manually download from the Red Hat Customer Portal. Set the DIB_LOCAL_IMAGE variable to point to the file. More details at: <DIB_REPO_PATH>/elements/rhel

  • a Red Hat subscription for the matching Red Hat OpenStack Platform repository if you want to install the amphora agent from the official distribution package (requires setting -p option in Set the needed registration parameters depending on your configuration. More details at: <DIB_REPO_PATH>/elements/rhel-common

Here is an example with Customer Portal registration and OSP 15 repository:

$ export DIB_LOCAL_IMAGE='/tmp/rhel-server-8.0-x86_64-kvm.qcow2'

$ export REG_METHOD='portal' REG_REPOS='rhel-8-server-openstack-15-rpms'

$ export REG_USER='<user>' REG_PASSWORD='<password>' REG_AUTO_ATTACH=true

This example uses registration via a Satellite (the activation key must enable an OSP repository):

$ export DIB_LOCAL_IMAGE='/tmp/rhel-server-8.1-x86_64-kvm.qcow2'

$ export REG_METHOD='satellite' REG_ACTIVATION_KEY="<activation key>"

$ export REG_SAT_URL="<satellite url>" REG_ORG="<satellite org>"

Building in a virtualenv with tox

To make use of a virtualenv for Python dependencies you may run tox. Note that you may still need to install binary dependencies on the host for the build to succeed.

If you wish to customize your build modify tox.ini to pass on relevant environment variables or command line arguments to the script.

$ tox -e build

Container Support

The Docker command line required to import a tar file created with this script is:

$ docker import - image:amphora-x64-haproxy < amphora-x64-haproxy.tar


This documentation and script(s) leverage prior work by the OpenStack TripleO and Sahara teams. Thank you to everyone that worked on them for providing a great foundation for creating Octavia Amphora images.