Installing Openstack with devstack, a first-time guide

This guide will enable the reader to install a minimal OpenStack cloud using devstack for the first time.

This guide will assume you have never installed virtualization software, used or configured devstack or even observed a running OpenStack cloud. This guide does assume that you can perform some basic software development instructions as documented.

This guide is targeted towards the software developer that may want to review the Python code and contribute to the open source project or the system architect that wants to evaluate some of the features of OpenStack. If you are an end user should try a public cloud that runs OpenStack such as OVH, Rackspace or other public cloud providers listed in the OpenStack Marketplace).

There are some hardware requirements and various copy/paste command line instructions on a Linux virtual machine. While it would be possible to publish a completed virtual machine you could download and click to run, understanding the underpinnings of the most basic installation and configuration of devstack will provide an appreciation of the complexity of the product and the software development capabilities.

At the end of this process you will have a running OpenStack cloud on your computer that is running on a Linux virtual machine. You will be able to access this with your browser and be able to perform basic cloud infrastructure tasks, such as creating a compute instance. This guide is not intended to talk about the benefits or usages of a cloud.

You will need a computer running Mac OS X, Windows, Linux (see supported list) or Solaris with at least 4GB of RAM and 10GB of available disk drive space in order to complete the following steps.

  1. Installing VirtualBox
  2. Setting up an Ubuntu virtual machine using VirtualBox
  3. ‎Downloading and installing devstack
  4. Using your OpenStack devstack cloud
NOTE: These steps will provide one means of installing devstack with one type of virtualization software on a specific Linux operating system. This is only meant as a first-time users guide, and some pre-defined decisions have been made. There are multiple ways to implement and use devstack with different software and operating systems.

What’s next?

Without knowing the purpose of following this first-time guide what’s next depends on your. As a software developer you may be interested in looking OpenStack Bugs or contributing to new features of one of the many projects. As an architect you may want to understand a more complex configuration setup as you plan to determine what may be necessary to utilize a cloud infrastructure in your organization. This guide is only intended as the first introduction and hopefully has provided the intended result for the reader to consider what OpenStack can possibly provide.

More references

We will assume you have never installed virtualization software on your computer and have not installed devstack, or even seen an OpenStack interface. The devstack documentation does not make this assumption and so these more generic instructions are useful to the uninitiated. While some (including this author) feel these are instructions worthy of the official devstack documentation, others (with valid reasons) do not and hence the democracy of a large distributed open source project. For more information see review #290854. This guide joins the many others searchable by Internet search engines.