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Install OpenStack yourself

Try OpenStack on your workstation, set up a micro cloud or deploy a production-grade OpenStack cluster across hundreds of physical machines. You will use MicroStack or OpenStack Charms depending on the requirements.

If you run into any issues, or if you want OpenStack consulting, support or fully managed service, speak to an expert.

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Single-node, multi-node or large-scale cluster?

Choose the OpenStack installation option that suits you best:

  • One physical machine needed
  • Uses MicroStack – OpenStack in a snap
  • Core services included
  • All services on a single node
  • Opinionated OpenStack
  • Straightforward installation
  • OpenStack "on-rails"

Single-node OpenStack deployment

These instructions use MicroStack ‐ OpenStack in a snap, MicroStack is a pure upstream OpenStack distribution designed for small scale and edge deployments, that can be installed and maintained with a minimal effort.


MicroStack is in a beta state. We encourage you to test it, give us your feedback and ask questions.


The installation step consists solely of installing the MicroStack snap.

You will need a multi-core processor and at least 8 GiB of memory and 100 GiB of disk space. MicroStack has been tested on x86-based physical and virtual (KVM) machines running either Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

At this time use the beta channel:

sudo snap install microstack --beta

Information on the installed snap can be viewed like this:

snap list microstack
Name        Version  Rev  Tracking     Publisher   Notes
microstack  ussuri   245  latest/beta  canonical✓  -

Here we see that OpenStack Ussuri has been deployed!


The initialisation step automatically deploys, configures, and starts OpenStack services. In particular, it will create the database, networks, an image, several flavors, and ICMP/SSH security groups. This can all be done within 10 to 20 minutes depending on your machine:

sudo microstack init --auto --control


The purpose of the verification step is to confirm that the cloud is in working order and to discover some of the defaults used by MicroStack. Verification will consist of the following actions:

  • perform various OpenStack queries
  • create an instance
  • connect to the instance over SSH
  • access the cloud dashboard

Query OpenStack

The standard openstack client comes pre-installed and is invoked like so:

microstack.openstack <command>

To list the default image:

microstack.openstack image list
| ID                                   | Name   | Status |
| 7fefc80f-d745-4764-9389-00cc4a12585d | cirros | active |

To get the default list of flavors:

microstack.openstack flavor list
| ID | Name      |   RAM | Disk | Ephemeral | VCPUs | Is Public |
| 1  | m1.tiny   |   512 |    1 |         0 |     1 | True      |
| 2  | m1.small  |  2048 |   20 |         0 |     1 | True      |
| 3  | m1.medium |  4096 |   20 |         0 |     2 | True      |
| 4  | m1.large  |  8192 |   20 |         0 |     4 | True      |
| 5  | m1.xlarge | 16384 |   20 |         0 |     8 | True      |

Create an instance

MicroStack comes with a convenient instance creation command called microstack launch. It uses the following defaults for its instances:

  • keypair ‘microstack’
  • flavor ‘m1.tiny’
  • floating IP address on subnet ‘’

To create an instance named ‘test’ based on the ‘cirros’ image:

microstack launch cirros -n test

The microstack launch command also supports arguments --key, --flavor, --image, and --net-id, in which case you will need to create objects using the standard client if non-default values are desired.

The launch command can be replaced with the traditional microstack.openstack server create command.

Connect to the instance

Output from the microstack launch command includes all the information needed to connect to the instance over SSH:

Creating local "microstack" ssh key at /home/ubuntu/snap/microstack/common/.ssh/id_microstack
Launching server ...
Allocating floating ip ...
Server test launched! (status is BUILD)

Access it with `ssh -i /home/ubuntu/snap/microstack/common/.ssh/id_microstack cirros@`

The launch command, upon its initial invocation, will set up a default OpenStack keypair.

Access the instance using the private SSH key associated with the default keypair:

ssh -i /home/ubuntu/snap/microstack/common/.ssh/id_microstack cirros@

If you receive the error message sign_and_send_pubkey: no mutual signature supported then you will need to use the PubkeyAcceptedKeyTypes option to allow for older key types. The complete command will look like this: ssh -o "PubkeyAcceptedKeyTypes +ssh-rsa" -i /home/ubuntu/snap/microstack/common/.ssh/id_microstack cirros@

Access the cloud dashboard

You can log in to the web UI by pointing your browser to the following URL:

The username is ‘admin’ and the password is obtained in this way:

sudo snap get microstack config.credentials.keystone-password

Sample password:


Upon logging in you should see the created instance:

To learn more about MicroStack, visit

  • At least six physical machines needed
  • Uses OpenStack Charms
  • Core and additional services included
  • Architectural freedom, full HA option
  • Composable OpenStack
  • Fully automated installation and day-2 operations
  • Enterprise private cloud

Large-scale deployment

These instructions use OpenStack Charms. OpenStack Charms are the foundation of Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack distribution which is an enterprise private cloud, designed to run mission-critical workloads.

Find the documentation for "Installation" of OpenStack Charms Deployment Guide here.


In order to qualify for the Private Cloud Build (PCB) service, Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure (UA-I) support subscription and Managed OpenStack, at least 12 nodes are required for Charmed OpenStack. Please contact your Canonical sales representative for detailed information on minimum hardware requirements

To learn more about OpenStack Charms, visit OpenStack Charms Deployment Guide.

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