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Cloud Computing with Debian and its descendants

This page summaries on what to expect from Debian when it comes to compute clouds. Please refer to Wikipedia or other sources for details about what clouds are about. The idea is that you get virtual instances of some self-assembled or off-shelf booting disk image. You start them, pay for their lifetime (likely), pay for the data that goes in or out, and stop them again.

Our fine distribution can play any role in here. It can

  • run as a cloud OS
  • run the infrastructure that runs the clouds
  • run as the joe the plumber's regular desktop OS that contacts the cloud infrastructure with requests to control the clouds

What cloud software are already available in Debian

There's three big cloud computing suites that are available in Debian: OpenStack, XCP (Xen Cloud Platform), and OpenNebula. They all work pretty well in Debian 7 "Wheezy".

See each page for more details :

Debian cloud images

Cloud images have to deviate from the base Debian image due to nature of the environment in which they are running.
On pages listed below we're trying to explain differences between them:

Cloud images requirements

Building cloud images

  • Openstack Debian images - If you use OpenStack, or anything which can accommodate a raw or qcow2 image, you can use this package to build your images.

  • bootstrap-vz - To build AWS AMIs, GCP Debian images, Openstack and Oracle images, Docker containters and more

  • Packer - written in go tool for creating many different types of images not only for Debian

Testing Debian cloud images (for Debian Cloud Image 'certification')

Note that the Cloud team settled on FAI to generate new images in the November 2016 sprint, see Sprints/2016/DebianCloudNov2016 and https://lists.debian.org/debian-cloud/2016/11/msg00100.html for details.

How to contribute

Join the Debian Cloud team or the mailing lists:

Grab the sources in the /git/openstack or /git/pkg-xen on Alioth.

Note that, especially OpenStack, is BIG. We already have more than 50 binary packages of it in SID. So of course, we'd be more than happy to have help for its packaging/testing.

Reporting bugs

The Debian Cloud team uses the cloud.debian.org pseudo-package to track issues not bound to a specific package maintained in the team (for example, for the Amazon AWS images).

After reporting a bug against a Debian package, which has an impact on Debian images provided on or for clouds, please mark that the bug affects cloud.debian.org.

Bugs are divided in four categories, by usertagging with the address ?cloud.debian.org@packages.debian.org:

  • image (Machine Images)

  • infrastructure

  • documentation

  • package

Bugs related to the images distributed in public clouds (outdatedness, lack of availability in all zones, etc.) can be usertagged ( More names of public clouds can of course be added, please keep the list of control commands below up to date) with:

  • aws (for Amazon Web Services)

  • azure (for Microsoft Azure)

  • gce (for Google Compute Engine)

  • openstack (for Openstack)

  • oracle (for Oracle)

The user categories were set up with the following control emails:

Where to get more information

Who in the Debian community is interested in clouds and why?

Firstly, the extension from providing packages together is to use them together. Thus, the clouds, just like computational grids, may become a way to extend our current way we think about our community. The following groups were observed to show some sincere interest in the cloud technology:

  • DebianMed

    • sharing of administrative burden also for data that needs to be regularly updated
    • its Bioinformatics wing sees lots of parallel computing to be performed on clouds
    • maintains the DebianPureBlends metapackage med-cloud, which can be the base of a Debian bioinformatics machine image.

The RightScale OSS team builds and publishes images for cloud users. For a list of available images, see Cloud/AmazonEC2Image.


What is the default login name on the Debian AMIs?

A. The default user name is: admin. Authentication is ssh key based, therefore there is no password. admin is a privileged account with passwordless sudo to become root run:

sudo -i

See also

  • HighPerformanceComputing - wiki page gathering tools for distributed computing which can/should partially be combined with cloud technology

  • VMBuilder - tool for the creation of virtual machines for Xen, KVM, VirtualBox with the prospect to run them in a cloud

  • Teams/Cloud - The Debian Cloud team.

  • The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing SP 800-145 (PDF).


These clouds don't have Debian images yet: