I have been assigned to install openstack on a single machine in our dev office.
I am following the guide here : http://docs.openstack.org/kilo/install-guide/install/apt/content/ch_basic_environment.html

My goal is to install 3 nodes : a controller, a compute and a network (as described in the guide).
What I do not understand, is how I should set up my environment to try to install my nodes.

Note : host and VMs are all ubuntus, and I use Oracle's virtualbox.
I am currently installing 3 VMs on 1 VM, to simulate 3 servers, but I feel like it's not the good solution (let the compute power problem aside for now).
That's something the doc isn't clear about : should I install everything in one single VM ? Am I on the good road ?

Any advice on how to proceed with my environment (1 VM? Multiple VMs ? Multiple VMs in 1 VM to isolate from the host system ? No VMs ?) would be much appreciated as I feel a bit lost in the docs, and I have only 4 months of experience (and I'm a dev, not a sysadmin :s)

Many thanks for considering my request.

  • Is this Ubuntu related at all. Maybe better suited for Serverfault?
    – Nephente
    Oct 6, 2015 at 11:44
  • Thanks for the tip, I'm taking this into consideration, i'm still a newbie, you'll see me on serverFault next time.
    – Phylante
    Oct 6, 2015 at 13:36

5 Answers 5


Considering that you are using Oracle Virtual box and that Openstack guide recommends 64 bit install, pretty much narrows your choices.

Lets see 1 by 1 :

  1. No VM : I am not sure here how would you achieve installation of 3 different nodes since you only have 1 physical server. Also it does not seem to be reccommended setup.
  2. Single VM : Same issue as above.

  3. Multiple VMS inside 1 VM: Would be a neat solution, but oracle virtual box has limitation with this and you would restricted to 32 bit installation should you choose nested visualization. Refer to the this ticket here.
    I got lot of info from this thread .

So I guess that leaves 1 choice - Install multiple VMs on your host server. I had to simulate multiple network elements and my host machine was a laptop. I got away by using DSL VMs. Now DSL definitely would not be option for running open stack but you may be you want to use Lubuntu if you are short on juice on your host server.


Most hypervisors need hardware virtualisation, that seems to be unavailable in a VirtualBox VM (if you create another VM inside the first), so nesting VMs with virtualbox is, in that case, a bad idea because, you won't have a 64-bit system to install openstack, that is strongly recommanded.

A solution in that case is to install 3 VMs on the guest system, and then find a workaround to simulate the network.


On ubuntu you have several choices. And none of these require virtualbox.

The Ubuntu Single-Installer installs all of Openstack into LXC containers on your PC.


Then there is the just released Rackspace Openstack-Ansible (OSA) which kind of does the same thing.. re deploys ALL of Openstack into LXC containers on your PC.


I've installed both although OSA is newer and other than the Install which went flawlessly... I haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet.

FYI... from my understanding Canonical is working hard to have their installation of Openstack for Ubuntu 16.04 to be able to install and run all payloads in only LXC containers... which will be very cool from my perspective, particularly because Canonical is integrating all of that into JUJU which will make overall orchestration of Openstack much more interesting.

Also, this video from the recent Tokyo Openstack conference is very good and giving an overview of the various popular methods of installing Openstack. As the video shows... what Canonical is doing with Juju & Openstack is really quite a bit ahead of other methods in regards to deploying/upgrading "services".



Another great tutorial I used is found at the following link Openstack with Autopilot


Openstack Fuel can be used to do a virtualized openstack install all on one machine. The host needs to be beefy, ssd and at least 64GB ram, 96GB better. Using virt-manger, create one vm for Fuel. Install Fuel in to the VM. two more vm, one for controller, and one for compute. These two hosts will need to be configured to DHCP boot from the fuel server. Use the Fuel web interface to configure an Fuel Environment. That's the Fuel way having multiple groups of hosts run an instance of openstack. There is a detailed description on how to setup linux bridges. The referenced configuration will allow Fuel to run with all of Fuel's default opinions. Very much a convention over configuration run. It's a great way for someone who knows nothing about Openstack to get up and running.


There are shell scripts that will do an All in One install of Fuel on Virtual box. Your going to need to fill out the contact form and agree to the terms of service at the mirantis.com web site to get them. These scripts are very automated. If you go that route, run the launch.sh script as root. Not running the script as root costed me a few days. The install will take a few hours. The result will have the virtual box networking correctly configured, fuel on a VM, and VM for nodes for openstack servers ready. Launching a VM in this openstack install will result in Virtual box running the nested VM as emulated. It can be really slow. like many minutes to hours to start an instance of a VM. This was a dell r710 with 24 gigs of ram. Raising the ram 48 Gig and eventually 96 Gigs of ram boosted performance. It's my opinion that the results of an Virtual Box install of Openstack is not the best option.

If you want to have an All in One Openstack install that is useful, the use Fuel on KVM is a viable option.

The blog post above is the directions to achieve the same results as the Mirantis Virtual Box launch.sh scripts. Because it's KVM, nested VM are not emulated.

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