Getting Started With Linode

Linode is a public cloud host with a focus on Linux instances.

Starting with the 2015.8.0 release of Salt, the Linode driver uses Linode's native REST API. There are no external dependencies required to use the Linode driver, other than a Linode account.

Provider Configuration

Linode requires a single API key, but the default root password for new instances also needs to be set. The password needs to be eight characters and contain lowercase, uppercase, and numbers.

Set up the provider cloud configuration file at /etc/salt/cloud.providers or /etc/salt/cloud.providers.d/*.conf.

my-linode-config:
  apikey: 'asldkgfakl;sdfjsjaslfjaklsdjf;askldjfaaklsjdfhasldsadfghdkf'
  password: 'F00barbaz'
  driver: linode

Note

Changed in version 2015.8.0.

The provider parameter in cloud provider definitions was renamed to driver. This change was made to avoid confusion with the provider parameter that is used in cloud profile definitions. Cloud provider definitions now use driver to refer to the Salt cloud module that provides the underlying functionality to connect to a cloud host, while cloud profiles continue to use provider to refer to provider configurations that you define.

Profile Configuration

Linode profiles require a provider, size, image, and location. Set up an initial profile at /etc/salt/cloud.profiles or /etc/salt/cloud.profiles.d/*.conf:

linode_1024:
  provider: my-linode-config
  size: Linode 2GB
  image: CentOS 7
  location: London, England, UK

The profile can be realized now with a salt command:

salt-cloud -p linode_1024 linode-instance

This will create an salt minion instance named linode-instance in Linode. If the command was executed on the salt-master, its Salt key will automatically be signed on the master.

Once the instance has been created with a salt-minion installed, connectivity to it can be verified with Salt:

salt linode-instance test.version

Listing Sizes

Sizes can be obtained using the --list-sizes option for the salt-cloud command:

# salt-cloud --list-sizes my-linode-config
my-linode-config:
    ----------
    linode:
        ----------
        Linode 2GB:
            ----------
            AVAIL:
                ----------
                10:
                    500
                11:
                    500
                2:
                    500
                3:
                    500
                4:
                    500
                6:
                    500
                7:
                    500
                8:
                    500
                9:
                    500
            CORES:
                1
            DISK:
                50
            HOURLY:
                0.015
            LABEL:
                Linode 2GB
            PLANID:
                2
            PRICE:
                10.0
            RAM:
                2048
            XFER:
                2000
...SNIP...

Listing Images

Images can be obtained using the --list-images option for the salt-cloud command:

# salt-cloud --list-images my-linode-config
my-linode-config:
    ----------
    linode:
        ----------
        Arch Linux 2015.02:
            ----------
            CREATE_DT:
                2015-02-20 14:17:16.0
            DISTRIBUTIONID:
                138
            IS64BIT:
                1
            LABEL:
                Arch Linux 2015.02
            MINIMAGESIZE:
                800
            REQUIRESPVOPSKERNEL:
                1
...SNIP...

Listing Locations

Locations can be obtained using the --list-locations option for the salt-cloud command:

# salt-cloud --list-locations my-linode-config
my-linode-config:
    ----------
    linode:
        ----------
        Atlanta, GA, USA:
            ----------
            ABBR:
                atlanta
            DATACENTERID:
                4
            LOCATION:
                Atlanta, GA, USA
...SNIP...

Linode Specific Settings

There are several options outlined below that can be added to either the Linode provider of profile configuration files. Some options are mandatory and are properly labeled below but typically also include a hard-coded default.

image

Image is used to define what Operating System image should be used for the instance. Examples are Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and CentOS 7. This option should be specified in the profile config. Required.

location

Location is used to define which Linode data center the instance will reside in. Required.

size

Size is used to define the instance's "plan type" which includes memory, storage, and price. Required.

assign_private_ip

New in version 2016.3.0.

Assigns a private IP address to a Linode when set to True. Default is False.

ssh_interface

New in version 2016.3.0.

Specify whether to use a public or private IP for the deploy script. Valid options are:

  • public_ips: The salt-master is hosted outside of Linode. Default.
  • private_ips: The salt-master is also hosted within Linode.

If specifying private_ips, the Linodes must be hosted within the same data center and have the Network Helper enabled on your entire account. The instance that is running the Salt-Cloud provisioning command must also have a private IP assigned to it.

Newer accounts created on Linode have the Network Helper setting enabled by default, account-wide. Legacy accounts do not have this setting enabled by default. To enable the Network Helper on your Linode account, please see Linode's Network Helper documentation.

If you're running into problems, be sure to restart the instance that is running Salt Cloud after adding its own private IP address or enabling the Network Helper.

clonefrom

Setting the clonefrom option to a specified instance enables the new instance to be cloned from the named instance instead of being created from scratch. If using the clonefrom option, it is likely a good idea to also specify script_args: -C if a minion is already installed on the to-be-cloned instance. See the Cloning section below for more information.

Cloning

To clone a Linode, add a profile with a clonefrom key, and a script_args: -C. clonefrom should be the name of the Linode that is the source for the clone. script_args: -C passes a -C to the salt-bootstrap script, which only configures the minion and doesn't try to install a new copy of salt-minion. This way the minion gets new keys and the keys get pre-seeded on the master, and the /etc/salt/minion file has the right minion 'id:' declaration.

Cloning requires a post 2015-02-01 salt-bootstrap.

It is safest to clone a stopped machine. To stop a machine run

salt-cloud -a stop machine_to_clone

To create a new machine based on another machine, add an entry to your linode cloud profile that looks like this:

li-clone:
  provider: my-linode-config
  clonefrom: machine_to_clone
  script_args: -C -F

Then run salt-cloud as normal, specifying -p li-clone. The profile name can be anything; It doesn't have to be li-clone.

clonefrom: is the name of an existing machine in Linode from which to clone. Script_args: -C -F is necessary to avoid re-deploying Salt via salt-bootstrap. -C will just re-deploy keys so the new minion will not have a duplicate key or minion_id on the Master, and -F will force a rewrite of the Minion config file on the new Minion. If -F isn't provided, the new Minion will have the machine_to_clone's Minion ID, instead of its own Minion ID, which can cause problems.

Note

Pull Request #733 to the salt-bootstrap repo makes the -F argument non-necessary. Once that change is released into a stable version of the Bootstrap Script, the -C argument will be sufficient for the script_args setting.

If the machine_to_clone does not have Salt installed on it, refrain from using the script_args: -C -F altogether, because the new machine will need to have Salt installed.