From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ubuntu Cloud Live

This morning, Canonical's CEO Jane Silber is delivering the first keynote address at the incredible OpenStack Conference in Boston, MA.  I've spent the entire week here in Boston -- Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were dedicated to an Ubuntu-style developer summit, focusing on the next OpenStack release (code named Essex), set for release in early April.  This version of OpenStack will form the IaaS basis for the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server in April 2012.

I saw a preview of Jane's slides yesterday evening, and I'm quite sad that I'm missing her talk (I'm writing this from the Boston/Logan airport on my way back to Austin, TX).  Jorge Castro will be posting a video of her talk as soon as he can.  I think you'll hear about Jane's vision of a Ubuntu's history of leadership as the best Host and Guest OS in the Cloud, and our revolutionary approach Service Orchestration in the Cloud.

I've also seen a sneak preview of a demo given at the end of the talk.  Clint Byrum and Adam Gandelman have worked around the clock producing a spectacular visualization of an Ubuntu Cloud at work.  In the front of the stage, we have a portable rack of servers (a 40-core Intel Emerald Ridge, a 24-core HP Proliant, a 16-core Dell Precision, with a System76 local Ubuntu mirror, and Cisco networking hardware).  We've used Ubuntu Orchestra to remotely install the systems, and we've deployed OpenStack to the rack.  Once OpenStack is running, Clint has a series of Hadoop jobs that he spins up and runs against dozens of instances on the local Nova compute node.  And for the real whiz-bang, Clint uses gource for dynamic visualization of the Hadoop cluster, the various nodes, and their relationships.  It is absolutely stunning to behold!

We are also giving away a few hundred top notch USB sticks, rubber coated with the Ubuntu brandmark.  Ask Robbie Williamson how much he enjoyed dd'ing several hundred ISO images :-)  What was he loading onto the stick, you ask?

Rewind back to May 2010, in a 5-minute lightning talk at UDS-Brussels, I demonstrated an Ubuntu LiveISO running the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud and called it Cloud in your Pocket.  A bit later, I reworked that image to support OpenStack too and showed that at the OpenStack Design Summit in San Antonio.  I was delighted when a couple of the Canonical OEM Server developers (Ante Karamatic, Dave Medberry, and Al Stone) have picked that work up, and ported it forward to Ubuntu 11.10, Unity, and OpenStack Diablo.

So this morning's OpenStack Conference attendees are walking away with the Ubuntu Cloud Live USB experience!  For the rest of you, you can freely download the image yourself, and write that to your own USB stick, or even run it in a virtual machine!

To get started download the image from:
We're going to re-roll that image for the 11.10 official GA release.  Next, write that image to a USB stick (assuming that USB drive is sdb):

sudo dd if=binary.img of=/dev/sdb

Or just run that image in a virtual machine using TestDrive:

testdrive -u ./binary.img

The image should boot much like an Ubuntu Desktop Live, and you should end up in a very minimal Unity environment, with a command line and a web browser, and not much else.  On the desktop, there's a text document with instructions for getting started.  We could have automated all of the cloud creation, but we figured it would be educational to leave a few steps for you (key generation, image registration, instance running).

You can watch it here:

I'm hoping we contribute Ubuntu Cloud Live to the OpenStack Satellite projects (akin to Ubuntu Universe -- it's not part of Core OpenStack, but it's related and useful to some OpenStack users).

It's quite easy for you to modify and rebuild the Ubuntu Cloud Live image to your uses!  That looks something like this...

Install the live-build tools and grab the source code from

sudo apt-get install live-build
bzr branch lp:cloud-live

Make your changes, if any.  And then build.

lb clean
lb build

You'll wait a while.  Internet connection speed and CPU/Memory will determine how long the build takes.  Eventually, you'll see a file called binary.img.  And there you go!  You have just re-built the Ubuntu Cloud Live image.



  1. Wow, that video makes it look so easy! I think I will give it a try. I wonder if I have any suitable hardware...

  2. Hello, I`ve got a bug on eucalyptus with not running instances (still pending before terminated). I saw you have fixed it. Can you tell me, how you do that?

  3. Hello friend, great post thank you. I have a question How can I transfer this image to a hard disk permanently?


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