Crowbar build using Ubuntu 10.10 vm on Rackspace Cloud from Github Repo

Our OpenStack team at Dell (especially Victor Lowthor) has been working hard with the public Crowbar repos to make it possible for the community to build their own version of a Crowbar ISO.   When you build the ISO, you’ll be downloading a whole bunch (that’s the technical term) of open source licensed components to make it work: we’re trying to maintain a list of licenses on the Github wiki.

To make sure that it was possible for mortals, I signed up for a Ubuntu 10.10 VM (512 Mb RAM, $0.03/hr) at RackSpace Cloud.  I did this from a non-Dell to ensure that it was as independent from our source as possible.

Once I had my vm, there were just a few steps to follow (these are NOT verbatim):

  • apt-get install debootstrap, mkisofs, git, build-essential packages
  • git clone git://
  • Got the results from a sledgehammer build (a fresh sledgehammer tarball) and extracted it into $HOME/.crowbar-build-cache/tftpboot, which is where expects to find it cached.
    • NOTE: I’m not ready to document sledgehammer builds yet, but I will tell you that you’d need a CentOS VM.
  • In the crowbar directory, ran ./
  • The build will pull down all the packages that you need and cache them to the VM.  Subsequent builds will be much faster!

The end result of the build is an “openstack-dev.iso” that will install Crowbar with the OpenStack barclamps (here’s how to do it on VMs).  Just for fun, I copied _my build_ output ISO off the build VM and to my web server.

Please let me know if you have problems with this process, we want people to try Crowbar!

$$ Note: Turn off your VM when you’re done so you don’t incur extra expenses.  Since this process only took about 2 hours, the whole build cost me less than a dime.  Which is good, since I was building it on “my own dime” anyway.

11 thoughts on “Crowbar build using Ubuntu 10.10 vm on Rackspace Cloud from Github Repo

  1. Rob, we definitively try crowbar to deploy our 400 servers w/ openstack, actually we were planing to use a custom made dhcp + pxe server, getting crowbar opensourced yesterday is one of the best news for the month for us. Excellent tutorial. Best Regards Leandro from


  2. Nice – I like this part best: Just for fun, I copied _my build_ output ISO off the build VM and to my web server. Time to go reconfigure my lab network.


  3. Your resulting ISO ( didn’t work for me, the result installation was a Ubuntu 10.10 server with no crowbar services at all. I’ve tried to build the crowbar ISO in a Ubuntu 11.04 but I had problems with some libraries. I’ll try again to rebuild the ISO in a Ubuntu 10.10 VM as you described in your post


      • Thanks for letting me know. Did you run the crowbar installer after the ISO installed ubuntu?

        I’m posting new build instructions shortly and will drop a new ISO as part of that.

        I was able to install from the ISO, but something hung up in vmplayer so I’m upgrading to workstation.


  4. Pingback: Build #Sledgehammer, the #Crowbar discovery image / build prerequisite « Rob Hirschfeld's Blog

  5. very good post, i was really searching for this topic as i wanted this topic to understand completely and it is also very rare in internet that is why it was very difficult to understand. thank you for sharing this.
    iso 9000


  6. Hi,
    In the above procedure, when you run you get an error:
    “crowbar is not a barclamp!”

    You need to clone all the barclamps separately straight into crowbar/barclamps


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