VNC console

In addition to a serial console, allow ironic nodes to be accessed through a vnc console. This proposal presents the work required to create a new driver interface for accessing graphical console of a node.

Problem description

End users often have to troubleshoot their instances because they might have broken their boot configuration or locked themselves out with a firewall. Keyboard-Video-Mouse (KVM) access is often required for troubleshooting these types of issues as serial access is not always available or correctly configured. Also, KVM provides a better user experience as compared to serial console.

Horizon’s VNC console is not supported for the ironic nodes provisioned by Nova. This spec intents to extend that to grapical console via the novnc proxy.

The end user will be able to get workable vnc console url from baremetal server: switch console type on bm side to vnc openstack baremetal node console enable openstack console url show --novnc

Proposed change

  • In order to support the handshake for VNC authentication we have to implement proxy service as a part of security isolation. During handshake vnc password is used. It is stored on ironic side in driver_info/vnc password and without proxy need to be provided to Nova. This password should be set by admin. More information about vnc password is in rfb protocol. With novncproxy Nova internals don’t need internal details of the BMC network. Expected that this new service can be based on nova_novncproxy.

  • for drac will be created a vnc driver based on base.ConsoleInterface


  • Accept this limitation and only offer a serial console.

  • We can configure kvm access including access to the bios via the serial proxy and shell in a box for nova provisioned ironic baremetal intances. This would require exposing credentials.

  • Use out-of-band KVM access provided by administrator without Ironic support.

Data model impact


State Machine Impact


REST API impact


Client (CLI) impact


RPC API impact


Driver API impact


Nova driver impact

Nova impacts are fully described in the support of vnc console for ironic spec in Nova.

Essentially, the Ironic virt driver will have to implement get_vnc_console

As per policy in Nova, changes cannot land until ironic changes have landed.

Ramdisk impact


Security impact

The VNC connection to the nodes are secured by a token generated while creating the console in Nova. This bearer token is the only thing required to connect to the novnc proxy, So the connection between user and novnc proxy should be protected via ssl

Other end user impact


Scalability impact


Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

additions to configs (idrac example):

ironic-conductor/ironic.conf: enabled_console_interfaces = idrac-socat,ipmitool-socat, idrac-vnc

ironic-api/ironic.conf: enabled_console_interfaces = idrac-socat,ipmitool-socat, idrac-vnc

Developer impact




Primary assignee:
  • kirillgermanov

Other contributors:


Work Items

  • implement ironic-novncproxy service

  • Introduce drac.DracWSManVNCConsole(base.ConsoleInterface)

  • Add usage description to documentation



  • Unit tests

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility


Documentation Impact

  • Documentation will be updated.