Local boot support with partition images


This blueprint proposes to accept the boot option specified by Nova flavor and make the subsequent reboot of the baremetal from local hard disk drive instead of pxe or vmedia, depending on the boot option selected by the user.

Problem description

At present Ironic drivers that deploy partition images require Ironic-conductor for subsequent reboots of the node. The subsequent reboot of the node will happen either through pxe or using virtual media. Also there is no way a Nova user can specify the boot option, local/netboot for deploy using partition image.

Proposed change

  • Nova Ironic driver should read the specified boot option capabilities:boot_option flavor key which should be passed through node.instance_info field by Nova Ironic driver.

  • Ironic will then pass this information to the deploy ramdisk via kernel cmdline in the PXE template, set the boot device to HDD persistently and clean up the PXE configuration files after the deployment is completed.

  • The deploy ramdisk to check the parameter in the kernel cmdline and handle the bootloader installation.


For setting the local boot the images being deployed should have grub2 installed.

Windows images won’t be supported as part of this spec.

Creating an EFI boot partition, including the EFI modules and managing the bootloader variables via efibootmgr won’t be supported as part of this spec.


  • Use “localboot” element from Disk image builder:

    While generating the partition images using disk-image-builder, we can use “localboot” element, which is available in tripleo-image-elements project. The downside of using this is that the local boot will be enabled during the first boot after node deploy. So it requires two resets of the server to enable localboot. Also the Ironic-conductor is not aware of this change and continue to provide the pxe or vmedia boot for the reboot operation done from conductor.

  • Use whole disk image to achieve local boot:

    The other way to achieve a local boot is to use whole disk image for deploy. Right now, this can be achieved by using agent driver only.

Data model impact


REST API impact


RPC API impact


Driver API impact


Nova driver impact

Nova Ironic driver need to pass down the capabilities:boot_option from Nova flavor to Ironic node.instance_info field.

Security impact

Local boot is a double-edged problem. On one hand, in case of a electricity outage the customer nodes that are configured to local boot could potentially boot up before the control plane. On the other hand if electricity outage causes the control plane to not boot after is also a problem. So, this spec makes local boot and net boot configurable per instance, deployers should be aware of that when deploying their clouds.

Other end user impact

  • Deployer can specify the boot option request in Nova flavor as capability. capabilities:boot_option=local or capabilities:boot_option=netboot (default).

  • Set boot_option:local or netboot as capability in node.properties.

Scalability impact

This can improve scalability by the fact that there will be less network traffic not having to transfer a kernel and ramdisk over the network to boot a node.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

  • The image being deployed should have grub2 installed.

Developer impact




Primary assignee:


Other contributors:


Work Items

  • Implement the code in Ironic that will check for the boot_option parameter in the node.instance_info field. If set to “local” we have to:

    • Pass the information down to the deploy ramdisk via the kernel cmdline in the PXE configuration file.

    • Delete the PXE configuration files for that node after the deployment is completed.

    • Set the boot device to HDD persistently before the final reboot.

  • Implement the code in the deploy ramdisk that will look at the parameter passed via the kernel cmdline and install the bootloader on the disk as part of the deployment.



  • Unit testing.

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility


Documentation Impact

  • Make changes to Ironic install guide.