Support for non-glance image references

Add the ability to provide non-Glance references for images that are used by Ironic.

Problem description

Currently, kernels and ramdisks, image_source images are downloaded from Glance, provided their UUID. This requires Glance to be up and running, and does not allow providing images from specific URL or from local disk.

Proposed change

The proposal is to create new image service base class for downloading images provided URL for them; also to add some common protocol support, i.e. downloading from remote HTTP servers and using images available in local file system.

Depending on the URL, different image service will be used:

  • If URL starts with ‘glance://’ or is just an image UUID (for backwards compatibility), Glance image service is used.

  • If it starts with ‘http://’ or ‘https://’ then it will be downloaded by HTTP image service.

  • If it starts with ‘file://’ then it is referencing some file system available locally, either hard link will be created for an image if it’s in the same file system as folder with node’s images, or image will be copied to that folder by image service for current conductor’s local files.


Continue having a hard-dependency on Glance.

Data model impact


REST API impact


RPC API impact


Driver API impact


Nova driver impact


Security impact

Operators should download images from trusted sources.

Other end user impact


Scalability impact

Depending on the protocol used to download image, network usage can be either reduced (using local files) or remains the same.

Performance Impact


Other deployer impact

Since Ironic may be used without Glance, developers can’t make the assumption that Glance image metadata is the only source for such information. Deployers must be capable of supplying Ironic with all required metadata programmatically, and such requirements must be documented.

For example, because of kernel and ramdisk UUIDs are currently got from image_source image properties returned by Glance, links for those should be put into instance_info dictionary if Glance is not used. Another example is whole disk instance images that need to have is_whole_disk flag in instance_info in order to not to fetch kernel and ramdisk.

Developer impact

Developers can easily add their own image services to download images using specific protocols that are needed.



Primary assignee:


Other contributors:


Work Items

  • Implement base image service class for downloading images from URL.

  • Implement image service classes for downloading from HTTP server and from local file system.

  • Implement a class that will return image service based on protocol defined in URL.




Tests for downloading images using different protocols will be added to Tempest.

Upgrades and Backwards Compatibility

For backwards compatibility it is allowed for image URL to contain only Glance image UUID.

Documentation Impact

Possibility of specifying URLs for images and protocols supported should be added to documentation.

If a driver uses some image metadata provided by Glance, it should be added to documentation, so that operators that decide not to run Glance can know which additional metadata they should provide manually.