Install OpenStack services from distribution packages


2018-03-27 00:00


roles, deployment

Blueprint on Launchpad

This spec outlines the work required to enable the OpenStack-Ansible roles to install the OpenStack services using the distribution packages from the distribution Cloud repositories.

Problem description

OpenStack-Ansible installs the OpenStack services from the source. Whilst this is great in terms of flexibility, it creates some problems such as:

  • Long deployment times since wheel packages need to be built and distributed.

  • Unsupported installations by distributions. The versions of OpenStack services built from source do not necessarily match what distributions test together as part of their integration and verification process so it’s hard for them to provide support for such installations. As a result of which, operators have limited options when seeking technical support for their deployments.

Proposed change

Add an additional installation method to all the OpenStack-Ansible roles in which the services will be installed using the packages provided by the distributions themselves. The default installation method will not change.



Playbook/Role impact

All the OpenStack Ansible roles which install OpenStack services (os_*) will be impacted by the proposed change. A new variable will be made available on per-role basis to allow deployers to select the preferred installation method.

Switching from one installation method to the other will not be supported. This can be clarified on the Deployer’s documentation and also explicitly detected and prevented in the Ansible playbooks possibly by storing a local fact on the host to denote the installation method and checking it during upgrades.

Upgrade impact

Upgrades should not be impacted since the default installation method will not change.

Security impact

The security of the overall installation will not change since distributions normally backport security fixes which are already present in the upstream packages so both installations methods will offer the same level of security reassurances.

Performance impact

The overall performance of the deployment will likely be improved since the distribution packages normally have their default settings tweaked and optimized to match each distribution’s environment and needs.

End user impact


Deployer impact

The benefit of this new method for deployer’s is twofold:

  • Use supported packages by distributions and provide feedback back to them. This benefits both distributions and operators since both ends use packages which have passed integration and functional testing before being released.

  • Shorten deployment times since distribution packages are used instead of building new ones from source.

Developer impact






Primary assignee:

Markos Chandras (hwoarang)

Work items

The following work items are the same across all impacted roles

  • Move existing installation tasks to a new file (${role}_install_source.yml)

  • Create new file (${role}_install_distro.yml) with a set of tasks for distribution installations if necessary.

  • Add new variable to allow deployers to select installation method (${role}_install_method)

  • Dynamically include the appropriate installation file based on the variable’s value


Since the default installation method does not change, no new tests are required. However, developers may choose to add new jobs on per distribution basis to test the new installation method.

Documentation impact

Documentation needs to be modified to explain how to use the distribution installation method.