Archive for Uncategorized

JUJU Everywhere!

// June 12th, 2012 // Comments Off on JUJU Everywhere! // Uncategorized

I’ve just published the first iteration of RPM’s targeted at Fedora along with the .spec file used to build them. Its available on github at ( along side the Mac Port ), so Fedora users go fourth and test please! Feedback very welcomed along with any patches or contributions. The goal is for to have these added to the official Fedora, CentOS, and SuSE repositories as they mature and get the early kinks worked out of the packages. Cheers!

Be ready for ARM on the cloud, try it on Amazon EC2

// May 24th, 2012 // 2 Comments » // Uncategorized

After Calxeda demonstrated a real ARM server running Ubuntu with MAAS and Juju at the Ubuntu Developer Summit the amount of interest in the technology continues to build.

Today we made and Ubuntu ARM Server AMI on Amazon’s EC2. This is a 12.04 ARMhf image running on an emulated Calxeda system. Thanks to Dann Frazier for doing a bunch of the heavy lifting, you can find information on the image here:

This AMI is primarily for developers wishing to experiment with Ubuntu ARM Server. Performance is limited due to the emulation overhead. Look for AMI ID `ami-aef328c7`.

Note: this AMI requires the use of an m1.large instance type due to memory requirements.

Announcing the UDS Juju Charm Contest for UDS attendees

// April 26th, 2012 // 7 Comments » // Uncategorized

It’s time for another Juju Charm Contest, where you can submit your charms and win fabulous prizes! This contest is for Ubuntu Developer Summit Attendees; and our prizes are three sexy Dell XPS 13 ultrabooks, which we’ll be awarding to the three lucky winners of the contest.

So how can you win yourself one of these? Well, with 66 services already ready to be deployed on the cloud we’re always looking for more, so have a look at what you think is missing from the Juju Charm Store and submit your charm as an entry.

We’ve got the step-by-step instructions on how to write your own charm, we’re looking for things DevOps deploy to the cloud, so be creative! You have from now until May 09 to submit your charm. At that point we’ll judge the entries, and then give out the Dell XPS 13’s during the last day of the Ubuntu  Developer Summit, so if you’re missing your favorite service from the Charm Store, submit an entry and you’ll automatically be entered in the contest.

Full contest rules here, including the judging criteria, so you’ll want to read that before you get started. Happy Charming!

juju client now available for Mac OSX

// April 24th, 2012 // Comments Off on juju client now available for Mac OSX // Uncategorized

Brandon Holtsclaw has published a Mac port of juju. This will enable Mac users to deploy to their Ubuntu Servers from the comfort of their home operating system. Brandon adds along:

Pull Requests or filing Issue’s are more than Welcome’d from anyone.

Need help getting started with juju? Check out our Getting Started documentation and then browse through the Charm Store to see what you can start deploying today!

Announcing the Ubuntu Cloud Summit, 8 May, Oakland, California

// April 10th, 2012 // Comments Off on Announcing the Ubuntu Cloud Summit, 8 May, Oakland, California // Uncategorized

Canonical in collaboration with Redmonk will be hosting “The Ubuntu Cloud Summit” – a one day event for both technology and business attendees interested in how open-source cloud computing can help their organisations.

The event takes place on Tuesday 8th May, at the The Oakland Marriott City Center Hotel, and runs in conjunction with UDS.

The agenda is still being defined, but the sessions will cover some interesting ideas, challenges and trends around cloud computing and how attendees can deploy an open cloud in their organisation.

Topics will include:

  • The Open Cloud – The role of open source in cloud computing—particularly how an open cloud enables a more flexible, vendor-neutral approach.
  • Lessons from cloud deployments – Open cloud deployments are real and growing. We’ll discuss and illustrate through case studies the best approaches to deploying and maximising an open cloud.
  • Open-source cloud technologies – With Ubuntu including technologies such as OpenStack, MAAS and Juju, we’ll examine how they come together to form an open cloud.

For more information, visit:

The cost of a ticket for attending this event is $100 which includes lunch and refreshments.

juju Charm Contest winners!

// April 10th, 2012 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

The community submitted over 10 charms as part of the juju charm contest. The judges have deliberated and have picked the following winners:

The Grand Prize ($300 Amazon Gift Card) goes to Jimmi Andersen for his charm that deploys Appflower, a Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool for building web applications. You can check out the charm in the store for deployment instructions. The judges were impressed by how complete the charm is and how it brings software to Ubuntu that was previously only available by installing it by hand.

The 2 runners up (in no particular order) are Kees Cook for sbuild, and Ben Kerensa for Subway. sbuild provides a build environment for developers to test packages against and has been used for portable “hackathons” where having the packages build on the cloud is quicker and more convenient than building on your local machines. The Subway charm deploys the Subway IRC client, a sexy web based IRC client that uses Node.js and MongoDB. Thanks Ben and Kees, you’ll each receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

The charm store continues to grow as we now have over 73 total charms. The following people contributed charms to the contest and will each receive a Juju tshirt and Ubuntu travel mug: Patrick Hetu (znc and OpenERP), Atul Jha (OwnCloud), Nathan Osman (StackMobile), shazzner (Gitolite), and Brandon Holtsclaw (Drupal). Honorable mention goes to Ryan Kather, who attempted Moodle but was not able to complete it in time. Maybe next time! We’ll go deeper into these charms and show off their examples throughout the coming weeks.

Not finding what you need in the Charm Store? Well you can always contribute your own charms, here’s how you can get started.



Uploading Known ssh Host Key in EC2 user-data Script

// April 9th, 2012 // Comments Off on Uploading Known ssh Host Key in EC2 user-data Script // Uncategorized

The ssh protocol uses two different keys to keep you secure:
  1. The user ssh key is the one we normally think of. This authenticates us to the remote host, proving that we are who we say we are and allowing us to log in.
  2. The ssh host key gets less attention, but is also important. This authenticates the remote host to our local computer and proves that the ssh session is encrypted so that nobody can be listening in.
Every time you see a prompt like the following, ssh is checking the host key and asking you to make sure that your session is going to be encrypted securely.
The authenticity of host 'ec2-...' can't be established. ECDSA key fingerprint is ca:79:72:ea:23:94:5e:f5:f0:b8:c0:5a:17:8c:6f:a8. Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? 
If you answer “yes” without verifying that the remote ssh host key fingerprint is the same, then you are basically saying:
I don’t need this ssh session encrypted. It’s fine for any man-in-the-middle to intercept the communication.
Ouch! (But a lot of people do this.) Note: If you have a line like the following in your ssh config file, then you are automatically answering “yes” to this prompt for every ssh connection.
# DON'T DO THIS! StrictHostKeyChecking false 

Care about security

Since you do care about security and privacy, you want to verify that you are talking to the right server using encryption and that no man-in-the-middle can intercept your session. There are a couple approaches you can take to check the fingerprint for a new Amazon EC2 instance. The first is to wait for the console output to be available from the instance, retrieve it, and verify that the ssh host key fingerprint in the console output is the same as the one which is being presented to you in the prompt. Scott Moser has written a blog post describing how to verify ssh keys on EC2 instances. It’s worth reading so that you understand the principles and the official way to do this. The rest of this article is going to present a different approach that lets you in to your new instance quickly and securely.

Passing ssh host key to new EC2 instance

Instead of letting the new EC2 instance generate its own ssh host key and waiting for it to communicate the fingerprint through the EC2 console output, we can generate the new ssh host key on our local system and pass it to the new instance. Using this approach, we already know the public side of the ssh key so we don’t have to wait for it to become available through the console (which can take minutes). Generate a new ssh host key for the new EC2 instance.
tmpdir=$(mktemp -d /tmp/ssh-host-key.XXXXXX) keyfile=$tmpdir/ssh_host_ecdsa_key ssh-keygen -q -t ecdsa -N "" -C "" -f $keyfile 
Create the user-data script that will set the ssh host key.
userdatafile=$tmpdir/set-ssh-host-key.user-data cat <<EOF >$userdatafile #!/bin/bash -xeu cat <<EOKEY >/etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key $(cat $keyfile) EOKEY cat <<EOKEY >/etc/ssh/ $(cat $ EOKEY EOF 
Run an EC2 instance, say Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric, passing in the user-data script. Make a note of the new instance id.
ec2-run-instances --key $USER --user-data-file $userdatafile ami-4dad7424 instanceid=i-... 
Wait for the instance to get a public DNS name and make a note of it.
ec2-describe-instances $instanceid 
Add new public ssh host key to our local ssh known_hosts after removing any leftover key (e.g., from previous EC2 instance at same IP address).
knownhosts=$HOME/.ssh/known_hosts ssh-keygen -R $host -f $knownhosts ssh-keygen -R $(dig +short $host) -f $knownhosts ( echo -n "$host "; cat $ echo -n "$(dig +short $host) "; cat $ ) >> $knownhosts 
When the instance starts running and the user-data script has executed, you can ssh in to the server without being prompted to verify the fingerprint
ssh ubuntu@$host 
Don’t forget to clean up and to terminate your test instance.
rm -rf $tmpdir ec2-terminate-instances $instanceid 


There is one big drawback in the above sample implementation of this approach. We have placed secret information (the private ssh host key) into the EC2 user-data, which I generally recommend against. Any user who can log in to the instance or who can cause the instance to request a URL and get the output, can retrieve the user-data. You might think this is unlikely to happen, but I’d rather avoid or minimize unnecessary risk. In a production implementation of this approach, I would take steps like the following:
  1. Upload the new ssh host key to S3 in a private object.
  2. Generate an authenticated URL to the S3 object and have that URL expire in, say, 10 minutes.
  3. In the user-data script, download the ssh host key with the authenticated, expiring S3 URL.
Now, there is a short window of exposure and you don’t have to worry about protecting the user-data after the URL has expired. Original article:

Brightbox 12.04 daily images now available, discounts for testers and Ubuntu members

// April 5th, 2012 // 4 Comments » // Uncategorized

UK cloud provider Brightbox would like to announce that they now have daily images of Ubuntu 12.04 available for testing. Brightbox has an EC2 compatible metadata service that works with Ubuntu’s cloud-init, you can find more about that in the documentation.

As a thank you to the Ubuntu community Brightbox is running a special through to September. A 10% discount to casual testers, and a 50% discount to anyone registering using their address.

Testers can sign up at, and to claim the discount you just need to email with your account id and let them know how you’re testing out Ubuntu.

Here’s their Getting Started guide. Happy testing!

juju contest entries now due, contest closed.

// March 27th, 2012 // Comments Off on juju contest entries now due, contest closed. // Uncategorized

Ok pencils down everyone! The entries for the juju charm contest are now closed, we’ll have one week of review and then announce the winners!

juju Charm Contest extended over the weekend.

// March 23rd, 2012 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

Due to a recent surge of interest in juju we’ve decided to extend the juju Charm Contest deadline to this Monday instead of today, that gets you an extra weekend of hacking if you’re interest in polishing up your charm.

We’ll still have all next week for you to fix up your entries to pass reviews. Happy charming!