Cloud-init is a package that contains utilities for early initialization of cloud instances. It is needed in Arch Linux images that are built with the intention of being launched in cloud like OpenStack, AWS etc.
Install the AUR package.
In order to make an Arch image cloud ready, a few steps have to be followed:
- Create a default user. You can login to your instance as this user. We will create and use a user called
- Install sudo and add the default user to sudo group. This can be used later to execute commands as privileged user.
- Enable password less sudo for the default user.
- Configure cloud-init to pull instance metadata to configure the instance. This includes but not limited to:
- Setting up the instance
- Configuring instance's
~/.ssh/authorized_keysfile for the default user
- Setting up the instance
The cloud-init's main configuration file is
/etc/cloud/cloud.cfg. Optionally the user can place
*.cfg files in
/etc/cloud/cloud.cfg.d to be loaded.
Default user configuration
As of February 2016, the default
/etc/cloud/cloud.cfg shipped with the package has not been adapted to Arch, and still states that the distro is Ubuntu, therefore it requires editing.
/etc/cloud/cloud.cfg to have the following contents:
users: - default
This tells cloud-init to use the user configured under
default_user as the default user:
system_info: distro: arch default_user: name: arch lock_passwd: true gecos: Arch groups: [adm, audio, cdrom, dialout, dip, floppy, netdev, plugdev, sudo, video] sudo: ["ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL"] shell: /bin/bash
system_info we specify the distro as "arch". This will instruct cloud-init to use
arch.py module for configuration. Further we specify that:
- the default user's name would be
- the default user is password locked, which means you can not login to the instance without the ssh keys configured during boot
- the default user should be added to the groups
- the default user is allow passwordless sudo usage
- the default user's shell is
Disable login as root
To do this you can specify in
You may also delete the root user password:
# passwd -d root
Do not perform this step unless you are sure the configuration in previous section works. Otherwise you might be completely locked out of your instance.
Configuring data sources
Data Sources define how the instance metadata is pulled during boot. This depends on what cloud (OpenStack, AWS, OpenNebula etc.) you are running your instance on. Under the hood this translates to a corresponding module which implement a few methods defined in a common interface. Edit your
/etc/cloud/cloud.cfg to have the below contents:
datasource_list: [ NoCloud, ConfigDrive, OpenNebula, Azure, AltCloud, OVF, MAAS, GCE, OpenStack, CloudSigma, Ec2, CloudStack, None ]
This instructs cloud-init what modules to load while trying to download instance metadata. Optionally further configuration parameters may be passed specific to each datasource as below:
datasource: OpenStack: metadata_urls: [ 'http://169.254.169.254:80' ] dsmode: net
The above configuration tells OpenStack datasource to use the url
http://169.254.169.254:80 to download metadata and to run after network initialization, both of which are the default behaviour and may be omitted.
Other sections in cloud.cfg
cloud.cfg defines several other sections which includes but not limited to
cloud_final_modules that define the modules that would be run at various stages during instance initialization. These modules are loaded dynamically from the path
/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/cloudinit/config/ and run at boot time. The user may define their own modules and configure them to be called during every boot like say to:
- perform disk resize
- perform package update
The various modules declare to cloud-init which distros they have been verified for. Even if you specify that you want to run them, they will refuse to run unless the distro specified in
cloud.cfg is one of the verified distros for the given module. If you want to run a module on Arch anyway that does not specify
arch, add the module to the
unverified_modules: section in
cloud-init-generator. Determines availability of any data source and enables or disables
cloud-init-local.service. Only requires the filesystems to be up. Executes
cloud-init init --local
cloud-init.service. Requires the network to be up. Executes
cloud-config.target. Corresponds to the cloud-config upstart event "to inform third parties that cloud-config is available"
cloud-init modules --mode=config
cloud-init modules --mode=final
cloud-init.target. Reached when all services have been started
The Uplink Labs EC2 images have all of them enabled, although that appears to be overkill due to the dependencies. When preparing an image, enabling
cloud-final.service should be sufficient. Note that this does not mean that the cloud-init services will actually be run - that still depends on the generator enabling the
cloud-init.target on early boot.
See also the cloud-init boot stages documentation for more info.