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Re: [virt-tools-list] virt-install and cloud-init, feedback wanted



On Wed, Nov 20, 2019 at 05:49:45PM -0500, Cole Robinson wrote:
> Hi all. The purpose of this mail is to get some feedback on pending
> cloud-init support in virt-install. If you're on the CC list here, I
> either pulled your email from a cloud-init discussion on the the
> virt-tools-list mailing list, or from the CC list of this virt-install bug:
> 
> RFE: Provide cloud-init integration for VMs
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=981693
> 
> For GSOC 2019 Athina Plaskasoviti completed some cloud-init integration
> work in virt-install. You can read her wrap up here:
> https://athinapl.home.blog/2019/08/25/gsoc-2019-cloud-init-configuration-for-virt-manager-virt-install/
> 
> Right now the code is sitting in a virt-manager.git branch, not yet
> pushed to master:
> https://github.com/virt-manager/virt-manager/tree/cloudinit
> 
> I'll summarize the current behavior, and then ask some questions.
> 
> 
> The branch adds a new 'virt-install --cloud-init' argument with several
> sub options. When specified, virt-install generates an empty meta-data
> file, a user-data file with the requested changes, stuffs them both into
> a cidata iso, which is used for the first VM boot and then deleted.
> 
> This behavior is only triggered when --cloud-init is specified in some
> form, there's no automagic invocation of this support.
> 
> The command sub options are:
> 
> $ ./virt-install --cloud-init=help
> --cloud-init options:
>   disable
>   root-password-file
>   root-password-generate
>   ssh-key
>   user-data
> 
> Their behavior:
> 
> * disable=yes: boolean option to disable cloud-init in the VM for
> subsequent boots. Adds this block to user-data:
>   runcmd:
>   - [ sudo, touch, /etc/cloud/cloud-init.disabled ]
> 
> * root-password-file=/MY/PATH: set the desired root password from the
> content of /MY/PATH on the host
> 
> * root-password-generate=yes: boolean option, generate a random root
> password, set it in user-data, print it to the host text console and
> pause for a bit for the user to see and copy it. sorta inspired by
> virt-builder
> 
> * ssh-key=/MY/KEY.pub: inject the ssh key from /MY/KEY.pub on the host
> into the cloud-init user-data
> 
> * user-data=/PATH/TO/user-data: ignore all other options and copy this
> file to the .iso as user-data
> 
> When bare '--cloud-init' is specified, we default to generating a random
> root password and disabling cloud-init for subsequent boots:
> --cloud-init root-password-generate=yes,disable=yes
> 
> We've explicitly rejected something like root-password=MY-PASSWORD
> because of the security implications of encouraging a password to end up
> in command line history. We've already had a CVE for something similar
> in virt-install.
> 
> Also, I don't want virt-install to be in the business of specifying
> every cloud-init option under the sun, there's gotta be a better tool
> for that already. So I'd like to keep --cloud-init suboptions
> specifically targeted to expected virt use cases, and anything else can
> be served with custom user-data=
> 
> One more point: my main interaction with cloud-init has historically
> been by grabbing a Fedora/RHEL cloud image, passing it to
> virt-install/virt-manager, and watching the boot hang, because there's
> no data provider and cloud-init times out talking to the network, and
> then I can't log in. I expect many people have hit this issue before.
> I've always worked around this by using 'virt-customize' to disable
> cloud-init and reset the root password. That's about the extent of my
> usage here, which is broadly why the bare `--cloud-init` is the way it was.
> 
> I'm also thinking to the future, if one day virt-install can detect that
> it was passed a distro cloud-init image, perhaps we can invoke some
> default behavior that gives the user a better chance of this config
> being usable out of the box. I figure that will match whatever we choose
> for the bare '--cloud-init' behavior

One option is to take the lazy approach and always enable cloud init
if we are given a pre-built disk image.

 * If the disk image doesn't support cloud init, then its fairly
   harmless to provide cloud-init data.

 * If the disk image does support cloud init but has already been
   booted, and the user has marked cloud init as disable, then it
   is again harmless to provide cloud-init data

 * If the disk image does support cloud init but has already been
   booted, and the user left cloud init enabled so that it runs on
   every boot, then passing cloud init data is probably good thing.

 * If the disk image does support cloud init and has never been
   booted, then obviously providing cloud init data is good
   
> * What are the usecases you see for virt-install cloud-init support?

To me the critical use case is simply providing a way for the user to
login to the guest. This is covered by password and/or SSH key inject.
Once they have that working, anything else is just nice to have.

> * Does the above meet your expectations?

Yep

> * Are we missing anything vital?

Probably the main question will be around the transport for providing
the metadata.

The impl does config-drive:

  https://cloudinit.readthedocs.io/en/latest/topics/datasources/configdrive.html

As you see from the above list, there are many other approaches
possible, though the majority of them end up being based on a
magic IP address.

The main downside of using a config-drive is that it is visible
to the guest as as new disk. In simple cases this is no big deal,
but if the user is setting up a VM with multiple disks, it can be
annoying to have an extra disk added for cloud-init, as it can
cause the drive-letters to be reshuffled.  OpenStack tried to
mitigate this by making the cloud-init config drive the very
last one to be added.

This isn't perfect though. eg consider you boot the VM with
config drive, then hotplug a disk, now reboot the VM. The config
drive disk is now gone, and the hotplugged disk may well have
changed its drive letter.

This is one reason for the use of the IP based metadata service.

The challenge in any of the IP based solutions is that something on
the host needs to provide a server to listen for these requests.

I think that providing such a server is out of scope for virt-install.

I could see value in someone creating a new project that provides a
simple self-contained metadata server, as all the currentl metadata
server impls are part of some larger project codebase and can't be
used independantly (AFAIK - someone correct me if a simple standalone
impl already exists somewhere).

In any case if someone wants to use a network metadata server, then
virt-install doesn't need todo anything at all. Any config is entirely
respponsibility of whomever is running that service.


If neither config drive, or IP based solutions are viable, then you
are left with platform specific options. Ignition uses fw_cfg however
this is really frowned upon by QEMU maintainers, as fw_cfg is not
intended for general purpose application usage.  The suggested replacement
for fw_cfg for app usage is the SMBIOS OEM strings table.

Neither of these are platform portable, just x86 + aarch64 right now.


> * Do you have an opinion of what behavior bare '--cloud-init' should give?

My feeling is that a bare --cloud-init should inject the current user's
SSH identity and/or authorized keys list.

ie either we grab $HOME/.ssh/id_rsa.pub, or we grab all the keys from
the SSH agent connection (ie ssh-add -l)

Given that virt-intsall is run as root, there probably isn't a
/root/.ssh/id_rsa.pub file for most people. Grabbing the ssh-agent
authorized keys is probably best default approach.

Regards,
Daniel
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