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Install OpenStack yourself

Try OpenStack in five simple steps. Set up a small-scale cloud or deploy a large cluster across hundreds of physical machines. Use MicroStack or Charmed OpenStack depending on your use case.

If you need OpenStack consulting or a fully managed service, talk to an expert.

Install OpenStack

Download guide to OpenStack for Beginners ›

Single-node, multi-node or large-scale cluster?

Choose the option that suits you best:

Single-node mode

  • Uses MicroStack
  • Works on machines with limited hardware resources
  • Suitable for testing and development

This tutorial shows how to install OpenStack (based on project Sunbeam) in the simplest way possible. It will deploy an OpenStack 2023.1 (Antelope) cloud.

The cloud will only allow access to its VMs from the local host. To enable access from any host on your network, follow the Single-node guided tutorial instead.


You will need a single machine whose requirements are:

  • physical or virtual machine running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
  • a multi-core amd64 processor ideally with 4+ cores
  • a minimum of 16 GiB of free memory
  • 50 GiB of SSD storage available on the root disk

Caution: Any change in IP address of the local host will be detrimental to the deployment. A virtual host will generally have a more stable address.

Note: If your host is a virtual one managed with Multipass, you will need to ensure it has an FQDN set in the /etc/hosts file. See bug GH #3277.

Deploy the cloud

Install the openstack snap

Duration: 5 minutes
Depending on internet connection speed to required resources may be shorter or longer.

Begin by installing the openstack snap:

sudo snap install openstack --channel 2024.1/edge

Caution: It is highly recommended to use the --channel 2024.1/edge switch which includes all the latest bug fixes and updates before the next stable release coming in summer this year.

Prepare the machine

Duration: 1 minute

Sunbeam can generate a script to ensure that the machine has all of the required dependencies installed and is configured correctly for use in OpenStack - you can review this script using:

sunbeam prepare-node-script

or the script can be directly executed in this way:

sunbeam prepare-node-script | bash -x && newgrp snap_daemon

The script will ensure some software requirements are satisfied on the host. In particular, it will:

  • install openssh-server if it is not found
  • configure passwordless sudo for all commands for the current user (NOPASSWD:ALL)

Bootstrap the cloud

Duration: 30 minutes
Depending on internet connection speed to required resources may be shorter or longer.

Deploy the OpenStack cloud using the cluster bootstrap command and accept software defaults:

sunbeam cluster bootstrap --accept-defaults

Configure the cloud and obtain credentials

Duration: 5 minutes
Depending on internet connection speed to required resources may be shorter or longer.

Now configure the deployed cloud using the configure command:

sunbeam configure --accept-defaults --openrc demo-openrc

The --openrc option specifies a regular user (non-admin) cloud init file (demo-openrc here).

Launch a VM

Duration: 2 minutes
First VM launch will take longer.

Verify the cloud by launching a VM called ‘test’ based on the ‘ubuntu’ image (Ubuntu 22.04 LTS). The launch command is used:

sunbeam launch ubuntu --name test

Sample output:

Launching an OpenStack instance ...
Access instance with `ssh -i /home/ubuntu/.config/openstack/sunbeam ubuntu@`

Connect to the VM over SSH using the provided command.

Related how-tos

Now that OpenStack is set up, be sure to check out the following how-to guides:

Multi-node mode with bare metal automation

  • Uses OpenStack Charms
  • Uses MAAS for bare metal automation
  • Suitable for large-scale production environments

Check the OpenStack Charms Deployment Guide for detailed instructions on how to set up OpenStack in multi-node mode with bare metal automation using OpenStack Charms.

Take the next step

Is your OpenStack already up and running? If so, we hope you liked it and are now ready to take the next step.

Check our tutorials ›

Learn OpenStack through a series of tutorials. Starting with just a single machine, learn how to use OpenStack for cloud infrastructure implementation purposes, from a single-node installation to large-scale clusters.

Fill in the survey ›

The OpenStack User Survey provides users an opportunity to influence the community and software direction. By sharing information about your configuration and requirements, the Open Infrastructure Foundation User Committee will be able to advocate on your behalf.

Get commercial support ›

Canonical provides full commercial support for OpenStack clouds deployed with MicroStack. Simply get any Ubuntu Pro subscription with Support, attach it to all nodes in your cluster and benefit from phone and ticket support.

Get fully-managed cloud ›

Liked OpenStack but don't want to manage it yourself? Don't worry - Canonical can design, build and operate the cloud for you. Offload OpenStack operations to our team of cloud experts and benefit from public cloud -like experience.