A cluster lifecycle orchestrator for Airship.
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Shipyard Client User's Guide

Shipyard provides three methods of interaction:
  1. An API - shipyard_api
  2. An API Client - api-client
  3. A Command Line Interface (CLI) - shipyard_cli

Each of these components utilizes the prior.

_________Client_________            __Server__
                       | | |
CLI -uses-> API Client | -calls-> | API |

This guide focuses on interaction with Shipyard via the CLI.

CLI Invocation Flow

It is useful to understand the flow of a request made using the Shipyard CLI first. There are several steps that occur with each invocation. This example will demonstrate the flow of an invocation of the Shipyard CLI.

Step 1: Invocation:

User --> CLI
  $ shipyard get actions

As noted in CLI documentation, Shipyard handles authentication by leveraging OpenStack's Keystone identity service. The CLI provides command line options to specify credentials, or extracts them from the environment. For the example started above, since the credentials are not specified, they would need to be set in the environment prior to invocation. The credentials, regardless of source, are passed from the CLI software to the API Client software.

Step 2: API Client secures an authentication token:

API Client --> Keystone authentication
  (Auth Token) <---------

Shipyard API Client calls Keystone to acquire an authentication token.

Step 3: API Client discovers Shipyard:

API Client --> Keystone service discovery
  (Shipyard URL) <-------

Shipyard API Client calls Keystone to find the URL for the Shipyard API.

Step 4: API Client invokes the appropriate Shipyard API:

API Client --> Shipyard API <--> Database, Airflow, etc...
  (JSON response) <------

As noted in the CLI documentation, some responses are YAML instead of JSON.

Step 5: CLI formats response:

User <-- (Formatted Response) <-- CLI <-- (JSON response)
  Name               Action                                   Lifecycle
  deploy_site        action/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN        Failed
  update_site        action/01BZZKMW60DV2CJZ858QZ93HRS        Processing

The CLI maps the JSON response from the Shipyard API into a more tabular format and presents it to the user.


Server Components

Use of the Shipyard client requires that a working installation of the Shipyard API is available. See shipyard_deployment_guide

Local Environment

Several setup items may be required to allow for an operational Shipyard CLI, including several work-arounds depending on how the Shipyard API is deployed.

  • Python 3.5+
  • git


It is recommended that a virtual environment setup with Python 3.5 is used to contain the dependencies and installation of the Shipyard client.

Retrieve Shipyard client software from git:

git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/openstack/airship-shipyard.git

Install requirements:

sudo apt install python3-pip -y
sudo pip3 install --upgrade pip
cd shipyard
pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Build/install Shipyard:

python3 setup.py install

At this point, invoking shipyard as a command should result in a basic help response:

$ shipyard
Usage: shipyard [OPTIONS] COMMAND [ARGS]...

  COMMAND: shipyard

  DESCRIPTION: The base shipyard command supports options that determine

Setup environment variables:

export OS_USER_DOMAIN_NAME=default
export OS_PROJECT_NAME=service
export OS_USERNAME=shipyard
export OS_PASSWORD=password
export OS_AUTH_URL=http://keystone.ucp:80/v3
  • The values of these variables should match the credentials and endpoint of the target Shipyard API/Keystone environment.
  • The shipyard and password values are the insecure values used by default if not overridden by the installation of Shipyard.
  • The dev_minimal manifest deployment from Airship-in-a-bottle referenced in the deployment guide provides a set of credentials that can be used.

Configure hosts file, if necessary:

Add to /etc/hosts:   keystone.ucp   shipyard-api.ucp.svc.cluster.local
  • These values would need to be set in the case where DNS resolution of the Keystone and Shipyard URLs is not available.
  • The IP addresses should be set to resolve to the IP address of the ingress controller for the target Shipyard API/Keystone environment.
  • The value listed as keystone.ucp needs to match the value set for OS_AUTH_URL.
  • The value listed as shipyard-api.ucp.svc.cluster.local needs to match the value that Keystone returns when service lookup is done for the public URL for Shipyard.

Running Shipyard CLI with Docker Container

It is also possible to execute Shipyard CLI using a docker container.

Note that we will need to pass the relevant environment information as well as the Shipyard command that we wish to execute as part of the docker run command. In this example we will execute the get actions command:

sudo docker run -e 'OS_AUTH_URL=http://keystone-api.ucp.svc.cluster.local:80/v3' \
-e 'OS_PASSWORD=password' -e 'OS_PROJECT_DOMAIN_NAME=default' \
-e 'OS_PROJECT_NAME=service' -e 'OS_USERNAME=shipyard' \
--rm --net=host airshipit/shipyard:latest-ubuntu_xenial get actions

The output will resemble the following:

+ CMD=shipyard
+ PORT=9000
+ '[' get = server ']'
+ exec shipyard get actions
Name               Action                                   Lifecycle
deploy_site        action/01C1Z4HQM8RFG823EQT3EAYE4X        Processing

Use Case: Ingest Site Design

Shipyard serves as the entry point for a deployment of Airship. One can imagine the following activities representing part of the lifecycle of a group of servers for which Airship would serve as the control plane:


A group of servers making up a site has been identified. Designs covering the hardware, network, and software are assembled.


The site is assembled, racking, and wiring is completed, and the hardware is readied for operation. The Genesis Node is preinstalled with an (Ubuntu 16.04) image. Airship is deployed; See shipyard_deployment_guide

At this point, Airship is ready for use. This is when the Shipyard API is available for use.

Load Configuration Documents

A user, deployment engineer, or automation -- i.e. the operator interacts with Shipyard, perhaps by using the CLI. The operator loads configdocs which are a product of the definition step. These configdocs are declarative set of YAML documents using a format compatible with Deckhand and containing information usable by the other Airship components.

The interaction with Shipyard could happen as follows:

$ git clone --depth=1 https://gitrepo.with.designs/site1.git


Assume: /home/user/site1 now contains .yaml files with Drydock, Promenade, Armada, and Divingbell configurations, as well as secrets such as certificates, CAs, and passwords.


Assume: the appropriate credentials are set in the environment

$ shipyard create configdocs site1 --directory=/home/user/site1
Configuration documents added.
Status: Validations succeeded
Reason: Validation

This loads the documents as a named collection "site1" into Deckhand as a bucket in a revision.


Alternatively, the command could have loaded a single file using --filename=<file>.yaml instead of the --directory option

Following the creation of a configdocs collection in the Shipyard buffer, the configdocs must be committed before Shipyard will use those documents as part of an action:

$ shipyard commit configdocs

During this command, the other Airship components are contacted to validate the designs in Deckhand. If the validations are not successful, Shipyard will not mark the revision as committed.


It is not necessary to load all configuration documents in one step, but each named collection may only exist as a complete set of documents (i.e. must be loaded together).


Shipyard will prevent the loading of two collections into the buffer at the same time unless --append is utilized. This option allows for the loading of multiple collections into the buffer to be later committed together.

An example of this is a base collection that defines some common design elements, a secrets collection that contains certificates, and a site-specific collection that combines with the other two collections to fully define the site.

Use Case: Deploy Site

Continuing the lifecycle steps from the Ingest Site Design use case, the operator proceeds with the deployment of the site.


The operator creates a deploy_site action and monitors its progress


The operator loads new or changed configuration documents (as above), commits them, and creates an update_site action

The deployment interactions with Shipyard could happen as follows:

$ shipyard create action deploy_site
Name               Action                                   Lifecycle
deploy_site        action/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN        None

The deploy_site action is issued to Shipyard which relays a command to the Airflow driven workflow processor. During and following execution of the action, the operator can query the status and results of the action:

$ shipyard get actions
Name               Action                                   Lifecycle
deploy_site        action/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN        Processing

$ shipyard describe action/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN
Name:                  deploy_site
Action:                action/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN
Lifecycle:             Processing
Parameters:            {}
Datetime:              2017-11-27 20:34:24.610604+00:00
Dag Status:            running
Context Marker:        71d4112e-8b6d-44e8-9617-d9587231ffba
User:                  shipyard

Steps                                                              Index        State
step/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN/action_xcom                        1            success
step/01BZZK07NF04XPC5F4SCTHNPKN/dag_concurrency_check              2            success

More information is returned than shown here - for sake of abbreviation. The process of maintenance (update_site) is very similar to the process of deploying a site.