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Install from PyPI (you may want to use virtualenv to isolate your environment):

pip install ironic-inspector

Also there is a DevStack plugin for ironic-inspector - see contributing_link for the current status.

Finally, some distributions (e.g. Fedora) provide ironic-inspector packaged, some of them - under its old name ironic-discoverd.

Note for Ubuntu users

Please beware possible DNS issues <ubuntu-dns> when installing Ironic-Inspector on Ubuntu.

Version Support Matrix

ironic-inspector currently requires bare metal API version 1.11 to be provided by Ironic. This version is available starting with Ironic Liberty release.

Here is a mapping between Ironic versions and supported ironic-inspector versions. The Standalone column shows which ironic-inspector versions can be used in standalone mode with each Ironic version. The Inspection Interface column shows which ironic-inspector versions can be used with the Ironic inspection interface in each version of Ironic.

Ironic Version Standalone Inspection Interface
Juno 1.0 N/A
Kilo 1.0 - 2.2 1.0 - 1.1
Liberty 1.1 - 2.X 2.0 - 2.X


2.X means we don't have specific plans on deprecating support for this Ironic version. This does not imply that we'll support it forever though.


Copy example.conf to some permanent place (e.g. /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf). Fill in at least these configuration values:

  • os_username, os_password, os_tenant_name - Keystone credentials to use when accessing other services and check client authentication tokens;
  • os_auth_url, identity_uri - Keystone endpoints for validating authentication tokens and checking user roles;
  • connection in the database section - SQLAlchemy connection string for the database;
  • dnsmasq_interface - interface on which dnsmasq (or another DHCP service) listens for PXE boot requests (defaults to br-ctlplane which is a sane default for TripleO-based installations but is unlikely to work for other cases).

See comments inside example.conf for the other possible configuration options.


Configuration file contains a password and thus should be owned by root and should have access rights like 0600.

ironic-inspector requires root rights for managing iptables. It gets them by running ironic-inspector-rootwrap utility with sudo. To allow it, copy file rootwrap.conf and directory rootwrap.d to the configuration directory (e.g. /etc/ironic-inspector/) and create file /etc/sudoers.d/ironic-inspector-rootwrap with the following content:

stack ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/ironic-inspector-rootwrap /etc/ironic-inspector/rootwrap.conf *


Be very careful about typos in /etc/sudoers.d/ironic-inspector-rootwrap as any typo will break sudo for ALL users on the system. Especially, make sure there is a new line at the end of this file.


rootwrap.conf and all files in rootwrap.d must be writeable only by root.


If you store rootwrap.d in a different location, make sure to update the filters_path option in rootwrap.conf to reflect the change.

If your rootwrap.conf is in a different location, then you need to update the rootwrap_config option in ironic-inspector.conf to point to that location.

Replace stack with whatever user you'll be using to run ironic-inspector.

Configuring PXE

As for PXE boot environment, you'll need:

  • TFTP server running and accessible (see below for using dnsmasq). Ensure pxelinux.0 is present in the TFTP root.

  • You need PXE boot server (e.g. dnsmasq) running on the same machine as ironic-inspector. Don't do any firewall configuration: ironic-inspector will handle it for you. In ironic-inspector configuration file set dnsmasq_interface to the interface your PXE boot server listens on. Here is an example dnsmasq.conf:

    dhcp-range={DHCP IP RANGE, e.g.,}
    tftp-root={TFTP ROOT, e.g. /tftpboot}


    dhcp-sequential-ip is used because otherwise a lot of nodes booting simultaneously cause conflicts - the same IP address is suggested to several nodes.

  • You have to install and configure one of 2 available ramdisks: simple bash-based (see Using simple ramdisk) or more complex based on ironic-python-agent (See Using IPA).

Here is inspector.conf you may end up with:

debug = false
identity_uri =
os_auth_url =
os_username = admin
os_password = password
os_tenant_name = admin
dnsmasq_interface = br-ctlplane


Set debug = true if you want to see complete logs.

Using IPA

ironic-python-agent is a ramdisk developed for Ironic. During the Liberty cycle support for ironic-inspector was added. This is the default ramdisk starting with the Mitaka release.


You need at least 1.5 GiB of RAM on the machines to use this ramdisk, 2 GiB is recommended.

To build an ironic-python-agent ramdisk, do the following:

  • Get the new enough version of diskimage-builder:

    sudo pip install -U "diskimage-builder>=1.1.2"
  • Build the ramdisk:

    disk-image-create ironic-agent fedora -o ironic-agent


    Replace "fedora" with your distribution of choice.

  • Copy resulting files ironic-agent.vmlinuz and ironic-agent.initramfs to the TFTP root directory.

Alternatively, you can download a prebuilt IPA image or use the CoreOS-based IPA builder.

Next, set up $TFTPROOT/pxelinux.cfg/default as follows:

default introspect

label introspect
kernel ironic-agent.vmlinuz
append initrd=ironic-agent.initramfs ipa-inspection-callback-url=http://{IP}:5050/v1/continue systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes

ipappend 3

Replace {IP} with IP of the machine (do not use loopback interface, it will be accessed by ramdisk on a booting machine).


While systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes is not actually required, it will substantially simplify debugging if something goes wrong.

This ramdisk is pluggable: you can insert introspection plugins called collectors into it. For example, to enable a very handy logs collector (sending ramdisk logs to ironic-inspector), modify the append line in $TFTPROOT/pxelinux.cfg/default:

append initrd=ironic-agent.initramfs ipa-inspection-callback-url=http://{IP}:5050/v1/continue ipa-inspection-collectors=default,logs systemd.journald.forward_to_console=yes


You probably want to always keep default collector, as it provides the basic information required for introspection.

Using simple ramdisk

This ramdisk is deprecated, its use is not recommended.

  • Build and put into your TFTP the kernel and ramdisk created using the diskimage-builder ironic-discoverd-ramdisk element:

    ramdisk-image-create -o discovery fedora ironic-discoverd-ramdisk

    You need diskimage-builder 0.1.38 or newer to do it (using the latest one is always advised).

  • Configure your $TFTPROOT/pxelinux.cfg/default with something like:

    default introspect
    label introspect
    kernel discovery.kernel
    append initrd=discovery.initramfs discoverd_callback_url=http://{IP}:5050/v1/continue
    ipappend 3

    Replace {IP} with IP of the machine (do not use loopback interface, it will be accessed by ramdisk on a booting machine).

Managing the ironic-inspector database

ironic-inspector provides a command line client for managing its database, this client can be used for upgrading, and downgrading the database using alembic migrations.

If this is your first time running ironic-inspector to migrate the database simply run: :

ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf upgrade

If you have previously run a version of ironic-inspector earlier than 2.2.0, the safest thing is to delete the existing SQLite database and run upgrade as shown above. If you, however, want to save the existing database, to ensure your database will work with the migrations, you'll need to run an extra step before upgrading the database. You only need to do this the first time running version 2.2.0 or later.

If you are upgrading from ironic-inspector version 2.1.0 or lower: :

ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf stamp --revision 578f84f38d
ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf upgrade

If you are upgrading from a git master install of ironic-inspector from after rules were introduced: :

ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf stamp --revision d588418040d
ironic-inspector-dbsync --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf upgrade

Other available commands can be discovered by running:

ironic-inspector-dbsync --help


ironic-inspector --config-file /etc/ironic-inspector/inspector.conf

A good starting point for writing your own systemd unit should be one used in Fedora (note usage of old name).