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Refer to api for information on the HTTP API. Refer to the client page for information on how to use CLI and Python library.

Using from Ironic API

Ironic Kilo introduced support for hardware introspection under name of "inspection". ironic-inspector introspection is supported for some generic drivers, please refer to Ironic inspection documentation for details.

Node States

  • The nodes should be moved to MANAGEABLE provision state before introspection (requires python-ironicclient of version 0.5.0 or newer):

    ironic node-set-provision-state <UUID> manage
  • After successful introspection and before deploying nodes should be made available to Nova, by moving them to AVAILABLE state:

    ironic node-set-provision-state <UUID> provide


    Due to how Nova interacts with Ironic driver, you should wait 1 minute before Nova becomes aware of available nodes after issuing this command. Use nova hypervisor-stats command output to check it.

Introspection Rules

Inspector supports a simple JSON-based DSL to define rules to run during introspection. Inspector provides an API to manage such rules, and will run them automatically after running all processing hooks.

A rule consists of conditions to check, and actions to run. If conditions evaluate to true on the introspection data, then actions are run on a node.

Available conditions and actions are defined by plugins, and can be extended, see contributing_link for details. See api for specific calls to define introspection rules.


A condition is represented by an object with fields:

op the type of comparison operation, default available operators include:

  • eq, le, ge, ne, lt, gt - basic comparison operators;
  • in-net - checks that an IP address is in a given network;
  • matches - requires a full match against a given regular expression;
  • contains - requires a value to contain a given regular expression;
  • is-empty - checks that field is an empty string, list, dict or None value.

field a JSON path to the field in the introspection data to use in comparison.

Starting with the Mitaka release, you can also apply conditions to ironic node field. Prefix field with schema (data:// or node://) to distinguish between values from introspection data and node. Both schemes use JSON path:

{'field': 'node://property.path', 'op': 'eq', 'value': 'val'}
{'field': 'data://introspection.path', 'op': 'eq', 'value': 'val'}

if scheme (node or data) is missing, condition compares data with introspection data.

invert boolean value, whether to invert the result of the comparison.

multiple how to treat situations where the field query returns multiple results (e.g. the field contains a list), available options are:

  • any (the default) require any to match,
  • all require all to match,
  • first requrie the first to match.

All other fields are passed to the condition plugin, e.g. numeric comparison operations require a value field to compare against.


An action is represented by an object with fields:

action type of action. Possible values are defined by plugins.

All other fields are passed to the action plugin.

Default available actions include:

  • fail fail introspection. Requires a message parameter for the failure message.
  • set-attribute sets an attribute on an Ironic node. Requires a path field, which is the path to the attribute as used by ironic (e.g. /properties/something), and a value to set.
  • set-capability sets a capability on an Ironic node. Requires name and value fields, which are the name and the value for a new capability accordingly. Existing value for this same capability is replaced.
  • extend-attribute the same as set-attribute, but treats existing value as a list and appends value to it. If optional unique parameter is set to True, nothing will be added if given value is already in a list.

Starting from Mitaka release, value field in actions supports fetching data from introspection, it's using python string formatting notation :

{'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': '/driver_info/ipmi_address',
           'value': '{data[inventory][bmc_address]}'}

Setting IPMI Credentials

If you have physical access to your nodes, you can use ironic-inspector to set IPMI credentials for them without knowing the original ones. The workflow is as follows:

  • Ensure nodes will PXE boot on the right network by default.

  • Set enable_setting_ipmi_credentials = true in the ironic-inspector configuration file, restart ironic-inspector.

  • Enroll nodes in Ironic with setting their ipmi_address only (or equivalent driver-specific property, as per ipmi_address_fields configuration option).

    Use ironic API version 1.11 (introduced in ironic 4.0.0), so that new node gets into enroll provision state:

    ironic --ironic-api-version 1.11 node-create -d <DRIVER> -i ipmi_address=<ADDRESS>

    Providing ipmi_address allows ironic-inspector to distinguish nodes.

  • Start introspection with providing additional parameters:

    • new_ipmi_password IPMI password to set,
    • new_ipmi_username IPMI user name to set, defaults to one in node driver_info.
  • Manually power on the nodes and wait.

  • After introspection is finished (watch nodes power state or use ironic-inspector status API) you can move node to manageable and then available states - see Node States.

Note that due to various limitations on password value in different BMC, ironic-inspector will only accept passwords with length between 1 and 20 consisting only of letters and numbers.


ironic-inspector heavily relies on plugins for data processing. Even the standard functionality is largely based on plugins. Set processing_hooks option in the configuration file to change the set of plugins to be run on introspection data. Note that order does matter in this option.

These are plugins that are enabled by default and should not be disabled, unless you understand what you're doing:


reports error, if error field is set by the ramdisk, also optionally stores logs from logs field, see api for details.


validates and updates basic hardware scheduling properties: CPU number and architecture, memory and disk size.


validates network interfaces information.

Here are some plugins that can be additionally enabled:


example plugin logging it's input and output.

raid_device (deprecated name root_device_hint)

gathers block devices from ramdisk and exposes root device in multiple runs.


stores the value of the 'data' key returned by the ramdisk as a JSON encoded string in a Swift object. The plugin will also attempt to convert the data into a format usable by introspection rules. If this is successful then the new format will be stored in the 'extra' key. The 'data' key is then deleted from the introspection data, as unless converted it's assumed unusable by introspection rules.

Refer to contributing_link for information on how to write your own plugin.


Starting from Mitaka, ironic-inspector is able to register new nodes in Ironic.

The existing node-not-found-hook handles what happens if ironic-inspector receives inspection data from a node it can not identify. This can happen if a node is manually booted without registering it with Ironic first.

For discovery, the configuration file option node_not_found_hook should be set to load the hook called enroll. This hook will enroll the unidentified node into Ironic using the fake driver (this driver is a configurable option, set enroll_node_driver in the ironic-inspector configuration file, to the Ironic driver you want).

The enroll hook will also set the ipmi_address property on the new node, if its available in the introspection data we received, see ramdisk_callback.

Once the enroll hook is finished, ironic-inspector will process the introspection data in the same way it would for an identified node. It runs the processing plugins, and after that it runs introspection rules, which would allow for more customisable node configuration, see rules.

A rule to set a node's Ironic driver to the agent_ipmitool driver and populate the required driver_info for that driver would look like:

"description": "Set IPMI driver_info if no credentials",
"actions": [
    {'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': 'driver', 'value': 'agent_ipmitool'},
    {'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': 'driver_info/ipmi_username',
     'value': 'username'},
    {'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': 'driver_info/ipmi_password',
     'value': 'password'}
"conditions": [
    {'op': 'is-empty', 'field': 'node://driver_info.ipmi_password'},
    {'op': 'is-empty', 'field': 'node://driver_info.ipmi_username'}

"description": "Set deploy info if not already set on node",
"actions": [
    {'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': 'driver_info/deploy_kernel',
     'value': '<glance uuid>'},
    {'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': 'driver_info/deploy_ramdisk',
     'value': '<glance uuid>'},
"conditions": [
    {'op': 'is-empty', 'field': 'node://driver_info.deploy_ramdisk'},
    {'op': 'is-empty', 'field': 'node://driver_info.deploy_kernel'}

All nodes discovered and enrolled via the enroll hook, will contain an auto_discovered flag in the introspection data, this flag makes it possible to distinguish between manually enrolled nodes and auto-discovered nodes in the introspection rules using the rule condition eq:

"description": "Enroll auto-discovered nodes with fake driver",
"actions": [
    {'action': 'set-attribute', 'path': 'driver', 'value': 'fake'}
"conditions": [
    {'op': 'eq', 'field': 'data://auto_discovered', 'value': True}

Reapplying introspection on stored data

To allow correcting mistakes in introspection rules the API provides an entry point that triggers the introspection over stored data. The data to use for processing is kept in Swift separately from the data already processed. Reapplying introspection overwrites processed data in the store. Updating the introspection data through the endpoint isn't supported yet. Following preconditions are checked before reapplying introspection:

  • no data is being sent along with the request
  • Swift store is configured and enabled
  • introspection data is stored in Swift for the node UUID
  • node record is kept in database for the UUID
  • introspection is not ongoing for the node UUID

Should the preconditions fail an immediate response is given to the user:

  • 400 if the request contained data or in case Swift store is not enabled in configuration
  • 404 in case Ironic doesn't keep track of the node UUID
  • 409 if an introspection is already ongoing for the node

If the preconditions are met a background task is executed to carry out the processing and a 202 Accepted response is returned to the endpoint user. As requested, these steps are performed in the background task:

  • preprocessing hooks
  • post processing hooks, storing result in Swift
  • introspection rules

These steps are avoided, based on the feature requirements:

  • node_not_found_hook is skipped
  • power operations
  • roll-back actions done by hooks


  • IPMI credentials are not updated --- ramdisk not running
  • there's no way to update the unprocessed data atm.
  • the unprocessed data is never cleaned from the store
  • check for stored data presence is performed in background; missing data situation still results in a 202 response