A Chef cookbook to bootstrap new VMs from data bags.
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Xen Tools support

This cookbook is designed to allow provisioning VMs by adding new data bag items in the virtual_machines data bag. Currently it only supports bootstrapping using xen-tools, from a tarball or directory.

Patches to use debootstrap and similar would be welcome.

Creating a new VM

Add the Xen recipe to your Dom0, and set the default_vm attributes to taste.

You'll also need to take an image of an existing VM. Mount it's disk at somewhere, and then run `tar cvzf my-vm-image.tgz .` and move the created file somewhere more permanent. Set xen/default_vm/install_source to that path.

Now you can create a new data bag item in a virtual_machines databag:

{ "id": "testvm" }

That's the bare minimum. The VM will be called testvm.domain. It'll be created, and then started using xm create.

Any options in xen/default_vm can be overridden from the data bag for a VM:

{ "id": "bigtestvm", "size": "100G", "memory": "1G", "install_source": "/media/images/web-server.tgz" }

Using Chef to manage your new VMs

By creating an image with Chef configured you can make things completely automated. Add a data bag item. Wait a little while. Start using Chef to manage your VM.

You'll need to create a base VM image, with Chef installed. Copy your validation key over to /etc/chef/, and make sure the client is set to hit your Chef server. Now when it boots up for the first time, it'll register with Chef.