Provide configurable 'pools' of instantly-available (running) virtual machines
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Latest commit 10bf6c8 Jul 20, 2018



vmpooler provides configurable 'pools' of instantly-available (running) virtual machines.


At Puppet, Inc. we run acceptance tests on thousands of disposable VMs every day. Dynamic cloning of VM templates initially worked fine for this, but added several seconds to each test run and was unable to account for failed clone tasks. By pushing these operations to a backend service, we were able to both speed up tests and eliminate test failures due to underlying infrastructure failures.



vmpooler requires the following Ruby gems be installed:

It also requires that a Redis server exists somewhere, as this is the datastore used for vmpooler's inventory and queueing services.


The following YAML configuration sets up two pools, debian-7-i386 and debian-7-x86_64, which contain 5 running VMs each:

    server: ''
    username: 'vmpooler'
    password: 'swimsw1msw!m'

  server: ''

  logfile: '/var/log/vmpooler.log'

  - name: 'debian-7-i386'
    template: 'Templates/debian-7-i386'
    folder: 'Pooled VMs/debian-7-i386'
    pool: 'Pooled VMs/debian-7-i386'
    datastore: 'vmstorage'
    size: 5
    provider: vsphere
  - name: 'debian-7-x86_64'
    template: 'Templates/debian-7-x86_64'
    folder: 'Pooled VMs/debian-7-x86_64'
    pool: 'Pooled VMs/debian-7-x86_64'
    datastore: 'vmstorage'
    size: 5
    provider: vsphere

See the provided YAML configuration example, vmpooler.yaml.example, for additional configuration options and parameters or for supporting multiple providers.

Running via Docker

A Dockerfile is included in this repository to allow running vmpooler inside a Docker container. A vmpooler.yaml configuration file can be embedded in the current working directory, or specified inline in a VMPOOLER_CONFIG environment variable. To build and run:

docker build -t vmpooler . && docker run -e VMPOOLER_CONFIG -p 80:4567 -it vmpooler

Running Docker inside Vagrant

A Vagrantfile is also included in this repository so that you dont have to run Docker on your local computer. To use it run:

vagrant up
vagrant ssh
docker run -p 8080:4567 -v /vagrant/vmpooler.yaml.example:/var/lib/vmpooler/vmpooler.yaml -it --rm --name pooler vmpooler

To run vmpooler with the example dummy provider you can replace the above docker command with this:

docker run -e VMPOOLER_DEBUG=true -p 8080:4567 -v /vagrant/vmpooler.yaml.dummy-example:/var/lib/vmpooler/vmpooler.yaml -e VMPOOLER_LOG='/var/log/vmpooler/vmpooler.log' -it --rm --name pooler vmpooler

Either variation will allow you to access the dashboard from localhost:8080.

Running directly in Vagrant

You can also run vmpooler directly in the Vagrant box. To do so run this:

vagrant up
vagrant ssh
cd /vagrant

# Do this if using the dummy provider
export VMPOOLER_DEBUG=true
cp vmpooler.yaml.dummy-example vmpooler.yaml

# vmpooler needs a redis server.
sudo yum -y install redis
sudo systemctl start redis

# Optional: Choose your ruby version or use jruby
# ruby 2.4.x is used by default
rvm list
rvm use jruby-

gem install bundler
bundle install
bundle exec ruby vmpooler

When run this way you can access vmpooler from your local computer via localhost:4567.

API and Dashboard

vmpooler provides an API and web front-end (dashboard) on port :4567. See the provided YAML configuration example, vmpooler.yaml.example, to specify an alternative port to listen on.


vmpooler provides a REST API for VM management. See the API documentation for more information.


A dashboard is provided to offer real-time statistics and historical graphs. It looks like this:


Graphite is required for historical data retrieval. See the provided YAML configuration example, vmpooler.yaml.example, for details.

Command-line Utility

  • The CLI utility provides easy access to the vmpooler service. The tool is cross-platform and written in Python.
  • vmfloaty is a ruby based CLI tool and scripting library written in ruby.

Vagrant plugin

Development and further documentation

For more information about setting up a development instance of vmpooler or other subjects, see the docs/ directory.

Build status

Build Status


vmpooler is distributed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See the LICENSE file for more details.