CI Pypi Copr Documentation Status


This tool is meant to provide a unified user experience when interacting with the following virtualization providers:

  • Libvirt/Vsphere/Kubevirt/Aws/Azure/Gcp/Ibmcloud/oVirt/Openstack/Packet/Proxmox

Beyond handling virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters can also be managed for the following types:

  • Kubeadm/Openshift/OKD/Hypershift/Microshift/K3s


Libvirt Hypervisor Requisites#

If you don’t have Libvirt installed on the target hypervisor, you can use the following command:

sudo yum -y install libvirt libvirt-daemon-driver-qemu qemu-kvm
sudo usermod -aG qemu,libvirt $(id -un)
sudo newgrp libvirt
sudo systemctl enable --now libvirtd

Supported installation methods#

The following methods are supported for installation and are all updated automatically when new pushes to kcli are made.

  • rpm package

  • deb package

  • container image

  • pypi package


A generic script is provided for for installation:

curl | sudo bash

It does the following:

  • make a guess on which method to use for deployment based on your OS

  • If OS is rhel or debian based, set repo source and install from package

  • Pull and image and set a proper alias if container method is selected

  • set bash completion

Regarding of the method, you get latest version.

Package install method#

For rhel based OS (fedora/rhel or centos), you can run this:

sudo dnf -y copr enable karmab/kcli ; sudo dnf -y install kcli

If using a debian based distribution, use this instead:

curl -1sLf | sudo -E bash
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install python3-kcli

The package based version doesn’t bundle the dependencies for anything else than Libvirt, so you have to install the extra packages for each additional cloud platforms, which are listed in the Provider specifics section.

On Fedora, an additional metapackage named kcli-all (python3-kcli-all in the debian case) that contains dependencies for all the providers.

Container install method#

In the commands below, feel free to use docker instead

Pull the latest image:

podman pull

To run it:

podman run --rm karmab/kcli

There are several recommended flags:

  • --net host for kcli ssh

  • -v /var/run/libvirt:/var/run/libvirt -v /var/lib/libvirt/images:/var/lib/libvirt/images if running against a local client.

  • -v  ~/.kcli:/root/.kcli to use your kcli configuration (also profiles and repositories) stored locally.

  • -v ~/.ssh:/root/.ssh to share your ssh keys. Alternatively, you can store your public and private key in the ~/.kcli directory.

  • --security-opt label=disable if running with selinux.

  • -v $PWD:/workdir to access plans below your current directory.

  • -v $HOME:/root to share your entire home directory, useful if you want to share secret files, ~/ for instance).

  • -e HTTP_PROXY=your_proxy -e HTTPS_PROXY=your_proxy

  • -v ~/.kube:/root/.kube to share your kubeconfig.

  • -v /etc:/etcdir to share your /etc directory, which is needed for reservehost.

For accessing kweb, change the entrypoint and map port 9000 with -p 9000:9000 --entrypoint=/usr/bin/kweb.

Here are typical aliases ready for use:

alias kcli='podman run --net host -it --rm --security-opt label=disable -v $HOME/.ssh:/root/.ssh -v $HOME/.kcli:/root/.kcli -v /var/lib/libvirt/images:/var/lib/libvirt/images -v /var/run/libvirt:/var/run/libvirt -v $PWD:/workdir'
alias kclishell='podman run --net host -it --rm --security-opt label=disable -v $HOME/.ssh:/root/.ssh -v $HOME/.kcli:/root/.kcli -v /var/lib/libvirt/images:/var/lib/libvirt/images -v /var/run/libvirt:/var/run/libvirt -v $PWD:/workdir --entrypoint=/bin/bash'
alias kweb='podman run -p 9000:9000 --net host -it --rm --security-opt label=disable -v $HOME/.ssh:/root/.ssh -v $HOME/.kcli:/root/.kcli -v /var/lib/libvirt/images:/var/lib/libvirt/images -v /var/run/libvirt:/var/run/libvirt -v $PWD:/workdir --entrypoint=/usr/bin/kweb'
  • The container image contains dependencies for all the providers.

  • The console/serial console functionality works better with the package version. In container mode, the graphical console/serial console only outputs the command to launch manually to get to the console.

Dev installation#

Generic platform#

If only Libvirt provider is to be used:

pip3 install kcli

Or, for installing dependencies for all providers:

pip3 install -e git+[all]


You can update kcli using the same mechanism used for installation


For rhel based OS (fedora/rhel or centos), you can run this:

sudo dnf -y install kcli

If using a debian based distribution:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install python3-kcli


podman pull

Generic platform#

pip3 install -U kcli


If you plan to use local Libvirt, no additional configuration is needed.

Kcli configuration is done in ~/.kcli directory, that you need to manually create. It will contain:

  • config.yml generic configuration where you declare clients.

  • profiles.yml stores your profiles where you combine things like memory, numcpus and all supported parameters into named profiles to create vms from.

  • id_rsa/ You can store your default public and private keys in .kcli directory which will be the first place to look for them when connecting to a remote kvm hypervisor, virtual machine or when injecting your public key.

You can generate a default config file (with all parameters commented) pointing to your local host with:

kcli create host kvm -H local

Or indicate a different target host:

kcli create host kvm -H host1

On most distributions, default network and storage pool for Libvirt are already defined.

If needed, you can create this default storage pool with:

sudo kcli create pool -p /var/lib/libvirt/images default
sudo setfacl -m u:$(id -un):rwx /var/lib/libvirt/images

And default network:

kcli create network  -c default

When using several hypervisors, you can use the command kcli create host or just edit your configuration file.

For instance, here’s a sample ~/.kcli/config.yml with two hypervisors:

 client: provider1
 pool: default
 numcpus: 2
 memory: 1024
  - size: 10
 protocol: ssh
  - default

 pool: default

 pool: whatever

Replace with your own client in default section and indicate the relevant parameters in the corresponding client section, depending on your client/host type.

Most of the parameters are actually optional, and can be overridden in the default, client or profile section (or in a plan file). You can find a fully detailed config.yml sample here

Storing credentials securely#

You can hide your secrets in ~/.kcli/config.yml by replacing any value by ?secret. You can then place the real value in ~/.kcli/secrets.yml by using the same yaml hierarchy.

For instance, if you have the following in your config file:

 password: ?secret

You would then put the real password in your secrets file this way:

 password: mypassword

Auto Completion#

You can enable autocompletion if running kcli from package or pip. It’s enabled by default when running kclishell container alias


Add the following line in one of your shell files (.bashrc, .zshrc, …)

eval "$(register-python-argcomplete kcli)"


Add the following snippet in .config/fish/

function __fish_kcli_complete
    set -x _ARGCOMPLETE 1
    set -x _ARGCOMPLETE_IFS \n
    set -x _ARGCOMPLETE_SHELL fish
    set -x COMP_LINE (commandline -p)
    set -x COMP_POINT (string length (commandline -cp))
    set -x COMP_TYPE
    if set -q _ARC_DEBUG
        kcli 8>&1 9>&2 1>/dev/null 2>&1
        kcli 8>&1 9>&2 1>&9 2>&1
complete -c kcli -f -a '(__fish_kcli_complete)'

Provider specifics#


 type: aws
 access_key_id: AKAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 access_key_secret: xxxxxxxxxxyyyyyyyy
 region: eu-west-3
 keypair: mykey

The following parameters are specific to aws:

  • access_key_id

  • access_key_secret

  • region

  • zone (Optional)

  • keypair

  • session_token

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install

dnf -y install python3-boto3


 type: azure
 subscription_id: AKAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 secret: xxxxxxxxxxyyyyyyyy
 location: westus

The following parameters are specific to aws:

  • subscription_id

  • app_id

  • tenant_id

  • secret

  • location

  • admin_user. Defaults to superadmin

  • admin_password. If specified, it need to be compliant with azure policy. When missing, a random one is generated (and printed) for each vm

  • mail. Optional, used only to access serial console of vms.

  • storage_account. Optional, used for bucket related operations.

The policy for password states that a valid password needs to satisfy at least 3 of the following requirements:

  • contain an uppercase character.

  • contain a lowercase character.

  • contain a numeric digit.

  • contain a special character.

  • not contain control characters.

You can create a service principal using Azure UI and add Contributor (and Storage Blob Data Contributor) role from there, or using az command like this:

az ad sp create-for-rbac --role Contributor --name openshift-install --scope /subscriptions/${SUBSCRIPTION}
az ad sp create-for-rbac --role "Storage Blob Data Contributor" --name openshift-install --scope /subscriptions/${SUBSCRIPTION}

To use this provider, you’ll need to install (from pip):

pip3 install azure-mgmt-compute azure-mgmt-network azure-mgmt-resource azure-mgmt-core azure-identity


 type: gcp
 credentials: ~/myproject.json
 project: myproject
 region: europe-west1

The following parameters are specific to Gcp:

  • credentials (pointing to a json service account file). if not specified, the environment variable GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS will be used

  • project

  • region

  • zone (Optional)

also note that Gcp provider supports creation of dns records for an existing domain and that your home public key will be uploaded if needed

To gather your service account file:

  • Select the “IAM” → “Service accounts” section within the Google Cloud Platform console.

  • Select “Create Service account”.

  • Select “Project” → “Editor” as service account Role.

  • Select “Furnish a new private key”.

  • Select “Save”.

To Create a dns zone:

  • Select the “Networking” → “Network Services” → “Cloud DNS”.

  • Select “Create Zone”.

  • Put the same name as your domain, but with ‘-’ instead.

If accessing behind a proxy, be sure to set HTTPS_PROXY environment variable to http://your_proxy:your_port

To use this provider, you’ll need to install (from pip):

pip3 install google-api-python-client google-auth-httplib2 google-cloud-dns

If you want to deploy GKE clusters, you will also need google-cloud-container library

IBM Cloud#

  type: ibm
  iam_api_key: xxxx
  region: eu-gb
  zone: eu-gb-2
  vpc: pruebak

The following parameters are specific to ibm cloud:

  • iam_api_key.

  • region

  • zone

  • vpc. Default vpc

  • cos_api_key. Optional Cloud object storage apikey

  • cos_resource_instance_id. Optional Cloud object storage resource_instance_id (something like “crn:v1:bluemix:public:cloud-object-storage:global:a/yyy:xxxx::”). Alternatively you can provide the resource name

  • cos_resource_instance_id. Optional Cis resource_instance_id used for DNS. Alternatively, you can provide the resource name

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install the following packets (from pip):

pip3 install ibm_vpc ibm-cos-sdk ibm-platform-services ibm-cloud-networking-services
# optionally
pip install cos-aspera


 type: kvm

Without configuration, Libvirt provider tries to connect locally using qemu:///system.

Additionally, remote hypervisors can be configured by indicating either a host, a port and protocol or a custom qemu url.

When using the host, port and protocol combination, default protocol uses ssh and as such assumes you are able to connect without password to your remote instance.

If using tcp protocol instead, you will need to configure Libvirtd in your remote Libvirt hypervisor to accept insecure remote connections.

You will also likely want to indicate default Libvirt pool to use (although, as with any parameter, it can be done in the default section).

The following parameters are specific to Libvirt:

  • url custom qemu uri.

  • session Defaults to False If you want to use qemu:///session (locally or remotely). Not recommended as it complicates access to the vm and is said to have lower performance.

  • remotednsmasq Defaults to False. Allow to create entries in a dedicated dnsmasq instance running on a remote hypervisor to provide DNS resolution for vms using bridged networks.


For Kubevirt, you will need to define one (or several!) sections with the type Kubevirt in your ~/.kcli/config.yml

Authentication is either handled by your local ~/.kube/config (kcli will try to connect to your current Kubernetes/OpenShift context) or with specific token:

 type: kubevirt

You can use additional parameters for the Kubevirt section:

  • kubeconfig kubeconfig file path

  • context the k8s context to use.

  • pool your default storageclass. can also be set as blank, if no storage class should try to bind pvcs.

  • host k8s api node .Also used for tunneling ssh.

  • port k8s api port.

  • ca_file optional certificate path.

  • namespace target namespace.

  • token token, either from user or service account.

  • tags additional list of tags in a key=value format to put to all created vms in their nodeSelector. Can be further indicated at profile or plan level in which case values are combined. This provides an easy way to force vms to run on specific nodes, by matching labels.

  • access_mode Way to access vms other ssh. Defaults to NodePort,in which case a svc with a nodeport pointing to the ssh port of the vm will be created. Otherpossible values are LoadBalancer to create a svc of type loadbalancer to point to the vm or External to connect using the sdn ip of the vm. If tunnel options are set, they take precedence

  • volume_mode Volume Mode. Defaults to Filesystem (Block can be specified instead).

  • volume_access Volume access mode. Defaults to ReadWriteOnce.

  • disk_hotplug Whether to allow to hotplug (and unplug) disks. Defaults to false. Note it also requires to enable The HotplugVolumes featureGate within Kubevirt

  • embed_userdata Whether to embed userdata directly in the vm spec. Defaults to false

  • first_consumer Whether the storage class has a volumeBindingMode set to WaitForFirstConsumer. Defaults to false. This allows to provision pvcs by creating a dummy job to force PVC binding

You can use the following indications to gather context, create a suitable service account and retrieve its associated token:

To list the context at your disposal

kubectl config view -o jsonpath='{.contexts[*].name}'

To create a service account and give it privileges to handle vms on a given namespace,

kubectl create serviceaccount $SERVICEACCOUNT -n $NAMESPACE
kubectl create rolebinding $SERVICEACCOUNT --clusterrole=admin --user=system:serviceaccount:$NAMESPACE:$SERVICEACCOUNT

To gather a token (in /tmp/token):

SECRET=`kubectl get sa $SERVICEACCOUNT -o jsonpath={.secrets[0].name}`
kubectl get secret $SECRET -o jsonpath={.data.token} | base64 -d

on OpenShift, you can simply use

oc whoami -t

kubectl is currently a hard requirement for consoles

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install

dnf -y install python3-kubernetes


 type: openstack
 user: testk
 password: testk
 project: testk
 domain: Default
 auth_url: http://openstack:5000/v3
 ca_file: ~/ca-trust.crt

The following parameters are specific to openstack:

  • auth_url

  • project

  • domain Defaults to Default

  • ca_file (Optional)

  • external_network (Optional). Indicates which network use for floating ips (useful when you have several ones)

  • region_name (Optional). Used in OVH Openstack

  • glance_disk (Optional). Prevents creating a disk from glance image. Defaults to false

  • token (Optional). Keystone Token (That can be retrieved with openstack token issue -c id -f value)

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install the following rpms

grep -q 'Red Hat' /etc/redhat-release && subscription-manager repos --enable openstack-16-tools-for-rhel-8-x86_64-rpms
dnf -y install python3-keystoneclient python3-glanceclient python3-cinderclient python3-neutronclient python3-novaclient python3-swiftclient


 type: ovirt
 host: ovirt.default
 user: admin@internal
 password: prout
 datacenter: Default
 cluster: Default
 pool: Default
 org: YourOrg
 ca_file: ~/ovirt.pem

The following parameters are specific to oVirt:

  • org Organization

  • ca_file Points to a local path with the cert of the oVirt engine host. It can be retrieved with curl "http://$HOST/ovirt-engine/services/pki-resource?resource=ca-certificate&format=X509-PEM-CA" > ~/.kcli/ovirt.pem

  • cluster Defaults to Default

  • datacenter Defaults to Default

  • filtervms Defaults to True. Only list vms created by kcli.

  • filteruser Defaults to False. Only list vms created by own user

  • filtertag Defaults to None. Only list vms created by kcli with the corresponding filter=filtertag in their description. Useful for environments when you share the same user

Note that pool in oVirt context refers to storage domain.

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install

dnf -y install
dnf -y install python3-ovirt-engine-sdk4

Deploying oVirt dependencies with pip#

You will need to get ovirt-engine-sdk-python . On fedora, for instance, you would run:

dnf -y copr enable karmab/kcli
yum -y install kcli gcc redhat-rpm-config python3-devel openssl-devel libxml2-devel libcurl-devel
export PYCURL_SSL_LIBRARY=openssl
pip3 install ovirt-engine-sdk-python

On rhel, set PYCURL_SSL_LIBRARY to nss instead

If you install manually from pip, you might need to install pycurl manually with the following line (and get openssl-dev headers)

pip install --no-cache-dir --global-option=build_ext --global-option="-L/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib" --global-option="-I/usr/local/opt/openssl/include"  pycurl


  type: packet
  auth_token: xxxx
  project: kcli
  facility: ams1

The following parameters are specific to packet:

  • auth_token.

  • project

  • facility. Can be omitted in which case you will have to specify on which facility to deploy vms.

  • tunnelhost. Optional. When creating vms using ignition, the generated ignition file will be copied to the tunnelhost so it can be served (typically via web)

  • tunneldir. Where to copy the ignition files when using a tunnelhost. Defaults to /var/www/html

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install packet-python (from pip):

pip3 install packet-python


 type: proxmox
 host: pve.karmalabs.corp
 user: root@pam
 password: mypassword
 pool: local

The following parameters are specific to proxmox:

  • auth_token_name and auth_token_secret (Optional). API Token used for authentification instead of password.

  • filtertag (Optional). Only manage VMs created by kcli with the corresponding tag.

  • node (Optional). Create VMs on specified PVE node in case of Proxmox cluster.

  • imagepool (Optional). Storage pool for images and ISOs.

  • verify_ssl (Optional). Enable/Disable SSL verification. Default to True.

Note that uploading images and cloud-init/ignition files requires ssh access to the Proxmox host. It’s highly recommended to configure passwordless ssh authentification.

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install the following rpms

pip3 install proxmoxer


 type: vsphere
 host: xxx-vcsa67.vcenter.e2e.karmalabs.corp
 user: administrator@karmalabs.corp
 password: mypassword
 datacenter: Madrid
 cluster: xxx
 filtervms: true
 pool: mysuperdatastore

The following parameters are specific to Vsphere:

  • cluster

  • datacenter Defaults to Default

  • filtervms Defaults to True. Only list vms created by kcli. Useful for environments when you are superadmin and have a ton of vms!!!

  • category Defaults to kcli. Category where to create tags in order to apply them to vms. If tags are requested for a given vm, they will be created on the fly along with the category, if missing

  • basefolder Optional base folder where to create all vms

  • isofolder Optional folder where to keep ISOs

  • dvs Whether to gather DVS networks. Enabled by default, but can be set to False to speed up operations if you don’t have dvs networks

  • import_network Defaults to ‘VM Network’. Network to use as part of the template created when downloading image

  • timeout Defaults to 2700. Custom connectionPooltimeout

  • force_pool Defaults to False. Whether to check source pool of image and relocate when it doesn’t match specified pool

  • restricted Defaults to False. Prevents create folder operations

  • serial Defaults to False. Enables serial console for each vm using an aleatory port on the corresponding host (This requires to add the firewall rule set named VM serial port connected over network)

Note that pool in Vsphere context refers to datastore.

To use this provider with kcli rpm, you’ll need to install

dnf -y install python3-pyvmomi python3-cryptography

Using hostgroups and vm-host rules#

The requisite is to create the hostgroup by yourself so that you can associate your hosts to it.

Then, when creating a vm, one can provide the following extra parameters:

  • vmgroup: if it doesn’t exist, the group will be created and in any case, the vm will get added to it.

  • hostgroup and hostrule: if both are provided and the hostrule doesnt exist, it will be created as affinity rule with the vmgroup and the hostgroup to it.

Note that when using this within a plan (or a cluster), it’s enough to provide hostgroup and hostrule for the first vm of the plan so that the hostrule gets created ( though a kcli vmrule for instance), and vmgroup for all of them, so that the group gets created with the first vm, and then the remaining vm only get added.

Also note that vmgroups and hostrules dont get deleted along with vms (to ease recreation of the same assets).

Using vm anti affinity rules#

Within a plan, you can set the keyword antipeers to a list of vms which should never land on the same ESX host. When the last vm from this list gets created, the corresponding anti affinity rule will be created (and Vsphere will relocate the other vms accordingly)


This provider allows you to interact with a kweb instance using kcli commands

 type: web
 port: 8000

The following parameters are specific to the web provider:

  • localkube. Defaults to true. Use REST calls when handling kubes


Basic workflow#

Your first vm#

Cloud Images from common distros aim to be the primary source for your vms.

You can list available cloud images ready for downloading with

kcli list available-images

kcli download image can be used to download a specific cloud image. for instance, centos9:

kcli download image centos9stream

At this point, you can deploy vms directly from the image, using default settings for the vm:

kcli create vm -i centos9stream vm1

This create a vm with 2 numcpus and 512Mb of ram, and also inject your public key using cloudinit.

The resulting vm can be accessed using kcli ssh vm1.

Kcli uses the default ssh_user associated to the cloud image.

To guess it, kcli checks the image name. So for example, your centos image must contain the term “centos” in the file name, otherwise “root” is used.

For out of band access to the vm, kcli console or kcli console --serial can be used

Customizing the vm#

Using parameters, you can tweak the vm creation. A full list of keywords can be used.

You can use the following to get a list of available keywords, and their default value

kcli get keywords

When creating a vm, you can then combine any of those keywords

kcli create vm -P keyword1=value1 -P keyword2=value2 -P keyword2=value3 (....)

Note that those parameters dont have to be only keyword. You can pass any key-value pair so that they are used when injecting files or commands.

Cpus and Memory#

Using such parameters, you can tweak the vm creation. For instance, the following customizes the number of cpus and memory of the vm.

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P memory=2048 -P numcpus=4 vm1


You can also pass disks. For instance to create a vm with 2 disks

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P disks=[10,20] vm1

The disks keyword can either be a list of integers or we can pass a list of dictionaries to tweak even further. For instance, we can set the disk interface of one of the disk so that it uses SATA

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P disks=['{"size": 10, "interface": "sata"}'] vm1

You can combine both syntaxes, as shown in the next example where we create a 2-disks vm where the second one is SATA

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P disks=['20,{"size": 10, "interface": "sata"}'] vm1


nets keyword allows you to create vms with several nics and using specific networks. For instance, we can create a vm with two nics connected to the default network

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P nets=[default,default] vm1

As with disks, we can tweak even further, for instance, to force the mac address of the vm

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P nets=['{"name": "default", "mac": "aa:aa:aa:bb:bb:90"}'] vm1

Or change the nic driver

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P nets=['{"name": "default", "type": "e1000"}'] vm1

Again, both syntaxes can be combined

Injecting files#

You can inject a list of files in your vms. For instance, to inject a file named myfile.txt, use

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P files=[myfile.txt] vm1

The corresponding file will be located in /root

Note that this file gets rendered first through jinja, by using any of the parameter provided in the command line.

For instance, if myfile.txt contains:

Welcome to the box {{ mybox }}

When we launch kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P files=[myfile.txt] -P mybox=superbox, the myfile.txt ends up with the following content:

Welcome to the box superbox

By using jinja constructs (whether variables, conditional or loops), we can customize completely the resulting vm

Of course, we might not want all files to end up in /root. By using a more accurate spec in our files section, we can indicate where to create the file

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P files=['{"path": "/etc/motd", "origin": "myfile.txt"}']

We can also set a specific mode for the file

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P files=['{"path": "/etc/motd", "origin": "myfile.txt", "mode": "644}']

Injecting cmds/scripts#

You can inject a list of cmds in your vms. For instance, to install a specific package use

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P cmds=['yum -y install nc'] vm1

Alternatively, you can use the keyword scripts to inject a list of script files from you current directory

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P scripts=[]  vm1

This has the benefit that the scripts get rendered via jinja in the same way as files do, by leveraging additional parameters provided in the command line

As always, both cmds and scripts can be specified, in which case cmds are run first.

Empty vms#

So far, our examples have used a cloud image by mean of the -i/--image flag but it’s not mandatory. For instance, we can create an empty vm with a complete spec

kcli local create vm -P uefi=true -P start=false -P memory=20480 -P numcpus=16 -P disks=[50,50] -P nets=[default] vm2

Note that when not using a cloud image, cloudinit/ignition wont be used so parameters such as cmds,scripts and files are pointless.

Profiles configuration#

Instead of providing parameters on the command line, you can use profiles.

Profiles are meant to help creating single vm with preconfigured settings (number of CPUS, memory, size of disk, network, which image to use, extra commands to run on start, whether reserving dns,….)

You use the file ~/.kcli/profiles.yml to declare your profiles. Here’s a snippet declaring a profile named mycentos:

 image: centos9stream
 numcpus: 2
  - size: 10
 reservedns: true
  - name: default
  - echo unix1234 | passwd --stdin root

With this section, you can use the following to create a vm

kcli create vm -p mycentos myvm

You can inherit settings from a base profile like this

 base: profile1

Cloudinit/Ignition support#

Cloudinit is enabled by default and handles static networking configuration, hostname setting, injecting ssh keys and running specific commands and entire scripts, and copying entire files.

For vms based on coreos, ignition is used instead of cloudinit although the syntax is the same. If $name.ign or $plan.ign are found in the current directory, their content will be merged. The extension .cloudinit does the same for cloudinit.

To ease OpenShift deployment, when a node has a name in the $cluster-role-$num, where role can either be ctlplane, worker or bootstrap, additional paths are searched, namely:

  • $cluster-$role.ign

  • clusters/$cluster/$role.ign

  • $HOME/.kcli/clusters/$cluster/$role.ign

For ignition support on oVirt, you will need a version of ovirt >= 4.3.4

Vm and Provider Handling#

Although the primary goal of kcli is to ease creation of vms, the tool is meant to make it easy to interact with the provider beyond that.

Handling vms#

The following commands are typically used when dealing with vms

  • List vms

    • kcli list vm

  • List install images

    • kcli list images

  • Delete vm

    • kcli delete vm vm1

  • Get detailed info on a specific vm

    • kcli info vm vm1

  • Start vm

    • kcli start vm vm1

  • Stop vm

    • kcli stop vm vm1

  • Get remote-viewer console

    • kcli console vm vm1

  • Get serial console (over TCP). Requires the vms to have been created with kcli and netcat client installed on hypervisor

    • kcli console vm -s vm1

  • Add 5GB disk to vm1, using pool named images

    • kcli create vm-disk -s 5 -p images vm1

  • Delete disk named vm1_2.img from vm1

    • kcli delete disk --vm vm1 vm1_2.img

  • Update memory in vm1 to 2GB memory

    • kcli update vm -P memory=2048 vm1

  • Clone vm1 to new vm2

    • kcli clone vm -b vm1 vm2

  • Connect with ssh to vm vm1

    • kcli ssh vm vm1

  • Add a new nic from network default to vm1

    • kcli create nic -n default vm1

  • Delete nic eth2 from vm

    • kcli delete nic -i eth2 vm1

  • Create snapshot named snap1 for vm1:

    • kcli create snapshot vm -n vm1 snap1

  • Export vm:

    • kcli export vm vm1

We can interact using the same constructs with other objects, such as network or (storage) pool

  • Create a new network

    • kcli create network -c mynet

  • Create new pool

    • kcli create pool -t dir -p /hom/images images

Omitting vm’s name#

When you don’t specify a vm, the last one created by kcli on the corresponding client is used (the list is stored in ~/.kcli/vm)

So for instance, you can simply use the following command to access your last vm:

kcli ssh

Multiple clients#

If you have multiple hypervisors/clients, you can generally use the flag -C $CLIENT to point to a specific one.

You can also use the following to list the vms of all your hosts/clients:

kcli -C all list vm




a plan is a file in yaml with a list of profiles, vms, disks, and networks and vms to deploy.

The following types can be used within a plan:

  • vm (this is the type used when none is specified)

  • image

  • network

  • disk

  • pool

  • profile

  • ansible

  • container

  • dns

  • plan (so you can compose plans from several urls)

  • kube

  • workflow

Create and run your first plan#

Here’s a basic plan to get a feel of plan’s logic

 image: centos9stream
 numcpus: 8
 memory: 2048
 - path: /etc/motd
   content: Welcome to the cruel world

 image: centos9stream
 numcpus: 8
 memory: 2048
 - yum -y install httpd

To run this plan, we save it as myplan.yml and we can then deploy it using kcli create plan -f myplan.yml

This will create two vms based on the centos9stream cloud image, with the specified hardware characteristics and injecting a specific file for vm1, or running a command to install httpd for vm2.

Additionally, your ssh public key gets automatically injected to the node, and the hostname of those vms get set, all through cloudinit.

Although this is a simple plan, note that:

  • it’s expected to behave exactly the same regardless of your target virtualization platform

  • can be relaunched in an idempotent manner

Make it more powerful with variables#

Let’s modify our plan to make it more dynamic

 image: centos9stream
 numcpus: 8
 memory: 2048
 - httpd
 motd: Welcome to the cruel world

 image: {{ image }}
 numcpus: {{ numcpus }}
 memory: {{ memory }}
 - path: /etc/motd
   content: {{ motd }}

 image: {{ image }}
 numcpus: {{ numcpus }}
 memory: {{ memory }}
{% for package in packages %}
 - yum -y install {{ package }}
{% endfor %}

This looks similar to the first example, but now we have a parameters section where we define default values for a set of variables that is then used within the plan, through jinja.

When creating the plan, any of those parameter can we overriden by using -P key=value, or providing a parameter file.

For instance, we would run kcli create plan -f my_plan.yml -P numcpus=16 -P memory=4096 -P motd="Welcome to the cool world to create the two same vms with different hardware values and with a custom motd in vm1

Note that any jinja construct can be used within a plan (or through the files or the scripts referenced by said plan)

plan types#

Here are some examples of each type (more examples can be found in this samples repo):


 type: network

You can also use the boolean keyword dhcp (mostly to disable it) and isolated . When not specified, dhcp and nat will be enabled


 type: image

If you point to an url not ending in qcow2/qc2 (or img), your browser will be opened for you to proceed. Also note that you can specify a command with the cmd key, so that virt-customize is used on the template once it’s downloaded.


 type: disk
 size: 5
 pool: vms
  - centos1
  - centos2

Here the disk is shared between two vms (that typically would be defined within the same plan):


  type: pool
  path: /home/mypool


  type: profile
  template: CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud.qcow2
  memory: 3072
  numcpus: 1
   - size: 15
   - size: 12
   - default
  pool: default


 type: ansible
 verbose: false
 playbook: prout.yml
   - node1
   - node2
   - ctlplane1
   - ctlplane2
   - ctlplane3

An inventory will be created for you in /tmp and that group_vars and host_vars directory are taken into account. You can optionally define your own groups, as in this example. The playbooks are launched in alphabetical order


 type: container
  image: centos
  cmd: /bin/bash
   - 5500
   - /root/coco

Look at the container section for details on the parameters

plan’s plan ( Also known as inception style)#

  type: plan
  run: true

You can alternatively provide a file attribute instead of url pointing to a local plan file:


 type: dns
 net: default


Workflow allows you to launch scripts locally after they are rendered

  type: workflow
  - frout.txt

This would execute the two scripts after rendering them into a temporary directory, along with the files if provided. Note that you can omit the scripts section and instead indicate the script to run as name of the workflow. This requires it to be a sh/bash script and as such beeing suffixed by .sh


You can point at an existing profile in your plans, define all parameters for the vms, or combine both approaches. You can even add your own profile definitions in the plan file and reference them within the same plan:

  type: profile
  template: CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud.qcow2
  memory: 6144
  numcpus: 1
   - size: 45
   - default
  pool: default

  profile: big

Specific scripts and IPS arrays can be used directly in the plan file (or in profiles one).

The kcli-plan-samples repo contains samples to get you started. You will also find under karmab user dedicated plan repos to deploy oVirt, Openstack, …

When launching a plan, the plan name is optional. If none is provided, a random one will be used.

If no plan file is specified with the -f flag, the file kcli_plan.yml in the current directory will be used.

When deleting a plan, the network of the vms will also be deleted if no other vm are using them. You can prevent this by setting keepnetworks to true in your configuration.

Remote plans#

You can use the following command to execute a plan from a remote url:

kcli create plan --url

Disk parameters#

You can add disk this way in your profile or plan files:

 - size: 20
   pool: default
 - size: 10
   thin: False
   interface: scsi

Within a disk section, you can use the word size, thin and format as keys.

  • thin Value used when not specified in the disk entry. Defaults to true

  • interface Value used when not specified in the disk entry. Defaults to virtio. Could also be scsi, sata or ide, if vm lacks virtio drivers

Network parameters#

You can mix simple strings pointing to the name of your network and more complex information provided as hash. For instance:

 - default
 - name: private
   nic: eth1

Within a net section, you can use name, nic, IP, mac, mask, gateway and alias as keys. type defaults to virtio but you can specify anyone (e1000,….).

You can also use noconf: true to only add the nic with no configuration done in the vm.

the ovs: true allows you to create the nic as ovs port of the indicated bridge. Not that such bridges have to be created independently at the moment

You can also provide network configuration on the command line when creating a single vm with something like:

kcli create vm -i $img -P nets=['{"name":"default","ip":"","netmask":"24","gateway":""}']

ip, dns and host Reservations#

If you set reserveip to True, a reservation will be made if the corresponding network has dhcp and when the provided ip belongs to the network range. Note providing such ip is mandatory.

You can set reservedns to True to create a dns entry for the vm in the corresponding network ( only done for the first nic).

You can set reservehost to True to create an entry for the host in /etc/hosts ( only done for the first nic). It’s done with sudo and the entry gets removed when you delete the vm. On macosx, you should use gnu-sed ( from brew ) instead of regular sed for proper deletion.

If you dont want to be asked for your sudo password each time, here are the commands that are escalated:

- echo .... # KVIRT >> /etc/hosts
- sed -i '/.... # KVIRT/d' /etc/hosts

Podman/Docker support in plans#

Podman/Docker support is mainly enabled as a commodity to launch some containers along vms in plan files. Of course, you will need podman or docker installed on the client. So the following can be used in a plan file to launch a container:

 type: container
  image: centos
  cmd: /bin/bash
   - 5500
   - /root/coco

The following keywords can be used:

  • image name of the image to pull.

  • cmd command to run within the container.

  • ports array of ports to map between host and container.

  • volumes array of volumes to map between host and container. You can alternatively use the keyword disks. You can also use more complex information provided as a hash

Within a volumes section, you can use path, origin, destination and mode as keys. mode can either be rw o ro and when origin or destination are missing, path is used and the same path is used for origin and destination of the volume. You can also use this typical docker syntax:

 - /home/cocorico:/root/cocorico

Additionally, basic commands ( start, stop, console, plan, list) accept a –container flag.

Exposing a plan#

Basic functionality#

You can expose a given plan in a web fashion with kcli expose so that others can make use of some infrastructure you own without having to deal with kcli themseleves.

The user will be presented with a simple UI (running on port 9000) with a listing of the current vms of the plan and buttons allowing to either get info on the plan, delete or reprovision it.

To expose your plan (with an optional list of parameters):

kcli expose plan -f your_plan.yml -P param1=value1 -P param2=value plan_name

The indicated parameters are the ones from the plan that you want to expose to the user upon provisioning, with a provided default value that they’ll be able to overwrite.

When the user reprovisions, In addition to those parameters, he will be able to specify:

  • a list of mail addresses to notify upon completion of the lab provisioning. Note it requires to properly set notifications in your kcli config.

  • an optional owner which will be added as metadata to the vms, so that it’s easy to know who provisioned a given plan

Precreating a list of plans#

If you’re running the same plan with different parameter files, you can simply create below the directory where your plan lives, naming them parameters_XXX.yml|yaml. The UI will then show you those as separated plans so that they can be provisioned individually applying the corresponding values from the parameter files (after merging them with the user provided data).

Using several clients#

When specifying different parameter files, you can include the client keyword to target a given client The code will then select the proper client for create/delete/info operations.

Using expose feature from a web server#

You can use mod_wsgi with httpd or similar mechanisms to use the expose feature behind a web server so that you serve content from a specific port or add layer of security like htpasswd provided from outside the code.

For instance, you could create the following kcli.conf in apache

<VirtualHost *>
    WSGIScriptAlias / /var/www/kcli.wsgi
    <Directory /var/www/kcli>
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
#    <Location />
#   AuthType Basic
#   AuthName "Authentication Required"
#   AuthUserFile "/var/www/kcli.htpasswd"
#   Require valid-user
#    </Location>
import logging
import os
import sys
from kvirt.config import Kconfig
from kvirt.expose import Kexposer

os.environ['HOME'] = '/usr/share/httpd'
inputfile = '/var/www/myplans/plan1.yml'
overrides = {'param1': 'jimi_hendrix', 'param2': False}
config = Kconfig()
kexposer = Kexposer(config, 'myplan', inputfile, overrides=overrides)
application =
application.secret_key = 'XXX'

Note that further configuration will tipically be needed for apache user so that kcli can be used with it.

An alternative is to create different WSGI applications and tweak the WSGIScriptAlias to serve them from different paths.

Calling expose endpoints through REST#

you can check the swagger spec to call the different endpoints using your language of choice.

Overriding parameters#

You can override parameters in:

  • commands

  • scripts

  • files

  • plan files

  • profiles

For that, you can pass in kcli vm or kcli plan the following parameters:

  • -P x=1 -P y=2 and so on .

  • –paramfile - In this case, you provide a yaml file ( and as such can provide more complex structures ).

Note that parameters provided as uppercase are made environment variables within the target vm by creating /etc/profile.d/

The indicated objects are then rendered using jinja.

 template: CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud.qcow2
  - echo x={{ x }} y={{ y }} >> /tmp/cocorico.txt
  - echo {{ password | default('unix1234') }} | passwd --stdin root

You can make the previous example cleaner by using the special key parameters in your plans and define there variables:

 password: unix1234
 x: coucou
 y: toi
 template: CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud.qcow2
  - echo x={{ x }} y={{ y }} >> /tmp/cocorico.txt
  - echo {{ password  }} | passwd --stdin root

Finally note that you can also use advanced jinja constructs like conditionals and so on. For instance:

  net1: default
  template: CentOS-7-x86_64-GenericCloud.qcow2
    - {{ net1 }}
{% if net2 is defined %}
    - {{ net2 }}
{% endif %}

Also, you can reference a baseplan file in the parameters section, so that parameters are concatenated between the base plan file and the current one:

   baseplan: upstream.yml
   xx_version: v0.7.0

Keyword Parameters#

Specific parameters for a client#


Default Value




Defaults to 22 if ssh protocol is used






can be used to specify an exotic qemu url



make kcli use tunnels for console and for ssh access



make kcli keeps networks when deleting plan

Available parameters for client/profile/plan files#


Default Value




Allows to target a different client/host for the corresponding entry



Only used for Libvirt where it evaluates to kvm if acceleration shows in capabilities, or qemu emulation otherwise. If a value is provided, it must be either kvm, qemu, xen or lxc





You can specify a list of strings with features to enable or use dict entries with name of the feature and policy either set to require,disable, optional or force. The value for vmx is ignored, as it’s handled by the nested flag







numamode to apply to the workers only.



cpupinning conf to apply






Specific to gcp, aws, openstack and packet







Should point to your base cloud image(optional). You can either specify short name or complete path. If you omit the full path and your image lives in several pools, the one from last (alphabetical) pool will be used\



You can set it to ide, ssd or nvme instead





Array of disks to define. For each of them, you can specify pool, size, thin (as boolean), interface (either ide or virtio) and a wwn.If you omit parameters, default values will be used from config or profile file (You can actually let the entire entry blank or just indicate a size number directly)





Array of networks to define. For each of them, you can specify just a string for the name, or a dict containing name, public and alias and ip, mask and gateway, and bridge. Any visible network is valid, in particular bridge networks can be used on Libvirt, beyond regular nat networks





Dns server



Dns search domain





if set to true, vnc is used for console instead of spice





if set to true and an ip was provided, create a dhcp reservation in libvirt network







Array of ssh public keys to inject to the vm. Whether the actual content or the public key path



Array of commands to run



name of one of your profile



array of paths of custom script to inject with cloudinit. It will be merged with cmds parameter. You can either specify full paths or relative to where you’re running kcli. Only checked in profile or plan file





Share a private/public key between all the nodes of your plan. Additionally, root access will be allowed



Inject your private key to the nodes of your plan



Array of files to inject to the vm. For each of them, you can specify path, owner ( root by default) , permissions (600 by default ) and either origin or content to gather content data directly or from specified origin. When specifying a directory as origin, all the files it contains will be parsed and added



Handles all the ssh option details so you don’t get any warnings about man in the middle



Allows you to create the vm on a specific client. This field is not used for other types like network



Allows you to point to a parent profile so that values are taken from parent when not found in the current profile. Scripts and commands are rather concatenated between default, father and children



Array of tags to apply to gcp instances (usefull when matched in a firewall rule). In the case of Kubevirt, it s rather a dict of key=value used as node selector (allowing to force vms to be scheduled on a matching node)



Delay in seconds before attempting to run further commands, to be used in environments where networking takes more time to come up



Auto registers vms whose template starts with rhel Defaults to false. Requires to either rhnuser and rhnpassword, or rhnactivationkey and rhnorg, and an optional rhnpool


Red Hat Network server (for registering to a Satellite server)



Red Hat Network user



Red Hat Network password



Red Hat Network activation key



Red Hat Network organization



Red Hat Network pool



Allows ssh access as root user



Root password to inject (when beeing to lazy to use a cmd to set it)



Creates a /root/.metadata yaml file whith all the overrides applied. On gcp, those overrides are also stored as extra metadata



List of paths to share between hypervisor and vm. You will also need to make sure that the path is accessible as qemu user (typically with id 107) and use an hypervisor and a guest with 9p support (centos/rhel lack it for instance)



Ansible generated inventory for single vms or for plans containing ansible entries will be yaml based.



Autostarts vm (Libvirt specific)



Kernel location to pass to the vm. Needs to be local to the hypervisor



Initrd location to pass to the vm. Needs to be local to the hypervisor



Cmdline to pass to the vm



array of pcidevices to passthrough to the first worker only. Check here for an example



Enables a TPM device in the vm, using emulator mode. Requires swtpm in the host



Enables a RNG device in the vm



Sends result of a command or a script run from the vm to one of the supported notify engines



Array of notify engines. Other options are slack and mail



Which command to run for notification. If none is provided and no notifyscript either, defaults to sending last 100 lines of the cloudinit file of the machine, or ignition for coreos based vms



Script to execute on the vm and whose output will be sent to notification engines



Token to use when notifying through pushbullet



Token to use when notifying through slack. Should be the token of an app generated in your workspace



Slack Channel where to send the notification



Mail server where to send the notification (on port 25)



Mail address to send mail from



List of mail addresses to send mail to



Generates a playbook for the vm of the plan instead of creating it. Useful to run parts of a plan on baremetal



List of rules with an associated dict to apply for the corresponding entry, if a regex on the entry name is matched. The profile of the matching vm will be updated with the content of the rule



Whether to wait for cloudinit/ignition to fully apply



a specific command to use to validate that vm is ready



Timeout when waiting for a vm to be ready. Default zero value means the wait wont timeout

Deploying Kubernetes/OpenShift clusters#

You can deploy generic Kubernetes (based on Kubeadm), K3s, OpenShift/OKD, Hypershift, Microshift and GKE on any platform and on an arbitrary number of control plane nodes and workers.


The main benefit is to abstract deployment details to have an unified workflow

  • create a parameter file

  • launch the deployment oneliner

  • enjoy

Other benefits are:

  • easy tweaking of vms hardware

  • tuning the version to deploy

  • support for alternative CNIs

  • configuration of static networking for the nodes

  • installation of additional applications/operators

  • handling of lifecycle after installation:

    • scaling

    • autoscaling

  • support for deploying Baremetal workers in Openshift and Hypershift (optionally using Redfish)

  • support for deploying Openshift SNOs (optionally using Redfish)


For all the platforms, the workflow is the following:

  • create a (yaml) parameter file to describe intented end result

  • launch the specific subcommand. For instance, to deploy a generic Kubernetes cluster, one would use kcli create cluster generic --pf my_parameters.yml  $cluster. Parameter files can be repeated and combined with specific parameters on the command line, which always take precedence.

  • Once the installation finishes, set the following environment variable in order to interact with the csluter export KUBECONFIG=$HOME/.kcli/clusters/$cluster/auth/kubeconfig

Getting information on available parameters#

For each supported platform, you can use kcli info cluster $clustertype

For instance, kcli info cluster generic will provide you all the parameters available for customization for generic Kubernetes clusters.

Deploying generic Kubernetes clusters#

kcli create cluster generic -P ctlplanes=X -P workers=Y $cluster

Deploying OpenShift clusters#

DISCLAIMER: This is not supported in anyway by Red Hat (although the end result cluster would be).

for OpenShift, the official installer binary is leveraged with kcli creating the vms, and injecting some extra pods to provide api/ingress vip and self contained dns.

The benefits of deploying OpenShift with this workflow are:

  • Auto download openshift-install specified version.

  • Easy vms tuning.

  • Single workflow regardless of the target platform.

  • Self contained dns. (For cloud platforms, cloud public dns is leveraged instead)

  • For Libvirt, no need to compile installer or tweak Libvirtd.

  • Vms can be connected to a physical bridge.

  • Multiple clusters can live on the same l2 network.

  • Support for disconnected registry and ipv6 networks.

  • Support for upstream OKD


  • Valid pull secret

  • Ssh public key.

  • Write access to /etc/hosts file to allow editing of this file.

  • An available ip in your vm’s network to use as api_ip. Make sure it is excluded from your dhcp server. An optional ingress_ip can be specified, otherwise api_ip will be used.

  • Direct access to the deployed vms. Use something like this otherwise sshuttle -r your_hypervisor -v).

  • Target platform needs:

    • Ignition support

    • On Openstack:

      • swift available on the install.

      • a flavor. You can create a dedicated one with openstack flavor create --id 6 --ram 32768 --vcpus 16 --disk 30 m1.openshift

      • a port on target network mapped to a floating ip. If not specified with api_ip and public_api_ip parameters, the second-to-last ip from the network will be used.

  • For ipv6, you need to run the following: sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.accept_ra=2

How to Use#

Create a parameters.yml#

Prepare a parameter file with valid variables:

A minimal one could be the following one

cluster: mycluster
domain: karmalabs.corp
version: stable
tag: '4.12'
ctlplanes: 3
workers: 2
memory: 16384
numcpus: 16

Here’s the list of typical variables that can be used (you can list them with kcli info cluster openshift)


Default Value








You can choose between stable, dev-preview, nightly, ci or stable. both ci and nightly require specific data in the pull secret





Exit once vms are created and let job in cluster delete bootstrap



Whether to send notifications once cluster is deployed. Mean to be used in async mode





Any existing network can be used







number of ctlplane



number of workers































disk size in Gb for final nodes













Whether to also deploy the metal3 operator, for provisioning physical workers









Extra applications to deploy on the cluster, available ones are visible with kcli list app openshift


kcli create kube openshift --paramfile parameters.yml $cluster

Storage support#

By default, no storage provider is deployed but you can easily leverage LSO, LVMS or ODF. For instance, to use lvms, add the following to your parameter file

- 200
- lvms-operator

You can also deploy ODF by using the following snippet

- 200
- local-storage-operator
- odf-operator

An other option is to use nfs provisioner, which gets installed indicating the following:

- nfs

Note that this will install and configure nfs on the host from where the workflow is launched

Providing custom machine configs#

If a manifests directory exists in the current directory, the *yaml assets found there are copied to the directory generated by the install, prior to deployment.

SNO (Single Node OpenShift) support#

You can deploy a single node setting ctlplanes to 1 and workers to 0 in your parameter file.

Alternatively, bootstrap in place (bip) with rhcos live iso can be leveraged with the flag sno, which allows to provision a baremetal node by creating a custom iso stored in one specified Libvirt pool. The following extra parameters are available with this workflow:

  • sno_disk: You can indicate which disk to use for installing Rhcos operating system in your node. If none is specified, the disk will be autodiscovered

  • extra_args: You can use this variable to specify as a string any extra args to add to the generated iso. A common use case for this is to set static networking for the node, for instanc with something like nameserver=

  • api_ip: This is normally not needed but if DNS records already exist pointing to a given ip or when the ip of the node is unknown, a vip can be specified so that an extra keepalived static pod is injected.

In the baremetal context, the generated iso can be directly plugged to target nodes but the baremetal_hosts feature can also be used as described below, which required apache to be running on the hypervisor and to give write access to /var/www/html for the user launching the command, using something like:

sudo setfacl -m u:$(id -un):rwx /var/www/html

Generating a worker iso#

In OpenShift case, for baremetal workers you can use the following command to generate such an iso

kcli create openshift-iso --paramfile parameters.yml $cluster

Baremetal hosts support#

You can deploy baremetal workers in different way through this workflow.

The boolean baremetal_iso can be set to generate isos that you manually plug to the corresponding node (one iso per role).

You can also create isos only for a given role using the boolean baremetal_iso_bootstrap, baremetal_iso_ctlplane and baremetal_iso_worker

Alternatively, you can use the array baremetal_hosts to plug the worker iso to a list of baremetal hosts. The iso will be served from a deployment running in the control plane in that case.

For each entry you would specify:

  • url or bmc_url. This is the redfish url to use, which is specific to the hardware. You can also just specify the ip and set the model if you dont know what the exact url is.

  • user or bmc_user. bmc_user can also be set outside the array if you use the same user for all of your baremetal workers

  • password or bmc_password. bmc_password can also be set outside the array if you use the same password for all of your baremetal workers

As an example, the following array will boot 3 workers (based on kvm vms with ksushy)

bmc_user: root
bmc_password: calvin
- bmc_url:
- bmc_url:
- bmc_url:

Disconnected support#

To deploy with a disconnected registry, you can set the disconnected_vm boolean or specify a disconnected_url


In the first case, an helper vm will be deployed to host your disconnected registry and content will be synced for you

You can fine tweak this registry with several parameters:

  • disconnected_disk_size

  • disconnected_user

  • disconnected_password

  • disconnected_operators

  • disconnected_vm_name

Note that this disconnected registry can also be deployed on its own using kcli create openshift-registry subcommand


In this case, you can specify the url of the registry where you have synced content by yourself. The disconnected_url typically is specified as $host:$port

You will also need to set disconnected_user and disconnected_password

You can specify disconnected_ca content, or let it undefined for the CA content to be fetched on the fly

Note that you will also need to sync the following images on the registry:








The flag disconnected_sync allows you to sync content when reusing a given registry


By setting upstream to true, you can deploy OKD (which will use a fake pull secret and fedora coreos as image)

Interacting with your clusters#

All generated assets for a given cluster are stored in $HOME/.kcli/clusters/$cluster.

Scaling/Adding more workers#

The procedure is the same independently of the type of cluster used.

kcli scale kube <generic|openshift|okd|k3s> -P workers=num_of_workers --paramfile parameters.yml $cluster

ctlplane nodes can also be scaled the same way

Cleaning up#

The procedure is the same independently of the type of cluster used.

kcli delete kube $cluster

Deploying Cloud Managed clusters#

You can deploy AKS, EKS or GKE clusters using the same workflow.

First, make sure the corresponding provider is correctly defined then launch the workflow as usual

For instance, to deploy a GKE cluster, you would use

kcli create cluster gke mygke

Note that on those platforms, we rely more on default values provided by the Platform

Deploying applications on top of Kubernetes/OpenShift#

You can use kcli to deploy applications on your Kubernetes/OpenShift (regardless of whether it was deployed with kcli)

Applications currently supported include:

  • argocd

  • kubevirt

  • rook

  • istio

  • knative

  • tekton

To list applications available on generic Kubernetes, run:

kcli list app generic

To list applications available on generic OpenShift, run:

kcli list app openshift

For any of the supported applications, you can get information on the supported parameters with:

kcli info app generic|openshift $app_name

To deploy an app, use the following, with additional parameters passed in the command line or in a parameter file:

kcli create app generic|openshift $app_name

Applications can be deleted the same way:

kcli delete app generic|openshift $app_name



The workflow leverages Kubeadm to create a cluster with the specified number of vms running either as ctlplanes or workers on any of the supported platforms.

Those vms can either be centos9stream, fedora or ubuntu based (as per the official Kubeadm doc).

The first node is used for bootstrapping the cluster, through commands that run by rendering cloudinit data.

Once it is done, the generated token is retrieved, which allows to add the other nodes.

for HA and Loadbalancing, Keepalived and Haproxy are leveraged, which involves declaring a vip. For Libvirt, when no vip is provided, an educated guess around the vip is done for virtual networks.

For cloud providers (aws, gcp and ibmcloud), loadbalancer along with dns is used to achieve the same result. That requires specifying an existing top level domain.

Available options in this workflow allow to:

  • customizing the hardware of the involved vms

  • using a different k8s version, cni or engine

  • deploying nfs, nginx ingress or metallb.

  • etc


We deploy:

  • a bootstrap node removed at the end of the install.

  • an arbitrary number of ctlplanes.

  • an arbitrary number of workers.

When oc or openshift-install are missing, they are downloaded on the fly, using public mirrors or if ci is specified (the provided pull secret needs an auth for this registry).

rhcos image associated to the specified version is downloaded and the corresponding line is added in the parameter file unless an image is specified as parameter.

Ignition files needed for the install are generated using openshift-install create ignition-configs

Also note that for bootstrap, ctlplanes and workers nodes, we merge the ignition data generated by the OpenShift installer with the ones generated by kcli, in particular we prepend dns server on those nodes to point to our keepalived vip, force hostnames and inject static pods.

Deployment of bootstrap and ctlplanes vms is then launched. Isos are optionally created for baremetal hosts

Keepalived and Coredns with mdns are deployed on the bootstrap and ctlplane nodes as static pods. They provide HA access and dns records as needed.

Initially, the api vip runs on the bootstrap node.

Ignition files are provided over 22624/http using api ip instead of fqdn. The ignition files for both ctlplane and worker are patched for it.

Haproxy is created as static pod on the ctlplane nodes to load balance traffic to the routers. When there are no workers, routers are instead scheduled on the ctlplane nodes and the haproxy static pod isn’t created, so routers are simply accessed through the vip without load balancing.

Once bootstrap phase finished, the vips transition to one of the ctlplanes.

At this point, workers are created and the installation is monitored until completion. A flag allows to deploy in an async manner

On cloud platforms, We rely on dns and load balancing services and as such dont need static pods.

In the case of deploying a single ctlplane, the flag sno_cloud_remove_lb allows to get rid of the loadbalancer at the end of the install.

Running kcli on Kubernetes/OpenShift#

You can run the container on those platforms and either use the web interface or log in the pod to run kcli commandline

On OpenShift, you’ll need to run first those extra commands:

oc new-project kcli
oc adm policy add-scc-to-user anyuid system:serviceaccount:kcli:default
oc expose svc kcli


kubectl create configmap kcli-config --from-file=~/.kcli
kubectl create configmap ssh-config --from-file=~/.ssh
kubectl create -f

Configuration pools#

Configuration pools allow to store a list of ips, names or baremetal_hosts and make them available to a vm or a cluster upon deployment.

This provides the following features:

  • Provide static ip to vms from a self maintained list of ips

  • Provide vip to clusters in the same manner

  • Provide a list of baremetal_hosts to clusters.

  • Provide names to vms or clusters from a specific list

Upon creation, the corresponding entry gets reserved to the vm or the cluster and released upon deletion.

Handling confpools#

You can use kcli create confpool commands to create a configuration pool and then use list, update or delete calls.

Under the hood, all the pools are stored in ~/.kcli/confpools.yml so this file can also be edited manually.

confpool typically contain ips, baremetal information or both.

Here’s a sample content of this file

  vm_reservations: {}
  bmc_user: root
  bmc_password: calvin

confpool with ips information#

To create a confpool with 3 ips, use the following

kcli create confpool myconfpool -P ips=[,, -P netmask=24 -P gateway=

For ips, note you can also provide a cidr such as

the pool can also store any value, some of which will be evaluated (in particular any of the network keywords such as netmask,gateway as shown in the example)

confpool with baremetal_hosts information#

To create a confpool with 2 baremetal hosts, use the following

kcli create myconfpool -P baremetal_hosts=[,] -P bmc_user=admin -P bmc_password=admin0

Note that in this case, we also provide bmc credentials, all the hosts in your pool should share the same credentials.

confpool with names information#

To create a confpool with some DBZ names, use the following

kcli create dbzpool -P names=[gohan,goku,vegeta,picolo,raditz,tenchinhan]

Using the confpool#

In vms#

For vms, the confpool is typically specified in a nets section to consume ips. For instance

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P nets=['{"name": "default", "confpool": "myconfpool"}']

You can also create a vm with a name from the previously created dbz name confpool with the following call

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P confpool=dbzpool

In clusters#

When creating the cluster, specify through a parameter which pool to use (-P confpool=mypool)

kcli create cluster generic -P confpool=mypool

Using several confpools at once#

If you need to use several pools when creating a vm/cluster, you can be more specific by using the following aliases:

  • ippool

  • namepool

  • baremetalpool

For instance, you could do something like

kcli create vm -i centos9stream -P ippool=ippool -P namepool=dbzpool

## How to use the web version

Launch the following command and access your machine at port 8000:


The command supports a flag --readonly to make the web read only.

Calling web endpoints through REST#

you can check the swagger spec to call the different endpoints using your language of choice.


ksushy provides a REST interface to interact with vms using Redfish. This provides a functionality similar to sushy-emulator but extending it to more providers (typically Vsphere, Kubevirt and oVirt) and through more friendly urls.


ksushy is bundled within kcli but ssl support requires installing manually cherrypy and pyopenssl package

Deploy ksushy service#

ksushy can be launched manually for testing purposes but the following command creates a systemd unit instead, listening on port 9000. The call accepts different flags to:

  • listen on ipv6

  • enable ssl

  • specify an optional username and password for authentication

kcli create sushy-service

Interacting with vms through redfish#

Once the service is deployed, one can query an existing vm running locally using the following


For querying a vm running on a different provider, the url would change to specify the provider as defined in ~/.kcli/config.yml


Typical redfish operations like start, stop, info, listing nics of a vm are supported for all providers.

For plugging an iso, only virtualization providers can be used.

Restricting access#

When deploying the service, an username and password can be specified for securing access through basic authentication

Ansible support# is provided as a dynamic inventory for ansible.

The script uses sames conf as kcli (and as such defaults to local if no configuration file is found).

vms will be grouped by plan, or put in the kvirt group if they dont belong to any plan.

Try it with: --list
ansible all -i $KLIST -m ping

If you’re using kcli as a container, you will have to create a script such as the following to properly call the inventory.

podman run -it --security-opt label:disable -v ~/.kcli:/root/.kcli -v /var/run/libvirt:/var/run/libvirt --entrypoint=/usr/bin/ karmab/kcli $@

Additionally, there are ansible kcli modules in ansible-kcli-modules repository, with sample playbooks:

  • kvirt_vm allows you to create/delete vm (based on an existing profile or a template)

  • kvirt_plan allows you to create/delete a plan

  • kvirt_product allows you to create/delete a product (provided you have a product repository configured)

  • kvirt_info allows you to retrieve a dict of values similar to kcli info output. You can select which fields to gather

Those modules rely on python3 so you will need to pass -e 'ansible_python_interpreter=path_to_python3' to your ansible-playbook invocations ( or set it in your inventory) if your default ansible installation is based on python2.

Both kvirt_vm, kvirt_plan and kvirt_product support overriding parameters:

- name: Deploy fission with additional parameters
    name: fission
    product: fission
     fission_type: all

Finally, you can use the key ansible within a profile:

 - playbook: frout.yml
   verbose: true
    - x: 8
    - z: 12

In a plan file, you can also define additional sections with the ansible type and point to your playbook, optionally enabling verbose and using the key hosts to specify a list of vms to run the given playbook instead.

You wont define variables in this case, as you can leverage host_vars and groups_vars directory for this purpose.

 type: ansible
 verbose: false
 playbook: prout.yml

When leveraging ansible this way, an inventory file will be generated on the fly for you and let in /tmp/$PLAN.inv.

You can set the variable yamlinventory to True at default, host or profile level if you want the generated file to be yaml based. In this case, it will be named /tmp/$PLAN.inv.yaml.


There is a controller leveraging kcli and using vm, plan and clusters crds to create vms the corresponding objects, regardless of the infrastructure.


  • a running Kubernetes/OpenShift cluster and KUBECONFIG env variable pointing to it (or simply .kube/config)

  • some infrastructure supported by kcli running somewhere and the corresponding credentials.

  • storage to hold two pvcs (one from plan files data and the other for clusters data)


If you’re running kcli locally, use the following to create the proper configmaps to share your credentials and ssh keys:

kcli sync kube

To do the same manually, run instead:

kubectl create configmap kcli-config --from-file=$HOME/.kcli
kubectl create configmap ssh-config --from-file=$HOME/.ssh

Then deploy the controller (along with its CRDS):

kubectl create -f

If you want to use a pvc named kcli-clusters for storing cluster data, add it:

kubectl -n kcli-infra patch deploy kcli-controller --type json -p='[{"op": "add", "path": "/spec/template/spec/containers/0/volumeMounts/-", "value": {"mountPath": "/root/.kcli/clusters", "name": "kcli-clusters"}}, {"op": "add", "path": "/spec/template/spec/volumes/-", "value": {"persistentVolumeClaim": {"claimName" : "kcli-clusters"}, "name": "kcli-clusters"}}]'

How to use#

The directory extras/controller/examples contains different examples of vm, plan and cluster CRs.

Here are some sample ones for each type to get you started


apiVersion: kcli.karmalabs.local/v1
kind: Vm
  name: cirros
  image: cirros
  memory: 512
  numcpus: 2

Note that when a vm is created, the controller waits before it gets an ip and populate it status with its complete information, which is then formatted when running kubectl get vms


apiVersion: kcli.karmalabs.local/v1
kind: Plan
  name: simpleplan2
  plan: |
      memory: 512
      numcpus: 2
       - default
      image: cirros
      memory: 1024
      numcpus: 4
       - default
       - 20
      pool: default
      image: cirros
       - echo this stuff works > /tmp/result.txt

To run plans which contain scripts or files, you ll need to copy those assets in the /workdir of the kcli pod

KCLIPOD=$(kubectl get pod -o name -n kcli | sed 's@pod/@@')
kubectl cp samplecrd/frout.txt $KCLIPOD:/workdir


apiVersion: kcli.karmalabs.local/v1
kind: Cluster
  name: hendrix
  ctlplanes: 1

Once a cluster is deployed successfully, you can retrieve its kubeconfig from it status

kubectl get cluster $CLUSTER -o jsonpath='{.status.create_cluster.kubeconfig}' | base64 -d


You can enable autoscaling for a given cluster by setting autoscale to any value in its spec.

Scaling up#

When more than a given threshold of pods can’t be scheduled, one more worker will be added to the cluster and the autoscaling will pause until it appears as a new ready node.

This threshold is configured as an env variable AUTOSCALE_MAXIMUM provided during the deployment of the controller, which defaults to 20

Setting the threshold to any value higher than 9999 effectively disables the feature.

Scaling down#

If the number of running pods for a given worker node goes below a minimum value, the cluster will be scaled down by one worker.

The minimum is configured as an env variable AUTOSCALE_MINIMUM provided during the deployment of the controller, which defaults to 2

Setting the minimum to any value below 1 effectively disables the feature.

Using products#

To easily share plans, you can make use of the products feature which leverages them:


First, add a repo containing a KMETA file with yaml info about products you want to expose. For instance, mine

kcli create repo -u karmab

You can also update later a given repo, to refresh its KMETA file ( or all the repos, if not specifying any)

kcli update repo REPO_NAME

You can delete a given repo with

kcli delete repo REPO_NAME


Once you have added some repos, you can list available products, and get their description

kcli list products

You can also get direct information on the product (memory and cpu used, number of vms deployed and all parameters that can be overriden)

kcli info product YOUR_PRODUCT

And deploy any product. Deletion is handled by deleting the corresponding plan.

kcli create product YOUR_PRODUCT

Using Jenkins#


  • Jenkins running somewhere, either:

    • standalone

    • on K8s/Openshift

  • Docker running if using this backend

  • Podman installed if using this backend


First, create the following credentials in Jenkins as secret files:

  • kcli-config with the content of your ~/.kcli/config.yml

  • kcli-id-rsa with your ssh private key

  • kcli-id-rsa-pub with your ssh public key

You can use arbitrary names for those credentials, but you will then have to either edit Jenkinsfile later or specify credentials when running your build.

Kcli configuration#

Default backend is podman . If you want to use Docker or Kubernetes instead, add the corresponding snippet in ~/.kcli/config.yml.

For instance, for Kubernetes:

jenkinsmode: kubernetes

Create Jenkins file#

Now you can create a Jenkinsfile from your specific, or from default kcli_plan.yml

kcli create pipeline

You can see an example of the generated Jenkinsfile for both targets from the sample plan provided in this directory.

Parameters from the plan get converted in Jenkins parameters, along with extra parameters: - for needed credentials (kcli config file, public and private ssh key) - a wait boolean to indicated whether to wait for plan completion upon run. - a kcli_client parameter that can be used to override the target client where to launch plan at run time.

Your Jenkinsfile is ready for use!


You can create credentials as secrets and tag them so they get synced to Jenkins:

oc create secret generic kcli-config-yml --from-file=filename=config.yml
oc annotate secret/kcli-config-yml
oc label secret/kcli-config-yml

oc create secret generic kcli-id-rsa --from-file=filename=~/.ssh/id_rsa
oc annotate secret/kcli-id-rsa
oc label secret/kcli-id-rsa

oc create secret generic kcli-id-rsa-pub --from-file=filename=$HOME/.ssh/
oc annotate secret/kcli-id-rsa-pub
oc label secret/kcli-id-rsa-pub

You will also need to allow anyuid scc for kcli pod, which can be done with the following command (adjust to your project):

oc adm policy add-scc-to-user anyuid system:serviceaccount:$PROJECT:default

Api Usage#


You can also use kvirt library directly, without the client or to embed it into your own application.

Here’s a sample:

from kvirt.config import Kconfig
config = Kconfig()
k = config.k

You can then either use config for high level actions or the more low level k object.