I often use Eucalyptus private cloud platform for my research. And very often I need to start Linux VMs in Eucalyptus, and install a whole stack of software on them. This involves a lot of repetitive work, so in order to save time I prefer creating machine images (EMIs) from fully configured VMs. This post outlines the steps one should follow to create an EMI from a VM running in Eucalyptus (tested on Ubuntu Lucid and Precise VMs).
Step 1: SSH into the VM running in Eucalyptus, if you already haven't.
Step 2: Run euca-bundle-vol command to create an image file (snapshot) from the VM's root file system.
euca-bundle-vol -p root -d /mnt -s 10240
Here "-p" is the name you wish to give to the image file. "-s" is the size of the image in megabytes. In the above example, this is set to 10GB, which also happens to be the largest acceptable value for "-s" argument. "-d" is the directory in which the image file should be placed. Make sure this directory has enough free space to accommodate the image size specified in "-s".
This command may take several minutes to execute. For a 10GB image, it may take around 3 to 8 minutes. When completed, check the contents of the directory specified in argument "-d". You will see an XML manifest file and a number of image part files in there.
Step 3: Upload the image file to the Eucalyptus cloud using the euca-upload-bundle command.
euca-upload-bundle -b my-test-image -m /mnt/root.manifest.xml
Here "-b" is the name of the bucket (in Walrus key-value store) to which the image file should be uploaded. You don't have to create the bucket beforehand. This command will create the bucket if it doesn't already exist. "-m" should point to the XML manifest file generated in the previous step.
This command requires certain environment variables to be exported (primarily access keys and certificate paths). The easiest way to do that is to copy your eucarc file and the associated keys into the VM and source the eucarc file into the environment.
This command also may take several minutes to complete. At the end, it will output a string of the form "bucket-name/manifest-file-name".
Step 4: Register the newly uploaded image file with Eucalyptus.
The only parameter required here is the "bucket-name/manifest-file-name" string returned from the previous step. I've noticed that in some cases, running this command from the VM in Eucalyptus doesn't work (you will get an error saying 404 not found). In that case you can simply run the command from somewhere else -- somewhere outside the Eucalyptus cloud. If all goes well, the command will return with an EMI ID. At this point you can launch instances of your image using the euca-run-instances command.