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Revision as of 12:57, 24 September 2012 by ThierryCarrez (talk)

OpenStack Dashboard ("Horizon")

The OpenStack Dashboard (Horizon) provides a baseline user interface for managing OpenStack services. It is a reference implementation built using the django-openstack project which contains all of the core functionality needed to develop a site-specific implementation. This page provides step-by-step instructions for installing and running Dashboard.


  • python 2.6 or 2.7 (not tested with python 3.0)
  • git
  • a Keystone (identity and authentication service) endpoint
  • a Compute (Nova) endpoint


  • an Image Store (Glance) endpoint
  • an Object Store (Swift) endpoint
  • a Quantum (networking) endpoint

Horizon is tested on Ubuntu 10.10 server, however, it should run on any system with Python 2.6 or 2.7 that is capable of running Django including Mac OS X (installing prerequisites may differ depending on platform).

Installation Overview

Installing Horizon involves four basic steps:

  1. get the source from Github
  2. configure
  3. install
  4. run

These instructions are for a development openstack-dashboard deployment. For production deployments consider using Apache (more instructions on the Django website.

Note: When starting completely from scratch (i.e. no configured and running OpenStack installation with Nova, Glance, Keystone, etc.) the DevStack project is a good way to get started.

Get The Source

Execute the following in a terminal on the host you would like to install Horizon on:

$ git clone  https://github.com/openstack/horizon

You should now have a directory called openstack-dashboard, which contains the Horizon application.

Configure Horizon

With the reference implementation built, it is now time to configure our Horizon application. The first step in configuring the application is to create your local_settings.py file:

$ cd horizon/openstack-dashboard
$ cp local/local_settings.py.example local/local_settings.py

The local_settings.py file contains a default starting point for running Horizon. There are three key sections of the local_settings.py file that need to be edited for most deployments.

Keystone Configuration

Horizon requires a Keystone endpoint for identity and authentication. The settings in local_settings.py pertaining to Keystone are:

  1. OPENSTACK_ADMIN_TOKEN (a pre-configured Keystone admin token)
  2. OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_URL (the Keystone endpoint URL)

General instructions for Installing the latest Keystone can be found on Github. For a good all-in-one Nova/Glance/Keystone installation there is the devstack project.

The admin token can be generated by executing something like the following using the keystone-manage command on the Keystone host:

keystone-manage token add 999888777666 admin admin 2015-02-05T00:00

To use this token you would add the following to local_settings.py:

OPENSTACK_ADMIN_TOKEN = "999888777666"

The Keystone endpoint setting takes the following form:

OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_URL = "http://mykeystoneurl:5000/v2.0/"

Swift Configuration (optional)

If a Swift endpoint is available and configured in the Keystone service catalog turning on the Swift UI is as simple as adding the following to local_settings.py:


Quantum Configuration (optional)

Quantum currently requires the following settings:


Install Horizon

Install Virtual Environment

After Horizon has been configured install the Horizon virtual environment using the terminal commands below:

Note: the instructions below are for Ubuntu, however, setuptools can be installed on a wide variety of platforms: http://pypi.python.org/pypi/setuptools

$ apt-get install -y python-setuptools python-dev
$ sudo easy_install virtualenv
$ python tools/install_venv.py

Installing the virtual environment will take some time depending on download speeds.

Initialize Database Schema

Horizon session data is stored in the database specified in local_settings.py (SQLite by default). After the virtual environment has been installed run the following command to update the database schema to store session information:

$ tools/with_venv.sh dashboard/manage.py syncdb

Run Horizon

Horizon is launched using the standard Django manage.py script from the context of the virtual environment:

$ tools/with_venv.sh dashboard/manage.py runserver

At this point the Horizon should be available at http://dashboardhost:8000/.

DevStack Optional All-In-One Developer Install

The DevStack project is an all-in-one shell script that creates a functional development environment for OpenStack. The DevStack script will install all of the services necessary to provide a functioning development environment, including Horizon, which drastically simplifies the installation and configuration of core components like Nova, Glance, Keystone, etc. This is the best option when starting from a blank slate (i.e. no currently configured and running end-points for Nova, Glance, Keystone, etc.).

Optional Step: Configure VNC

Note: Tested only with KVM but should work with other hypervisors.

In the same /src directory as your Horizon is housed, get a copy of noVNC.

cd ~/src
git clone https://github.com/openstack/noVNC.git

Next, run the vncproxy by creating a new screen window with <ctrl>-a <ctrl>-c.

You should run vncproxy with a pointer to the flag file as well:

bin/nova-vncproxy --vncproxy_wwwroot ~/src/noVNC --flagfile=/path/to/flagfile

To your nova.conf, you also need to add the flag: --vncproxy_url=http://<ip of vnc proxy>:6080

Now your VNC button should launch a VNC window so that you can access the instance.

Video Demos

Note: These videos are out-of-date and do not reflect the latest Horizon implementation.

To view a quick video tour of Horizon in action, please see this blog post.

You can also view a more recent demo at http://vimeo.com/20787736.