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Getting Started

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Getting Started with OpenStack

If you are new to OpenStack, you will undoubtedly have questions about installation, deployment, and usage. It can seem really overwhelming! But don't fear, there are actually places to get information to guide you and to help resolve any issues you may run into during the on-ramp process.

Be careful though. A LOT of content is being brought online because this is a new project with a very active community. So please be aware of the creation time or last update for all information. If you are reading a document that is a few months old, and you feel that it isn't entirely accurate, then please let us know through the mailing list so it can be updated or removed.

If you want to contribute in some way, look at How to Contribute to get started.


The OpenStack Software Overview

OpenStack is all about software-defined everything, which makes the official OpenStack Software pages of the main site an excellent starting place. There you can get familiar with the broad components of OpenStack from varying common perspectives without getting bogged down by the the glorious nuts-and-bolts detail of the longer-form docs and guides.

Once you've familiarised yourself with the major components, depending on your personality and role in relation to OpenStack, you'll probably want to do one of two things: 1) see things in action and get your hands dirty, or 2) read more detail about various aspects of architecture, deployment, administration, etc. Your next stop should be the OpenStack Software - Getting Started page, it contains pointers to various community and ecosystem resources that will get you flying along on your journey to using OpenStack.

The OpenStack Wiki search

Considering that you are already in the wiki, this may seem obvious. However, there are many layers of wiki content for OpenStack below the surface that an enterprising individual can locate.

The wiki search feature is very powerful in that it can do both searches by title and by content. If you are searching for specific information, say about "networking" or "api" for nova, you can find lots of content using the search feature. More is being added all the time, so be sure to check back often.

You can find the search box in the upper right hand corner of any OpenStack wiki page.

Ask OpenStack

During setup or testing, you may have questions about how to do something, or end up in a situation where you can't seem to get a feature to work correctly. One place to look for help is Ask OpenStack.

When visiting the Ask site, it is usually good to at least scan over recently asked questions and the FAQ to see if your question has already been answered. If that is not the case, then proceed to adding a new question. Some tips:

  • Give a clear, concise summary
  • Provide as much detail as possible in the description. Paste in your command output or stack traces, link to screenshots, etc.

The Launchpad Bugs area

So you think you've found a bug. That's great! Seriously, it is. The OpenStack community values your setup and testing efforts and wants your feedback. To log a bug you must have a Launchpad account, so sign up at https://launchpad.net/+login if you do not already have a Launchpad ID.

You can view existing bugs and report your bug in the Launchpad Bugs area. It is suggested that you first use the search facility to see if the bug you found has already been reported (or even better, already fixed). If it still seems like your bug is new or unreported then it is time to fill out a bug report.

Some tips:

  • Give a clear, consise summary!
  • Provide as much detail as possible in the description. Paste in your command output or stack traces, link to screenshots, etc.
  • Be sure to include what version of the software you are using. This is especially critical if you are using a development branch eg. "Austin release" vs lp:nova rev.396.
  • Any deployment specific info is helpful as well. eg. Ubuntu 10.04, multi-node install.

The Launchpad Bugs areas are available here:

OpenStack IRC channels

The OpenStack community lives and breathes in the #openstack IRC channel on the OFTC network. You can come by to hang out, ask questions, or get immediate feedback for urgent and pressing issues. To get into the IRC channel you need to install an IRC client or use a browser-based client by going to https://webchat.oftc.net/ .

When you are in the IRC channel and want to share code or command output, the generally accepted method is to use a Paste Bin, the OpenStack project
has one at http://paste.openstack.org.  Just paste your longer amounts of text or logs in the web form and you get a URL you can then paste into
the channel.

We use other IRC channels in addition to the default #openstack channel. You can find the full list here!

OpenStack mailing lists

A great way to keep track of what is going on with OpenStack or to ask questions and communicate with other users is to join the available mailing lists.

You can sign up for the various OpenStack mailing lists here: http://wiki.openstack.org/MailingLists