OpenStack Operations Guide (2014)

Part II. Operations

Chapter 16. Upstream OpenStack

OpenStack is founded on a thriving community that is a source of help and welcomes your contributions. This chapter details some of the ways you can interact with the others involved.

Getting Help

There are several avenues available for seeking assistance. The quickest way is to help the community help you. Search the Q&A sites, mailing list archives, and bug lists for issues similar to yours. If you can’t find anything, follow the directions for reporting bugs or use one of the channels for support, which are listed below.

Your first port of call should be the official OpenStack documentation, found on You can get questions answered on

Mailing lists are also a great place to get help. The wiki page has more information about the various lists. As an operator, the main lists you should be aware of are:

General list The scope of this list is the current state of OpenStack. This is a very high-traffic mailing list, with many, many emails per day.

Operators list This list is intended for discussion among existing OpenStack cloud operators, such as yourself. Currently, this list is relatively low traffic, on the order of one email a day.

Development list The scope of this list is the future state of OpenStack. This is a high-traffic mailing list, with multiple emails per day.

We recommend that you subscribe to the general list and the operator list, although you must set up filters to manage the volume for the general list. You’ll also find links to the mailing list archives on the mailing list wiki page, where you can search through the discussions.

Multiple IRC channels are available for general questions and developer discussions. The general discussion channel is #openstack on

Reporting Bugs

As an operator, you are in a very good position to report unexpected behavior with your cloud. Since OpenStack is flexible, you may be the only individual to report a particular issue. Every issue is important to fix, so it is essential to learn how to easily submit a bug report.

All OpenStack projects use Launchpad for bug tracking. You’ll need to create an account on Launchpad before you can submit a bug report.

Once you have a Launchpad account, reporting a bug is as simple as identifying the project or projects that are causing the issue. Sometimes this is more difficult than expected, but those working on the bug triage are happy to help relocate issues if they are not in the right place initially:

§  Report a bug in nova.

§  Report a bug in python-novaclient.

§  Report a bug in swift.

§  Report a bug in python-swiftclient.

§  Report a bug in glance.

§  Report a bug in python-glanceclient.

§  Report a bug in keystone.

§  Report a bug in python-keystoneclient.

§  Report a bug in neutron.

§  Report a bug in python-neutronclient.

§  Report a bug in cinder.

§  Report a bug in python-cinderclient.

§  Report a bug in horizon.

§  Report a bug with the documentation.

§  Report a bug with the API documentation.

To write a good bug report, the following process is essential. First, search for the bug to make sure there is no bug already filed for the same issue. If you find one, be sure to click on “This bug affects X people. Does this bug affect you?” If you can’t find the issue, then enter the details of your report. It should at least include:

§  The release, or milestone, or commit ID corresponding to the software that you are running

§  The operating system and version where you’ve identified the bug

§  Steps to reproduce the bug, including what went wrong

§  Description of the expected results instead of what you saw

§  Portions of your log files so that you include only relevant excerpts

When you do this, the bug is created with:

§  Status: New

In the bug comments, you can contribute instructions on how to fix a given bug, and set it to Triaged. Or you can directly fix it: assign the bug to yourself, set it to In progress, branch the code, implement the fix, and propose your change for merging. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; there are bug triaging tasks as well.

Confirming and Prioritizing

This stage is about checking that a bug is real and assessing its impact. Some of these steps require bug supervisor rights (usually limited to core teams). If the bug lacks information to properly reproduce or assess the importance of the bug, the bug is set to:

§  Status: Incomplete

Once you have reproduced the issue (or are 100 percent confident that this is indeed a valid bug) and have permissions to do so, set:

§  Status: Confirmed

Core developers also prioritize the bug, based on its impact:

§  Importance: <Bug impact>

The bug impacts are categorized as follows:

1.    Critical if the bug prevents a key feature from working properly (regression) for all users (or without a simple workaround) or results in data loss

2.    High if the bug prevents a key feature from working properly for some users (or with a workaround)

3.    Medium if the bug prevents a secondary feature from working properly

4.    Low if the bug is mostly cosmetic

5.    Wishlist if the bug is not really a bug but rather a welcome change in behavior

If the bug contains the solution, or a patch, set the bug status to Triaged.

Bug Fixing

At this stage, a developer works on a fix. During that time, to avoid duplicating the work, the developer should set:

§  Status: In Progress

§  Assignee: <yourself>

When the fix is ready, the developer proposes a change and gets the change reviewed.

After the Change Is Accepted

After the change is reviewed, accepted, and lands in master, it automatically moves to:

§  Status: Fix Committed

When the fix makes it into a milestone or release branch, it automatically moves to:

§  Milestone: Milestone the bug was fixed in

§  Status: Fix Released

Join the OpenStack Community

Since you’ve made it this far in the book, you should consider becoming an official individual member of the community and join the OpenStack Foundation. The OpenStack Foundation is an independent body providing shared resources to help achieve the OpenStack mission by protecting, empowering, and promoting OpenStack software and the community around it, including users, developers, and the entire ecosystem. We all share the responsibility to make this community the best it can possibly be, and signing up to be a member is the first step to participating. Like the software, individual membership within the OpenStack Foundation is free and accessible to anyone.

How to Contribute to the Documentation

OpenStack documentation efforts encompass operator and administrator docs, API docs, and user docs.

The genesis of this book was an in-person event, but now that the book is in your hands, we want you to contribute to it. OpenStack documentation follows the coding principles of iterative work, with bug logging, investigating, and fixing.

Just like the code, is updated constantly using the Gerrit review system, with source stored in GitHub in the openstack-manuals repository and the api-site repository, in DocBook format.

To review the documentation before it’s published, go to the OpenStack Gerrit server at and search for project:openstack/openstack-manuals or project:openstack/api-site.

See the How To Contribute page on the wiki for more information on the steps you need to take to submit your first documentation review or change.

Security Information

As a community, we take security very seriously and follow a specific process for reporting potential issues. We vigilantly pursue fixes and regularly eliminate exposures. You can report security issues you discover through this specific process. The OpenStack Vulnerability Management Team is a very small group of experts in vulnerability management drawn from the OpenStack community. The team’s job is facilitating the reporting of vulnerabilities, coordinating security fixes and handling progressive disclosure of the vulnerability information. Specifically, the team is responsible for the following functions:

Vulnerability management

All vulnerabilities discovered by community members (or users) can be reported to the team.

Vulnerability tracking

The team will curate a set of vulnerability related issues in the issue tracker. Some of these issues are private to the team and the affected product leads, but once remediation is in place, all vulnerabilities are public.

Responsible disclosure

As part of our commitment to work with the security community, the team ensures that proper credit is given to security researchers who responsibly report issues in OpenStack.

We provide two ways to report issues to the OpenStack Vulnerability Management Team, depending on how sensitive the issue is:

§  Open a bug in Launchpad and mark it as a “security bug.” This makes the bug private and accessible to only the Vulnerability Management Team.

§  If the issue is extremely sensitive, send an encrypted email to one of the team’s members. Find their GPG keys at OpenStack Security.

You can find the full list of security-oriented teams you can join at Security Teams. The vulnerability management process is fully documented at Vulnerability Management.

Finding Additional Information

In addition to this book, there are many other sources of information about OpenStack. The OpenStack website is a good starting point, with OpenStack Docs and OpenStack API Docs providing technical documentation about OpenStack. The OpenStack wiki contains a lot of general information that cuts across the OpenStack projects, including a list of recommended tools. Finally, there are a number of blogs aggregated at Planet OpenStack.