Kubernetes and Vmware Workstation

Kubernetes was designed for the deployment of applications to cloud architecture with containers. Another way of thinking about Kubernetes; it gets us “out-of-the-install-binaries” business and focuses our efforts on the business value of a solution. We have documented our process of how we train our resources and partners. This process will help your team to excel and gain confidence with cloud technologies.

One of the business challenges of Kubernetes in the cloud architecture is the ongoing cost ($300-$600/month per resource) during the learning or development process. To lower this ongoing cost per resource, we focused on a method to use on-prem Kubernetes deployments.


We have found examples online of using minikube and Oracle Virtualbox to assist with keeping costs low while using an on-prem deployment but did not find many examples of using Vmware Workstation to our satisfaction. Our goal was to utilize a solution that we are very familiar with and has the supporting capabilities for rollback via snapshots.

We have used Vmware Workstation for many years while working on service projects. We cannot overstate its usefulness to offer a “play-ground” and development environment independent of a client’s environment. The features of snapshots allow for negative use-case testing or “what-if” scenarios to destroy or impact solutions being tested with minimal impact.

In this entry, we will discuss the use of Vmware Workstation and CentOS (or Ubuntu) as the primary Kubernetes Nodes. Both CentOS and/or Ubuntu OS are used by the cloud providers as their Kubernetes nodes, so this on-prem process will translate well.

Some of our team members run the Kubernetes environment from their laptop, a collection of individual servers, or a larger server that may scale to the number of vCPU/RAM required for the Kubernetes solution.

Decision 1: Choose an OS to be used.

Either CentOS or Ubuntu OS is acceptable to use for on-prem. When we checked the OSes used by the cloud providers, we noted they used one of these two (2) OS for Linux OS. We decided on CentOS 7, as iptables for routing are used within Kubernetes; and iptables are used by default in CentOS 7. You may find that other OSes will work fine as well.

Decision 2: Build a reference image

Identify all expected binaries to be used within this image. This reference image will be cloned for the Kubernetes control plane node (1) and the worker nodes (3-4). We will also use this image to build a supporting node (non-Kubernetes) for SiteMinder integration and a docker repository for the Kubernetes docker images. For a total of six (6) nodes.

Decision 3: DNS and Certificates

Recommendation: Please do not attempt to deploy a Kubernetes solution on-prem without having purchased a DNS domain/site and use wild card certificates tied to the DNS domain.

Without these two (2) supporting components, it is a challenge to have a working Kubernetes solution that reflects what you will experience in a cloud deployment.

For example, we purchased a domain for $12/year, and then created several “A” records that will host the IP addresses we may use to redirect to cloud or on-prem. Using sub-domains “A” records, we can have as many cloud addresses as we wish.

DNS "A" Records Example:    
aks.iam.anapartner.net (MS Azure),  
eks.iam.anapartner.net (Amazon),  
gke.iam.anapartner.net (Google).      

DNS "CNAME" Records Example:  
alertmanager.aks.iam.anapartner.net, 
grafana.aks.iam.anapartner.net, 
jaeger.aks.iam.anapartner.net,
kibana.aks.iam.anapartner.net, 
mgmt-ssp.aks.iam.anapartner.net, 
sm.aks.iam.anapartner.net, 
ssp.aks.iam.anapartner.net.       
Example of using Synology DNS Server for Kubernetes cluster’s application. With “A” and “CNAME” records.

Finally, we prefer to use wildcard certificates for these domains to avoid challenges within our Kubernetes deployment. There are several services out there offering free certificates.

We chose Let’sEncrypt https://letsencrypt.org/. While Let’sEncrypt has automated processes to renew their certs, we chose to use their DNS validation process with a CertBot solution. We can renew these certificates every 90 days for on-prem usage. The DNS validation process requires a unique string generated by the Let’sEncrypt process to be populated in a DNS “TXT” record like so: _acme-challenge.aks.iam.anapartner.net . See the example at the bottom of this blog entry on this process.

Decision 4: Supporting Components: Storage, Load-Balancing, DNS Resolution (Local)

The last step required for on-prem deployment is where will you decide to place persistence storage for your Kubernetes cluster. We chose to use an NFS share.

We first tested using the control-plane node, then decided to move the NFS share to a Synology NAS solution. Similar for the DNS resolution option, at first we used a DNS service on the control-plane node and then moved to to the Synology NAS solution.

For Load-Balancing, Kubernetes has a service option of NodePort and LoadBalancing. The LoadBalancing service if not deployed in the cloud, will default to NodePort behavior. To introduce load balancing for on-prem, we introduced the HA-proxy service on the control-plane node, along with Kubernetes NodePort service to meet this goal.

After the decisions have been made, we can now walk through the steps to set up a Vmware environment for Kubernetes.

Reference Image

Step 1: Download the OS DVD ISO image for deployment on Vmware Workstation (Centos 7 / Ubuntu ).

Determine specs for the future solution to be deployed on Kubernetes. Some solutions have pods that may require minimal memory/disc space. For the solution we decided on deploying, we confirmed that we need 16 GB RAM and 4vCPU minimal. We have confirmed these specs were required by previously deploying the solution in a cloud environment.

Without these memory/cpu specs, the solution that we chose would pause the deployment of Kubernetes pods to the nodes. You may or may not see error messages in the deployment of pods stating that the nodes did not have enough resources for all or some of the pods.

For disc size, we selected 100 GB to future-proof the solution during testing. For networking, please select BRIDGED mode, to allow the Vmware images to have minimal network issues when routing within your local network. Please avoid double NAT’ing the deployment to reduce your headaches.

Step 2: Install useful base packages and disable any UI tools. Please install an Entropy Daemon to avoid delays due to certificates usage of /dev/random and low entropy.

### UI Update for CentOS7 was stopping yum deployment - not required for our solution to be tested (e.g. VIP Auth Hub)
# su to root to run the below commands.   We will add sudo access later.

su - 
systemctl disable packagekit; systemctl stop packagekit; systemctl status packagekit

### Installed base useful packages.

yum -y install dnf epel-release yum-utils nfs-utils 

### Install useful 2nd tools.

yum -y install openldap-clients jq python3-pip tree

pip3 install yq
yum -y upgrade


### Install Entropy process (epel repo)

dnf -y install haveged
systemctl enable haveged --now

Step 3: Install docker and update the docker configuration for use with Kubernetes. Update the path & storage-driver for the docker images for initial deployment.

Ref: https://docs.docker.com/storage/storagedriver/overlayfs-driver/

### Install Docker repo & docker package

yum-config-manager --add-repo  https://download.docker.com/linux/centos/docker-ce.repo
dnf -y install docker-ce
docker version
systemctl enable docker --now
docker version

### Update docker image info after deployment and restart service

cat << EOF > /etc/docker/daemon.json
{
"debug": false,
"data-root": "/home/docker-images",
"exec-opts": ["native.cgroupdriver=systemd"],
"log-driver": "json-file",
"log-opts": {
"max-size": "100m"
},
"storage-driver": "overlay2"
}
EOF

### Restart docker to load updated image info.
systemctl restart docker; systemctl status docker; docker version

Step 4: Deploy the three (3) primary Kubernetes & the HELM binaries.

Ensure you select a Kubernetes version that matches what solution you wish to deploy and work with. This can be a gotcha if the Kubernetes binaries update during a dnf / yum upgrade process and your solution has not been vetted for the newer release of Kubernetes. See the reference link below on how to upgrade Kubernetes binaries.

Ref: https://kubernetes.io/docs/tasks/administer-cluster/kubeadm/kubeadm-upgrade/

### Add k8s repo

cat << EOF > /etc/yum.repos.d/kubernetes.repo
[kubernetes]
name=Kubernetes
baseurl=https://packages.cloud.google.com/yum/repos/kubernetes-el7-x86_64
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
repo_gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=https://packages.cloud.google.com/yum/doc/yum-key.gpg https://packages.cloud.google.com/yum/doc/rpm-package-key.gpg
exclude=kubelet kubeadm kubectl
EOF

### When upgrading the OS, be sure to use the correct version of kubernetes (remove and add) - Example to force version 1.20.11 ###

dnf upgrade -y
dnf remove -y kubelet kubeadm kubectl
dnf install -y kubelet-1.20.11-0.x86_64 kubeadm-1.20.11-0.x86_64 kubectl-1.20.11-0.x86_64 --disableexcludes=kubernetes


### Start the k8s process.

systemctl enable kubelet --now;  systemctl status kubelet
systemctl daemon-reload && systemctl enable kubelet --now
yum-config-manager --save --setopt=kubernetes.skip_if_unavailable=true

### Add HELM binary 

curl -fsSL -o get_helm.sh https://raw.githubusercontent.com/helm/helm/master/scripts/get-helm-3
chmod 700 get_helm.sh
./get_helm.sh

Step 5: OS configurations required or useful for Kubernetes. Kubernetes kubelet binary requires SWAP to be disabled.

Ref: https://kubernetes.io/docs/setup/production-environment/tools/kubeadm/install-kubeadm/

### Stop FirewallD - May add ports later for security

systemctl stop firewalld;systemctl disable firewalld; iptables -F

### Update OS Parameters for kubernetes

setenforce 0
sed -i --follow-symlinks 's/SELINUX=enforcing/SELINUX=disabled/g' /etc/sysconfig/selinux
modprobe br_netfilter

cat << EOF > /etc/sysctl.d/k8s.conf
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-ip6tables = 1
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-iptables = 1
EOF
sysctl --system

### Note:  IP forwarding is enabled by default.

sysctl -a | grep -i forward

### Note: Update /etc/fstab to comment out swap line with # character
### Warning:  kubectl init will fail if swap is left on cp or any worker node.

swapoff -a
sed -i 's|UUID\=\(.*\)-\(.*\)-\(.*\)-\(.*\)-\(.*\) swap|#UUID\=\1-\2-\3-\4-\5 swap|g' /etc/fstab
cat /etc/fstab

Step 6: Create SSH key for root or other services IDs to allow remote script updates from CP to Worker Nodes

### Create SSH key for root to allow remote script updates from CP to Worker Nodes - Enter a Blank/Null PASSWORD.

su - 
rm -rf ~/.ssh; echo y | ssh-keygen -b 4096  -C $USER -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa

### Copy the public rsa key to authorized keys to avoid password between cp/worker nodes for remote ssh commands.

cp -r -p ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub ~/.ssh/authorized_keys;chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys;ls -lart .ssh

### Test for remote connection with no password:   
  
ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa  root@localhost    

### Copy the id_rsa key to your host system for ease of testing.

### Add your local non-root user to sudo wheel group.  Change vip to your user ID.

LOCALUSER=vip
gpasswd -a $LOCALUSER wheel

### Update sudoers file to allow wheel group with no-password

sed -i 's|# %wheel|%wheel|g' /etc/sudoers

###  View update wheel group.

grep "%wheel" /etc/sudoers

# Example of return query.
# %wheel  ALL=(ALL)       ALL
# %wheel  ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL

Step 7: Stop or adjust the OS network manager, shutdown the reference image, and create a Vmware Snapshot

### Adjust or Disable the OS NetworkManager (to avoid overwriting /etc/resolv.conf)
### Important when using an internal DNS server.

systemctl disable NetworkManager;systemctl stop NetworkManager

### reboot CentOS7 Image and validate no issues upon reboot.
reboot

### Shutdown image and manually create snapshot called  "base"

Vmware Workstation Cloning

Step 8: Now that we have a reference image, we can now make clone images for the control-plane (1), the worker nodes (4), and the supporting node (1). This is a fairly quick process.

export BASE=/home/me/vmware/kub
export REF=/home/me/vmware/kub/CentOS7/CentOS7.vmx

VM=cp;mkdir       -p $BASE/$VM; time vmrun -T ws clone $REF $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx -cloneName=$VM -snapshot=base full
VM=worker01;mkdir -p $BASE/$VM; time vmrun -T ws clone $REF $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx -cloneName=$VM -snapshot=base full
VM=worker02;mkdir -p $BASE/$VM; time vmrun -T ws clone $REF $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx -cloneName=$VM -snapshot=base full
VM=worker03;mkdir -p $BASE/$VM; time vmrun -T ws clone $REF $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx -cloneName=$VM -snapshot=base full
VM=worker04;mkdir -p $BASE/$VM; time vmrun -T ws clone $REF $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx -cloneName=$VM -snapshot=base full
VM=sm;mkdir -p $BASE/$VM; time vmrun -T ws clone $REF $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx -cloneName=$VM -snapshot=base full

Step 9: Start the clone images and remotely assign new hostname/IP addresses to the images

# Start cloned images for CP and Worker Nodes - Update any files as needed. 
 
export DOMAIN=aks.iam.anapartner.net
export PASSWORD_VM=Password01

### Start the cloned images for CP and Worker Nodes.

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws start $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx nogui
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws start $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx nogui
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws start $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx nogui
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws start $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx nogui
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws start $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx nogui
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws start $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx nogui
vmrun -T ws list | sort -rn


### Update Hostnames for CP and Worker Nodes with Domain.

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash "hostnamectl set-hostname $VM.$DOMAIN" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash "hostnamectl set-hostname $VM.$DOMAIN" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash "hostnamectl set-hostname $VM.$DOMAIN" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash "hostnamectl set-hostname $VM.$DOMAIN" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash "hostnamectl set-hostname $VM.$DOMAIN" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash "hostnamectl set-hostname $VM.$DOMAIN" -noWait


### Update IP Address and Domain for NIC (ifcfg-ens33)

export CP=192.168.2.60
export WK1=192.168.2.61
export WK2=192.168.2.62
export WK3=192.168.2.63
export WK4=192.168.2.64
export SM=192.168.2.65

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"\nIPADDR=$CP\nDOMAIN=$DOMAIN|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"\nIPADDR=$WK1\nDOMAIN=$DOMAIN|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"\nIPADDR=$WK2\nDOMAIN=$DOMAIN|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"\nIPADDR=$WK3\nDOMAIN=$DOMAIN|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"\nIPADDR=$WK4\nDOMAIN=$DOMAIN|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"|TYPE=\"Ethernet\"\nIPADDR=$SM\nDOMAIN=$DOMAIN|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait

Step 10: Enable the network gateway, disable DHCP, and reboot the images

export DOMAIN=aks.iam.anapartner.net
export PASSWORD_VM=Password01

### Update to create a new default GATEWAY HOST to address routing issues to external IP addresses.
GATEWAY=192.168.2.1

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|# Created by anaconda|# Created by anaconda\nGATEWAY=$GATEWAY|g' /etc/sysconfig/network" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|# Created by anaconda|# Created by anaconda\nGATEWAY=$GATEWAY|g' /etc/sysconfig/network" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|# Created by anaconda|# Created by anaconda\nGATEWAY=$GATEWAY|g' /etc/sysconfig/network" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|# Created by anaconda|# Created by anaconda\nGATEWAY=$GATEWAY|g' /etc/sysconfig/network" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|# Created by anaconda|# Created by anaconda\nGATEWAY=$GATEWAY|g' /etc/sysconfig/network" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|# Created by anaconda|# Created by anaconda\nGATEWAY=$GATEWAY|g' /etc/sysconfig/network" -noWait

### Disable DHCP (to avoid overwriting /etc/resolv.conf)

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|BOOTPROTO=\"dhcp\"|BOOTPROTO=\"none\"|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|BOOTPROTO=\"dhcp\"|BOOTPROTO=\"none\"|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|BOOTPROTO=\"dhcp\"|BOOTPROTO=\"none\"|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|BOOTPROTO=\"dhcp\"|BOOTPROTO=\"none\"|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|BOOTPROTO=\"dhcp\"|BOOTPROTO=\"none\"|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "sed -i 's|BOOTPROTO=\"dhcp\"|BOOTPROTO=\"none\"|g'   /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ens33" -noWait

 
### Reboot VIP Auth Hub CP and Nodes 

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait

Step 11: Update DNS on the clone images remotely using vmrun

### Update /etc/resolv.conf for correct DNS server.
### Ensure DHCP and Network Manager are disable to prevent these services from overwrite behavior.

export DOMAIN=aks.iam.anapartner.net
export PASSWORD_VM=Password01
DNSNEW=192.168.2.20

VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "echo 'nameserver $DNSNEW' >>  /etc/resolv.conf" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "echo 'nameserver $DNSNEW' >>  /etc/resolv.conf" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "echo 'nameserver $DNSNEW' >>  /etc/resolv.conf" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "echo 'nameserver $DNSNEW' >>  /etc/resolv.conf" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "echo 'nameserver $DNSNEW' >>  /etc/resolv.conf" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "echo 'nameserver $DNSNEW' >>  /etc/resolv.conf" -noWait
 
 
### Reboot VIP Auth Hub CP and Nodes
 
VM=cp;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker01;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker02;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker03;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=worker04;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait
VM=sm;vmrun -T ws -gu root -gp $PASSWORD_VM runScriptInGuest $BASE/$VM/$VM.vmx  /bin/bash  "reboot" -noWait

Step 12: Copy the root .ssh public cert to your main host, rename it to a useful name and these test your newly deployed clone images for DSN resolution using ssh. Please confirm this step is successful prior to continuing with the configuration of the control plane and worker nodes.

### Copy the root id_rsa file to host system to allow ease of testing with ssh.

export CP=192.168.2.60
export WK1=192.168.2.61
export WK2=192.168.2.62
export WK3=192.168.2.63
export WK4=192.168.2.64
export SM=192.168.2.65

### Add the hosts for ssh pre-validation. 

ssh-keyscan -p 22 $CP >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts
ssh-keyscan -p 22 $WK1 >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts
ssh-keyscan -p 22 $WK2 >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts
ssh-keyscan -p 22 $WK3 >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts
ssh-keyscan -p 22 $WK4 >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts
ssh-keyscan -p 22 $SM >> ~/.ssh/known_hosts


### Rename from id_rsa to vip_kub_root_id_rsa

ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$CP 'cat /etc/resolv.conf'
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK1 'cat /etc/resolv.conf'
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK2 'cat /etc/resolv.conf'
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK3 'cat /etc/resolv.conf'
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK4 'cat /etc/resolv.conf'
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$SM 'cat /etc/resolv.conf'


### Validate Access with ssh to CP and Worker Nodes new IP addresses.

FQDN=ssp.aks.iam.anapartner.net
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$CP  "ping -c 2 $FQDN"
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK1 "ping -c 2 $FQDN"
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK2 "ping -c 2 $FQDN"
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK3 "ping -c 2 $FQDN"
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$WK4 "ping -c 2 $FQDN"
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$SM "ping -c 2 $FQDN"

Update CP (controlplane) Node

Step 13a: Copy files to CP Node from Vmware Workstation host and configure the CP node for dedicated CP usage. Recommend using two terminals/sessions to speed up the process. Install HAproxy for Load Balancing, copy the Let’s Encrypt wild card certificates, and copy the Kubernetes solution you will be deploying (scripts/yaml).

### Open Terminal 1 to CP host.
### Add bash completion to have better use of TAB to view parameters.

CP=192.168.2.60
ssh -tt -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa root@$CP
dnf -y install bash-completion
echo 'export KUBECONFIG=/etc/kubernetes/admin.conf'  >>~/.bashrc
kubectl completion bash >/etc/bash_completion.d/kubectl
echo "alias k=kubectl | complete -F __start_kubectl k" >>~/.bashrc

### Install HAProxy and replace the haproxy.cfg file.
dnf -y install haproxy
systemctl enable haproxy --now
netstat -anp | grep -i -e haproxy

### Open Terminal 2 to host and push files to CP node.
### Copy HAProxy configuration, certs, and scripts
scp -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa  haproxy.cfg   root@$CP:/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg
scp -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa  cloud-certs-aks-eks-gke_exp-202X-01-12.tar  root@$CP:
scp -i ~/vip_kub_root_id_rsa  202X-11-03_vip_auth_hub_working_centos7_v2.tar   root@$CP:

### On Terminal 1 - on CP host - Restart to use new haproxy configuration file.
systemctl restart haproxy
netstat -anp | grep -i -e haproxy

### Extract CERTS to root home folder
tar -xvf cloud-certs-aks-eks-gke_exp-202X-01-12.tar

### Extract Working Scripts 
tar -xvf 202X-11-03_vip_auth_hub_working_centos7_v2.tar

### Update env variables for unique environment within step00 file.
vi step00_kubernetes_env.sh

### Add the env variables to the .bashrc file
echo ". ./step00_kubernetes_env.sh"

Step 13b: Example of /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg configuration for Kubernetes Load Balancing functionality for on-prem worker nodes. HAproxy deployed on control plane (CP) node. The example configuration file will route TCP 80/443/389 to one (1) of the four (4) worker nodes. If a Kubernetes NodePort service is enabled for TCP 389 (31888) ports, then this load balancer will function correctly and route the traffic for LDAP traffic as well.

[root@cp ~]# cat /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg
global
    user haproxy
    group haproxy
    chroot /var/lib/haproxy
    log /dev/log    local0
    log /dev/log    local1 notice
defaults
    mode http
    log global
    retries 2
    timeout http-request 10s
    timeout queue 1m
    timeout connect 10s
    timeout client 10m
    timeout server 10m
    timeout http-keep-alive 10s
    timeout check 10s
    maxconn 3000
frontend ingress
    bind *:80
    option tcplog
    mode http
    option forwardfor
    option http-server-close
    default_backend kubernetes-ingress-nodes
backend kubernetes-ingress-nodes
    mode http
    balance roundrobin
    server k8s-ingress-0 worker01.aks.iam.anapartner.net:80 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
    server k8s-ingress-1 worker02.aks.iam.anapartner.net:80 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
    server k8s-ingress-2 worker03.aks.iam.anapartner.net:80 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
    server k8s-ingress-2 worker04.aks.iam.anapartner.net:80 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
frontend ingress-https
    bind *:443
    option tcplog
    mode tcp
    option forwardfor
    option http-server-close
    default_backend kubernetes-ingress-nodes-https
backend kubernetes-ingress-nodes-https
    mode tcp
    balance roundrobin
    server k8s-ingress-0 worker01.aks.iam.anapartner.net:443 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
    server k8s-ingress-1 worker02.aks.iam.anapartner.net:443 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
    server k8s-ingress-2 worker03.aks.iam.anapartner.net:443 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
    server k8s-ingress-2 worker04.aks.iam.anapartner.net:443 check fall 3 rise 2 send-proxy-v2
frontend ldap
    bind *:389
    option tcplog
    mode tcp
    default_backend kubernetes-nodes-ldap
backend kubernetes-nodes-ldap
    mode tcp
    balance roundrobin
    server k8s-ldap-0 worker01.aks.iam.anapartner.net:31888  check fall 3 rise 2
    server k8s-ldap-1 worker02.aks.iam.anapartner.net:31888  check fall 3 rise 2
    server k8s-ldap-2 worker03.aks.iam.anapartner.net:31888  check fall 3 rise 2
    server k8s-ldap-2 worker04.aks.iam.anapartner.net:31888  check fall 3 rise 2

Deploy Solution on Kubernetes

Step 14: Validate that DNS and Storage are ready before deploying any solution or if you wish to have a base Kubernetes environment to use with the control-plane and four (4). worker nodes.

### Step:  Setup NFS Share either on-prem remote server or Synology NFS
### Use version 4.x checkbox for Synology.

### Example of lines on remote Linux Host with NFS share.

yum -y install nfs-utils
systemctl enable --now nfs-server rpcbind
mkdir -p /export/nfsshare ; chown nobody /export/nfsshare ; chmod -R 777 /export/nfsshare
echo "/export/nfsshare *(rw,sync,no_root_squash,insecure)" >> /etc/exports
exportfs -rav; exportfs -v

firewall-cmd --add-service=nfs --permanent
firewall-cmd --add-service={nfs3,mountd,rpc-bind} --permanent 
firewall-cmd --reload 



#### Setup DNS entries (A and CNAME) for twelve (12) items ( May be on-prem DNS or Synology DNS)

ns.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.60)
aks.iam.anapartner.net  NS ns.aks.iam.anapartner.net
cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.60)
worker01.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.61)
worker02.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.62)
worker03.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.63)
worker04.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.64)
sm.aks.iam.anapartner.net  A  IP_ADDRESS (192.168.2.65)
kibana CNAME cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net 
grafana CNAME cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net 
jaeger CNAME cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net 
alertmanager CNAME cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net 
ssp CNAME cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net 
ssp-mgmt CNAME cp.aks.iam.anapartner.net 

### Pre-Step:  Enable DNS resolution for external IP addresses
### Enable forwarding to external h/w router and 8.8.8.8

Step 15: Recommendation. Deploy your solution in steps using Kubernetes yaml or Helm charts to assist with debugging any deployment issues. Do not forget to use kubectl logs, and kubectl describe to isolate startup or cert issues.

### Run scripts one-by-one.  They will have a watch command in each that will 
### provide feedback on the startup processes.
### Total startup from scratch to final with VIP Sample App is about 15-20 minutes.
### Note:  Step04 has a different chart variables for on-prem for Symantec Directory.
### Note:  /step00_kubernetes_env.sh is called by each script.


./step01_kubernetes_cluster_init_with_worker_nodes.sh
./step02_kubernetes_cluster_with_ingress_and_other_charts.sh
./step03_kubernetes_cluster_with_vip_auth_hub_charts.sh
./step04_kubernetes_cluster_with_vip_auth_hub_sample_app.sh

Docker Registry for On-Prem

There are two (2) types of docker registries we have found useful.

a. The standard Mirror method will capture all docker images from “docker.io” site to a local mirror. When Kubernetes or Helm deployments are used, the docker configuration file can be adjusted to check the local mirror without updating Kubernetes yaml files or Helm charts.

b. The second method is a full query of all images after they have been deployed once, and using the docker push process into a local registry. The challenge of the second method is that the Kubernetes yaml files and/or Helm charts do have to be updated to use this local registry.

Either method will help lower bandwidth cost to re-download the same docker images, if you use a docker prune method to keep your worker nodes disc size “clean”. If the docker prune process is not used, you may notice that the worker nodes may run out of disc space due to temporary docker images/containers that did not clean up properly.

#!/bin/bash
#################################################################################
#  Create a local docker mirror registry for docker-ios
#  and local docker non-mirror registry for all other images
#  to minimize download impact
#  during restart of the kubernetes solution
#
#  All registry iamges will be placed on NFS share
#  mount -v -t nfs 192.168.2.30:/volume1/nfs /mnt  &>/dev/null
#
# Certs will be provided by Let's Encrypt every 90 days
#
#  For docker-io mirror registry, all clients must have the following line in
#  /etc/docker/daemon.json     {Note:  Use commas as needed}
#
#    "registry-mirrors":
#     [
#      "https://sm.aks.iam.anapartner.net:444"
#     ],
#
#
#
# ANA 11/2021
#
#################################################################################
# To remove all containers - to allow restart of process
docker rm -f `docker ps -a | grep -v -e CONTAINER | awk '{print $1}'` ; docker image rm `docker image ls | grep -v -e REPOSITORY | grep -e minutes -e hour -e days -e '2 weeks'|  awk '{print $3}'` &>/dev/null


#################################################################################
# Update HOST name for local server for docker image
HOST=sm.aks.iam.anapartner.net
NFS_SERVER=192.168.2.30
NFS_SHARE=/volume1/nfs


#################################################################################
function start_registry {

    local_port=$1
    remote_registry_name=$2

    if [ "$3" == "" ]; then
        remote_registry_url=$remote_registry_name
    else
        remote_registry_url=$3
    fi

    echo -e "$local_port $remote_registry_name $remote_registry_url"


mount -v -t nfs $NFS_SERVER:$NFS_SHARE /mnt  &>/dev/null
mkdir -p /mnt/registry/${remote_registry_name}  &>/dev/null

docker run -d --name registry-${remote_registry_name}-mirror  \
-p $local_port:443 \
--restart=always \
-e REGISTRY_HTTP_ADDR=0.0.0.0:443 \
-e REGISTRY_PROXY_REMOTEURL="https://${remote_registry_url}/" \
-e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_CERTIFICATE=/certs/fullchain.pem \
-e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_KEY=/certs/privkey.pem \
-e REGISTRY_COMPATIBILITY_SCHEMA1_ENABLED=true \
-v /mnt/registry/certs:/certs \
-v /mnt/registry/${remote_registry_name}:/var/lib/registry \
registry:latest

sleep 1
echo "#################################################################################"
curl -s -X GET  https://$HOST:$local_port/v2/_catalog | jq
echo "#################################################################################"

}

#################################################################################
# start_registry <local_port>    <remote_registry_name>  <remote_registry_url>
#################################################################################

start_registry   444             docker-io               registry-1.docker.io

#################################################################################
# Non-Proxy configuration to allow 'docker tag & docker push' for all other images
#################################################################################

remote_registry_name=all
local_port=455
mkdir -p /var/lib/docker/registry/${remote_registry_name}  &>/dev/null
docker run -d --name registry-${remote_registry_name}-mirror  \
-p $local_port:443 \
--restart=always \
-e REGISTRY_HTTP_ADDR=0.0.0.0:443 \
-e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_CERTIFICATE=/certs/fullchain.pem \
-e REGISTRY_HTTP_TLS_KEY=/certs/privkey.pem \
-e REGISTRY_COMPATIBILITY_SCHEMA1_ENABLED=true \
-v /mnt/registry/certs:/certs \
-v /mnt/registry/${remote_registry_name}:/var/lib/registry \
registry:latest

sleep 1
echo "#################################################################################"
curl -s -X GET  https://$HOST:$local_port/v2/_catalog | jq
echo "#################################################################################"
docker ps -a
echo "#################################################################################"

echo "##### To tail the log of the docker-io container - useful for monitoring helm deployments  #####"
echo "docker logs `docker ps -a  --no-trunc | grep -v NAMES | grep 'docker-io' | awk '{print $1}'` -f "
echo "#################################################################################"
echo "##### To tail the log of the ALL container - useful for monitoring helm deployments  #####"
echo "docker logs `docker ps -a  --no-trunc | grep -v NAMES | grep 'all' | awk '{print $1}'` -f  "
echo "#################################################################################"
echo "##### Location of Registry Files on NFS share #####"
echo "ls -lart /mnt/registry/docker-io/docker/registry/v2/repositories"
echo "ls -lart /mnt/registry/all/docker/registry/v2/repositories"
echo "#################################################################################"

Example of the /etc/docker/daemon.json configuration file to use a local mirror for docker.io. See the parameter of “registry-mirrors”. Unfortunately, we were unable to use this process for the other docker registries.

{
"debug": false,
"data-root": "/home/docker-images",
"exec-opts": ["native.cgroupdriver=systemd"],
"storage-driver": "overlay2",
"registry-mirrors":
[
"https://sm.aks.iam.anapartner.net:444"
],
"log-driver": "json-file",
"log-opts": {
"max-size": "100m"
}
}

Let’s Encrypt Certbot and DNS validation

Use Let’sEncrypt Certbox and manual DNS validation, to create our 90-day wild card certificates. Manual DNS validation allows us to avoid setting up a public-facing component for our internal labs.

Ref: https://letsencrypt.org/docs/challenge-types/

# Step 1:  Install SNAP service for Certbot usage on your host OS

cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 8.3 (Ootpa)

sudo yum install -y  snapd
Updating Subscription Management repositories.
Package snapd-2.49-2.el8.x86_64 is already installed.

systemctl enable --now snapd.socket

### Wait 1 min

snap install core; sudo snap refresh core



# Step 2: Remove prior certbot (if installed by yum/dnf)

yum remove -y certbot.


# Step 3:  Install new "classic" Certbot

sudo snap install --classic certbot
certbot 1.17.0 from Certbot Project (certbot-eff✓) installed

sudo ln -s /snap/bin/certbot /usr/bin/certbot



# Step 4: Issue certbot command with wildcard cert & update your DNS TXT record with the string provided.


sudo certbot certonly --manual  --preferred-challenges dns -d *.aks.iam.anapartner.org --register-unsafely-without-email

Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server. Do you agree?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(Y)es/(N)o: Y
Account registered.
Requesting a certificate for *.aks.iam.anapartner.org

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Please deploy a DNS TXT record under the name:

_acme-challenge.iam.anapartner.org.

with the following value:

u2cXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXc

Before continuing, verify the TXT record has been deployed. Depending on the DNS
provider, this may take some time, from a few seconds to multiple minutes. You can
check if it has finished deploying with aid of online tools, such as the Google
Admin Toolbox: https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/dig/#TXT/_acme-challenge.iam.anapartner.org.
Look for one or more bolded line(s) below the line ';ANSWER'. It should show the
value(s) you've just added.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

# Step 5:  In a 2nd terminal, validate that the DNS record has been updated and can be seen by a standard DNS query.   Have the 2nd console window open to test the DNS record, prior to <ENTER> key on verification request

# Example:
nslookup -type=txt _acme-challenge.aks.iam.anapartner.org
Non-authoritative answer:
_acme-challenge.aks.iam.anapartner.org  text = "u2cXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXc"


# Step 6:  Press <ENTER> after you have validated the TXT record.

Press Enter to Continue
Waiting for verification...
Cleaning up challenges
Subscribe to the EFF mailing list (email: nala@baugher.us).

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/aks.iam.anapartner.org/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/aks.iam.anapartner.org/privkey.pem
  


# Step 7: View certs of fullchain.pem & privkey.pem  

cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/aks.iam.anapartner.org/fullchain.pem
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----

<REMOVED>
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
<REMOVED>
-----END CERTIFICATE-----

cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/aks.iam.anapartner.org/privkey.pem
-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----

<REMOVED>
-----END PRIVATE KEY-----




# Step 8:  Use the two files for your kubernetes solution 

# Step 9:  Ensure domain on host OS, cp, worker nodes in /etc/resolv.conf is set correctly to aks.iam.anapartner.org    to allow the certs to be resolved correctly.

# Step 10:  Ensure Synology NAS DNS service is configurated with all alias 


# Step 11:  Optional: Validate certs with openssl


# Show the kubernetes self-signed cert

true | openssl s_client -connect kibana.aks.iam.anapartner.org:443 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -inform pem -noout -text

# Show the new wildcard cert for same hostname &  port

curl -vvI  https://kibana.aks.iam.anapartner.org/app/home#/

curl -vvI  https://kibana.aks.iam.anapartner.org/app/home#/   2>&1 | awk 'BEGIN { cert=0 } /^\* SSL connection/ { cert=1 } /^\*/ { if (cert) print }'

nmap -p 443 --script ssl-cert kibana.aks.iam.anapartner.org


Kubernetes Side Note:   Let's Encrypt certs do NOT show up within the Kubernetes cluster certs check process.

kubeadm certs check-expiration

View of the DNS TXT records to be updated with your DNS service provider. The Let’sEncrypt Certbot will need to be able to query these records for it to assign you wildcard certificates. Create the _acme-challenge hostname entry as a TXT type, and paste in the string provided by the Let’sEncrypt Certbot process. Wait 5 minutes or test the TXT record with nslookup, then upon positive validation, continue the Let’sEncrypt Certbot process.

View your kubernetes cluster / nodes for any constraints

After your cluster is created and you have worker nodes joined to the cluster, you may wish to monitor for any constraints of your on-prem deployment. Kubectl command with the action verb of describe or top is very useful for this goal.

kubectl describe nodes worker01
kubectl top node / kubectl top pod

Kubernetes Training (Formal)

If you are new to Kubernetes, we recommend the following class. You may need to dedicate 4-8 weeks to complete the course and then take the CKA exam via the Linux Foundation.

https://www.udemy.com/course/certified-kubernetes-administrator-with-practice-tests/ .

Kubernetes.io site has most of the information you need to get started.

https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/cheatsheet/

Home Assistant: Docker Lab

Intro

I was interested to see an intersection between Docker, VMware, and an application (Home Assistant) that users may wish to run on their laptops and/or workstations.

The Home Assistant application seemed especially valuable to business travelers/road warriors that would like a simple and flexible dashboard to keep an eye out for activity at home.

I have put together the following steps to be completed in thirty (30) minutes or less using community and/or non-commercial licenses.

This lab will cover the following solutions/applications: VMware player (free personal license), home assistant (open-source home automation platform ), Docker (automation of application on a prebuilt os), Ring Door Bell (ring.com) and Fast.com (monitor of download speeds)

Please review and see if this lab may have value to your project team(s) to increase their awareness of docker and still have value for home use.

Ring Door Bell (ring.com) & Fast.com

The above Dashboard image is the goal of this lab; to take advantage of the community tools for home automation, and enable your Ring.com credentials to allow viewing/monitoring while on the road or at home. Additionally, we have added Fast.com configuration to allow for bandwidth monitoring of download speed using the Netflix’s sponsored site.

Step 1: Create a single folder for download(s) and installation

Avoid clutter from VMware configuration and data files if allowed to use defaults. Otherwise, we may have files in two (2) different folders.

Step 2a:  Download the Home Assistant VMDK bootable disk image

We wish to pre-download this bootable image to be ready to be consumed by VMware Player (Note: If you already have VMware workstation, you may use it as well instead of VMware Player)

See the link below in the next step.

Step 2b:  Download the Home Assistant VMDK bootable disk image

The pre-built vmdk compressed file may be accessed under “Getting Started” and “Software Requirements”

https://www.home-assistant.io/hassio/installation/

Select the “VMDK (VMWare Workstation) link to download this file.

Step 2c:  Copy and Extract the VMDK from the compressed gz file

Suggest a copy be made of the vmdk file, as future steps will modify this file. The file is compressed with gzip, but you may use 7zip ( https://www.7-zip.org/ ) or other 3rd party tools to extract. The MS Windows built-in zip tool will not likely extract this file.

Step 3a:  Download a free, personal license copy of Vmware Player

If you already have VMware Workstation, you may skip these series of steps; or you may wish to install this VMware Player package along with your existing VMware workstation installation.

https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation-player.html

Step 3b:  Install Vmware Player, and designate for personal use aka “non-commercial use” when asked for license key.

During installation, when asked for a license, select “non-commercial use” for personal use on your home laptop/workstation.

Step 4a:  Start Vmware Player, and select “Create a New Virtual Machine”

Now we are ready to create our first Virtual Machine on our laptop/workstation. We will use a default boot-strap configuration to build the initial settings, then modify them for the Home Assistant pre-built bootable disk image.

Step 4b:  Select the following configurations to jump start VMDK

Choose a generic Linux Operating System and Version configuration. I selected “Other Linux 5.x or later kernel 64-bit”. Next, select the folder where the Home Assistance vmdk file was extracted. Rename your VM as you wish. I kept it as “homeassistant”.

Step 4c:  Allow discovery of the VMDK for Home Assistant

VMware player will recognize that a pre-existing vmdk file exists in this folder, and will warn you of this fact. Click Continue to accept this warning message.

On the next screen, select “Store virtual disk as a single file” to avoid the clutter of temporary files.

Step 4d:  Create the new Virtual Machine

We are now ready to complete the new Virtual Machine with default configurations.

Note: When this step is complete, please do NOT start/play the VM yet; as that will define default OS configuration settings; which we do not require.

Step 5a:  Edit the new Virtual Machine Settings

Now we are ready to adjust the default configurations to enable the use of the pre-built Home Assistant VMDK bootable disk file.

Reminder: Do NOT start/play the image yet.

Select the “Edit Virtual Machine Settings”

Step 5b:  Edit the new Virtual Machine Settings

Remove four (4) default configurations item

[ 1. Hard Drive (SCSI), 2. CD/DVD (IDE), 3. Sound Card, 4. Printer ]

Adjust the memory to 1 GB (1024 MB)

Do NOT click OK yet.

Step 5c:  Add correct Hard Drive Type (IDE) for bootable VMDK

Select “Add” button, to re-add a “Hard Drive” with Type = IDE. Select “Use an existing virtual disk”. This “existing virtual disk” will be the Home Assistant VMDK file.

Select Next button.

Step 5d: Select the “hassos_ova-2.xx.vmdk” file for the bootable existing disk

Select the Home Assistant VMDK file that was extracted. Ensure that you do NOT select the temporary file that was created prior with the name “homeassistant.vmdk”

Select Finish button.

Step 5e: Allow vmdk disk to be imported

You may convert or allow the VMDK to remain in its prior “format”. We have tested with both selections; and have not observed any impact with either selection.

After import, observe that the Hard Drive now has IDE as the connection configuration.

We will now expand this Hard Drive from the default of 6 GB (maximum size) in the next step.


Step 5f: Expand VMDK from 6 GB (default) to 32 GB for max disk size

Select “Hard Drive”, then in the right sub-panel, select “Expand disk capacity”

Update the value from 6.0 to 32.0 for maximum disk size in GB.

Click OK and observe the update on both panel windows for the hard drive.

Click OK to close edit windows. Reminder: Do NOT start/play the image yet.

Step 6a: Convert “BIOS” (default) to “EFI” type for new Virtual Machine

Last step before we start the image. The Home Assistant bootable VMDK disk was designed and configured for the boot-loader of EFI, instead of the older legacy “BIOS” boot-loader.

If you have VMware workstation/ ESXi server, you may have access to a GUI entry to adjust this virtual firmware bootloader configuration.

However, VMware Player does not expose this setting in the GUI. To address this challenge, we will use VMware documented method to directly update the configuration file for our new Virtual machine for one (1) setting. https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-28494

Navigate to the folder where the VMDK was extracted. You will now see several other files, include the primary configuration file for our new Virtual Machine. Its name will be “homeassistant.vmx” . The “*.vmx” filename extension/suffix will contain hardware configuration for booting the VWmare VM server image.

Step 6b: Edit configuration file for new Virtual Machine

Use either MS Windows notepad.exe or Notepad++ or similar tool to edit the configuration file.

If the VM image was not started, we will NOT find a key:value pair with the string “firmware”. Note: If the VM image was started before we add in our entry, then startup issues will occur. (If this happens, please restart the lab from Step 4a.)

Append the following string to the bottom of the file & save the file.

firmware = “efi“

Step 7a: Start the new Virtual Machine

We are now ready to start our image and begin to use the Home Assistance application. Select our new Virtual Machine & click “Play virtual machine”.

Observe the screen for “boot-loader” information related to EFI. This will be confirmation that we did configure the VMDK hard drive image to load correctly and will have no unexpected issues.

Step 7b: Click within Virtual Machine window to “active” and then <enter>

The VM will boot fairly quickly, and you may notice the text will appear to stop.

Click within the VM window with your mouse, then press the <ENTER> key to see the login prompt.

Enter the login userID: root

Note: If you wish to re-focus your mouse/keyboard outside of VMware Player, press the keys <CNTRL> and <ALT> together, to redirect focus. Click back into the VMware Player window anytime to enter new text.

Step 7c: Discover IP address of homeassistant docker application

Now we get to play with some basic shell and docker commands to get our IP address and validate a port.

At the hassio > prompt, enter the text: login

This will give us a root shell account. To find our current dynamic IP address, that the VMplayer installation created for us, issue the following command:

ip addr | grep dynamic

To view the three (3) docker containers, issue the following command:

docker ps

This will display the status of each container. After 1 minute uptime, we can use the Home Assistant application.

To validate the actual TCP Port used (8123), issue the following docker command:

docker exec -it -u root -e term=xterm homeassistant /bin/bash -c “netstat -anp | grep tcp | grep LISTEN”

We will use the IP address and TCP port (8123) within a browser window (IE/Chrome/Firefox/Opera/etc.) on the laptop/workstation to access the Home Assistant application.

Step 8a: Login to Home Assistant Application with a Browser

http://ip_address_here:8123

When we first start the Home Assistant Application, it will ask for a primary account to be created. Use either your name or admin or any value.

If you plan to eventually expose this application to the internet from your home system, we would recommend a complex password; and perhaps storage in a key safe like LastPass https://www.lastpass.com/ or locally in Key Pass https://keepass.info/ file.

Step 8b: Use detect to re-assign default location to your area

Adjust the defaults to your location if you wish. Use the “detect” feature to reset values, then click next. May use a mouse to assist with refinement of location on the embedded map feature.

Step 8c: Home Assistant Landing Page

Click Finish to skip the question about early integration.

Now we are at the Landing Page for Home Assistant. Congratulations with the setup of Home Assistant.

We now will configure two (2) items that have value to home users.

Step 9a: Enable the Home Assistance Configuration Tool

Before we add-on new features, we need to make it easy for us to adjust the Home Assistance configuration file.

Select the MENU item (three lines in the upper left window – Next to HOME string)

You will see a side panel of selection items. Select “Hass.io

Step 9b: Select Add-On Store & Configurator Tool

Select the “ADD-ON STORE” displayed at the top of the window. Scroll down till you view the item “Configurator” under the section “Official add-ons”

Select the item “Configurator”

Step 9c: Install and Start the Configurator Tool

Select “Install” and “Start” of the “Configurator” Tool

Step 9d: Open the Web UI to use the Configurator Tool

Select the “Open Web UI” link. You may wish to save this URL link in your favorites or remember how to re-access this URL with additional updates.

After the landing page for the “Configurator” tool has loaded, select the FOLDER ICON in the upper left of the window. This will allow you to access the various configuration files.


Step 9e: Select primary Home Assistant configuration file (configuration.yaml)

Now select configuration.yaml from the left panel. The default configuration file will load with minimal information.

This is where we will make most of the updates to enable our home applications of Ring Doorbell and Fast.com (download monitor).

Step 10a: Add fast.com & Ring Door Bell Add-On (with sensors/camera)

We are now ready to add in as many integrations as we wish.

There are 100’s of prebuilt configurations that can be reviewed on the Home Assistant site.

For Ring Doorbell (ring.com) and Fast.com, we have already identified the configurations we need, and these can be pasted to the primary configuration file. We have also enclosed the references for each configuration.

# Download speed test for home use
# Ref: https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/fastdotcom/

fastdotcom:  
   scan_interval:      
      minutes: 30     

# Ring Doorbell     
# Ref: https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/ring/
# Ref: http://automation.moebius.site/2019/01/hassio-home-assistant-installing-a-ring-doorbell-and-simple-automations/
# Ref: https://www.ivobeerens.nl/2019/01/15/install-home-assistant-hass-io-in-vmware-workstation/

sensor:  
  - platform: ring 

ring:  
   username: !secret ring_username  
   password: !secret ring_password  

camera: 
  - platform: ring

binary_sensor: 
  - platform: ring

Step 10b: Save configuration.yaml file  & confirm no syntax errors

Click save, and validate that you have a GREEN checkbox (this is used for syntax checking of the configuration files for spacing and formatting).

After saving, click the FOLDER ICON in the upper left.

We will now add the Ring.com credentials to the secrets.yaml file.

Step 10c: Select “secrets.yaml” to host the Ring.com credentials

From the side panel, select the “secrets.yaml configuration file to add the Ring.com credentials.

Step 10d: Enter Ring.com credentials & save this file

Enter Ring.com credentials in the following format.

# Enter your ring.com credentials here to keep them separate 
# from the default configuration file.

ring_username:  email_address_used_for_ring.com_here@email.com
ring_password:  password_used_for_ring.com_here

Step 11a: Restart Home Assistance Application

Configurations are done. Restart the Home Assistance Application to use the configurations for Ring.com and Fast.com

Select “Configuration” from the left panel menu, then scroll down in right panel to select “Server Controls”

Step 11b: Restart Home Assistant Application

Select “Restart” and accept the warning message with OK. The connection will drop for 30-60 seconds, then the browser may reload with the prior screen. (If you saved your credentials in the browser password management section when “asked” by the browser). If not, re-authenticate with your Home Assistant credentials.

Step 11c: Extra – Monitor for Error Messages in Notification Logs

This section is ONLY needed if you see an error message in the Notification Logs, e.g. missing data in the secrets.yaml and/or incorrect credentials for Ring.com.

Step 12: Done – Site 1 & Site 2

Below example for one (1) site with just one (1) Door Bell Ring device and integrated with Fast.com

Example with many devices integrated with Ring.com

We hope this lab was of value, and that others take advantage of this prebuilt appliance with docker and vmware. Please share with others to allow them to to gain awareness of docker processes.

Extra of interest: AWS and Ring.com Mp4 Videos

There are additional configurations that will allow auto-downloading of the mp4 videos from the AWS hosted site for Ring.com. Note the Video_URL for camera.front_door.

A view of the many pre-built integrations for Home Assistant

https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/

Additional Docker Commands for the Home Assistant Application

docker ps               [List all containers & running status; should see a minimum of three (3) running containers]
docker images           [List all images]
docker logs homeassistant   2>&1 | more
docker logs hassos_supervisor  2>&1 | more
docker logs hassio_dns
docker exec -it -u root -e term=xterm homeassistant /bin/bash   [shell]
docker exec -it -u root -e term=xterm homeassistant /bin/bash -c 'netstat -anp | grep tcp | grep LISTEN'  [validate network port TCP 8123]

Extra Step – Disable the annoying backspace keyboard beep within a VMware image for VMWare Player

VMware Player configuration item:

Add this line in C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware Player\config.ini
mks.noBeep = “TRUE”

Enclosing a PDF of the lab for offline review