Deploying Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx via Linode API

Ubuntu has just released their latest LTS, 10.4 “Lucid Lynx” today, and immediately Linode made it as an available distribution for deployment. Definitely kudos to team Linode there. I have actually been holding onto creating a new VPS (to run git + back trackers for some of my projects) because of pending release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. There is nothing stopping me now 🙂

Well. I am doing it a bit differently today, and decided to do it via API. I went with Ataraxia Consulting’s Python binding as it’s a language I am fluent in. These are the steps that I took.

Downloading Python Binding

The Python binding is hosted with git so I basically just clone it. It comes with a nice that initialises and turns it into a Python shell with tab completion. You will also need your API Key ready, which can be found on your Linode profile page (generate one if it does not yet exist).

$ git clone
Initialized empty Git repository in linode/.git/
got 7424e15c260d1150025e9909a23bfce698e6c592
$ cd linode/
$ ./
Enter API Key: (enter in your Linode API key here)
Python 2.6.4 (r264:75706, Apr 27 2010, 11:22:46)
[GCC 4.3.4] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

Okay. Let’s get rocking!

Creating New Linode

What I am trying to do is to create a new Linode 360 in their Dallas location (always check Linode’s availability though, although available Linodes have been abundant lately). Since I am keeping it long term, I want to prepay for 12 months. So the API I really want to call is linode.create. Under the shell I will get the data centre ID and plan ID via API.

>>> [dc['DATACENTERID'] for dc in linode.avail_datacenters()
...   if 'Dallas' in dc['LOCATION']]
>>> [p['PLANID'] for p in linode.avail_linodeplans() if '360' in p['LABEL']]
>>> linode.linode_create(DatacenterID=2, PlanID=1, PaymentTerm=12)
{u'LinodeID': 12345}

Then to rename it to something else (instead of linode12345).

>>> linode.linode_update(LinodeID=12345, Label='MyNewVPS')
{u'LinodeID': 12345}

Creating Disks

I can’t seem to be able to find an API equivalent to the Deploy a Linux Distribution functionality on the control panel, so I guess I have to go through the long way by creating disks, creating configs, etc before I can boot the Linode. I want to create a Linode with 256MB of swap, and then everything else goes into one partition. I also need to find out the Distribution ID for the 32bit Ubuntu 10.04.

>>> [d['DISTRIBUTIONID'] for d in linode.avail_distributions()
... if ('Ubuntu 10.04' in d['LABEL']) and (not d['IS64BIT'])]
>>> linode.linode_disk_createfromdistribution(
...   LinodeID=12345, DistributionID=64, Label='Root Partition',
...   Size=(16384-256), rootPass='passw0rd', 
...   rootSSHKey=open('../.ssh/').read())
{u'DiskID': 12345, u'JobID': 12345}
>>> linode.linode_disk_create(LinodeID=47347, Label='Swap Partition',
...   Type='swap', Size=256)
{u'DiskID': 54321, u'JobID': 54321}

You have to note down the actual DiskID because we will need them later when we create the config. Also note that I am using a random password + my SSH public key when I set up the root partition.

Create Config

The next task is to create a boot configuration, which needs to include (1) the kernel to boot with (2) the disk arrangement. We need to use the latest 32bit paravirt kernel.

>>> [_['KERNELID'] for _ in linode.avail_kernels()
... if ('Latest 2.6 Paravirt' in _['LABEL']) and ('x86_64' not in _['LABEL'])]
>>> linode.linode_config_create(LinodeID=12345, KernelID=110,
... Label='Ubuntu 10.04 Default', DiskList='12345,54321')
{u'ConfigID': 12345}

Now the configuration is done — ready to boot!

Booting the Node

Booting a linode using a existing config is pretty trivial. You would also want to get the IP address of your new Linode so you can SSH in.

>>> linode.linode_boot(LinodeID=12345, ConfigID=12345)
{u'JobID': 54321}
>>> linode.linode_ip_list(LinodeID=12345)[0]['IPADDRESS']

Done! Now log off the Python console, and SSH into your new Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” Linode 🙂

>>> exit()
$ ssh
Linux li109-129 #1 SMP Wed Apr 28 19:25:11 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

Welcome to Ubuntu!
 * Documentation:

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.


/me pat on my back. Ought to put all that into a single script…