Getting Started

The quickest way to get started using AppScale Tools is using VirtualBox and Vagrant.

Note, while the process below should work on any system that VirtualBox and Vagrant run on, this documentation was written while following the steps below on a Mac OS X system.

Installing VirtualBox

Please visit the VirtualBox website for more details.

Installing Vagrant

Make sure you have Ruby and Rubygems support. Then, from the command line, run:

gem install vagrant

Downloading the base box

Vagrant uses a base box to create VMs. Run the command below to download an Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid 64-bit box:

vagrant box add lucid64

Clone the AppScale Tools repository

Vagrant is configured to automatically mount ~/Appscale as /srv/appscale on the VM, and look for the appscale-tools repo at /srv/appscale/repo/appscale-tools. At the moment there are some limitations with the Puppet manifest script that require hard-coded absolute paths.

Clone the repository in ~/Appscale/repo on your computer:

mkdir -p ~/Appscale/repo
cd ~/Appscale/repo
git clone
cd appscale-tools

Currently this documentation reflects the changes in the auto_appscale_install branch, so switch to that branch:

git checkout auto_appscale_install

Configure AWS credentials

Create the AppScale Tools configuration directory:

mkdir ~/.appscale-tools

Next, create the file ~/.appscale-tools/ with the following content (filling in your personal information, of course. Do not include curly braces):

export EC2_ACCESS_KEY='{{ your key here }}'
export EC2_SECRET_KEY='{{ your key here }}'
export EC2_USER_ID='{{ your id here }}'
export EC2_MY_SSH_KEY=~/.appscale-tools/id_{{ your username }}

Finally, download your account’s certificate and private key, or ask your administrator for IAM credentials, and copy the AWS certificate and private key:

cp <path to cert-*.pem> ~/.appscale-tools/cert.pem
cp <path to pk-*.pem> ~/.appscale-tools/pk.pem

Launch a development VM

Once the prerequisites are installed and credentials configured, run the command vagrant up to setup the environment, followed by vagrant ssh to connect to the VM. The repository is mounted inside the VM at /srv/appscale/repo/appscale-tools.

The repo command

AppScale Tools includes a repo command which makes it easy to switch to repositories located in /srv/appscale/repo. Type repo, followed by a space, and enter the tab key. You will then see a list of available repositories in the /srv/appscale/repo directory. Please see the Wikipedia article on tab completion for more information.

Confirm EC2 Tools are working

Once you SSH into the VM (vagrant ssh), confirm your personal information is displayed when using the command:


Confirm EC2 Tools are working by running the command:


Create an EC2 SSH key

With a working EC2 environment, create an SSH key that will be used to SSH into EC2 instances. Run the following commands substituting your name below:

ec2-add-keypair <your name> >> ~/.appscale-tools/id_<your username>
chmod 0600 ~/.appscale-tools/id_<your username>

For example:

ec2-add-keypair berto >> ~/.appscale-tools/id_berto
chmod 0600 ~/.appscale-tools/id_berto

Your system is now configured! Note that even if you destroy this VM, you will not need to re-configure the system. These configuration files are kept in your host machine’s home directory under ~/.appscale-tools. You can run vagrant destroy, followed by vagrant up and you’ll be ready to run instantly.