Running Flatcar on OVHcloud

    These instructions will walk you through using Flatcar on OVHcloud , importing an image, and running your first server using the OpenStack command line interface. Please note that OVHcloud is a community supported platform at the moment which means that the CI does not run on OpenStack images in OVHcloud environment.

    Additional note: OVHcloud is compatible with OpenStack: it is not a mistake if we refer to OpenStack images and specific variables.

    Import the image

    Note: This getting started assumes that OpenStack CLI is already installed and properly configured (see OVHcloud documentation )

    It is possible to import your own Flatcar image in OVHcloud using the OpenStack CLI. Here’s an example, to upload an image from the Flatcar Beta channel:

    $ wget
    $ IMAGE_ID=$(openstack image create \
      --container-format bare \
      --disk-format qcow2 \
      --property image_original_user=core \
      --property hw_qemu_guest_agent=yes \
      --file flatcar_production_openstack_image.img \
      --format value \
      --column id \
    $ echo "${IMAGE_ID}"

    Butane Configs

    Flatcar allows you to configure machine parameters, launch systemd units on startup and more via Butane Configs. These configs are then transpiled into Ignition JSON configs and given to booting machines. Jump over to the docs to learn about the supported features . We’re going to provide our Butane Config to OVHcloud via the user-data flag. Our Butane Config will also contain SSH keys that will be used to connect to the instance.

    As an example, this Butane YAML config will start an Nginx Docker container and display the instance hostname:

    variant: flatcar
    version: 1.0.0
        - name: core
            - ssh-rsa ABCD...
        - path: /var/www
        - name: nginx.service
          enabled: true
          contents: |
            Description=NGINX example
            After=docker.service coreos-metadata.service
            Requires=docker.service coreos-metadata.service
            ExecStartPre=-/usr/bin/docker rm --force nginx1
            ExecStartPre=-/usr/bin/bash -c "echo 'Hello from ${COREOS_OPENSTACK_HOSTNAME}' > /var/www/index.html"
            ExecStart=/usr/bin/docker run --name nginx1 --volume "/var/www:/usr/share/nginx/html:ro" --pull always --log-driver=journald --net host
            ExecStop=/usr/bin/docker stop nginx1

    Transpile it to Ignition JSON:

    docker run --rm -i < butane.yaml > ignition.json

    The coreos-metadata.service saves metadata variables to /run/metadata/flatcar. Systemd units can use them with EnvironmentFile=/run/metadata/flatcar in the [Service] section when setting Requires=coreos-metadata.service and After=coreos-metadata.service in the [Unit] section.

    Launch machine

    From here, there are a few options:

    • boot the instance from the OVHcloud portal
    • boot the instance from the OpenStack CLI

    From the OVHcloud portal

    The official documentation can be used except for the step 3 “Select an image”: you need to go to “Backups” to select your imported image (e.g “flatcar-beta”).

    You can also add the SSH key to be used in the creation form (it will be fetched and injected into Flatcar by the [email protected]).

    To use Ignition, you need to add the content of the Ignition configuration into the “Post-install script” available at the step 4 “Configure your instance”.

    From the OpenStack CLI

    Boot the machine with the CLI, referencing the image ID from the import step above, your Ignition file from Butane , a flavor of your choice and a network of your choice:

    $ INSTANCE_ID=$(openstack server create \
      --network "${NETWORK_ID}" \
      --flavor "${FLAVOR_ID}" \
      --user-data ./ignition.json \
      --image "${IMAGE_ID}" \
      --format value \
      --column id \

    Your first Flatcar instance should now be running. At this point, the instance should be visible in the OVHcloud portal too. The only thing left to do is find the IP address and SSH in.


    $ openstack server show "${INSTANCE_ID}" --format json | jq -r .addresses
      "Ext-Net": [
    $ curl
    Hello from flatcar-01

    Finally SSH into an instance, note that the user is core:


    $ ssh [email protected]
    $ systemctl status nginx
    ● nginx.service - NGINX example
         Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; preset: enabled)
         Active: active (running) since Tue 2024-05-28 14:36:37 UTC; 6min ago
        Process: 1586 ExecStartPre=/usr/bin/docker rm --force nginx1 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
        Process: 1592 ExecStartPre=/usr/bin/bash -c echo 'Hello from ${COREOS_OPENSTACK_HOSTNAME}' > /var/www/index.html (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)

    Using Flatcar Container Linux

    Now that you have a machine booted it is time to play around. Check out the Flatcar Container Linux Quickstart guide or dig into more specific topics .