Bootstrap a management cluster

After you complete the prerequisite steps described in Prerequisites, proceed with bootstrapping your VMware vSphere-based Mirantis Container Cloud management cluster.

To bootstrap a vSphere-based management cluster:

  1. Log in to the bootstrap node running Ubuntu 20.04 that is configured as described in Prerequisites.

  2. Prepare the bootstrap script:

    1. Download and run the Container Cloud bootstrap script:

      apt install wget
      chmod 0755
    2. Change the directory to the kaas-bootstrap folder created by the script.

  3. Obtain your license file that will be required during the bootstrap:

    1. Create a user account at

    2. Log in to your account and download the mirantis.lic license file.

    3. Save the license file as mirantis.lic under the kaas-bootstrap directory on the bootstrap node.

    4. Verify that mirantis.lic contains the exact Container Cloud license previously downloaded from by decoding the license JWT token, for example, using

      Example of a valid decoded Container Cloud license data with the mandatory license field:

          "exp": 1652304773,
          "iat": 1636669973,
          "sub": "demo",
          "license": {
              "dev": false,
              "limits": {
                  "clusters": 10,
                  "workers_per_cluster": 10
              "openstack": null


      The MKE license does not apply to mirantis.lic. For details about MKE license, see MKE documentation.

  4. Prepare deployment templates:

    1. Modify templates/vsphere/vsphere-config.yaml.template:


      Contact your vSphere administrator to provide you with the below parameters.

      vSphere configuration data




      IP address or FQDN of the vCenter Server.


      Port of the vCenter Server. For example, port: "8443". Leave empty to use "443" by default.


      vSphere data center name.


      Flag that controls validation of the vSphere Server certificate. Must be true or false.


      vSphere Cluster API provider user name that you added when preparing the deployment user setup and permissions.


      vSphere Cluster API provider user password.


      vSphere Cloud Provider deployment user name that you added when preparing the deployment user setup and permissions.


      vSphere Cloud Provider deployment user password.

    2. Modify the templates/vsphere/cluster.yaml.template parameters:

      1. Modify the following required network parameters:

        Required parameters




        IP address from the provided vSphere network for load balancer (Keepalived).


        MetalLB range of IP addresses that can be assigned to load balancers for Kubernetes Services.


        Name of the vSphere datastore. You can use different datastores for vSphere Cluster API and vSphere Cloud Provider.


        Path to a folder where the cluster machines metadata will be stored.


        Path to a network for cluster machines.


        Path to a resource pool in which VMs will be created.


        To obtain the LB_HOST and VSPHERE_METALLB_RANGE parameters for the selected vSphere network, contact your vSphere administrator who provides you with IP ranges dedicated to your environment only.

        Modify other parameters if required. For example, add the corresponding values for cidrBlocks in the spec::clusterNetwork::services section.

      2. For either DHCP or non-DHCP vSphere network:

        1. Determine the vSphere network parameters as described in VMware vSphere network objects and IPAM recommendations.

        2. Provide the following additional parameters for a proper network setup on machines using embedded IP address management (IPAM) in templates/vsphere/cluster.yaml.template


          To obtain IPAM parameters for the selected vSphere network, contact your vSphere administrator who provides you with IP ranges dedicated to your environment only.

        vSphere configuration data




        Enables IPAM. Recommended value is true for either DHCP or non-DHCP networks.


        CIDR of the provided vSphere network. For example,


        Gateway of the provided vSphere network.


        IP range for the cluster machines. Specify the range of the provided CIDR. For example, If the DHCP network is used, this range must not intersect with the DHCP range of the network.


        Optional. IP ranges to be excluded from being assigned to the cluster machines. The MetalLB range and SET_LB_HOST should not intersect with the addresses for IPAM. For example,


        List of nameservers for the provided vSphere network.

    3. For RHEL deployments, fill out templates/vsphere/rhellicenses.yaml.template using one of the following set of parameters for RHEL machines subscription:

      • The user name and password of your RedHat Customer Portal account associated with your RHEL license for Virtual Datacenters.

        Optionally, provide the subscription allocation pools to use for the RHEL subscription activation. If not needed, remove the poolIDs field for subscription-manager to automatically select the licenses for machines.

        For example:

          username: <username>
            value: <password>
          - <pool1>
          - <pool2>
      • The activation key and organization ID associated with your RedHat account with RHEL license for Virtual Datacenters. The activation key can be created by the organization administrator on the RedHat Customer Portal.

        If you use the RedHat Satellite server for management of your RHEL infrastructure, you can provide a pre-generated activation key from that server. In this case:

        • Provide the URL to the RedHat Satellite RPM for installation of the CA certificate that belongs to that server.

        • Configure squid-proxy on the management or regional cluster to allow access to your Satellite server. For details, see Configure squid-proxy.

        For example:

            value: <activation key>
          orgID: "<organization ID>"
          rpmUrl: <rpm url>


        For RHEL 8.4 TechPreview, verify mirrors configuration for your activation key. For more details, see RHEL 8 mirrors configuration.


      Provide only one set of parameters. Mixing the parameters from different activation methods will cause deployment failure.

    4. For CentOS deployments, in templates/vsphere/rhellicenses.yaml.template, remove all lines under items:.

  5. In bootstrap.env, add the KAAS_VSPHERE_ENABLED=true environment variable that enables the vSphere provider deployment in Container Cloud.

  6. Configure NTP server.

    Before Container Cloud 2.23.0, optional if servers from the Ubuntu NTP pool (* are accessible from the node where the management cluster is being provisioned. Otherwise, configure the regional NTP server parameters as described below.

    Since Container Cloud 2.23.0, optionally disable NTP that is enabled by default. This option disables the management of chrony configuration by Container Cloud to use your own system for chrony management. Otherwise, configure the regional NTP server parameters as described below.

  7. Prepare the VM template as described in Prepare the virtual machine template.

  8. In templates/vsphere/machines.yaml.template, define the following parameters:

    • rhelLicense

      RHEL license name defined in rhellicenses.yaml.template, defaults to kaas-mgmt-rhel-license. Remove or comment out this parameter for CentOS and Ubuntu deployments.

    • diskGiB

      Disk size in GiB for machines that must match the disk size of the VM template. You can leave this parameter commented to use the disk size of the VM template. The minimum requirement is 120 GiB.

    • template

      Path to the VM template prepared in the previous step.

    Sample template:

          kind: VsphereMachineProviderSpec
          rhelLicense: <rhelLicenseName>
          numCPUs: 8
          memoryMiB: 24576
          # diskGiB: 120
          template: <vSphereVMTemplatePath>

    Also, modify other parameters if required.

  9. If you require all Internet access to go through a proxy server, in bootstrap.env, add the following environment variables to bootstrap the management and regional cluster using proxy:



    • NO_PROXY


    Example snippet:

    export HTTP_PROXY=
    export HTTPS_PROXY=
    export NO_PROXY=,registry.internal.lan
    export PROXY_CA_CERTIFICATE_PATH="/home/ubuntu/.mitmproxy/mitmproxy-ca-cert.cer"

    The following formats of variables are accepted:

    Proxy configuration data



    • - for anonymous access.

    • - for restricted access.


    Comma-separated list of IP addresses or domain names. Mandatory to add host[:port] of the vCenter server.


    Optional. Absolute path to the proxy CA certificate for man-in-the-middle (MITM) proxies. Must be placed on the bootstrap node to be trusted. For details, see Install a CA certificate for a MITM proxy on a bootstrap node.


    If you require Internet access to go through a MITM proxy, ensure that the proxy has streaming enabled as described in Enable streaming for MITM.


    For MOSK-based deployments, the parameter is generally available since MOSK 22.4.

    For implementation details, see Proxy and cache support.


    In MITM proxy deployments, use the internal Red Hat Satellite server to register RHEL machines so that a VM can access this server directly without a MITM proxy.

    For the list of Mirantis resources and IP addresses to be accessible from the Container Cloud clusters, see Requirements for a VMware vSphere-based cluster.

  10. Optional. Configure external identity provider for IAM.

  11. Optional. Enable infinite timeout for all bootstrap stages by exporting the following environment variable or adding it to bootstrap.env:


    Infinite timeout prevents the bootstrap failure due to timeout. This option is useful in the following cases:

    • The network speed is slow for artifacts downloading

    • An infrastructure configuration does not allow booting fast

    • A bare-metal node inspecting presupposes more than two HDDSATA disks to attach to a machine

  12. Optional. Available since Container Cloud 2.23.0. Customize the cluster and region name by exporting the following environment variables or adding them to bootstrap.env:

    export REGION=<customRegionName>
    export CLUSTER_NAME=<customClusterName>

    By default, the system uses region-one for the region name and kaas-mgmt for the management cluster name.

  13. Run the bootstrap script:

    ./ all
    • In case of deployment issues, refer to Troubleshooting and inspect logs.

    • If the script fails for an unknown reason:

      1. Run the cleanup script:

        ./ cleanup
      2. Rerun the bootstrap script.

  14. When the bootstrap is complete, collect and save the following management cluster details in a secure location:

    • The kubeconfig file located in the same directory as the bootstrap script. This file contains the admin credentials for the management cluster.

    • The private ssh_key for access to the management cluster nodes that is located in the same directory as the bootstrap script.


      If the initial version of your Container Cloud management cluster was earlier than 2.6.0, ssh_key is named openstack_tmp and is located at ~/.ssh/.

    • The URL for the Container Cloud web UI.

      To create users with permissions required for accessing the Container Cloud web UI, see Create initial users after a management cluster bootstrap.

    • The StackLight endpoints. For details, see Access StackLight web UIs.

    • The Keycloak URL that the system outputs when the bootstrap completes. The admin password for Keycloak is located in kaas-bootstrap/passwords.yml along with other IAM passwords.


    The Container Cloud web UI and StackLight endpoints are available through Transport Layer Security (TLS) and communicate with Keycloak to authenticate users. Keycloak is exposed using HTTPS and self-signed TLS certificates that are not trusted by web browsers.

    To use your own TLS certificates for Keycloak, refer to Configure TLS certificates for cluster applications.


    When the bootstrap is complete, the bootstrap cluster resources are freed up.

Now, you can proceed with operating your management cluster using the Container Cloud web UI and deploying managed clusters as described in Create and operate a VMware vSphere-based managed cluster.