ubuntu vmdk uploaded does not boot

Bug #826798 reported by Scott Moser on 2011-08-15
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
OpenStack Compute (nova)

Bug Description

I just tried the following:
 wget http://uec-images.ubuntu.com/server/oneiric/current/oneiric-server-cloudimg-amd64-disk1.vmdk
 cloud-publish-image --type image amd64 oneiric-server-cloudimg-amd64-disk1.vmdk smoser-ubuntu-testing -vv

The instance did not boot and has no console output.

Related branches

Scott Moser (smoser) wrote :

This is possibly Ubuntu at fault. The current images (including alpha3) do not have correct grub config.

Thierry Carrez (ttx) wrote :

Is it specific to Oneiric images ?

Changed in nova:
status: New → Incomplete

I can confirm what Scott is seeing. Using 20110825's build, which has the correct grub config, registering with both a compressed and uncompressed VMDK does not work. However, if I convert the VMDK to a raw disk, then it starts up just fine.

In testing this situation, what I did find is that KVM in general does not like compressed VDMK's. If you attempt to start up KVM with a compressed VMDK, you'll get "no boot device found" on the console screen. If you uncompress the VMDK (i.e. qemu-img convert compressed.vmdk -O vmdk uncpressed.vmdk), then KVM will start up just fine.

Either way, VMDK's are not working once uploaded.

Thierry Carrez (ttx) on 2011-08-26
Changed in nova:
importance: Undecided → High
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Scott Moser (smoser) wrote :

Just a note, this is related to bug 833265.

Basically, we're creating a valid vmdk file, that can be imported by virtual-box or vmware.
However, that format of vmdk is not qemu-img or kvm friendly.

If nova is claiming "vmdk" support, then it really needs to support the compressed and sparse format that we're using. I know that is non-trivial. In creation of the image, we're using
 vboxmanage convertfromraw --format vmdk --variant Standard,Stream $DISK_IMG $VMDK

Thierry Carrez (ttx) on 2011-08-31
Changed in nova:
importance: High → Medium
Tom Fifield (fifieldt) wrote :

Based on bug 833265 and a look at the repository, ubuntu is no longer making vmdk images. I believe that this renders this bug now "invalid".

I hope that whatever was breaking the vmdk support has been fixed in the intervening 9 months, otherwise we might get another vmdk related ticket ;)

Changed in nova:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Scott Moser (smoser) wrote :

  The issue is that nova uses 'qemu-img convert' to convert a vmdk to a raw file before booting it. qemu's vmdk support is minimal, and does not support the commonly created vmdks by other tools.
  The end result is that for most real-world cases, nova's vmdk support will not work.

  I'm not aware of anything that would have changed this situation.
  Thus, I suspect the bug is still valid, even if low priority.

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