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Installing VCL 2.5.1
VCL 2.5.1 can be installed using an installation script. All you need to
install VCL is the script. It will download and validate the VCL software
and then install it. The script can be used to install all three parts of
VCL (database, web portal, and management node) on a single system or to
install each part individually on separate systems.
Running the installation script with no arguments will step you through
installing all three parts of VCL.
Alternatively, any combination of the three parts of VCL can be installed by
passing arguments to the script. If installing the management node part of VCL,
it will also prompt you to agree to the installation of various system level
requirements needed for the code to run. The following are the arguments
available: [-h|--help] [-d|--database] [-w|--web] [-m|--managementnode]
[--dbhost <hostname> --dbpass <password>]
[--mnhost <hostname>] [--webhost <hostname>]
-d|--database - install database server components
--dbpass, --mnhost, --mnip, --webhost, and --adminpass must also be
-w|--web - install web server components
--dbhost and --dbpass must also be specified
-m|--managementnode - install management node (vcld) components
--dbhost, --dbpass, and --adminpass must also be specified
--dbhost <hostname> - hostname of database server (default=localhost)
--dbpass <password> - password VCL will use for accessing
database (default=random)
--mnhost <hostname> - hostname of management node (default=localhost)
--webhost <hostname> - hostname of web server (default=localhost)
--adminpass <password> - password for VCL admin user
The recommended method of installing VCL is to use the installation script. See
above for additional information. If manual installation is required,
instructions are listed below.
1. Install and Configure Database
VCL currently supports the use of MySQL or MariaDB as the database.
A. Install MySQL Server or MariaDB Server
Install MySQL or MariaDB Server
yum install mysql-server -y
yum install mariadb-server -y
Configure the database daemon to start automatically:
/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 mysqld on
/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 mariadb on
Start the database daemon:
/sbin/service mysqld start
/sbin/service mariadb start
If the iptables firewall is being used and the web server and management
nodes will be on different machines, port 3306 should be opened up to
each of those nodes. Add the following to your iptables config and
restart iptables service.
Note: Insert your web server and management node IP address in the right
vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables
Add these rules:
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -s <web server IP> -p tcp --dport 3306 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -s <management node IP> -p tcp --dport 3306 -j ACCEPT
Restart iptables:
service iptables restart
If the firewalld firewall is being used and the web server and
management nodes will be on different machines, port 3306 should be
opened up to each of those nodes. Add the following rules and reload the
rule set.
Note: Insert your web server and management node IP address in the right
Add these rules:
firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-rich-rule="rule family="ipv4" source address="<web server IP>" service name="mysql" accept"
firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-rich-rule="rule family="ipv4" source address="<management node IP>" service name="mysql" accept"
Restart iptables:
firewall-cmd --reload
B. Create the VCL Database
Run the MySQL command-line client:
Create a database:
TABLES privileges on the database you just created (NOTE Use your own
Exit the MySQL command-line client
Import the vcl.sql file into the database. The vcl.sql file is included in
the mysql directory within the Apache VCL source code
mysql vcl < apache-VCL-2.5.1/mysql/vcl.sql
2. Install and Configure the Web Components
VCL database has been installed and configured
Web Server:
Apache HTTP Server v2.x with SSL enabled
PHP 5.x or 7.x
Required Linux Packages:
httpd - Apache HTTP Server
mod_ssl - SSL/TLS module for the Apache HTTP server
php - The PHP HTML-embedded scripting language
Required PHP Modules:
php-json (required if your PHP version is 5.2 or later)
php-ldap (if you will be using LDAP authentication)
A. Install the Required Linux Packages & PHP Modules
If your web server is running a Red Hat-based OS, the required components
can be installed with:
yum install httpd mod_ssl php php-mysql php-xml php-xmlrpc php-ldap -y
Configure the web server daemon (httpd) to start automatically:
/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 httpd on
Start the web server daemon
/sbin/service httpd start
If SELinux is enabled, run the following command to allow the web server
to connect to the database:
/usr/sbin/setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect=1
If the iptables firewall is being used, port 80 and 443 should be opened
up in the iptables config file:
vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables
Add these rules:
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT
Restart iptables
service iptables restart
If the firewalld firewall is being used, port 80 and 443 should be opened
Add these rules:
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-service=http --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-service=https --permanent
Reload firewalld rules
firewall-cmd --reload
B. Install the VCL Frontend Web Code
Copy the web directory to a location under the web root of your web
server and navigate to the destination .ht-inc subdirectory:
cp -ar apache-VCL-2.5.1/web/ /var/www/html/vcl-2.5.1
ln -s /var/www/html/vcl-2.5.1 /var/www/html/vcl
cd /var/www/html/vcl/.ht-inc
If SELinux is enabled, run the following command to set the context of the
web code to httpd_sys_content_t
chcon -R -t httpd_sys_content_t /var/www/html/vcl-2.5.1
Copy secrets-default.php to secrets.php:
cp secrets-default.php secrets.php
Edit the secrets.php file:
vi secrets.php
Set the following variables to match your database configuration:
Create random passwords for the following variables:
$cryptkey (generate with "openssl rand 32 | base64")
Save the secrets.php file
Run the
Copy conf-default.php to conf.php:
cp conf-default.php conf.php
Modify conf.php to match your site
vi conf.php
Review every entry under "Things in this section must be
modified/reviewed". Descriptions and pointers for each value are
included within conf.php.
Set the owner of the .ht-inc/maintenance and .ht-inc/cryptkey directories
to the web server user (normally 'apache'):
chown apache maintenance
chown apache cryptkey
If SELinux is enabled, run the following command to allow the web server
to write to maintenance and cryptkey
chcon -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t maintenance
chcon -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t cryptkey
Open the testsetup.php page in a web browser:
If you set up your site to be open
Debug any issues reported by testsetup.php
C. Log In to the VCL Website
Open the index.php page in your browser
Select Local Account
Username: admin
Password: adminVc1passw0rd
Set the admin user password (DO NOT skip this step):
Click User Preferences
Enter the current password: adminVc1passw0rd
Enter a new password
Click Submit Changes
D. Add a Management Node to the Database
Click the Management Nodes link
Select Edit Management Node Profiles
Click Submit
Click Add New Management Node
Fill in these required fields:
Hostname - The name of the management node server. This value
doesn't necessarily need to be a name registered in DNS nor
does it need to be the value displayed by the Linux hostname
command. For example, if you are installing all of the VCL
components on the same machine you can set this value to
IP address - the public IP address of the management node
SysAdmin Email Address - error emails will be sent to this address
Install Path - this is the parent directory under which image files
will be stored - only required if doing bare metal installs
or using VMWare with local disks
End Node SSH Identity Key Files - enter /etc/vcl/vcl.key unless
you know you are using a different SSH identity key file
Optionally, fill in these fields:
Address for Shadow Emails - End users are sent various emails about
the status of their reservations. If this field is
configured, copies of all of those emails will be sent to
this address.
Public NIC configuration method - this defaults to Dynamic DHCP -
if DHCP is not available for the public interface of your
nodes, you can set this to Static. Then, the IP
configuration on the nodes will be manually set using Public
Netmask, Public Gateway, Public DNS Server, and the IP
address set for the computer under Manage Computers
Click Add Management Node
A dialog will pop up informing you to add the management node to a
group, read it and click Close
select the allManagementNodes group on the right
click <-Add
click Close
3. Install & Configure the Management Node Components
Prerequisites The following management node installation instructions assume
the instructions in these previous sections have been completed:
VCL 2.5.1 Database Installation
VCL 2.5.1 Web Code Installation
Supported Operating Systems:
The VCL management node daemon (vcld) has been developed to run on an
operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It has been tested
on the following:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x
CentOS 6.x
CentOS 7.x
Required Linux Packages:
The VCL management node daemon (vcld) requires the following Linux packages
and Perl modules in order to run (see step 2 below for installation
expat-devel - Libraries and include files to develop XML applications with
gcc - Various compilers (C, C++, Objective-C, Java, ...)
krb5-devel - Development files needed to compile Kerberos 5 programs
krb5-libs - The shared libraries used by Kerberos 5
libxml2-devel - Libraries, includes, etc. to develop XML and HTML
make - GNU make utility to maintain groups of programs
mysql/mariadb - Includes libraries for connecting to mysql/mariadb
nmap - Network exploration tool and security scanner
openssh - The OpenSSH implementation of SSH protocol versions 1 and 2
openssl-devel - Files for development of applications which will use OpenSSL
perl - The Perl programming language
xmlsec1-openssl - OpenSSL crypto plugin for XML Security Library
Required Perl Modules:
The VCL management node daemon (vcld) is written in Perl and has been tested
on Perl 5.10 and 5.16. The following Perl modules available from CPAN are
also required (see step B below for installation instructions):
Crypt::CBC - implementation of the cryptographic cipher block chaining mode
Crypt::OpenSSL::RSA - RSA encoding and decoding, using the openSSL libraries
Crypt::Rijndael - Crypt::CBC compliant Rijndael encryption module
DBD::MySQL - MySQL driver for the Perl5 Database Interface (DBI)
DBI - Generic Database Interface
Digest::SHA1 - NIST SHA message digest algorithm
Exception::Class::Base - base class for exception objects
Frontier::Client - issue Frontier XML RPC requests to a server
HTTP::Headers - class encapsulating HTTP Message headers
IO::String - emulate file interface for in-core strings
JSON - JavaScript Object Notation
LWP::UserAgent - class implementing a web user agent
Mail::Mailer - Simple mail agent interface
Net::Jabber - Jabber perl library
Net::Netmask - parse, manipulate and lookup IP network blocks
Net::Ping::External - Cross-platform Perl interface to "ping" utilities
Net::SSH::Expect - a wrapper to the ssh executable that is available in
system's PATH
Object::InsideOut - Comprehensive inside-out object support
RPC::XML::Client - XML-RPC client class
Text::CSV_XS - comma-separated values manipulation routines
XML::Simple - API for simple XML files
YAML - YAML Ain't Markup Language
A. Install the VCL Management Node Code - Perl Daemon
Copy the managementnode directory to the location where you want it to
reside (typically /usr/local):
cp -ar apache-VCL-2.5.1/managementnode /usr/local/vcl-2.5.1
ln -s /usr/local/vcl-2.5.1 /usr/local/vcl
B. Install the Required Linux Packages & Perl Modules
Run the script located in the bin directory:
perl /usr/local/vcl/bin/
The last line of the script output should be:
COMPLETE: installed all components
Note: The script will hang or terminate if it encounters a problem. If
this occurs, you will need to troubleshoot the problem by looking at the
The script included in the VCL distribution will
attempt to download and install the required Linux packages and Perl
modules. It uses the yum utility to install the required Linux packages.
The required Perl modules are available from CPAN - The Comprehensive Perl
Archive Network. The script attempts to download and
install the required Perl modules by using the module which is
included with most Perl distributions.
The yum utility should exist on any modern Red Hat-based Linux
distribution (Red Hat, CentOS, Fedora, etc). If yum isn't available on
your management node OS, you will need to download and install the
required Linux packages manually or by using another package management
utility. After installing the required Linux packages, attempt to run the script again.
C. Configure vcld.conf
Create the /etc/vcl directory:
mkdir /etc/vcl
Copy the stock vcld.conf file to /etc/vcl:
cp /usr/local/vcl/etc/vcl/vcld.conf /etc/vcl
Edit /etc/vcl/vcld.conf:
vi /etc/vcl/vcld.conf
The following lines must be configured in order to start the VCL daemon
(vcld) and allow it to check in to the database:
FQDN - the fully qualified name of the management node, this should
match the name that was configured for the management node
in the database
server - the IP address or FQDN of the database server
LockerWrtUser - database user account with write privileges
wrtPass - database user password
xmlrpc_pass - password for xmlrpc api from vcld to the web interface
(can be long). This will be used later to sync the database
vclsystem user account
xmlrpc_url - URL for xmlrpc api
Save the vcld.conf file
D. Configure the SSH Client
The SSH client on the management node should be configured to prevent SSH
processes spawned by the root user to the computers it controls from
hanging because of missing or different entries in the known_hosts file.
Edit the ssh_config file:
vi /etc/ssh/ssh_config
Set the following parameters:
UserKnownHostsFile /dev/null
StrictHostKeyChecking no
Note: If you do not want these settings applied universally on the
management node the SSH configuration can also be configured to only apply
these settings to certain hosts or only for the root user. Consult the SSH
documentation for more information.
E. Install and Start the VCL Daemon (vcld) Service
Steps for systemd - use these steps if your system is using systemd
Copy the vcld service script to /usr/lib/systemd/system
cp /usr/local/vcl/etc/systemd/system/vcld.service /usr/lib/systemd/system
Create a vcld config file in /etc/sysconfig
echo "OPTIONS='-v -conf=/etc/vcl/vcld.conf'" > /etc/sysconfig/vcld
If using SELinux, set the correct user and context:
chcon -u system_u -t systemd_unit_file_t /usr/lib/systemd/system/vcld.service
Enable vcld.service
systemctl enable vcld.service
Start the vcld service:
systemctl start vcld.service
Check the vcld service by monitoring the vcld.log file:
tail -f /var/log/vcld.log
Steps for SystemV - use these steps if your system is using SystemV
(scripts located in /etc/init.d)
Copy the vcld service script to /etc/init.d and name it vcld:
cp /usr/local/vcl/bin/S99vcld.linux /etc/init.d/vcld
Add the vcld service using chkconfig:
/sbin/chkconfig --add vcld
Configure the vcld service to automatically run at runtime levels 3-5:
/sbin/chkconfig --level 345 vcld on
Start the vcld service:
/sbin/service vcld start
Check the vcld service by monitoring the vcld.log file:
tail -f /var/log/vcld.log
You should see the following being added to the log file every few seconds
if the management node is checking in with the database:
2017-07-13 13:23:45|25494|vcld:main(167)|lastcheckin time updated for management node 1: 2017-07-13 13:23:45
F. Set the vclsystem account password for xmlrpc api
Using the vcld -setup tool, set the vclsystem account. This is needed to
properly use the block allocation features.
/usr/local/vcl/bin/vcld --setup
Select the options listed below to set the password. When prompted paste
or type the password from xmlrpc_pass variable in the vcld.conf file and
hit enter.
Select 5. Set Local VCL User Account Password
Select 2. vclsystem
Enter the password you set for xmlrpc_pass in /etc/vcl/vcld.conf
After setting the password for the vclsystem user, test that RPC-XML
Access works correctly by selecting
2: Test RPC-XML Access
"SUCCESS: RPC-XML access is configured correctly" should be displayed
followed by a long list of available XMLRPC functions
G. Install & Configure the DHCP Service
DHCP service is needed for the private network to provide address to
provisioned machines.
Install dhcp if it is not already installed:
yum install dhcp -y
Configure the dhcpd service to automatically start at runlevels 3-5:
/sbin/chkconfig dhcpd on
Configure the dhcpd.conf file.
vi /etc/dhcpd.conf
vi /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf
Configure your dhcpd.conf file according to your network configuration.
The contents of the dhcpd.conf file will vary based on how your network is
configured. Below is an example of a basic dhcpd.conf file:
ddns-update-style none;
shared-network eth0 {
subnet netmask {
ignore unknown-clients;
You will add host definitions to the dhcpd.conf file after you add
computers to VCL using the website. The website allows you to select a
set of computers for which to generate dhcpd.conf information, which can
be copied and pasted into the dhcpd.conf file.
Start the dhcpd service:
/sbin/service dhcpd start