Replaced With Openstack July 2012

this remains for historic reference purposes only. the hardware is being reimaged with OpenStack software...


Note: all toolbox related systems currently have untrusted web certs, fixing this is a "todo" item but for now you will need to do the bad thing and accept the untrusted certificate

Getting an account on the system

This system is not yet in general release, if you want an account please send mail to first and talk to someone so you know what to expect at this early point.

General release expected Spring 2012
  • Request at "Sign UP" button
  • Use your CSAIL username and email (MIT mail rejects mail from this system)
  • once approved you will get a confirmation email with an activation link you must follow

NOTE the system experiences random network loss, we have auto recovery for these to under 60sec and are working with QRI to find and fix the source.

VM Types

Eucalyptus (and thus the Toolbox system) only allows 5 different "VM Types" which must be set by the administrator. You cannot select an arbitrary number of CPUs, memory, or disk size but must select from the five available options. Finding a set of five that includes reasonable options for everyone will be challenging for now this is what we've got:

Name CPUs Memory (MB) Disk (GB)
m1.small 1 256 6
c1.medium 1 1024 8
m1.large 2 2048 16
m1.xlarge 4 4096 16
c1.xlarge 12 24576 32

Using the Toolbox WebUI

Using the Eucalyptus commandline tools


  • login on
  • click on "My Account"
  • click "Download" next to "Download Keys" and save your keys in a secure location
  • Close out of the "account" pop up
  • Select "Templates" from left bar menu then "Upload Image"
  • At the top are links for "euca2ools" for Windows and Linux
  • If you are using a Debian Squeeze (or newer Ubuntu versions) on your workstation sudo aptitude install euca2ools, will do.

Using the Commandline is probably a good place to start?

Creating Filesystem Images

Only the admin can upload kernels and ramdisks so what ever image you uploa dmust work with those (or you can ask TIG to upload for you we almost certainly will). Do to limitations in the underlying virtualization software your user land must be able to deal with fairly old 2.6.28 or older paravirtualized xen kernels.

Also remember that you image will be copied from the shared storage pool to local storage on the system physically hosting your instance, so keeping it small will make you like better and faster.

For the system to have any home of booting the following considerations must also be met:

  1. Make sure using DHCP in network configuration,
  2. In fstab, using "xvda1" as root filesystem, and make other (sd* to xvd*)
  3. In inittab, using "xvc0" as VM console output; in this way you can get console output by "euca-getconsole-output" command (euca2ool)

An example using CSAIL Lenny base image

  • Follow steps above to get your keys and commandline tools installed
  • copy the gzipped base image from /afs/csail/common/share/quanta-toolbox/csail-debian-lenny.img.gz to local disk and gunzip it (expands to 2GB)
  • loopback mount the image (using the "-o loop" option) and make your cusomizations
  • now unmount to be sure all your writes are flushed back to the file on disk

Getting that image to the Toolbox

You now need to bundle, upload, and register the image to make it available on the toolbox. This example will assume:

  1. you have the euca2ools installed
  2. you have downloaded your keys from the toolbox and sourced the eucarc file bundled with them
  3. you have a filesystem image named test-emi.img in the current directory
  4. you have a subdirectory named test-image in the current directory for temporary files generated but the bundling process
  5. your current directory is local to your system and has sufficient free space to hold another copy of your base image

# first we need to "bundle" the image
# -d directory for temp files -i image file name
$ euca-bundle-image -d test-image -i test-emi.img
Checking image
Tarring image
Encrypting image
Splitting image...
Part: test-emi.img.part.0
Part: test-emi.img.part.1
#<snip bunch of output>
Part: test-emi.img.part.55
Part: test-emi.img.part.56
Generating manifest test-image/test-emi.img.manifest.xml

# next we upload that bundle
# -b bucket to put image in, best if unique -m manifest from last output
$ euca-upload-bundle -b jon-test -m test-image/test-emi.img.manifest.xml
Uploading manifest file
Uploading part: test-emi.img.part.0
Uploading part: test-emi.img.part.1
Uploading part: test-emi.img.part.55
Uploading part: test-emi.img.part.56
Uploaded image as jon-test/test-emi.img.manifest.xml

# register image from manifest in bucket
$ euca-register jon-test/test-emi.img.manifest.xml
IMAGE   emi-9D280F99

after all that you'll be able to use the EMI either from the command line or the Toolbox GUI. The only option is for this to be a private image so only you can see it. You can distribute the the test-emi.img file to other users and have them do a similar bundle-upload-register dance or if you believe it is useful to all users you can ask TIG to upload it as a public image.

You probably want to empty the temporary directory (test-image in the example) as that's still full of intermediary files you're unlikely to ever need again.

Known Issues

List of "known Issues" from Quanta Taiwan as of 8/5/2011


  • Flash object may not show on firefox if flash player is not installed.

  • Supported minimum resolution is 1024*768, if user add too much toolbars on browser, some content like message area of toology view may not be revealed.

  • At Physical View->Topology, when zoom in/out the topology graph, the graph may not at the center of the window.

  • User Tree Async loading will be fail in Linux OS with FireFox? 3.6. Please use FireFox? 4.0 in linux environment.

Appmanager GUI

  • Users can only upload file system images through Appmanager GUI.

  • Users can only allocate 5 public IP address.

  • Users can only run less than 60 VMs at one profile.

  • A load balancer can only connect to one server.

  • Only Linux OS support script mechanism.

  • Not allow the same name of script while adding script to the service.

  • Not allow the same name of script parameter while adding script to the service.

  • The server with external storages caníŽt be auto-scaling.

  • The server with external storages can only have one VM.

  • A external storage only can use once in run time.


  • Windows virtual machine will fail to attached external volume

  • Power management function will fail to shut down server randomly. (thresholds have to set 100)

  • Preserve MySQL? binary log for 7days.

  • Preserve record in Log table for 7days.

  • Preserve VM performance data for 12 hours.

-- JonProulx - 04 Aug 2011
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
ToolBox_Getting_Started_Guide_v1.0.1.pdfpdf ToolBox_Getting_Started_Guide_v1.0.1.pdf manage 4237.6 K 04 Aug 2011 - 14:30 JonProulx Quanta Toolbox User Documentation
Topic revision: 29 Jun 2012, JonProulx

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