Elemental the visual way
The following instructions need Rancher 2.8.x at least.
This quickstart will show you how to deploy the Elemental plugin and operator into an existing Rancher Manager instance.
Once installed, you'll be able to provision a new Elemental cluster based on RKE2 or K3s.
However, if you want to install staging or dev operator, you can only do it in CLI mode.
Enable the Rancher Manager Extensions Support
In order to enable the Rancher Manager Extensions Support, you'll need to follow the steps below:
- Open a web browser, connect and login to your Rancher Manager instance
- Click on the top left menu and click on
- Click on
Enablebutton to install the
- A popup will appear, click on the
OKbutton to continue and install the Rancher Manager Extensions repository
Install the elemental plugin
After the Rancher Manager Extensions Support is enabled, you can install the
elemental plugin as follow:
- Under the
Availabletab you will see
Available tab shows no entries, refresh the page. The
elemental plugin will then appear.
- Click on the
Installbutton, a popup will appear and click on
Installagain to continue.
- On the
elementalplugin is now listed.
elemental plugin is listed and the status stays at
Installing..., refresh the page. The
elemental plugin will display correctly.
elemental plugin installed, you can see the
OS Management option in the Rancher Manager menu, refresh the page if you do not see it.
Install the elemental operator
The following guide will show you how to install the operator through the Elemental UI. But you can also install it directly from the Marketplace.
Click on the OS Management button in the navigation menu.
If the operator is not already installed, the elemental ui will let you deploy it by clicking on the
Install Elemental Operator button:
It will redirect you to the Rancher Marketplace to install the operator.
Click on the
In this screen, you can customize or use the default values, click on
Install to continue:
You should see
elemental-operator deployed in the
If you do not see them, make sure to select the correct namespace at the top of the page.
Add a Machine Registration Endpoint
In the OS Management dashboard, click the
Create Registration Endpoint button.
Now here either you can enter each detail in its respective places or you can edit this as YAML and create the endpoint in one go. Here we'll edit every fields.
name: elemental-cluster1: change this as per your need
device: /dev/sda: make sure your target device is "sda". Otherwise find out how the disk device is named and change it here. For example, in Raspberry Pi it could be "mmblk"
emulate-tpm: true: use this only if your target device doesn't have a TPM device and you have a way of emulating TPM like in VMware or KVM
emulated-tpm-seed: 1: increase this by 1 for every new machine. If this value is not set, each machine will receive the same TPM hash and it won't show up under the machine inventory.
Emulated TPM is only for non-production usage like for testing as it beats the purpose of security. So in production usage use the code above without the
Once you create the machine registration end point it should show up as active.
Preparing the installation (seed) image
Now this is the last step, you need to prepare an Elemental Teal seed image that includes the initial registration config, so it can be auto registered, installed and fully deployed as part of your cluster. The contents of the file are nothing more than the registration URL that the node needs to register and the proper server certificate, so it can connect securely.
This seed image can then be used to provision an infinite number of machines.
The seed image is created as a Kubernetes resource above and can be built using the
Build ISO button:
Once the build is done, ISO can be downloaded using the
Download ISO button:
You can now boot your nodes with this image and they will:
- Register with the registrationURL given and create a per-machine
- Install Elemental Teal to the given device
When nodes are booting up for the first time, they connect to Rancher Manager and a
Machine Inventory is created for each node.
Custom columns are based on
Machine Inventory Labels which you can add when you create your
Machine Registration Endpoint:
On the following screenshot,
Hardware Labels are used as custom columns:
You can also add custom columns by clicking on the three dots menu.
Finally, you can also filter your
Machine Inventory using those labels.
For instance if you only want to see your AMD machines, you can filter on
CPUModel like below:
Create your first Elemental Cluster
Now let's use those
Machine Inventory to create a cluster by clicking on
Create Elemental Cluster :
For your Elemental cluster, you can either choose K3s or RKE2 for Kubernetes.
Most of the options are coming from Rancher, that's why we will not detail all the possibilities. Feel free to check the Rancher Manager documentation if you want to know more.
However, it is important to highlight the
Inventory of Machines Selector Template section.
It lets you choose which
Machine Inventory you want to use to create your Elemental cluster using the previously defined
Machine Inventory Labels :
As our three Machine Inventories contain the label
CPUVendor with the key
AuthenticAMD, the three machines will be used to create the Elemental cluster.