WordPress example


This example will launch an EC2 cloud application which runs a WordPress system. Two virtual machines will be launched, the first runs a MySQL database, and the second runs the WordPress service.


Running VMs on EC2 requires an EC2 account which will be charged. At the time of this writing the rates for an m1.small instance is $0.065 per hour. Rates can be checked here.


Once you have cloudinit.d installed the following commands will get this example, boot it in EC2, and present you with a functional WordPress service.

$ export CLOUDINITD_IAAS_ACCESS_KEY=<your EC2 access key>
$ export CLOUDINITD_IAAS_SECRET_KEY=<your EC2 secret key>
$ export CLOUDINITD_IAAS_SSHKEY=<the path to your ssh key>
$ export CLOUDINITD_IAAS_SSHKEYNAME=<the name of your ssh key in EC2>
$ wget http://www.nimbusproject.org/downloads/wordpress.tar.gz
$ tar -zxf wordpress.tar.gz
$ cloudinitd -v -v -v boot wordpress/top.conf

When this completes a full WordPress service will be ready for your use. The output of cloudinit.d will look something like this:

Starting up run c80e7e2c
    Started IaaS work for mysql
    Started IaaS work for wordpress
Starting the launch plan.
Begin boot level 1...
    Started mysql
        SUCCESS service mysql boot
        hostname: ec2-50-17-78-14.compute-1.amazonaws.com
        instance: i-f8380797
SUCCESS level 1
Begin boot level 2...
Begin boot level 2...
    Started wordpress
    SUCCESS service wordpress boot
        hostname: ec2-174-129-163-229.compute-1.amazonaws.com
        instance: i-ca3807a5
SUCCESS level 2

Note the second hostname printed under the wordpress service information: ec2-174-129-163-229.compute-1.amazonaws.com. Simply point your web browser at http://ec2-174-129-163-229.compute-1.amazonaws.com/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php and you have your own personal WordPress service!


For this example to work you need your default security group to have port 22, 80 and 3306 open.


You can terminate the entire cloud application with a single command as well. The first thing to note is the run name which is printed out in the first line of the boot output:

Starting up run c80e7e2c

In our case it is c80e7e2c. To terminate the launch run the following command:

$ cloudinitd -v -v -v terminate c80e7e2c
Terminating c80e7e2c
Begin terminate level 2...
    Started wordpress
    SUCCESS service wordpress terminate
        hostname: None
        instance: i-ca3807a5
SUCCESS level 2
Begin terminate level 1...
Begin terminate level 1...
    Started mysql
    SUCCESS service mysql terminate
        hostname: None
        instance: i-f8380797
SUCCESS level 1
deleting the db file /home/bresnaha/.cloudinitd/cloudinitd-c80e7e2c.db

All of the resources associated with your cloud application will now be cleaned up.

What Happened

The following presentation shows what happened.

Launch plan

The details of the launch are found in the launch plan. The first file is top.conf:

localsshkeypath: env.CLOUDINITD_IAAS_SSHKEY

level1: mysql_level.conf
level2: wp_level.conf

Here we see above that key security information is gathered from the environment variables (this is why we had to set the prior to launch in the quick start). We also see that there are two run levels. The first handles the MySQL server, and once that is done, the second uses it to handle the WordPress service.

If we look at the two run level files mysql_level.conf and wp_level.conf we see that each has a section that starts with svc. What follows svc- is the name of the service to be described. In svc-wordpress and svc-mysql we see three similar values and three different ones. First let’s look at the similar values:

ssh_username: ubuntu
image: ami-ccf405a5
allocation: m1.small

These lines tell cloudinit.d to launch the image name ami-ccf405a5 (this is a standard ubuntu10.10 image) as a m1.small instance. The ssh_username tells cloudinit.d which username can be accessed with the previously established keys.

Those lines are enough to establish two base virtual machines in the associated cloud. From there the next thing to do is customize these VMs to do their needed jobs, become a MySQL server and a WordPress server. The next three lines of the configuration file handle this.

bootpgm points to a script that is copied into the virtual machine where it is run. This script should download, install, and configure the machine to do its job. MySQL is installed with apt-get and configured. WordPress is downloaded and installed.

Further, the hostname where the MySQL service is running is passed to the WordPress VM so that it can connect to it. This is handled with the deps directive and the bootconf directive. The files in this launch plan serve as a good example for how this works.


When a service is launched, a series of log files are created under: ~/.cloudinitd/<run name>. Valuable information about the progress of a launch can be found in these directories.