OpenStack Containerization with Podman – Part 2 (SystemD)

In the first post, we demonstrated that we can now use Podman to deploy a containerized OpenStack TripleO Undercloud. Let’s see how we can operate the containers with SystemD.

Podman, by design, doesn’t have any daemon running to manage the containers lifecycle; while Docker runs dockerd-current and docker-containerd-current which take care of a bunch of things, such as restarting the containers when they are in failure (and configured to do it, with restart policies).

In OpenStack TripleO, we still want our containers to restart when they are configured to, so we thought about managing the containers with SystemD. I recently wrote a blog post about how Podman can be controlled by SystemD, and we finally implemented it in TripleO.

The way it works, as of today, is that any container managed by Podman with a restart policy in Paunch container configuration, will be managed by SystemD.

Let’s take the example of Glance API. This snippet is the configuration of the container at step 4:

        - glance_api:
            start_order: 2
            image: *glance_api_image
            net: host
            privileged: {if: [cinder_backend_enabled, true, false]}
            restart: always
              test: /openstack/healthcheck
            volumes: *glance_volumes

As you can see, the Glance API container was configured to always try to restart (so Docker would do so). With Podman, we re-use this flag and we create (+ enable) a SystemD unit file:

Description=glance_api container
ExecStart=/usr/bin/podman start -a glance_api
ExecStop=/usr/bin/podman stop -t 10 glance_api

How it works underneath:

  • Paunch will run podman run to start the container, during the deployment steps.
  • If there is a restart policy, Paunch will create a SystemD unit file.
  • The SystemD service is named by the container name, so if you were used to the old services name before the containerization, you’ll have to refresh your mind. By choice, we decided to go with the container name to avoid confusion with the podman ps output.
  • Once the containers are deployed, they need to be stopped / started / restarted by SystemD. If you run Podman CLI to do it, SystemD will take over (see in the demo).

Stay in touch for the next post in the series of deploying TripleO and Podman!

Software Engineeer at Red Hat, Private Pilot, French guy hiding somewhere in Canada.