How to Build Your First DevOps Lab – Part 3: Setting up our Ubuntu Node

What is Docker and its Advantages?

Docker, at its core, is a virtualization technology. But, if you have worked with other virtualization technology, such as hypervisors, Docker is quite different. Docker uses what are called containers that run on top of the host Operating System (OS). These containers are very lightweight and include only the software needed for the task at hand. Docker containers provide consistency in their deployments, having the same configuration each time given the same Dockerfile is used; A Dockerfile is a set of commands executed when a docker image is created. The ability to provide a consistent environment with a small footprint is extremely valuable in DevOps where the containers may have a short lifespan.


Node Overview and Configuration

The Ubuntu node in this configuration will be used as a host for Docker containers, as mentioned previously. Running Docker containers on a separate VM will alleviate some compute requirements on the Ubuntu Master VM. While Docker containers do not require a lot of compute, there is already a lot of components being installed on the Ubuntu Master VM.


We will go through the process of installing Docker and configuring SSH to allow connections from the Ubuntu master VM with Ansible. After configuring this node, you likely will not have to do much more on here manually as Ansible can take care of any further configurations remotely.


To configure the Ubuntu node with Docker, see below:


1. Login to Ubuntu Node VM with the configured user

2. Install Docker on Node

a. Allow apt to use a repository over HTTPS

sudo apt install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common

b. Add the Docker GPG Key to the list of keys used by apt to authenticate packages

curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -

c. Add Docker repository

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu bionic stable"

d. Update apt to make use of the new repository

sudo apt update

e. Install Docker on the Node

sudo apt-get install docker-ce -y

f. Add Ubuntu user to Docker group to be able to run the docker command without needing sudo

Note: If needed, update the username with the username in your environment

sudo gpasswd -a [username] docker

g. Check that the docker service is running

sudo systemctl status docker

3. Install Pip

a. Pip is used to install Python packages that can then be used, imported, when running python scripts or running commands directly from the Python prompt

sudo apt-get install python3-pip -y

4. Install docker-py to be able to deploy docker machines from Ansible

sudo pip3 install docker-py

5. Install Open SSH Server to allow SSH connections from the Ubuntu Master VM

sudo apt-get install openssh-server -y

6. Update Authorized Keys file on Node with Public Keys from Master (These keys should have been copied to an external editor in the part 2)

a. Edit the authorized_keys file on the Node (This file will get created when running the below command)

b. Insert copied contents into a new line and save the file

sudo vi ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

7. On the Ubuntu Master VM, verify Ansible connectivity to the Ubuntu Node VM

ansible all -i /etc/ansible/inventory -m ping

Halfway There

If you have made it this far, you are halfway through the DevOps lab configuration. Congrats! In the following parts, we’ll take a look at Jira and Splunk.


Jira is a widely used tool to track issues with different projects for an organization. It helps with managing bugs/issues that may occur in the CI/CD pipeline.


Splunk, on the other hand, is a logging tool used by many organizations for gathering information from remote systems. Splunk doesn’t tie together with any of the other components that we configure in this lab build, but it is a great tool to learn nonetheless; however, you could integrate it with other products if you wanted to.


Be on the lookout for Part 4 in this series!


DevOps Lab Build Series Index

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Configuring the Ubuntu Master

Part 3: Setting up our Ubuntu Node

Part 4: Configuring Splunk

Part 5: Jira Cloud Integration


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