GuidesDiscussions
GuidesAPI ReferenceJoin the Mailing List

Setup: Working with VM Metadata

How to work with the default Orka VM metadata. How to pass custom VM metadata during deployment.

🚧

Quick navigation

Overview: Types of VM metadata | Limitations to working with VM metadata

How to: Deploy a VM with custom metadata | Retrieve VM Metadata | Use VM metadata in CI/CD

When you deploy a VM, Orka assigns default metadata to the VM. You can also add your own custom metadata during deployment with the Orka API.

With VM metadata, you have more ways to identify and manage running VMs in addition to the data visible with list and status operations. You might find this helpful for your CI/CD workflows.

Metadata is stored in the format {"key": "my key", "value": "my value"}. Every VM stores its metadata on a metadata server. You can query this metadata server to retrieve the metadata only from within the VM.

πŸ“˜

IMPORTANT

To use VM metadata with Apple silicon-based VMs, you need to have a compatible version of Orka VM Tools installed on the VM.

Types of VM metadata

Orka always defines a default metadata set that provides information about your VM. Every VM has access to its default VM metadata.

All default metadata keys (reserved keys) are prefixed with orka_.

Default metadata keyDescription
orka_vm_idThe VM ID. This is a unique ID that is generated and assigned by Orka.
orka_vm_nameThe VM name, as specified by the VM configuration.
orka_node_nameThe name of the node where the VM is deployed.
orka_base_imageThe base image used by the VM.
orka_cpuThe number of CPUs for the VM.
orka_memoryThe RAM memory for the VM.

Custom metadata is stored in the format {"key": "my key", "value": "my value"}. You can use it to pass string values to your VM.

Limitations to working with VM metadata

  • You cannot override the default VM metadata.
  • You can set custom VM metadata only via the Orka API.
  • You cannot modify the metadata after the VM is deployed.
  • You cannot store the VM metadata for use from other VMs with the image save and image commit operations.
  • You cannot reset your VM metadata with the vm revert operation. This operation does not affect VM metadata.
  • The custom VM metadata applies only to the VM instance for which it was specified.
  • Π’he VM metadata is not protected by authentication or cryptographic methods. It is, however, accessible only from the VM.
  • The VM metadata is not affected by the vm start/ stop/ suspend/ resume operations.
  • The VM metadata server is not protected by authentication or cryptographic methods.
  • The VM metadata server cannot handle special characters in metadata retrieval requests (for example, space).

Deploy a VM with custom metadata

πŸ“˜

IMPORTANT

Do not store sensitive data, such as passwords or long-lived encryption keys, as VM metadata.

Although accessible only from within the VM, the VM metadata is not protected by authentication or cryptographic methods. Anyone with direct access to the VM, and potentially any software running on the VM, can query and view the metadata.

  1. Connect to your cluster via VPN. For more information, see VPN Connection or Orka Small Teams: Access Your Cluster, if you're working with Orka Small Teams.

  2. Make sure you have a VM configuration with enabled VNC, SSH, or Screen Sharing. See VNC, SSH and Screen Sharing for Orka Vms .

  3. Send a POST request to http://<orka-api-url>/resources/vm/deploy with the vm_metadata option in the body of the request. For example:

    curl --location -g --request POST 'http://<ORKA_API_IP>/resources/vm/deploy' \
    --header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    --header 'Authorization: Bearer <TOKEN>' \
    --data-raw '{
        "orka_vm_name": "<VM_NAME>",
        "vm_metadata": { "items": [{"key": "<MY_METADATA_KEY>", "value": "<MY_METADATA_VALUE>" }] }
    }'
    

Retrieve VM metadata

πŸ“˜

IMPORTANT

Do not store sensitive data, such as passwords or long-lived encryption keys, as VM metadata.

Although accessible only from within the VM, the VM metadata is not protected by authentication or cryptographic methods. Anyone with direct access to the VM, and potentially any software running on the VM, can query and view the metadata.

To retrieve your VM metadata, you need to query the metadata server. Note that this server is accessible only from within the VM, but is not protected by authentication or cryptographic methods. However, when you request information from the metadata server, your request and the subsequent metadata response never leave the K8s Pod that is running the Orka VM.

The server returns the metadata in a JSON format.

  1. Connect to your cluster via VPN. For more information, see VPN Connection or Orka Small Teams: Access Your Cluster, if you're working with Orka Small Teams.

  2. Connect to the VM via VNC, SSH, or Screen Sharing.

  3. From within the VM, query the metadata server. This retrieves all the available metadata for the VM.

    curl http://169.254.169.254/metadata/
    

    The IP address 169.254.169.254 is a link-local address and is accessible only from within the VM. All metadata values are defined as sub-paths below this root URL.

  4. To retrieve a specific VM metadata value for a specific key, pass the following request:

    curl http://169.254.169.254/metadata/<DEFAULT_ORKA_KEY>
    curl http://169.254.169.254/metadata/<MY_METADATA_KEY>
    

    πŸ‘

    Using special characters in your keys?

    Replace special characters in your key names with their correct encoded versions in your request. For example, run curl 169.254.169.254/metadata/my%20key instead of curl 169.254.169.254/metadata/my key.

Use VM metadata in CI/CD

  1. Pass the VM metadata when deploying the build agent instances OR use a permanent agent already deployed with VM metadata.
  2. Retrieve the metadata as part of your CI/CD workflow.
  3. Use the metadata values as needed to identify or manage the build agents.

Β© 2019-2023 Copyright MacStadium, Inc. – Documentation built with readme.com. Orka is a registered trademark of MacStadium, Inc.