Tanzu Bootstrap using Photon OS 4.0

This topic explains how to install and initialize the Tanzu command line interface (CLI) on a bootstrap machine. I’ve found that using Photon OS 4.0 is the fastest and most straightforward method to get going with Tanzu.

A quick post on how to setup a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid bootstrap VM using Photon OS.

This topic explains how to install and initialize the Tanzu command line interface (CLI) on a bootstrap machine. I’ve found that using Photon OS 4.0 is the fastest and most straightforward method to get going with Tanzu. I’ve tried Ubuntu and CentOS but these require a lot more preparation with pre-requisites and dependencies such as building a VM from an ISO, and installing Docker which Photon OS already comes with. The other thing I’ve noticed with Linux distros such as Ubuntu is that other things might interfere with your Tanzu deployment. Apparmor and the ufw firewall come to mind.

The Tanzu bootstrap machine is the laptop, host, or server that you deploy management and workload clusters from, and that keeps the Tanzu and Kubernetes configuration files for your deployments. The bootstrap machine is typically local, but it can also be a physical machine or VM that you access remotely. We will be using a ready built Photon OS OVA that is supported by VMware.

Photon OS, is an open-source minimalist Linux operating system from VMware that is optimized for cloud computing platforms, VMware vSphere deployments, and applications native to the cloud.

Photon OS is a Linux container host optimized for vSphere and cloud-computing platforms such as Amazon Elastic Compute and Google Compute Engine. As a lightweight and extensible operating system, Photon OS works with the most common container formats, including Docker, Rocket, and Garden. Photon OS includes a yum-compatible, package-based lifecycle management system called tdnf.

Once the Tanzu CLI is installed, the second and last step to deploying Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is using the Tanzu CLI to create or designate a management cluster on each cloud provider that you use. The Tanzu CLI then communicates with the management cluster to create and manage workload clusters on the cloud provider.

Tanzu bootstrap high-level architecture

Download the Photon OS OVA from this direct link.

Deploy that ova using vCenter Linux Guest Customization and ensure that you deploy it on the same network as the TKG management cluster network that you intend to use. This is important as the bootstrap will set up a temporary kind cluster on Docker that will then be moved over to the TKG management cluster.

Ensure your VM has a minimum of 6GB of RAM. You can read up on other pre-requisites here.

Login using root, with password of changeme, you will be asked to update the root password. All the steps below are done using the root account, if you wish to use a non root account with Photon OS, ensure that you add that account to the docker group, more details in this link here.

Install the tar package, which we will need later to extract the Tanzu CLI.

tdnf install tar

First thing to do is create a new directory called /tanzu.

mkdir /tanzu

and then go into that directory, we will be performing most tasks in this director

cd /tanzu

Copy the following files to the /tanzu directory. You can get these files from my.vmware.com under the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid product listing.

kubectl-linux-v1.20.5-vmware.1.gz, this is the kubectl tool.

tanzu-cli-bundle-v1.3.1-linux-amd64.tar, this is the tanzu CLI.

Unpack the Tanzu CLI

tar -xvf tanzu-cli-bundle-v1.3.1-linux-amd64.tar

Unzip the kubectl tool

gunzip kubectl-linux-v1.20.5-vmware.1.gz

Install kubectl

install kubectl-linux-v1.20.5-vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/kubectl

Now go to the /cli directory

cd /tanzu/cli

Install Tanzu CLI

install core/v1.3.1/tanzu-core-linux_amd64 /usr/local/bin/tanzu

Install Tanzu CLI Plugins

tanzu plugin clean
tanzu plugin install --local cli all
tanzu plugin list

Enable bash auto completion for tanzu cli

source <(tanzu completion bash)

Enable bash auto completion for kubectl

source <(kubectl completion bash)

Install Carvel Tools – ytt, kapp, kgld and imgpkg

Install ytt

gunzip ytt-linux-amd64-v0.31.0+vmware.1.gz
chmod ugo+x ytt-linux-amd64-v0.31.0+vmware.1
mv ./ytt-linux-amd64-v0.31.0+vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/ytt

Install kapp

gunzip kapp-linux-amd64-v0.36.0+vmware.1.gz
chmod ugo+x kapp-linux-amd64-v0.36.0+vmware.1
mv ./kapp-linux-amd64-v0.36.0+vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/kapp

Install kbld

gunzip kbld-linux-amd64-v0.28.0+vmware.1.gz
chmod ugo+x kbld-linux-amd64-v0.28.0+vmware.1
mv ./kbld-linux-amd64-v0.28.0+vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/kbld

Install imgpkg

gunzip imgpkg-linux-amd64-v0.5.0+vmware.1.gz
chmod ugo+x imgpkg-linux-amd64-v0.5.0+vmware.1
mv ./imgpkg-linux-amd64-v0.5.0+vmware.1 /usr/local/bin/imgpkg

Stop Docker

systemctl stop docker

Upgrade software on Photon OS

tdnf -y upgrade docker

Start Docker

systemctl start docker

Add your SSH public key to login with your private key. Please see this link for a guide. Logout and use your private key to login.

vi ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

Start TKG UI Installer

tanzu management-cluster create --ui --bind <ip-of-your-photon-vm>:8080 --browser none