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Running Instances on the Local Environment supports two popular and high-performance hypervisors for virtualization: Firecracker and Qemu. This guide outlines the steps to run instances on your local machine for development and testing purposes.

0. Prerequisites

  • SSH Keys: Ensure you have a valid SSH key pair set up. You'll need the public key to enable SSH access to the instances.

1. Configuration

Configure Allocation Token and SSH Keys:

  • Edit the /etc/aleph/supervisor.env file and add the following lines:
# Encrypted allocation token hash in sha256 format

# Demo allocation hash for "test" allocation token
# ALEPH_VM_ALLOCATION_TOKEN_HASH=9f86d081884c7d659a2feaa0c55ad015a3bf4f1b2b0b822cd15d6c15b0f00a08

# List of authorized SSH public keys (replace "YOUR_SSH_PUBLIC_KEY" with your actual key)
  • Important: Replace YOUR_ALLOCATION_TOKEN_HASH with your actual encrypted allocation token and YOUR_SSH_PUBLIC_KEY with your public SSH key.

Enable Developer SSH Keys (Optional):

By default, SSH access to instances is only enabled to the user that creates the VM for security reasons. To enable it for development, you have two options:

a) Modifying the Systemd Service File:

  1. Locate the Aleph VM orchestrator service file, typically found at /etc/systemd/system/aleph-vm-supervisor.service.
  2. Edit the file and add the --developer-ssh-keys argument to the ExecStart line. It should look something like this:
ExecStart=python3 -m aleph.vm.orchestrator --print-settings --very-verbose --developer-ssh-keys
  1. Reload the systemd configuration and restart the service:
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart aleph-vm-supervisor

b) Running the Orchestrator Manually:

You can simply append the --developer-ssh-keys argument when running the orchestrator manually:

python3 -m aleph.vm.orchestrator --print-settings --very-verbose --developer-ssh-keys

2. Launch Instance

Use the following curl command to launch an instance locally:

curl --verbose --include -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "X-Auth-Signature: ALLOCATION_TOKEN" \
-d '{"persistent_vms": [], "instances": ["INSTANCE_ID"]}' \
  • Replace INSTANCE_ID with the actual ID of the instances you want to launch and also the CRN_URL by your own.
  • Replace ALLOCATION_TOKEN with you allocation token source of the hash previously configured.

3. Qemu

To run an instance using the Qemu hypervisor, follow these additional steps:

a) Enable Qemu Support:

Edit the /etc/aleph/supervisor.env file and add the following line:


b) Set Default Hypervisor (Optional):

If you primarily use Qemu, you can set it as the default hypervisor:


c) Launch a Qemu Instance:

The curl command remains almost the same, but ensure the instance you're launching has a Qemu runtime:

curl --verbose --include -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "X-Auth-Signature: ALLOCATION_TOKEN" \
-d '{"persistent_vms": [], "instances": ["QEMU_INSTANCE_ID"]}' \
  • Replace QEMU_INSTANCE_ID with the actual ID of the Qemu instance