This is a build your own IaaS cloud guide on setting up a Apache CloudStack based cloud on a single Ubuntu 20.04/22.04 (LTS) host that is also used as a KVM host.

Note: this has been updated against ACS 4.19 release. This how-to post may get outdated in future, so please follow the latest docs and/or read the latest docs on KVM host installation.

Initial Setup

First install Ubuntu 20.04/22.04 LTS on your x86_64 system that has at least 8GB RAM (prerably 16GB or more) with Intel VT-X or AMD-V enabled. Ensure that the universe repository is enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list.

Install basic packages:

apt-get install openntpd openssh-server sudo vim htop tar

Optionally, if you’ve Intel based system install/update CPU microcode:

apt-get install intel-microcode

Allow the root user for ssh access using password, fix /etc/ssh/sshd_config. Change and remember the root password:

passwd root

Setup Networking

Setup Linux bridges that will handle CloudStack’s public, guest, management and storage traffic. For simplicity, we will use a single bridge cloudbr0 to be used for all these networks. Install bridge utilities:

apt-get install bridge-utils

This guide assumes that you’re in a network which is a typical RFC1918 private network.

Ubuntu 20.04/22.04

Starting Ubuntu bionic, admins can use netplan to configure networking. The default installation creates a file at /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml that you should comment, and create a file at /etc/netplan/01-netcfg.yaml applying your network and interface/name specific changes:

   version: 2
   renderer: networkd
       dhcp4: false
       dhcp6: false
       optional: true
       addresses: []
        - to: default
         addresses: [,]
       interfaces: [eno1]
       dhcp4: false
       dhcp6: false
         stp: false
         forward-delay: 0

Note: If you want to use VXLAN based traffic isolation, make sure to increase the MTU setting of the physical nics by 50 bytes (because VXLAN header size is 50 bytes). For example:

        macaddress: 00:01:2e:4f:f7:d0
      mtu: 1550
      dhcp4: false
      dhcp6: false
      mtu: 1550

Save the file and apply network config, finally reboot:

netplan generate
netplan apply

CloudStack Management Server Setup

Install CloudStack management server and MySQL server: (run as root)

For Ubuntu 22.04 and onwards:

mkdir -p /etc/apt/keyrings
wget -O- | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /etc/apt/keyrings/cloudstack.gpg > /dev/null

echo deb [signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/cloudstack.gpg] / > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/cloudstack.list
apt-get update -y
apt-get install cloudstack-management mysql-server

Optionally, if you want usage server you can run:

apt-get install cloudstack-usage

Make a note of the MySQL server’s root user password. Configure InnoDB settings in mysql server’s /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf:


server_id = 1
binlog-format = 'ROW'

Restart MySQL server and setup database:

systemctl restart mysql
cloudstack-setup-databases cloud:cloud@localhost --deploy-as=root:<root password, default blank> -i <cloudbr0 IP here>

Storage Setup

Install NFS server:

apt-get install nfs-kernel-server quota

Create exports:

echo "/export  *(rw,async,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)" > /etc/exports
mkdir -p /export/primary /export/secondary
exportfs -a

Configure and restart NFS server:

sed -i -e 's/^RPCMOUNTDOPTS="--manage-gids"$/RPCMOUNTDOPTS="-p 892 --manage-gids"/g' /etc/default/nfs-kernel-server
sed -i -e 's/^STATDOPTS=$/STATDOPTS="--port 662 --outgoing-port 2020"/g' /etc/default/nfs-common
echo "NEED_STATD=yes" >> /etc/default/nfs-common
sed -i -e 's/^RPCRQUOTADOPTS=$/RPCRQUOTADOPTS="-p 875"/g' /etc/default/quota
service nfs-kernel-server restart

Optional: The following is no longer necessary for CloudStack 4.16 and above as CloudStack management server does this automatically. This is provided just for reference. For older versions, the cloud-install-sys-tmplt script can be used to seed the systemvmtemplate. For example, here’s the command to use for version 4.16 just for reference and example:

/usr/share/cloudstack-common/scripts/storage/secondary/cloud-install-sys-tmplt \
          -m /export/secondary -f systemvmtemplate-4.16.1-kvm.qcow2.bz2 -h kvm \
          -o localhost -r cloud -d cloud

Setup KVM host

Install KVM and CloudStack agent, configure libvirt:

apt-get install qemu-kvm cloudstack-agent

Enable VNC for console proxy:

sed -i -e 's/\#vnc_listen.*$/vnc_listen = ""/g' /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf

On older Ubuntu versions (18.04/20.04), enable libvirtd in listen mode:

sed -i -e 's/.*libvirtd_opts.*/libvirtd_opts="-l"/' /etc/default/libvirtd

On Ubuntu 22.04, add LIBVIRTD_ARGS="--listen" to /etc/default/libvirtd instead:

echo LIBVIRTD_ARGS=\"--listen\" >> /etc/default/libvirtd

For Ubuntu 20.04/22.04 and later, the traditional socket/listen based configuration may not be supported, we can get the old behaviour as follows:

systemctl mask libvirtd.socket libvirtd-ro.socket libvirtd-admin.socket libvirtd-tls.socket libvirtd-tcp.socket
systemctl restart libvirtd

Configure default libvirtd config:

echo 'listen_tls=0' >> /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf
echo 'listen_tcp=1' >> /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf
echo 'tcp_port = "16509"' >> /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf
echo 'mdns_adv = 0' >> /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf
echo 'auth_tcp = "none"' >> /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf
systemctl restart libvirtd

Note: the above default libvirtd configuration is just for initial setup, when you add the KVM host in CloudStack by default the host will be configured to use a more secure TLS configuration.

On certain hosts where you may be running docker and other services, you may need to add the following in /etc/sysctl.conf and then run sysctl -p:

net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-arptables = 0
net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-iptables = 0

Optional: If you’ve a server vendor, they may fail to make each server unique and libvirtd can complain that servers are not unique. To make them unique setup host specific UUID in libvirtd config:

apt-get install uuid
echo host_uuid = \"$UUID\" >> /etc/libvirt/libvirtd.conf
systemctl restart libvirtd

Configure Firewall

By default ufw may be disabled and this may not be required. If your system uses ufw (you can check using ufw status), you may run the following:

ufw allow mysql
ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 22
ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 1798
ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 16509
ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 16514
ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 5900:6100
ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 49152:49216

Alternatively, you can configure firewall rules using iptables for your management network:

# configure firewall rules to allow useful ports
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p udp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 111 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 2049 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 32803 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p udp --dport 32769 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 892 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 875 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 662 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 8250 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 8080 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 9090 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -s $NETWORK -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 16514 -j ACCEPT

apt-get install iptables-persistent

You must check and disable apparmour:

# Disable apparmour on libvirtd
ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.libvirtd /etc/apparmor.d/disable/
ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/usr.lib.libvirt.virt-aa-helper /etc/apparmor.d/disable/
apparmor_parser -R /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.libvirtd
apparmor_parser -R /etc/apparmor.d/usr.lib.libvirt.virt-aa-helper

Launch Management Server

Start your cloud:

systemctl status cloudstack-management
tail -f /var/log/cloudstack/management/management-server.log

After management server is UP, proceed to the cloudbr0-IP):8080/client and log in using the default credentials - username admin and password password.

Deploying Advanced Zone

The following is an example of how you can setup an advanced zone in the network.

Setup Zone

Go to Infrastructure > Zone and click on add zone button, select advanced zone and provide following configuration:

Name - any name
Public DNS 1 -
Internal DNS1 -
Hypervisor - KVM

Setup Network

Use the default, which is VLAN isolation method on a single physical nic (on the host) that will carry all traffic types (management, public, guest etc).

Note: If you’ve iproute2 installed and host’s physical NIC MTUs configured, you can used VXLAN as well.

Public traffic configuration:

Gateway -
Netmask -
VLAN/VNI - (leave blank for vlan://untagged or in case of VXLAN use vxlan://untagged)
Start IP -
End IP -

Pod Configuration:

Name - any name
Gateway -
Start/end reserved system IPs - -

Guest traffic:

VLAN/VNI range: 700-900

Add Resources

Create a cluster with following:

Name - any name
Hypervisor - Choose KVM

Add your default/first host:

Hostname -
Username - root
Password - <password for root user, please enable root user ssh-access by password on the KVM host>

Note: root user ssh-access is disabled by default, please enable it. The recommended approach is to add the KVM host using ssh public-key based access, add the management server SSH public key which is usually at /var/cloudstack/management/.ssh/ to the root user of the KVM host(s) at /root/.ssh/authorized_keys.

Add primary storage:

Name - any name
Scope - zone-wide
Protocol - NFS
Server -
Path - /export/primary

Add secondary storage:

Provider - NFS
Name - any name
Server -
Path - /export/secondary

Next, click Launch Zone which will perform following actions:

Create Zone
Create Physical networks:
  - Add various traffic types to the physical network
  - Update and enable the physical network
  - Configure, enable and update various network provider and elements such as the virtual network element
Create Pod
Configure public traffic
Configure guest traffic (vlan range for physical network)
Create Cluster
Add host
Create primary storage (also mounts it on the KVM host)
Create secondary storage
Complete zone creation

Finally, confirm and enable the zone. Wait for the system VMs to come up under Infrastructure -> System VMs, then you can proceed using your IaaS cloud.

You can register publicly available cloud-init enabled guest templates such as:

  • Ubuntu 22.04:
  • Ubuntu 20.04:
  • Debian 12:
  • AlmaLinux 9:
  • OpenSUSE 15:

Happy labbing!