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A virtual network infrastructure builder.

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The LStacker project is a network and infrastructure builder. It builds a container based network on top of the infrastructure supplied to it. Using this approach enables an organisation to quickly build infrastructure on minimul hardware, in and out of the cloud. Thus maximizing investement.

The infrastructure is agnostic, this means that whether you are in the cloud, on local infrastructure, or in a private cloud the infrastructure will be the same. This greatly simplifies development and maintainence as there are no dependencies on propriatry cloud technologies that differ from vendor to vendor. This means you can safely develop solutions and not have to be concerned about which cloud vendor you are going to utilize.


LStacker is designed to use a simple build approach to infrastructure setup as detailed below:


I recommend running on a minum of 4 either virtual machines or cloud instances. These you can allocate as you see fit in your Lstacker build file. If you are worried about the costs then use micro instances on EC2 will work, but more may have to be allocated. This will not cause a problem with the build process. If cost is not a factor than I recommend a medium instance or higher.

  1. Install vanilla version of Ubuntu 16.04 onto the target virtual machines or cloud instances.
  2. Ear mark a virtual machine or instance as the master server and setup ssh key based access from it to the other instances.
  3. Clone this project and add it to the PATH environment variable on the master server.

System setup

Each VM or cloud instance needs to be updated as follows.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt install lxd openvswitch-switch -y
sudo reboot

Hostname configuration

Make sure the hosts names are configured correctly. This is not a requirement but will reduce the amount of warnings that will come to the console. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Edit the host name file with your editor of choice for example sudo vi /etc/hostname. Set the hostname to
  2. Edit the hosts file and add the hostname of choice to the loop back ip entra. sudo vi /etc/hosts
  3. Set the hostname for the running instance by running the host command. sudo hostname <host name>

LXD Setup

LXD/LXC has to be configured appropriatly. This requires running the lxd init command. This has to be peformed on all boxes. Select the configuration that makes the most sense for your environment. I recommend running on a ZFS pool, if this is not available than a standard dir backend will work fine.


Openvswitch has to be installed on all hosts. This can be done through apt as follows:

sudo apt install openvswitch-switch

Build Process

  1. Setup a lstacker context directory.
  2. Write a lstacker.yaml file defining the network and infrastructure. There are example provided with this project.
  3. Build the infrastructure lstacker stack

Example steps

An example of what needs to be one to use LStacker correctly.

git clone
export PATH
mkdir lstacker-context
cd lstacker-context
cp ../lstacker/examples/ec2-small-lstacker.yml lstacker.yml
vi lstacker.yaml
# Edit the file to match your build requirements
# put the private key refered to in the lstacker.yaml file in the lstacker-context directory
cp "private key"
# build a public key file containing all the keys you wish to access the infrastructure
# it is also refered to in the lstacker.yml file
# run the lstacker command
lstacker stack

To clean up simply run the unstack command

lstacker unstack

Access the network

Once a network has been built it can be accessed by sshing directly to the jump-box or more efficently by using sshuttle.

To ssh directly to the jump box use the following command:

ssh -i private_key_file -p 10022 ubuntu@hostname_or_ip_of_master

To setup and use sshuttle use the following command

sshuttle -r ubuntu@hostname_or_ip_of_master -e "ssh -p 10022 -i key_file"

Once the sshuttle connection is established you will be able to ssh directly to any of the severs in the network you have built. For ip address or hostname information refer to the hosts file directory within the lstacker-context directory. This contains the hostnames and ip addresses for all servers built within the infrastructure.