Cloud-Init with Scott Moser


September 10th, 2017

49 mins 50 secs

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About this Episode


Server administration is a complex endeavor, but there are some tools that can make life easier. If you are running your workload in a cloud environment then cloud-init is here to help. This week Scott Moser explains what cloud-init is, how it works, and how it became the de-facto tool for configuring your Linux servers at boot.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Scott Moser about cloud-init, a set of python scripts and utilities to make your cloud images be all they can be!


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • What is cloud-init and how did the project get started?
  • Why was Python chosen as the language for implementing cloud-init?
  • How has cloud-init come to be the de-facto utility for managing cloud instances across vendors and distributions?
  • Are there any viable competitors to cloud-init? coreos-cloudinit, some others.
  • How much overlap is there between cloud-init and configuration management tools such as SaltStack, Ansible, Chef, etc.
  • How have you architected cloud-init to allow for compatibility across operating system distributions?
  • What is the most difficult or complex aspect of building and maintaining cloud-init? [os integration, networking, goal of “do stuff without reboot”]
  • Given that it is used as a critical component of the production deployment mechanics for a large number of people, how do you ensure an appropriate level of stability and security while developing cloud-init?
  • How do you think the status of cloud-init as a Canonical project has affected the level of contributions that you receive?
  • How much of the support and roadmap is contributed by individual vs corporate users such as AWS and Azure?
  • What are some of the most unexpected or creative uses of cloud-init that you have seen? [ “disposable use os”]
  • In your experience, what has been the biggest stumbling block for new users of cloud-init?
  • Do you have any notable features or improvements planned for the future of cloud-init, or do you feel that it has reached a state of feature-completeness?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA