This guide outlines steps and tricks to develop Talos operating systems and related components. The guide assumes Linux operating system on the development host. Some steps might work under Mac OS X, but using Linux is highly advised.
Check out the Talos repository.
make help to see available
You would need Docker and
buildx installed on the host.
Note: Usually it is better to install up to date Docker from Docker apt repositories, e.g. Ubuntu instructions.
buildxplugin is not available with OS docker packages, it can be installed as a plugin from GitHub releases.
Set up a builder with access to the host network:
docker buildx create --driver docker-container --driver-opt network=host --name local1 --buildkitd-flags '--allow-insecure-entitlement security.insecure' --use
network=hostallows buildx builder to access host network, so that it can push to a local container registry (see below).
Make sure the following steps work:
make initramfs kernel
Set up a local docker registry:
docker run -d -p 5005:5000 \ --restart always \ --name local registry:2
Try to build and push to local registry an installer image:
make installer IMAGE_REGISTRY=127.0.0.1:5005 PUSH=true
Record the image name output in the step above.
Note: it is also possible to force a stable image tag by using
make installer IMAGE_REGISTRY=127.0.0.1:5005 TAG=v1.0.0-alpha.1 PUSH=true.
Running Talos cluster
Set up local caching docker registries (this speeds up Talos cluster boot a lot), script is in the Talos repo:
Start your local cluster with:
sudo --preserve-env=HOME _out/talosctl-linux-amd64 cluster create \ --provisioner=qemu \ --cidr=172.20.0.0/24 \ --registry-mirror docker.io=http://172.20.0.1:5000 \ --registry-mirror kregistry.k8s.io=http://172.20.0.1:5001 \ --registry-mirror gcr.io=http://172.20.0.1:5003 \ --registry-mirror ghcr.io=http://172.20.0.1:5004 \ --registry-mirror 127.0.0.1:5005=http://172.20.0.1:5005 \ --install-image=127.0.0.1:5005/siderolabs/installer:<RECORDED HASH from the build step> \ --controlplanes 3 \ --workers 2 \ --with-bootloader=false
--provisionerselects QEMU vs. default Docker
--cidrto make QEMU cluster use different network than default Docker setup (optional)
--registry-mirroruses the caching proxies set up above to speed up boot time a lot, last one adds your local registry (installer image was pushed to it)
--install-imageis the image you built with
--workersconfigure cluster size, choose to match your resources; 3 controlplanes give you HA control plane; 1 controlplane is enough, never do 2 controlplanes
--with-bootloader=falsedisables boot from disk (Talos will always boot from
_out/initramfs-amd64.xz). This speeds up development cycle a lot - no need to rebuild installer and perform install, rebooting is enough to get new code.
Note: as boot loader is not used, it’s not necessary to rebuild
installereach time (old image is fine), but sometimes it’s needed (when configuration changes are done and old installer doesn’t validate the config).
talosctl cluster createderives Talos machine configuration version from the install image tag, so sometimes early in the development cycle (when new minor tag is not released yet), machine config version can be overridden with
--with-bootloader=false flag is not enabled, for Talos cluster to pick up new changes to the code (in
initramfs), it will require a Talos upgrade (so new
installer should be built).
--with-bootloader=false flag, Talos always boots from
_out/ directory, so simple reboot is enough to pick up new code changes.
If the installation flow needs to be tested,
--with-bootloader=false shouldn’t be used.
Watching console logs is easy with
tail -F ~/.talos/clusters/talos-default/talos-default-*.log
Interacting with Talos
talosctl cluster create finishes successfully,
kubeconfig will be set up automatically to point to your cluster.
Start playing with
talosctl -n 172.20.0.2 version talosctl -n 172.20.0.3,172.20.0.4 dashboard talosctl -n 172.20.0.4 get members
kubectl get nodes -o wide
You can deploy some Kubernetes workloads to the cluster.
You can edit machine config on the fly with
talosctl edit mc --immediate, config patches can be applied via
--config-patch flags, also many features have specific flags in
talosctl cluster create.
To reboot whole cluster quickly (e.g. to pick up a change made in the code):
for socket in ~/.talos/clusters/talos-default/talos-default-*.monitor; do echo "q" | sudo socat - unix-connect:$socket; done
q to a single socket allows to reboot a single node.
Note: This command performs immediate reboot (as if the machine was powered down and immediately powered back up), for normal Talos reboot use
Fast development cycle:
- bring up a cluster
- make code changes
- reboot a node to pick new
- verify code changes
- more code changes…
Some aspects of Talos development require to enable bootloader (when working on
installer itself), in that case quick development cycle is no longer possible, and cluster should be destroyed and recreated each time.
Running Integration Tests
If integration tests were changed (or when running them for the first time), first rebuild the integration test binary:
rm -f _out/integration-test-linux-amd64; make _out/integration-test-linux-amd64
Running short tests against QEMU provisioned cluster:
_out/integration-test-linux-amd64 \ -talos.provisioner=qemu \ -test.v \ -talos.crashdump=false \ -test.short \ -talos.talosctlpath=$PWD/_out/talosctl-linux-amd64
Whole test suite can be run removing
Specfic tests can be run with
make <something> WITH_RACE=1 enables Go race detector, Talos runs slower and uses more memory, but memory races are detected.
make <something> WITH_DEBUG=1 enables Go profiling and other debug features, useful for local development.
sudo --preserve-env=HOME ../talos/_out/talosctl-linux-amd64 cluster destroy --provisioner=qemu
This command stops QEMU and helper processes, tears down bridged network on the host, and cleans up
cluster state in
Note: if the host machine is rebooted, QEMU instances and helpers processes won’t be started back. In that case it’s required to clean up files in
Set up cross-build environment with:
docker run --rm --privileged multiarch/qemu-user-static --reset -p yes
Note: the static qemu binaries which come with Ubuntu 21.10 seem to be broken.
Unit tests can be run in buildx with
make unit-tests, on Ubuntu systems some tests using
loop devices will fail because Ubuntu uses low-index
loop devices for snaps.
Most of the unit-tests can be run standalone as well, with regular
go test, or using IDE integration:
go test -v ./internal/pkg/circular/
This provides much faster feedback loop, but some tests require either elevated privileges (running as
root) or additional binaries available only in Talos
rootfs (containerd tests).
Running tests as root can be done with
-exec flag to
go test, but this is risky, as test code has root access and can potentially make undesired changes:
go test -exec sudo -v ./internal/app/machined/pkg/controllers/network/...
initramfs with debug enabled:
make initramfs WITH_DEBUG=1.
Launch Talos cluster with bootloader disabled, and use
go tool pprof to capture the profile and show the output in your browser:
go tool pprof http://172.20.0.2:9982/debug/pprof/heap
The IP address
172.20.0.2 is the address of the Talos node, and port
:9982 depends on the Go application to profile:
Testing Air-gapped Environments
There is a hidden
talosctl debug air-gapped command which launches two components:
- HTTP proxy capable of proxying HTTP and HTTPS requests
- HTTPS server with a self-signed certificate
The command also writes down Talos machine configuration patch to enable the HTTP proxy and add a self-signed certificate to the list of trusted certificates:
$ talosctl debug air-gapped --advertised-address 172.20.0.1 2022/08/04 16:43:14 writing config patch to air-gapped-patch.yaml 2022/08/04 16:43:14 starting HTTP proxy on :8002 2022/08/04 16:43:14 starting HTTPS server with self-signed cert on :8001
--advertised-address should match the bridge IP of the Talos node.
Generated machine configuration patch looks like:
machine: files: - content: | -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- MIIBijCCAS+gAwIBAgIBATAKBggqhkjOPQQDAjAUMRIwEAYDVQQKEwlUZXN0IE9u bHkwHhcNMjIwODA0MTI0MzE0WhcNMjIwODA1MTI0MzE0WjAUMRIwEAYDVQQKEwlU ZXN0IE9ubHkwWTATBgcqhkjOPQIBBggqhkjOPQMBBwNCAAQfOJdaOFSOI1I+EeP1 RlMpsDZJaXjFdoo5zYM5VYs3UkLyTAXAmdTi7JodydgLhty0pwLEWG4NUQAEvip6 EmzTo3IwcDAOBgNVHQ8BAf8EBAMCBaAwHQYDVR0lBBYwFAYIKwYBBQUHAwEGCCsG AQUFBwMCMA8GA1UdEwEB/wQFMAMBAf8wHQYDVR0OBBYEFCwxL+BjG0pDwaH8QgKW Ex0J2mVXMA8GA1UdEQQIMAaHBKwUAAEwCgYIKoZIzj0EAwIDSQAwRgIhAJoW0z0D JwpjFcgCmj4zT1SbBFhRBUX64PHJpAE8J+LgAiEAvfozZG8Or6hL21+Xuf1x9oh4 /4Hx3jozbSjgDyHOLk4= -----END CERTIFICATE----- permissions: 0o644 path: /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates op: append env: http_proxy: http://172.20.0.1:8002 https_proxy: http://172.20.0.1:8002 no_proxy: 172.20.0.1/24 cluster: extraManifests: - https://172.20.0.1:8001/debug.yaml
The first section appends a self-signed certificate of the HTTPS server to the list of trusted certificates, followed by the HTTP proxy setup (in-cluster traffic is excluded from the proxy). The last section adds an extra Kubernetes manifest hosted on the HTTPS server.
The machine configuration patch can now be used to launch a test Talos cluster:
talosctl cluster create ... --config-patch @air-gapped-patch.yaml
The following lines should appear in the output of the
talosctl debug air-gapped command:
CONNECT discovery.talos.dev:443: the HTTP proxy is used to talk to the discovery service
http: TLS handshake error from 172.20.0.2:53512: remote error: tls: bad certificate: an expected error on Talos side, as self-signed cert is not written yet to the file
GET /debug.yaml: Talos successfully fetches the extra manifest successfully
There might be more output depending on the registry caches being used or not.