Creating a cluster via the CLI using qemu.

Talos supports nocloud data source implementation.

There are two ways to configure Talos server with nocloud platform:

  • via SMBIOS “serial number” option
  • using CDROM or USB-flash filesystem

Note: This requires the nocloud image which can be found on the Github Releases page.

SMBIOS Serial Number

This method requires the network connection to be up (e.g. via DHCP). Configuration is delivered from the HTTP server.


After the network initialization is complete, Talos fetches:

  • the machine config from
  • the network config (if available) from


Add the following flag to qemu command line when starting a VM:

qemu-system-x86_64 \
  -smbios type=1,serial=ds=nocloud-net;s=

SMBIOS: Proxmox

Set the source machine config through the serial number on Proxmox GUI.

You can read the VM config from a root shell with the command qm config $ID ($ID - VM ID number of virtual machine), you will see something like:

# qm config $ID
smbios1: uuid=5b0f7dcf-cfe3-4bf3-87a2-1cad29bd51f9,serial=ZHM9bm9jbG91ZC1uZXQ7cz1odHRwOi8vMTAuMTAuMC4xL2NvbmZpZ3Mv,base64=1

Where serial holds the base64-encoded string version of ds=nocloud-net;s=

The serial can also be set from a root shell on the Proxmox server:

# qm set $VM --smbios1 "uuid=5b0f7dcf-cfe3-4bf3-87a2-1cad29bd51f9,serial=$(printf '%s' 'ds=nocloud-net;s=' | base64),base64=1"
update VM 105: -smbios1 uuid=5b0f7dcf-cfe3-4bf3-87a2-1cad29bd51f9,serial=ZHM9bm9jbG91ZC1uZXQ7cz1odHRwOi8vMTAuMTAuMC4xL2NvbmZpZ3Mv,base64=1

Keep in mind that if you set the serial from the command line, you must encode it as base64, and you must include the UUID and any other settings that are already set for the smbios1 option or they will be removed.


Talos can also get machine config from local attached storage without any prior network connection being established.

You can provide configs to the server via files on a VFAT or ISO9660 filesystem. The filesystem volume label must be cidata or CIDATA.

Example: QEMU

Create and prepare Talos machine config:


talosctl gen config talos-nocloud https://$CONTROL_PLANE_IP:6443 --output-dir _out

Prepare cloud-init configs:

mkdir -p iso
mv _out/controlplane.yaml iso/user-data
echo "local-hostname: controlplane-1" > iso/meta-data
cat > iso/network-config << EOF
version: 1
   - type: physical
     name: eth0
     mac_address: "52:54:00:12:34:00"
        - type: static

Create cloud-init iso image

cd iso && genisoimage -output cidata.iso -V cidata -r -J user-data meta-data network-config

Start the VM

qemu-system-x86_64 \
    -cdrom iso/cidata.iso \

Example: Proxmox

Proxmox can create cloud-init disk for you. Edit the cloud-init config information in Proxmox as follows, substitute your own information as necessary:

and then add a cicustom param to the virtual machine’s configuration from a root shell:

# qm set 100 --cicustom user=local:snippets/controlplane-1.yml
update VM 100: -cicustom user=local:snippets/controlplane-1.yml

Note: snippets/controlplane-1.yml is Talos machine config. It is usually located at /var/lib/vz/snippets/controlplane-1.yml. This file must be placed to this path manually, as Proxmox does not support snippet uploading via API/GUI.

Click on Regenerate Image button after the above changes are made.