Tutorial: Charm development (Beginner, part 1)
Author: Erik Lönroth
What you will learn
This guide will go through the first basic concepts of charm development with the reactive framework.
If you are completely new to writing charms, you could start with the Hooks tutorial which might be even easier.
This is the first of a few tutorials in getting started with juju charm development using the reactive framework:
[Part 1] - First steps developing juju reactive charms
Part 2 - Adding in functionality with “layers” and connecting to a database.
Part 3 - Uploading charms to charm store.
Part 4 - Relations with juju (interfaces and relation hooks).
You will learn in this part:
- Preparing & setup of a basic workbench.
- Creating the example reactive charm with “charm tools”.
- Understanding the anatomy of a reactive charm (files and directories).
- Validating & building the charm.
- Adding functionality via a secondary layer (layer:apt).
- Deploying the example charm with juju.
Setup up a basic workbench
This is how a typical workbench looks like:
A Juju controller: To deploy developed charms to. You can [start here][getting-started] to get one up and running.
Python 3.x: We use python 3 in this tutorial to develop our charm.
Charm Tools: To create skeleton charms, build, fetch and test charms. See the Charm Tools page
for installation instructions.
Three directories for our build environment needs to be created.
mkdir -p ~/charms mkdir -p ~/charms/layers mkdir -p ~/charms/interfaces
- Put these environment variables in your ~/.bashrc
export CHARM_LAYERS_DIR=~/charms/layers export CHARM_INTERFACES_DIR=~/charms/interfaces
- Finally source your ~/.bashrc to get the environment properly setup.
Creating the example charm with “charm tools”
To simplify creation of new charms, charmtools exist for us. Lets start a new charm that we name: “layer-example”.
cd ~/charms/layers charm create layer-example
Great work, lets move on to understand what a charm consists of.
The anatomy of a charm
A bare minimum charm consists of a directory with the charm name and two files: ‘layers.yaml’ and ‘metadata.yaml’. Thats all that is strictly required for a charm to be valid. We do however normally create a directory called ‘reactive’ where we put a python module named with our charm. This is what happened when we ran ‘charm create layer-example’ above.
Lets examine what was created.
layer-example ├── config.yaml <-- Configuration options for our charm/layer. ├── icon.svg <-- A nice icon for our charm. ├── layer.yaml <-- The layers and interfaces we include. ├── metadata.yaml <-- Information about our charm ├── reactive <-- Needed for all reactive charms │ └── layer_example.py <-- The charm code ├── README.ex <-- README └── tests <-- Tests goes in here ├── 00-setup <-- A skeleton setup test └── 10-deploy <-- A skeleton deploy test
Note! Prefixing the charm directory name with ‘layer-’ is a naming convention. It tells us that this charm is a ‘reactive’ charm. You can read even more on this topic in the official documentation here: Charms.Reactive
Validating the charm
If we were to build our charm now, it would fail because it’s created with defaults. We can see this, by running “charm proof” to validate our charm structure:
cd ~/charms/layers charm proof layer-example I: Includes template icon.svg file. I: no hooks directory W: no copyright file W: Includes template README.ex file W: README.ex includes boilerplate: Step by step instructions on using the charm: W: README.ex includes boilerplate: You can then browse to http://ip-address to configure the service. W: README.ex includes boilerplate: - Upstream mailing list or contact information W: README.ex includes boilerplate: - Feel free to add things if it's useful for users E: template interface names should be changed: interface-name I: relation provides-relation has no hooks E: template interface names should be changed: interface-name I: relation requires-relation has no hooks E: template interface names should be changed: interface-name I: relation peer-relation has no hooks I: missing recommended hook install I: missing recommended hook start I: missing recommended hook stop I: missing recommended hook config-changed
Let’s get rid of these
E: errors by making the following files look like this:
(Note: layer:basic is always included in reactive charms to provide core functionality)
includes: - 'layer:basic'
name: example summary: A very basic example charm maintainer: Your Name <firstname.lastname@example.org> description: | This is a charm I built as part of my beginner charming tutorial. tags: - misc - tutorials
from charms.reactive import when, when_not, set_state @when_not('example.installed') def install_example(): set_flag('example.installed')
Building the example charm
We are ready to build our charm now with charm tools.
cd ~/charms/layers charm build layer-example build: Composing into /tmp/charm-builds build: Destination charm directory: /tmp/charm-builds/example build: Please add a `repo` key to your layer.yaml, with a url from which your layer can be cloned. build: Processing layer: layer:basic build: Processing layer: example (from layer-example) proof: I: Includes template icon.svg file. proof: W: Includes template README.ex file proof: W: README.ex includes boilerplate: Step by step instructions on using the charm: proof: W: README.ex includes boilerplate: You can then browse to http://ip-address to configure the service. proof: W: README.ex includes boilerplate: - Upstream mailing list or contact information proof: W: README.ex includes boilerplate: - Feel free to add things if it's useful for users proof: I: all charms should provide at least one thing
Great work! Your charm is assembled and placed in the /tmp/charm-builds/example directory. Go ahead and look in to it before we move on.
Adding functionality via a layer
Our example charm isn’t really doing anything fun yet. Let’s make it install the ‘hello’ package and set a “Hello World” message for Juju once it’s done.
For this very common scenario of installing packages as part of a charm, we can use the layer:apt.
The layer:apt has all the functionality we need for installing packages from apt repositories. (You will learn more about including layers in the next part of the tutorial)
Modify the ‘~/charms/layers/layer-example/layer.yaml’ to look like this:
includes: - 'layer:basic' - 'layer:apt' options: apt: packages: - hello
Modify ~/charms/layers/layer-example/reactive/layer_example.py to look like this:
from charms.reactive import set_flag, when, when_not from charmhelpers.core.hookenv import application_version_set, status_set from charmhelpers.fetch import get_upstream_version import subprocess as sp @when_not('example.installed') def install_example(): set_flag('example.installed') @when('apt.installed.hello') def set_message_hello(): # Set the upstream version of hello for juju status. application_version_set(get_upstream_version('hello')) # Run hello and get the message message = sp.check_output('hello', stderr=sp.STDOUT) # Set the active status with the message status_set('active', message ) # Signal that we know the version of hello set_flag('hello.version.set')
Let’s build again with our changes.
cd ~/charms/layers/ charm build layer-example
The charm will now be built and the final charm assemble ends up in
Deploy it with Juju:
cd /tmp/charm-builds juju deploy ./example
After some time,
juju status will show the “Hello World” message.
Congratulations, you have completed the first basic exercise in charm development!
More to learn from this tutorial:
Layers vs Charms
One way of thinking about layers in relation to charms, is in terms of libraries or modules. A compilation of layers results in a charm that can be deployed by the juju engine.
There are a lot of layers included in charmtools, you can find them in the layer-index that we will cover in the next part of this tutorial series.
How to think about ‘Reactive programming’
Most programmers expect their applications to be executing from a clear “main()” start and move on step by step towards an exit. Reactive programming is ‘somewhat’ different in how you plan the execution.
In reactive programming, a good way of thinking about your program, is that it has many “main()” entry points. Which one is executed - and when - depends on how you act on the different states/flags communicated to you by the juju engine.
The principle is that juju engine signals your application, and you write code/functions to act on this information. Your code then raises new flags/states to communicate with the rest of the system.
This is what the
@when(some.flag.raised) decorators are all about.
Building on your new knowledge, you should now move to Part 2
I’ve deleted the conversations to keep the tutorial clean in the work