OpenCHAMI Quickstart Guide

In the guide below, we’ll show you how to install and run the OpenCHAMI services with all the containers you need to generate an inventory of your compute nodes and boot them.

Things move quickly, so the official guide on github may have updated information. See the quickstart README on Github for the most current documentation.

Happy HPC!

Start OpenCHAMI Services

All the OpenCHAMI services come pre-configured to work together using docker-compose. Using the directions below, you can clone the repos and run the containers in about five minutes without any external dependencies. See What’s Next for customization options and running jobs.


The quickstart is meant to be used on a dedicated node or VM running an RPM-based Linux system with an x86 processor.

The minimum tested configuration is 4 vCPUs and 8 Gigabytes of memory

Download, Configure, and Run the Quickstart…
# Clone the repository
git clone
# Enter the quickstart directory
cd deployment-recipes/quickstart/
# Create the secrets in the .env file.  Do not share them with anyone. 
# This also sets the system name for your certificates.  In our case, we'll call our system "foobar".  The full url will be https://foobar.openchami.cluster which you can set in /etc/hosts to make life easier for you later
./ foobar
# Start the services
docker compose -f base.yml -f postgres.yml -f jwt-security.yml -f haproxy-api-gateway.yml -f  openchami-svcs.yml -f autocert.yml up -d
# This shouldn't take too long.  A minute or two depending on how long pulling containers takes.

Once you get the prompt back, you can download the public certificate from your ca and generate your access token.

Obtain your rootca and tokens
# Assuming you're using bash as your shell, you can use the included functions to simplify interactions with your new OpenCHAMI system.
# Download the root ca so you can validate the ssl certificates included with your system
get_ca_cert > cacert.pem
# Create a jwt access token for use with the apis.
# If you're curious about that token, you can safely copy and paste it into to learn more.
# Add an entry to /etc/hosts for the cluster
echo '  foobar.openchami.cluster' | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts
# Use curl to confirm that everything is working
curl --cacert cacert.pem -H "Authorization: Bearer $ACCESS_TOKEN" https://foobar.openchami.cluster:8443/hsm/v2/State/Components
# This should respond with an empty set of Components: {"Components":[]}

Create a separate token that a script can use to update dnsmasq

Generate a dedicated token and use it with dnsmasq
 echo "DNSMASQ_ACCESS_TOKEN=$(gen_access_token)" >> .env
 docker compose -f base.yml -f postgres.yml -f jwt-security.yml -f haproxy-api-gateway.yml -f openchami-svcs.yml -f autocert.yml -f dnsmasq.yml up -d

Explore the environment on Github.

Dependencies and Assumptions

The OpenCHAMI services themselves are all containerized and tested running under docker compose. It should be possible to run OpenCHAMI services on any system with docker installed.

This quickstart makes a few assumptions about the target operating system and is only tested on Rocky Linux 9.3 running on x86 processors. Feel free to file bugs about other configurations, but we will prioritize support for systems that we can directly test at LANL.


  • Linux - The quickstart automation makes several assumptions about the behavior Unix tools and their operation under bash from Rocky Linux 9.3
  • x86_64 - Some of the containers involved are built and tested for alternative operating systems and architectures, but the solution as a whole is only tested with x86 containers
  • Dedicated System - The docker compose setup assumes that it can take control of several TCP ports and interact with the host network for DHCP and TFTP. It is tested on a dedicated virtual machine
  • Local Name Registration - The quickstart bootstraps a Certificate Authority and issues an SSL certificate with a predictable name. For access, you will need to add that name/IP to /etc/hosts on all clients or make it resolvable through your site DNS

What’s next

Now that you’ve got a set of containers up and running that provide OpenCHAMI services, it’s time to use them. We’ve got a set of administration guides and user guides for you to choose from.

Docker Compose Tour

Learn just enough docker compose to explore our quickstart files

Run a job

Deploy slurm and run a simple job

Deploy an OS

Deploy Alma Linux with OpenHPC

Helpful docker compose cheatsheet

This quickstart uses docker compose to start up services and define dependencies. If you have a basic understanding of docker, you should be able to work with the included services. Some handy items to remember for when you are exploring the deployment are below.

  • docker volume list This lists all the volumes. If they exist, the project will try to reuse them. That might not be what you want.
  • docker network list ditto for networks
  • docker ps -a the -a shows you containers that aren’t running. We have several containers that are designed to do their thing and then exit.
  • docker logs <container-id> allows you to check the logs of containers even after they have exited
  • docker compose ... down --volumes will not only bring down all the services, but also delete the volumes
  • docker compose -f <file.yml> -f <file.yml> restart <service-name> will restart one of the services in the specified compose file(s) without restarting everything. This is particularly useful when changing configuration files.