2016 Stable Releases

v3.14 (stable) - 31 October 2016


Below is the list of the main feature and improvements done in releases 3.9 to 3.14.

  • Improvements in the functionality of the placement and ranking service.
  • Added complete set of resources for the Service Catalog (Enterprise Edition), allowing policy (and priced) based placement of virtual machines.
  • Introduced complete Clojure and ClojureScript API for the SlipStream CIMI resources.
  • This set of releases provides much of the groundwork for future improvements. The emphasis has been on preparing new server-side resources for cloud connectors and service configuration; these will improve the management of these resources in the future. There has also been significant work done to streamline the code organization, packaging, and release process. This should speed development of new features.
  • Added the delete all versions feature for a module.

The detailed change log is given below. For brevity bug fixes have not been included, see the change logs for the intermediate releases for the full set of changes and fixes.

For application users and developers [Alice, Clara]:
  • Provide pricing along with a filtered set of connectors on the run dialog. (Enterprise Edition)
  • Improve the bootstrapping process to avoid having the process hang on CentOS 6 systems.
  • Provide complete set of service catalog resources (serviceOffer, serviceAttribute, and serviceAttributeNamespace) to allow policy-based placement using the service catalog information. (Enterprise Edition)
  • Provide clojure/clojurescript API for SlipStream CIMI resources. The API provides asynchronous and synchronous implementations of all SCRUD actions. Filtering and subsetting are provided for search operations.
  • Use larger modal dialog to avoid truncating long parameter or component names in run dialog.
  • Alpha versions of connector and configuration resources. These are available through the API and will be integrated into the web interface in a future release.
  • Increase the allowed maximum size of a report.
  • Pass SNI information to backend services.
  • Add the delete all versions for a module.
For application users [Alice]:
  • Provide a better message when a cloud quota has been exceeded. The message now includes the quota, number of running VMs, and number of requested VMs.
For application developers [Clara]:
  • Allow application developers to specify a placement policy for application components, for example, limiting the places where a component can run. (Enterprise Edition)
  • Improve the error messages reported to users of the SlipStream client API, providing more information about the underlying cause of a problem.
  • Selection of specific network for opennebula connector.
For administrators [Dave]:
  • Streamline the installation of SlipStream with a packaged version of PhantomJS and with a package for the Elasticsearch repositories.
  • Modify service dependencies to ensure cleaner start up of all SlipStream services on boot.
  • Improve the collection of virtual machine state information (used in the dashboard) to make it more efficient and reliable. Put in additional logging to make debugging easier.
  • Upgrade to the latest production libraries for all server dependencies, improving the robustness of the server (in particular Aleph, Buddy, and ClojureScript).
  • Clean up and reorganize the packaging for the pricing service. Logging information will now appear in the standard OS directory.
  • Unify build system with boot for clojure code.

The Alice, Bob, Clara, and Dave personae can be found on the SixSq website.


No migration is required from 3.8 to 3.14.

v3.8 (stable) - 15 July 2016


Version v3.8 is the first stable release of the v3 series. There are major underlying changes to make this release more stable, robust, and performant, including the introduction of Elasticsearch as a database (hsqldb still needed until the transition to Elastisearch is complete), switching from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7, and numerous bug fixes.

In addition, there are a number of new features to make this attactive to both end-users and developers, including better support for scalable applications, improved usage information, an expanded REST API that uses the CIMI standard for new resources, and a streamlined user interface. The Enterprise Edition also contains an alpha-preview of the placement and ranking service that allows policy-based selection of cloud infrastructures when deploying applications and integration with NuvlaBox appliances.

The detailed change log is given below. For brevity bug fixes have not been included, see the change logs for the intermediate releases for the full set of changes and fixes.

For everyone [Alice, Bob, Clara, Dave]:
  • Provide a top-level support link for users, if the system administrator has set a support email address.
  • In the Enterprise Edition, improve the visualization of the Service Catalog entries and allow more than one entry per cloud connector.
  • Provide for status reporting of the NuvlaBox appliances connected to the SlipStream server.
For application users, developers, and SlipStream administrators [Alice, Clara, Dave]:
  • Update the general and API documentation to consistently use “scalable” runs for those that can be dynamically scaled while running.
  • Improve query performance when retrieving event resources through the API and in the UI.
  • Remove the save button on the service catalog when user isn’t authorized to make changes.
  • Add a “+” to dashboard to make it easier to configure new cloud connectors.
  • Make application thumbnails clickable in the App Store.
  • Add terminated icon to terminated VMs in the dashboard.
  • Improve graphical feedback when viewing virtual machines to indicate those that are not known to SlipStream.
  • OpenNebula connector allows custom template fields to be specified to, for example, attach hardware devices or consoles.
For application users and developers [Alice, Clara]:
  • Inherited output parameters are visible to the users, allowing an input parameter to be mapped to an inherited output parameter.
  • The SlipStream bootstrap process is now able to run on operating systems with only Python 3 installed. The robustness of the bootstrapping process has also been improved.
  • Display prices for running components and applications and certain clouds in the run dialog (Enterprise Edition).
  • Make the bootstrap mechanism more reliable over low-quality networks (e.g. satellite connections).
  • Allow to define relative and absolute paths for module logo.
  • Improve the retry mechanism for the SlipStream clients to make them behave more uniformly and to be more robust.
  • Added a field in the dashboard run list that indicates how many active VMs are associated with the run.
  • Rename service catalog offers (service-offer) and attribute (service-attribute) resources for consistency.
  • REST API more strictly validates its inputs on scale up/down requests.
  • Add functions to the clojure client API to launch and terminate applications.
  • Application component definitions now inherit configuration scripts from their parents, facilitating reuse of existing application components.
  • Updated dashboard provides more detailed information about virtual machine states and to which run they belong.
  • User profile now provides visual clues as to which cloud connectors are configured and which are not.
  • The command line client and API now use nuv.la as the default endpoint for the SlipStream service.
  • An early alpha clojure(script) API is now available. It contains functions for scaling runs and for the CRUD actions on CIMI-like resources. Feedback on the API is welcome.
  • Restarting an aborted run (through ss-abort --cancel now generates an event in the run’s event log.
  • Expand SlipStream bootstrap mechanism to more operating systems (notably SuSE and OpenSuSE 11-13).
  • Improve the logs for machines deployed with SlipStream.
  • Exoscale: Add support for Mega and Titan instances.
  • OpenStack: Added support for Floating IPs.
  • OpenNebula: Added default values for image parameters
For application developers [Clara]:
  • Allow the client API to be used for test instances of SlipStream that use a self-signed certificate.
  • Update API documentation for cookie authentication. Cookie authentication is now the preferred method; basic authentication is deprecated.
  • Add a command to allow the reports from a run to be retrieved.
  • Fixed disk size unit in describe instance action in OpenNebula connector.
  • DELETE on API resources now returns 200 instead of 204.
  • Use readable names for downloaded deployment scripts to make debugging easier.
  • Move deployment scripts out of /tmp to avoid them disappearing on reboots.
  • Ensure that parameter values starting with a dash do not disrupt the application deployment.
For administrators [Dave]:
  • Avoid dependency version conflicts by removing hard-coded dependencies for the PRS-lib component.
  • Rationalize logging and logging levels
  • Improved installation and testing scripts.
  • Make the installation script more robust concerning RPM package names.
  • Improve the configuration of the nginx configuration to enhance the security of the service.
  • Improve logging by providing full URIs of application components.
  • Install service catalog by default (Enterprise Edition).
  • Allow direct proxying of the two SlipStream services through nginx to provide more efficient and reliable system.
  • Remove unnecessary logging to make the server activity easier to understand.
  • SlipStream must now be deployed on CentOS 7. All services have been updated to support systemd only. Caches have been moved from /tmp and /var/tmp to avoid startup problems.
For managers and super users [Bob]:
  • Cloud managers can now see an overview of the activity on their cloud from all users.
  • Provide better header information in the browser UI when a manager or super users is viewing information from several users.

The Alice, Bob, Clara, and Dave personae can be found on the SixSq website.


NB! Because SlipStream v3 requires the CentOS 7 operating system, an upgrade from the SlipStream v2 series to the SlipStream v3 series requires a complete database migration from the old machine to a new one running CentOS 7.

In addition, the names for the service catalog resources have changed. Follow the migration instructions for those resources before migrating the database, if you are running the service catalog.

Below are the full migration instructions.

Installation of SlipStream

Install SlipStream on CentOS 7 following Administrators Guide. Please note that for installation of SlipStream Enterprise edition you will have to (re-)use the client certificate to be able to access SlipStream Enterprise YUM repository. The certificates are usually installed as /etc/slipstream/yum-client.*. On the existing SlipStream installation this can be checked by:

# grep sslclient /etc/yum.repos.d/slipstream.repo

When installing cloud connectors, it’s important to ensure that the list of the connectors to be installed matches the one configured on the previous SlipStream instance as we are going to fully migrate DB containing the complete service configuration of the current SlipStream instance to the new one. The list of the installed connectors can be obtained on the current SlipStream by:

# rpm -qa | \
      grep slipstream-connector | \
      grep -v python | \
      cut -d'-' -f3 | \
      tee installed-connectors.txt

After installation of SlipStream and connectors on CentOS 7, verify that the service is properly up and running by accessing the main page of the service.

Migration of Service Catalog Resources

Following renaming of resources linked to Service Catalog, a script needs to be executed. Please contact support to obtain this script with information on how to run it.

Migration of DB, reports and logs

On the current CentOS 6 machine running SlipStream take the following steps.

  1. Stop the following services:

    $ service nginx stop
    $ service slipstream stop
    $ service ssclj stop
  2. Restart hsqldb to checkpoint the DB (this will trigger replay of the WAL log):

    $ service hsqldb restart
  3. Stop hsqldb:

    $ service hsqldb stop
  4. Archive SlipStream DB, deployment reports, service logs, nginx configuration:

    $ tar -zc /opt/slipstream/SlipStreamDB \
         /opt/slipstream/server/logs \
         /var/log/slipstream/ssclj \
         /var/tmp/slipstream/reports \
         /etc/nginx/{ssl/,conf.d/} \
         --dereference \
         -f ~/SlipStream-backup.tgz
  5. Copy the archive to the new CentOS 7 machine that will be hosting SlipStream.

On the new CentOS 7 machine, after installing SlipStream from scratch and validating that it works,

  1. Stop all the services by running:

    $ systemctl stop nginx
    $ systemctl stop slipstream
    $ systemctl stop ssclj
    $ systemctl stop hsqldb
  2. Inflate the backup tarball as follows:

    $ tar -zxvf ~/SlipStream-backup.tgz -C /

This should inflate

  • database to /opt/slipstream/SlipStreamDB
  • reports to /var/tmp/slipstream/reports
  • logs to /opt/slipstream/server/logs and /var/log/slipstream/ssclj/
  1. Change the service configuration to reference the new host IP the service is running on by:

    # sed -i -e '/SERVICECONFIGURATIONPARAMETER/ s/<old-IP>/<new-IP>/g' \
  2. Update the SlipStream nginx cache location:

    # sed -i -e 's|proxy_cache_path.*keys_zone=zone_one:10m;|proxy_cache_path /var/local/slipstream/nginx/cache keys_zone=zone_one:10m;|' \
  3. Start all the services in the following order:

    $ systemctl start hsqldb
    $ systemctl start ssclj
    $ systemctl start slipstream
    $ systemctl start nginx

This completes the migration process. Validate the migration by logging to the service and launching a test deployment.

Further Incremental Migration Steps

Riemann Service

The following migration is required on SlipStream Enterprise instance.

In this release the Riemann service was introduced. It is intended to be used with NuvlaBox product.

If you are using or intending to start using NuvlaBoxes with SlipStream Enterprise, please follow the migration procedure below. After following this procedure you will be able to see the connection status of the NuvlaBoxes on the SlipStream dashboard.

  1. Make sure that NuvlaBox connector is installed on the SlipStream instance. If not, install it with:

    yum install slipstream-connector-nuvlabox-enterprise

    Restart SlipStream service on the current instance:

    systemctl restart slipstream
  2. Add and configure NuvlaBox connector (e.g. nuvlabox-james-chadwick:nuvlabox) on the SlipStream instance. See NuvlaBox documentation for the details. The name of the connector should match the name under which the added NuvlaBox will be publishing its metrics.

  3. Connect NB to SS for publication of availability metrics:

    /root/nuvlabox-register-mothership \
       -U nuvlabox-<NB-name> \
       -S "ssh-rsa <ssh-key> [email protected]<NB-name>"

    Add the following configuration parameters before first Match section in /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

    ClientAliveInterval 15
    ClientAliveCountMax 2

    Restart sshd:

    systemctl restart sshd
  4. Populate Service Offer resource with the information on the NuvlaBox. This step has to be manually done each time when a new NuvlaBox needs to be made available on the SlipStream instance via the NuvlaBox connector.

    Add NuvlaBox info into the service offer:

    curl -u super:<super-password> -k -s \
      -D - https://<ss-ip>/api/service-offer -d @nuvlabox.json \
      -H "Content-type: application/json"

    with the following content in nuvlabox.json:

      "connector" : {"href" : "nuvlabox-<nb-name>"},
      "state": "nok",
      "acl" : {
        "owner" : { "principal" : "ADMIN",
                    "type" : "ROLE"},
        "rules" : [
          { "principal" : "USER",
            "type" : "ROLE",
            "right" : "VIEW"}
  5. Run the following to install and configure the Riemann service.

    The command below is required to be run if you are upgrading an existing SlipStream instance. You don’t need to run the command below if you’ve just installed SlipStream from scratch:

    curl -LkfsS https://raw.githubusercontent.com/slipstream/SlipStream/candidate-latest/install/ss-install-riemann.sh | bash

    Edit /etc/sysconfig/riemann and export the following environment variables:

    export SLIPSTREAM_SUPER_PASSWORD=change_me_password

    Restart Riemann service:

    systemctl restart riemann

Elasticsearch is now required for the SlipStream service. When upgrading, Elasticsearch will need to be installed, configured, and started by hand. Start by adding the Elasticsearch repository:

$ yum install slipstream-es-repo-community

Use “community” or “enterprise” as appropriate for you installation.

Install Elasticsearch:

$ yum install elasticsearch
$ systemctl daemon-reload
$ systemctl enable elasticsearch.service

Update the configuration:

$ cd /etc/elasticsearch/
$ mv elasticsearch.yml elasticsearch.yml.orig
$ cat > elasticsearch.yml <<EOF

And finally start the service:

$ systemctl start elasticsearch.service

You can test that Elasticsearch is running correctly with:

$ systemctl status elasticsearch.service
$ curl http://localhost:9200/_cluster/health?pretty=true

The first should show that the service is running and the second should provide the health of the Elasticsearch cluster. It should contain one node and be in a “green” state.

For data persistency, SlipStream is moving from hsqldb, a Java-based SQL relational database, to Elasticsearch, a high-performance, document-oriented data store. The migration from one to the other will be incremental, so during the transition, both databases will be used. This is the first release where Elasticsearch is used.

Before starting the migration procedure, please make sure that slipstream and ssclj are not running. Both databases (hsqldb and Elasticsearch) must be running.

Then you can migrate the resources with the following commands:

$ export ES_HOST=localhost
$ export ES_PORT=9300
$ java -cp /opt/slipstream/server/webapps/slipstream.war/WEB-INF/lib/clojure-1.8.0.jar:/opt/slipstream/ssclj/lib/ssclj.jar com.sixsq.slipstream.ssclj.migrate.script

Resources are migrated (from hsqldb to elastic search) by batches of 10‘000 documents. Example of output of this script:

Creating ES client
Index resetted
Will create korma database with db-spec
Migrating  usage , nb resources = XXX
Migrating usage 0  ->  9999
Migrating  usage-record , nb resources = XXX
Migrating usage-record 0  ->  9999
Migrating  event , nb resources = XXX
Migrating event 0  ->  9999

Known Issues

  • The process that collects information abouts users’ virtual machines can become saturated, resulting in the loss of this information for most users. When this issue appears, the slipstream service can be restarted to return it to a normal state.

v2.23.2 (stable) - 3 March 2016


As this is a major release, a large number of bugs have been fixed in addition to the listed features. For bug fixes, see the release notes for the intermediate candidate releases. Only the new features are listed below.

For application users [Alice]:
  • Major improvements to the text and workflow of the embedded SlipStream tour, making it easier to understand and to follow.
  • Major reorganization of the brower interface (and vocabulary), making the dashboard the initial landing page and providing easy access to the other major interface elements (App Store, Workspace, and Service Catalog).
For application users and developers [Alice, Clara]:
  • The new Service Catalog implementation allows for flexible schemas and full CRUD actions through the SlipStream API. This allows it to cover a wider range of different cloud services and cloud service providers.
  • Improve the application state machine and associated control processes to ensure that there are fewer spurious errors and that scaling is more reliable.
  • Enhanced the error reporting from the cloud connectors and the application control processes to make the returned error messages more precise.
  • Dashboard has been markedly improved to provide a clearer and more concise view of your cloud activities. For example, only gauges relevant to you are shown and you can filter out terminated applications. Applications can provide direct, clickable links to the deployed service.
  • The events on the “run” page of an application are automatically refreshed (and time-ordered) to allow you to easily follow the progress of your application.
For application developers [Clara]:
  • Streamlined and refactored the command line interface to make the usage more intuitive.
  • Report tarball has been “flattened” to make navigation of the logs easier.
  • A script can now be defined for the orchestrator (beta feature) that allows for deployment-wide actions for an application.
  • Provides an alpha client API in clojure that provides functions that allow you to control most of an application’s lifecycle, particularly the scaling actions.
For SlipStream administrators [Dave]:
  • Improved packaging that simplifies installation of SlipStream, ensures that customized configuration files are not inadvertantly overwritten, and allows the services to run with SELinux.
  • Optimized data flow through the nginx proxy to the appropriate, backend SlipStream services; refine rate limits so that they do not affect normal usage.
  • Administrators can now assign roles to users that can be used within resource URLs.
  • Reduce unnecessary logging to make the log files more effective when trying to find problems.
  • SlipStream now supports several external authentication mechanisms to be used, GitHub for example.
For application users, developers, and SlipStream administrators [Alice, Clara, Dave]:
  • Improve browser support to ensure a consistent rendering across all of the major browsers.
  • SlipStream supports scaling both horizontally (adding more machines) and vertically (adding more resources).
  • There is an example application that demonstrates autoscaling with SlipStream.
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly summaries of your cloud resource usage are available. Daily reminders can also be enabled in your user profile.
  • New events have been added that provide a broader view of important actions within the SlipStream server and managed cloud applications. The events indicate when the server was started/stopped, when user profiles are updated, and when the server configuration changes.
  • Automatically create an open security group (on clouds that support it) to avoid application failures due to network connectivity.
The list of available cloud connectors has expanded and existing connectors have been improved:
  • AWS (EC2)
    • Connector only uses the first configured SSH key during deployment to avoid provisioning failures.
    • Errors messages in general and those related to the VPC change have been improved.
  • Azure
    • A complete connector for Azure is available that allows the full control of linux-based systems.
  • CloudStack
    • Connector now supports multiple zones.
  • Exoscale
    • This specialized cloud connector allows images to be referenced by name, disk sizes to be controlled, and platform-specific instance sizes.
  • OpenNebula
    • A connector to use OpenNebula platforms from SlipStream is available.
    • The OpenNebula machines templates can be customized from the SlipStream interface.
  • OpenStack
    • Now supports the Keystone API v3.
    • Connector has been streamlines to reduce the time to retrieve the virtual machine’s IP address.
    • Error messages have been improved to help resolve connectivity and cloud problems.
  • SoftLayer
    • A connector (enterprise) that uses the native SoftLayer API is now available. The connector supports vertical scaling.
  • StratusLab
    • Improved logging of networking errors as well as error messages.

The Alice, Bob, Clara, and Dave personae can be found on the SixSq website.


When upgrading from previous versions two files must be renamed by hand:

  • mv /etc/default/slipstream.rpmnew /etc/default/slipstream
  • mv /etc/default/ssclj.rpmnew /etc/default/ssclj

This is not needed on a fresh installations of v2.23.2.

Database migration is required from v2.14 to v2.23.2. The following steps MUST be followed:

  1. Upgrade SlipStream

  2. Stop SlipStream:

    $ service slipstream stop
  3. Stop HSQLDB (or your DB engine):

    $ service hsqldb stop
  4. Execute the following SQL script /opt/slipstream/server/migrations/015_compute_timestamp_usage.sql:

    $ java -jar /opt/hsqldb/lib/sqltool.jar --autoCommit --inlineRc=url=jdbc:hsqldb:file:/opt/slipstream/SlipStreamDB/sscljdb,user=sa,password= /opt/slipstream/server/migrations/015_compute_timestamp_usage.sql
  5. Execute the following SQL script /opt/slipstream/server/migrations/016_add_frequency_usage.sql:

    $ java -jar /opt/hsqldb/lib/sqltool.jar --autoCommit --inlineRc=url=jdbc:hsqldb:file:/opt/slipstream/SlipStreamDB/sscljdb,user=sa,password= /opt/slipstream/server/migrations/016_add_frequency_usage.sql
  6. Execute the following SQL script /opt/slipstream/server/migrations/017_add_external_login.sql:

    $ java -jar /opt/hsqldb/lib/sqltool.jar --autoCommit --inlineRc=url=jdbc:hsqldb:file:/opt/slipstream/SlipStreamDB/slipstreamdb,user=sa,password= /opt/slipstream/server/migrations/017\_add\_external\_login.sql
  7. Start HSQLDB (or your DB engine):

    $ service hsqldb start
  8. Delete all usage_summaries, and recompute them thanks to summarizer script:

    $ java -Dconfig.path=db.spec -cp \ "/opt/slipstream/ssclj/resources:/opt/slipstream/ssclj/lib/ext/*:/opt/slipstream/ssclj/lib/ssclj.jar" \
     com.sixsq.slipstream.ssclj.usage.summarizer -f <frequency> -n <nb-in-past>

Use ‘daily, ‘weekly’ and ‘monthly’ for ‘-f’ option. Adapt value given to ‘-n’ option for each frequency.

  1. Start SlipStream:

    $ service slipstream start

Known Issues

No major known issues.