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Getting started with Fog on Brightbox

Fog is a Ruby library that provides a common interface to a number of different cloud providers. Fog allows Ruby applications to manage Brightbox resources via the API. We use it as the basis of our CLI tool so it will always be up to date with the latest Brightbox goodness.

Installing and Configuring Fog

You can install fog using:

gem install fog

or via bundler by adding it to your Gemfile and running bundle:

gem "fog"

We’ll need a Brightbox API Client in order to connect to the API. If you haven’t signed up and created an API Client yet you’ll need to do that now.

Listing Images

Now that we have Fog installed and have our API Client we can create a new connection. Let’s create a script to list images and call it images.rb.

require 'fog'

compute = Fog::Compute.new(
  :provider => :brightbox,
  :brightbox_client_id => "your_api_client_id",
  :brightbox_secret => "your_secret"

Now we have our connection we can list all of the images, like so:


We can also find the details about a specific image using its identifier, for example to get details about our Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS server image:

image = compute.images.get('img-l5pso')

Instead of having to add our client credentials to each script we create we can put them in the Fog configuration file. So let’s create a new file at ~/.fog and add the following:

  :brightbox_client_id: "your_api_client_id"
  :brightbox_secret: "your_secret"

Now we can just create a new instance of compute with:

compute = Fog::Compute.new(:provider => :brightbox)

Creating a Server

Listing images is great but it’s not going to help us launch our super-awesome-auto-scaling new product. Let’s get down to the real power of Fog and start some servers.

Now that we know which image we want to launch let’s go ahead and create a server with that image:

zone = compute.zones.first
compute.servers.create(:zone_id => zone.id, :image_id => 'img-l5pso')

If we don’t specify any image or other details, Fog will create a nano server type instance with Ubuntu Precise 12.04 server within zone gb1-a.

We can check the status of our server using:


Or we can wait until Fog determines that the server is ready:

server.wait_for { ready? }

As soon as the server is ready the ruby script will continue and we can start using our server.

Now let’s add a Cloud IP to this server. We start by allocating a Cloud IP and then we map it to the ID of our newly created server:

cloud_ip = compute.cloud_ips.allocate

It’s also worth noting that we can snapshot a server and spawn multiple copies of it later. We could, for example, create a worker image and then just create more of them as demand for our app grows. Simply find the server using its identifier.

server = compute.servers.get('srv-12345')
snapshot = server.snapshot

Each snapshot is given an image identifier just like the standard images. We can just pass that identifier into the create server command and our snapshot will be launched as the basis of a new server.

Further options

Although this guide has just run through the basics of Fog, we can use it to manage virtually every aspect of Brightbox resources. In fact, our CLI uses Fog underneath so anything that we can do in the CLI can be programmatically achieved using Fog.

Check out the Fog source code at https://github.com/fog/fog for more details. You can see that there are a list of models and each one can be accessed in a pretty consistent manner.

Last updated: 14 Jun 2023 at 13:53 UTC

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