Install Stackspin

This guide explains how to install Stackspin on the Kubernetes cluster you have configured in the previous step.

Step 1: Flux configuration

Flux will run inside your Stackspin cluster to install and upgrade applications. It needs to be configured once, using the flux command line tool and scripts provided by us in the Stackspin repository.

Configuration

Copy the file install/.flux.env.example to your cluster dir clusters/stackspin.example.org/.flux.env. This file contains the last bit of information you need to configure. Make sure not to put any quotes around your values, because that can make the resulting yaml files invalid. Also, using a dollar sign $ or double quote " may lead to problems, so please avoid using those characters in the values.

Cluster information

# The IP address of your cluster
ip_address=1.2.3.4
# The FQDN of your cluster
domain=stackspin.example.org
# The system administrator's email address. Alerts are sent to this address
admin_email=admin@example.org

Outgoing email

Stackspin uses SMTP to send emails. This is essential for finishing account setups with password recovery links. Additionally, apps like Nextcloud, Zulip and Wordpress will be able to send email notifications from the email address configured here. You also may receive alert notification emails from Stackspin’s monitoring system. See Email alerts for more information about those alerts, especially during installation.

Because Stackspin does not include an email server, you need to search your (external) email provider’s helpdesk for SMTP configuration details.

Edit the clusters/stackspin.example.org/.flux.env file as follows:

# Enable sending mails
outgoing_mail_enabled=true
# Email address that the cluster sends mails from. Needs to be an existing SMTP
# login
outgoing_mail_from_address=admin@example.org
# Same outgoing mail address, but only the part before the '@'
outgoing_mail_from_local_part=admin
# Same outgoing mail address, but only the part after the '@'
outgoing_mail_domain=example.org
# SMTP password for the outgoing mail address
outgoing_mail_smtp_password=CHANGEME
# SMTP username, often the same as the outgoing email address
outgoing_mail_smtp_user=admin@example.org
# SMTP login data.
outgoing_mail_smtp_host=smtp.greenhost.nl
outgoing_mail_smtp_authtype=LOGIN
outgoing_mail_smtp_port=587

Backups with Velero (Optional)

You can enable Velero, a program that runs on your cluster and uploads backups of your cluster and user data to an S3 storage service of your choice.

If enabled, Velero will create a backup of your cluster once every night and upload it to the S3 storage you configure. This includes:

  • your cluster state. Technically speaking, it will back up all Kubernetes resources in your cluster; this includes things like which applications are installed, including their version number and installation-time settings;

  • persistent data of all applications: for example, single sign-on users that you created, Nextcloud files and metadata, WordPress site data and comments, Zulip chat history, etc. A single exception to this is Prometheus data (statistics of system properties), which takes up a lot of space and we consider not valuable enough to back up.

It does not include anything on the VPS that you may have set up but is not part of Stackspin, like programs installed via apt, or data added to the VPS disk not through Stackspin.

To configure Velero, edit the file clusters/stackspin.example.org/.flux.env, and configure the settings with the backup_s3_ prefix.

Then continue with the installation procedure as described below. At the end of the installation procedure, you have to install the velero application.

For information on how to use Velero with Stackspin, please see Backup.

Step 2: Install core applications

Before you can start, you need to execute a few commands from the installation directory on your provisioning machine. Don’t forget to replace stackspin.example.org with your domain.

We will use this variable in the following commands, set it to your cluster directory.

export CLUSTER_DIR=$PWD/clusters/stackspin.example.org

Make sure your virtualenv is activated.

. env/bin/activate

Copy the installation kustomization to your cluster directory.

cp install/kustomization.yaml $CLUSTER_DIR/

Tell kubectl to use your cluster’s kube_config.

export KUBECONFIG=$CLUSTER_DIR/kube_config_cluster.yml

Ensure flux-system namespace is created.

kubectl get namespace flux-system 2>/dev/null || kubectl create namespace flux-system

This inserts the configuration from .flux.env into your cluster as a “secret”.

kubectl apply -k $CLUSTER_DIR

After you have executed that code, your terminal should show:

secret/stackspin-cluster-variables created

Next, run:

./install/install-stackspin.sh

This installs the core of Stackspin into your cluster. To see what’s included, check the flux2/infrastructure and the flux2/core folders in the git repository.

Step 3: Install additional applications

After the script completes, you can install applications by running the other installation scripts in the install folder. At the moment, we have scripts to install:

  • Monitoring stack (Prometheus, Grafana, Loki, Eventrouter) ./install/install-app.sh monitoring

  • Nextcloud and Onlyoffice with ./install/install-app.sh nextcloud

  • Zulip chat with ./install/install-app.sh zulip

  • Wekan with ./install/install-app.sh wekan

  • WordPress with ./install/install-app.sh wordpress

  • Velero with ./install/install-app.sh velero (only if you have configured it in Backups with Velero (Optional)).

When the installation scripts complete, the application installation may still be running on the Stackspin cluster. You can monitor the progress by running flux get kustomizations (use watch flux get kustomizations to get updates). If all kustomizations have been applied correctly, you can monitor specific application releases by running watch flux get helmreleases --all-namespaces.

Step 4: Validate setup

Once the installation has been completed, you can log in on https://dashboard.stackspin.example.org (as always: replace stackspin.example.org with your domain). To get your login details, run:

$ python -m stackspin stackspin.example.org admin-credentials

Additionally, because Stackspin is still under development, we would like you to follow our Test your installation to make sure that the setup process went well.

Step 5: Let us know!

We would love to hear about your experience installing Stackspin. If you encountered any problems, please create an issue in our issue tracker. If you didn’t please still reach out as described on our contact page and tell us how you like Stackspin so far. We want to be in communication with our users, and we want to help you if you run into problems.