Deploying Flatcar Container Linux using Google Cloud Launcher

You can deploy Flatcar Container Linux instances in a really easy way, using the Google Cloud Launcher. Before proceeding, you will need a GCE account ( GCE free trial ).

To start the deployment, go to https://console.cloud.google.com/marketplace/details/kinvolk-public/flatcar-container-linux

GCL landing page

Click “Launch”.

GCL launcher config

You can use the default values already filled in for you, or customize them for your needs. When you’re happy with the settings, click “Deploy”

GCL deploying

And that’s it! Your new Flatcar Container Linux is deploying.

Inspecting your instance

When complete you should see:

GCL deployed

Flatcar supports automatic resizing on first boot, the installation will use all the available space. So, you can ignore the warning about the image and disk mismatch.

SSH and users

Users are added to Container Linux on GCE by any user provided configuration (like ignition or cloudinit) and by either the GCE account manager or GCE OS Login . OS Login is used if it is enabled for the instance, otherwise the GCE account manager is used.

By default, the GCE account manager will provision the machine for the username that matches your account.

Using the web UI

The easiest way to launch an SSH client is directly from the web UI

GCL ssh

This will connect with your user, which has some basic permissions. You will be able to inspect the machine and have a look around.

To connect with the core user that can administer the whole machine, you will need to connect using the gcloud command.

Using OS Login

You can log in using your Google account on instances with OS Login enabled. OS Login needs to be enabled in the GCE console and on the instance. It is enabled by default on instances provisioned with Flatcar Container Linux. Once enabled, you can log into your Container Linux instances using:

gcloud compute ssh --zone us-central1-a <instance-name>

This will use your GCE user to log in.

Using the GCE account manager

You can log in your Flatcar Container Linux instances from the command line, using the gcloud command.

gcloud compute ssh --zone <instance-zone> [email protected]<instance-name>

Users other than core, which are set up by the GCE account manager, may not be a member of required groups. If you have issues, try running commands such as journalctl with sudo.

Disabling OS Login on newly provisioned nodes

You can disable the OS Login functionality by masking the oem-gce-enable-oslogin.service unit:

systemd:
  units:
    - name: oem-gce-enable-oslogin.service
      mask: true

When disabling OS Login functionality on the instance, it is also recommended to disable it in the GCE console.

Using Flatcar Container Linux

Now that you have a machine booted it is time to play around. Check out the Flatcar Container Linux Quickstart guide or dig into more specific topics .