Getting started with Anka Build Cloud on Linux Using Docker

Set up your Anka Build Cloud on Linux.

Welcome! this tutorial will guide you through setting up your Anka Build Cloud on Linux using Docker and docker-compose.

Necessary hardware

  1. A machine running Linux to install Anka Controller + Registry on.
  2. At least one Mac running Mac OS to install Anka CLI as a Node.

While it's possible to run docker on mac, it's not recommended.
Performance should be far from optimal.

Necessary software

We will be using on your Linux machine, so if you don't have docker and docker-compose installed please install it now. Install docker .
Install docker-compose .
Be sure to follow the Post Installation setup in order to run docker-compose without using sudo.

What we will do in this tutorial

  1. Create your first VM
  2. Install Anka Controller and Registry
  3. Add one or more Macs as Nodes
  4. Start a VM instance using the Anka Build Cloud web interface

Step 1. Create your first VM

Perform the following steps on a mac machine that is intended to be a Node.

Install Anka CLI

Download latest Anka PKG

Download the file from Anka Build Download page.

curl -L -o Anka.pkg

Install Anka PKG

cd to the directory containing the file (if you are in another directory), then run:

sudo installer -pkg Anka.pkg -tgt /

Verify installation

Verify the installation by running anka version command.

anka version

Anka Build Basic version 2.1.2 (build 112)

License activation

Activate your license using the anka license command and your license key:

sudo anka license activate <key>

Download MacOS installer

Using the App Store

Use the App Store to download a MacOS install package of your choosing.
Here's a link to the MacOS Mojave install page - .

After the download is complete the files will be at /Applications/Install macOS (different MacOS versions will be called differently).

Using a script

You can use the “” script from this Github repository (requires python installed).

Download and run the script:

curl --fail --silent -L -O
sudo chmod +x
sudo ./ --raw

The script downloads a disk image or a dmg, so further steps are necessary in order to create an Anka VM. Create a directory for the app:

mkdir -p /tmp/app

Attach the image using hdiutil (assuming $IMAGE_PATH is the path to the image you downloaded):

hdiutil attach "$IMAGE_PATH" -mountpoint /tmp/app

Copy the files to the Applications folder

sudo cp -r "/tmp/app/Applications/Install macOS" /Applications/

Detach the image:

sudo hdiutil detach /tmp/app -force

Delete the downloaded Image:

rm -f "$IMAGE_PATH"

After downloading the MacOS application you can now create your vm!

Create the VM

Use anka create command to create macOS VMs from the .app installer app.

anka create --app /Applications/Install\ macOS\ mojave-base

The VM creation should take around 30 minutes or so.

For more commands and options, see Command Reference. While you wait for the VM creation, continue and perform step 2.

Step 2. Install Anka Controller and Registry

Perform the following steps on the machine intended to run the Controller and Registry

Download the tar package

Download the file called “Cloud Controller & Registry (Run on Linux Instance)” from Anka Build Download page . If you are more comfortable with the command line, you can download the file with curl:

curl -L -o anka-controller-registry-1.5.2-ce0d3271.tar.gz

The file name is constructed like this - anka-controller-registry--VERSION-HASH.tar.gz. We follow semantic versioning so the version number is divided to MAJOR, MINOR and PATCH.


Go into the directory where you downloaded the tar and untar it.

tar -xzvf anka-controller-registry-1.5.2-ce0d3271.tar.gz

We'll need to configure two things, first one is the external registry address. This address is passed to the build nodes, so they can download VM templates.
The second thing, is to mount a volume for the Registry data. The directory will contain VM disk images and configuration files.


Edit the file docker-compose.yml.
Under anka-controller > environment, find the variable ANKA_REGISTRY_ADDR (highlighted in the example below).
Replace ***EDIT_ME*** with the URL of your Registry.

In this example the URL should be accessible from your mac machine


       context: .
       dockerfile: anka-controller.docker
       - "80:80"
    # To change the port, change the above line: - "CUSTOM_PORT:80"
    ######   EDIT HERE FOR TLS  ########
    # volumes:
      # Path to ssl certificates directory 
      # - ****EDIT_ME****:/mnt/cert
       - etcd
      #  - beanstalk
       - anka-registry
    restart: always

      # Address of anka registry. this address will be passed to your build nodes
      ANKA_REGISTRY_ADDR: ****EDIT_ME****               
      # Local Anka registry address
      # This address will be used by the controller. 


Under anka-registry > volumes, find the line that says # - ****EDIT_ME****:/mnt/vol (highlighted in the example below). First, uncomment this line by removing the # sign from the head of the line.
Then replace ****EDIT_ME**** with the path on your machine where you want the Registry files to be saved.

- /var/anka:/mnt/vol
In this example /var/anka is an existing path on the host machine


      context: .
      dockerfile: anka-registry.docker
      - "8089:8089"
   # To change the port change the above line: - "CUSTOM_PORT:8089"
   restart: always
      ######   EDIT HERE  ########
      # Path to registry data folder.
      # VM data files and logs will be saved in this folder
      # - ****EDIT_ME****:/mnt/vol

      # Path to ssl certificates directory 
      # - ****EDIT_ME****:/mnt/cert



In the same working directory, execute the docker-compose up command.

docker-compose up -d

docker-compose will now build your containers and run the services defined as a daemon.

Verify your installation

Execute the docker ps command:

docker ps

You should be seeing a response similar to the following:

CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                 COMMAND                  CREATED              STATUS              PORTS                    NAMES
aa1de7c150e7        tut_anka-controller   "/bin/bash -c 'anka-…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute>80/tcp       tut_anka-controller_1
0ac3a6f8b0a1        tut_anka-registry     "/bin/bash -c 'anka-…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute>8089/tcp   tut_anka-registry_1
03787d28d3a3        tut_etcd              "/usr/bin/etcd --dat…"   About a minute ago   Up About a minute                            tut_etcd_1

Anka Controller should be listening on port 80 (http). Try pointing your browser to the machine's ip or host name. You can use localhost or when using the machine the server is installed on.

Your new dashboard should look like the picture below

How your new dashboard looks like


Running Applications

Let's take a look on what is now running on your machine.

  1. Anka Controller serving web UI and REST API on port 80.
  2. Anka Registry serving REST API on port 8089.
  3. ETCD database server serving on ports 2379 and 2380 internally on the docker network. This server is used internally by the Anka Controller

Configuration and scripts

Configuration is done by editing docker-compose.yml.
Most of the stuff you can configure is listed there but commented out. Check out the variables under the environment section of each service.


Containers are writing logs to stderr, making them available to docker.
To see the Controller's logs (Assuming your container is called anka-controller-1):

docker logs --follow anka-controller-1

To see the Registry's logs (Assuming your container is called anka-registry-1):

docker logs --follow anka-registry-1

The log level is a number starting with 0 as the lowest, the higher the log level means more verbose. The default log level is 0 .

Great! now that we have our Anka Controller and Registry up and running let's add Nodes!

Step 3. Add Nodes

Perform this on the machine you created your first VM on

Configure the Registry

We will configure the registry on this machine, so we can push the VM to it. Saving the VM on the Registry makes it possible to download and run it from other nodes. When executing the commands replace with IP of the machine running your Registry. Assuming you haven't changed the default port configuration, your Registry is serving requests on port 8089.

Execute the registry add command to add your Registry to Anka CLI.

anka registry add MyRegistry

Verify the configuration:

anka registry list  # this command should succeed

anka registry list-repos

MyRegistry (default)

| host   | |
| scheme | http          |
| port   | 8089          |

Push the VM

Assuming your VM is called mojave-base, execute the registry push command:

anka registry push mojave-base -t base

After the push is finished you should be able to see your new Template in the “templates” section.

Your first template

Add a Node to the cloud

We'll use as the IP for the machine running the Controller. Replace with the real IP or host name of your machine.

Run the Anka Agent daemon:

sudo ankacluster join
Testing connection to controller...: Ok
Testing connection to the registry...: Ok
Cluster join success

The command should hang for a few moments before printing Cluster join success. In that period of time if any errors occur they will be printed out.

Repeat this process on other machines that you want to join as Nodes (Anka CLI needs to be installed)

Step 4. Start a VM instance using the Anka Dashboard

Go to your Anka dashboard and click on the “Instances” tab.

Your instances view

Click on “Create Instance(s)", the “Create New Instances” view will open.

new instances view

Select your template and click “Start”. the “Create New Instances” view will close and return you to the “Instances” view. You should see an Instance in “Scheduling” or “Started” state.

a scheduling instance

After the “Scheduling” period, the VM will start on one of the Nodes and Instance will be “Started”.

a started instance

Great! Your VM Instance is started.

Where to go next?

Browse Anka CLI Command Reference.
Connect your cloud to a CI server.
Find out how to use the Controller REST API.
Learn how to work with USB devices

Last modified January 9, 2020 : moved partial files (26fbf87) by asafg6