dci-rhel-agent provides Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in Red Hat Distributed CI service.

Table of Contents


Systems requirements

The simplest working setup must be composed of at least 2 systems:

  • The first one is DCI Jumpbox. This system acts as a controller node and will run mandatory services such as DHCP server, local DNS resolver and Beaker.

  • The second one is the target (also known as a lab server). This system will be deployed with RHEL from DCI and execute all the tests on top of it. This system is installed and wiped at each dci-rhel-agent job.

Please note that you can have only one DCI Jumpbox per lab, but it makes sense to have multiple targets (for instance: systems with different hardware profiles).

Jumpbox requirements

The Jumpbox can be a physical server or a virtual machine. In any case, it must:

Lab server requirements

The lab server can be a physical server or a virtual machine. It will be installed through DCI workflow with each job. As the files on this system are NOT persistent between each dci-rhel-agent job, every customization has to be automated from the DCI Jumpbox.

Lab network requirements

  • The lab network must allow network booting protocols such as DHCP/PXE.
  • The lab network should be fully isolated, to prevent conflicts with other networks.
  • The lab network bandwidth can be impaired since the dci-rhel-agent will download RHEL snapshots (=~ 4GB each) once in a while.


  • We strongly advise the partners to provide Red Hat DCI's team an access to their jumpbox. This way, Red Hat engineers can help with initial setup and troubleshooting.


The dci-rhel-agent is packaged and available as a RPM files. However,dci-release and epel-release must be installed first:

# yum -y install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm
# yum -y install https://packages.distributed-ci.io/dci-release.el7.noarch.rpm
# yum -y install dci-rhel-agent

Next, install Beaker. Red Hat DCI maintains a dedicated Ansible role to help with this task.

# subscription-manager repos --enable=rhel-7-server-extras-rpms
# subscription-manager repos --enable=rhel-7-server-optional-rpms
# su - dci-rhel-agent
$ git clone https://github.com/redhat-cip/ansible-playbook-dci-beaker
$ cd ansible-playbook-dci-beaker/
$ ansible-galaxy install -r requirements.yml -p roles/
$ vi group_vars/all
$ ansible-playbook -i inventory playbook.yml

If the target is a virtual machine, read this notice.

When you install dci-rhel-agent on a fresh system (or if you need to update cached Beaker Harness packages), execute the beaker-repo-update command. For more details, read the official documentation.


There are two configuration files for dci-rhel-agent: /etc/dci-rhel-agent/dcirc.sh and /etc/dci-rhel-agent/settings.yml.

  • /etc/dci-rhel-agent/dcirc.sh

This file has the credential associated to the lab (also kwnown as a RemoteCI in the DCI web dashboard. The partner team administrator has to create a Remote CI in the DCI web dashboard, copy the relative credential and paste it locally on the Jumpbox to /etc/dci-rhel-agent/dcirc.sh.

This file should be edited once:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
export DCI_CS_URL
  • /etc/dci-rhel-agent/settings.yml

This YAML file includes the configuration for a dci-rhel-agent Job. The possible values are:

Variable Required Type Description
topic True String Name of the topic.
local_repo_ip True IP DCI Jumpbox lab static network IP.
dci_rhel_agent_cert True True/False Enable or disable the certification tests suite.
download_only False True/False If enable, dci-rhel-agnt will exit after downloading RHEL builds (no job will be executed).
systems False List of string List of all systems that will be deployed using RHEL from DCI.
beaker_xml False String Path to a custom XML file to use with Beaker job.
variants False List of string List of RHEL 8.x variant to enable (AppStream, BaseOS, CRB, HighAvailability, NFV, RT, ResilientStorage, SAP, SAPHANA and unified).
archs False List of string CPU arch to enable (aarch64, ppc64le, s390x and x86_64).
with_debug False True/False Use RPM with debug symbols.


topic: RHEL-8.1
dci_rhel_agent_cert: false
download_only: false
  - AppStream
  - BaseOS
  - x86_64
  - ppc64le
with_debug: false
  - my.x86_64.system.local
  - my.ppc64le.system.local

Advanced settings

How to target a specific system in Beaker ?

Single system

If you have registred several systems in Beaker, you might want to configure where the DCI job will be executed. You can use the systems option in settings.yml to match a single server by checking the hostname.

  - labvm.local
Multiple systems

If you want to execute the DCI job on multiple servers, add all FQDN in the systems configuration.

  - labvm.local
  - labvm-2.local
  - labvm-3.local

Please note that all FQDN must resolve locally on the DCI jumpbox. If you don't have proper DNS records, please update /etc/hosts then reload dnsmasq service.

How to skip Red Hat Certification tests ?

Some users might want to skip the certification tests suite. This can be done via settings.yml file by adding dci_rhel_agent_cert: false.

How to add tags to a job ?

If you want to associate tags to jobs you can edit the file settings.yml and add your tags in the dci_tags list. By default, the tag "debug" is associated with every jobs. It should be kept 'as is' until the integration of the agent is done. The debug tag prevents jobs results to be compiled in DCI trends.

How to use a custom Beaker XML file in DCI jobs ?

If you want to use your own XML file during the bkr-job-submit (1) step, you can use the property beaker_xml in settings.yml:

beaker_xml: /etc/dci-rhel-agent/hooks/path/to/job.xml

Please note the XML file has to be in /etc/dci-rhel-agent/hooks/ directory.


To start a single job dci-rhel-agent, please use systemctl start dci-rhel-agent.

For troubleshooting purposes, launch dci-rhel-agent foreground:

# cd /etc/dci-rhel-agent/
# make run

If you need advanced debug, you can spawn a new container with a shell:

# cd /etc/dci-rhel-agent/
# make shell
[container]# ./entrypoint.py
[container]# dcictl topic-list

How to run your own set of tests ?

By default, dci-rhel-agent provides an empty Ansible list of tasks located at /etc/dci-rhel-agent/hooks/user-tests.yml. It can be modified to include any task needed to run on top of the lab server that was provisionned for the job.

This file will not be replaced when the dci-rhel-agent RPM will be updated.

Please note, that it is possible at this point to use DCI Ansible bindings (see in the container /usr/share/dci/modules/) in tasks. In the following example, the task uploads Junit files (your tests results) into DCI Web dashboard.

- name: Copy tests results from lab server to jumpbox it-self
    src: '{{ item }}'
    dest: '{{ item }}'
    flat: yes
    - /tmp/result-1.xml
    - /tmp/result-2.xml

- name: Upload files from the jumpbox to DCI
    path: '{{ item }}'
    name: '{{ item }}'
    job_id: '{{ hostvars.localhost.job_id }}'
    mime: "application/junit"
  delegate_to: localhost
    - /tmp/result-1.xml
    - /tmp/result-2.xml

Create your DCI account on distributed-ci.io

Every user needs to create his personnal account by connecting to https://www.distributed-ci.io using a Red Hat SSO account.

The account will be created in the DCI database at the first connection. For now, there is no reliable way to know your team automatically. Please contact the DCI team when this step has been reached, to be assigned in the correct organisation.


Apache License, Version 2.0 (see LICENSE file)


Email: Distributed-CI Team distributed-ci@redhat.com IRC: #distributed-ci on Freenode

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