FAQ - Chameleon cloud


Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Chameleon cloud had between January 2020 - October 2020 significant issues that required us to put this FAQ together. We were told by Chamelon Cloud that the issues are supposed to be removed, but we will keep this FAQ for a while longer here just in case it is not the case.

Furthermore, due to our extensive debugging of their fault authentication, Chameleon will be providing soon new mechanisms for authentication. We have not tested them at this time but hope that they will work without change. As we use vanilla OpenStack, it would be a disappointment if Chamelon cloud would change the authentication mechanisms.

All FAQ’s related to chameleon cloud assume

  1. you have looked at the instances with horizon before you use cms

  2. cms is installed

  3. cms init worked and

Cloudmesh is trivial to install.

How to check if chmaeleon cloud works

cms set cloud=chameleon
cms flavor list --refresh

This returns the list of flavors

How do I upload my key to chameleon?

cms key upload --cloud=chameleon
cms key list --cloud=chameleon

What is the error …?

  1. If you get this error

    UnboundLocalError: local variable 'key' referenced before assignment

    then you have not uploaded your key to chameleon

What is the chameleon account bug?


  1. We assume you start by deleting your .cloudmesh directory and have install a proper version of cms.

  2. Before you do anything verify if you can remember your password. You must logout of the chameleon cloud.org dashboard and login, while not using an auto-completion Web password completer. Make sure to remove your password if you use one of them.

Chameleon has several strange bugs we know of that will hopefully be fixed

  1. Any account in chameleon that wants to use OpenStack KVM must first visit horizon and through the visit activate the account. The activation via the e-mail that they send to you does not fully activate your account.

  2. When activation your account in horizon, you must login to a login screen. However, sometimes we observed that the screen do not complete the activation and you do not get forwarded to horizon. Instead, you end in an endless loop for activation requests.

  3. Some students despite the issue of being able to login reported that they can not use cms even though they typed in the password correctly. To find this out you have to talk to Gregor which unfortunately needs your username and password. to verify if your account works or not.

  4. If Gregor can verify that your account works (e.g. he does this on a computer on which we checked chameleon cloud works for another account), you will have to apply for a new chameleon account with an e-mal that has not been used at

    • University of Chicago

    • Indiana University

    • jetstream

    • XSEDE

    • Chameleon Cloud

    Than you do the previous steps and check if you can use this account in cms. If it works fine, if it does not file a ticket with chameleon cloud.

Gregor completely hats to do 3. and 4. but chameleon cloud have not provided any proper solutions.

You must not use IUGuest network

IU GUEST or any other insecure network:

If you are at IU, chameleon cloud does not allow you to connect to it from IU guest. So if you say cms vm list –refresh and it hangs there for a long time you will at one point see “Failed to discover available identity versions when contacting https://kvm.tacc.chameleoncloud.org:5000/v3. Attempting to parse version from URL.”

This indicates you can not connect to chamelon cloud as you are on an insecure network. You can do a CRTL C here

If you wait longer, you will see

keystoneauth1.exceptions.connection.ConnectFailure: Unable to establish
connection to https://kvm.tacc.chameleoncloud.org:5000/v3/auth/tokens:
HTTPSConnectionPool(host='kvm.tacc.chameleoncloud.org', port=5000): Max retries
exceeded with url: /v3/auth/tokens (Caused by
NewConnectionError(' \< urllib3.connection.VerifiedHTTPSConnection object at
0x7f63fc14a040 \> : Failed to establish a new connection: [Errno 110] Connection
timed out'))

Tethering your computer through a cell phone

This will likely not work as your cell phone company has likely some restrictions.

Can I keep my instance running when not in use?

No, you shout terminate and restart it. However, if you initially have issues keep it running and find in the manual how to suspend and resume it. You can also do this from horizon if you prefer.


This is happening when a previously used ip address is used on another vm You need to remove the ip from ~/.ssh/kown hosts by using

ssh-keygen -R IPADDRESS

where IPADDRESS is the address to be removed, and then try again

ssh-keygen vs putty

use ssh-keygen as it is far easier.

Can I give my own network when booting


cms vm boot --name=gregor-02 \
            --image=CC-Ubuntu18.04 \

How do I upload the secgroups

cms sec group load --cloud=chameleon

Are there additional Videos

Starting vms in horizon

A video was shot by Rahul. I do recommend however if you can just to keep the keyname on your computer to be id_rsa.

In horizon you naturally use a keyname such as rahul-222 (e.g. what rahul used)

The reason is that in the future we use cloudmesh and we have a default key for cloudmesh set as id_rsa. This simplifies debugging in case something does not go right

Starting VMs in cloudmesh

Rahul has done a video to show how to start vms in cloudmesh Also we added the network id to the cloudmesh.yaml file, so if you have a new version its no longer needed to add the network