Data Centers

How to use Antsle to quickly deploy a virtual machine

Antsle makes short work of deploying virtual machines called "antlets." Jack Wallen walks you through the process of spinning up a Ubuntu Server with a full Kubernetes stack in under five minutes.

Image: Antsle

The Antsle is an incredibly powerful and easy to use tool for deploying virtual machines and containers. These deployed machines are called "antlets" and can be anything from a full-blown server operating system (such as CentOS, Ubuntu Server, or Windows Server) to a desktop OS. Antsle is a developer's dream come true, but can also serve in a production environment. Deploy and develop your antlet and have it running websites, databases, cloud servers, and so much more.

But how difficult is it to deploy a new antlet? You will be surprised at how easy the process is. I'm going to walk you through the process of creating a new antlet—a Ubuntu Server with a full Kubernetes stack. You'd think this would take some time to roll out given the complexity of installing Kubernetes. It's not.

What you need

You're going to need an Antsle, and that device is going to have to be connected to your LAN and powered on. That's it. I will assume you've already set the product up and have access to antMan, the web-based interface to the Antsle.

Creating the antlet

Once you've logged into antMan, click on the antMan Home tab and click the New antlet button (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The antMan main page.

In the resulting window (Figure B), configure your antlet to meet your needs. Remember, if the antlet will serve a purpose that requires significant resources, make sure to give it enough RAM and vCPUs.

Figure B

Figure B

Creating the new antlet.

Before you click the Create antlet button, you need to understand a couple of things. The first is that the template option allows you to select from the list of pre-installed templates. The available options are:

  • Blank
  • CentOS 7
  • FreeBSD
  • Ubuntu 16.04 Kubernetes
  • Debian - LXC

Those are the only templates available in the Template drop-down. If you click Add More, you'll find:

  • Ubuntu-Xenial LXC
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Debian 8.5
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard GUI
  • Kali Linux
  • WIndows 10
  • CentOS 7.1 LXC
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Kali Linux (no GUI)

It must be noted that the Windows templates do not include a Windows license. If you deploy one of those templates, you will be required to supply a license for the operating system.

For our example, select Ubuntu 16.04 Kubernetes.

Now let's talk about the IP address. By default, our Antsle is running on the 10.1.1 subnet, so when you create a new antlet, you define the final portion of the address. I'm going to cover the creation of a virtual NIC (so you can reach the antlet from your LAN) in a later piece. For the purpose of this how-to, we'll stick with the 10.1.1 subnet.

Once you've configured the antlet to meet your needs, click Create antlet. In the resulting window, antMan will instruct you how to reach your new antlet. To do this, you'll use SSH in the form of:

ssh -p 22XXX root@myantsle.local

Before you can do this, however, you must start the newly created antlet. To do that, go back to the antMan main page and click the Start button associated with your newly created antlet (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Our newly created antlet, ready to start.

Once the antlet has started, you'll need to give it time to boot. You can always click the VNC button (to the left of the antlet name) to open a VNC connection to the antlet. This will land you at the operating system login prompt. For most of the antlets, the credentials are root/antsle. Obviously, you'll want to immediately change that. For the Linux antlets, you'll want to create a new administrator account so you're not logging in as root.

In order to secure shell into the antlet, you SSH into the port 22XXX (where XXX is the IP of your antlet). So if your antlet is running at, the port will be 22012 and the secure shell command would be:

ssh -p 22012 root@myantsle.local

There's one other problem you might run into. If, for some reason, the machine you're attempting to login to the antlet cannot see myantsle.local, you'll want to substitute the IP address of your antsle, like so (my Antsle being at

ssh -p 22012 root@

Guess what? You're going to find one other problem here. Most Linux distributions do not allow secure shell login using the root account. So before you can ssh to the antlet, you must first log in via the VNC option, create a new user, and then you can SSH into the antlet with that new user. The commands you'll want to use for the creation of the new user are:

useradd -m USERNAME
usermod -aG sudo USERNAME

Where USERNAME is the actual name of the new user. Once you've added the new user, open up the file /etc/passwd (with the command nano /etc/passwd), locate the new user, and add /bin/bash to the end of that user's line (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Making sure the new user's shell is bash.

At this point, you should be able to login to the antlet, via SSH, and start working.

Welcome to your antlet

Congratulations, you've just deployed your first antlet. It takes less than five minutes (more likely around two minutes) from logging into antMan to logging into the antlet. Outside of getting around the SSH login issue, it really is that simple. Spin up three or four Ubuntu Kubernetes antlets and you're ready to start working toward your first Kubernetes cluster. How appealing is that?

Also See

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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