Developing with Squonk2 (locally)

Instructions for deploying the Squonk2 application suite, consisting of the Account Server, Data Manager, and its Operators to a local Kubernetes cluster (Minikube, Docker Desktop or Rancher Desktop). Instructions for the installation of a local Kubernetes cluster can be found on the Data Manager Wiki’s Development Policies section.

A working knowledge of the following will prove extremely beneficial: -

  • Kubernetes
  • Ansible, specifically the Ansible role playbook structure


Squonk2 consists of: -

  • An Account Server to manage Product subscriptions (the AS)
  • The Data Manager Service and its API (the DM)
    • A Job operator to run DM jobs
    • A Jupyter" operator to run Jupyter notebook server
  • The Squonk2 Graphical UI (the UI)

Configuration of the application components is achieved using Ansible playbooks. Some deployments, due to their complexity, have a large number of playbook variables but a basic set is provided in each of the playbook repositories in a parameters-local.yaml file. You are encouraged to review each application’s variables, which are accompanied by in-line documentation, in the defaults/main.yaml and vars/main.yaml files in each repository’s roles directory. We put common user-definable variables in defaults and less common variables in vars.

This guide will cover the installation of a Squonk2 environment that will result in the following Kubernetes namespaces, application components and storage volumes: -


You will need…

  1. A linux/MacOS development machine (desktop/laptop) with at least 16GiB RAM and around 10-20Gi of Disk.
  2. GitHub and GitLab accounts
  3. The git client
  4. Python 3 (Ideally 3.11)
  5. Poetry

Note: Not all our repositories are public, so you may need to be given access to them.
Typically those on GitLab are private

The container images we deploy here are built using ARM and Intel architectures and should therefore run using natively on Intel or ARM (and Apple silicon) clusters.

Clone all the playbook repositories to a suitable directory on your development machine: -.

git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone

And, finally, clone the DM repository (which contains a number of markdown documents): -

git clone

1. Create a Kubernetes cluster

You can use minikube, Docker Desktop or Rancher Desktop.

Your cluster node should have at least 4 cores and 6Gi of RAM.

Comprehensive documentation on cluster creation can be found in the Data Manager Wiki’s Rancher Desktop notes or Docker Desktop.

2. Define KUBECONFIG and hostnames

Set the KUBNECONFIG environment variable to point to the kubernetes config file suitable for your cluster, often this is created automatically for you by the cluster application and typically written to ~/.kube/config

You might want to keep separate files for each cluster, and start by copying the default from ~/.kube/config

To simplify ingress routing we’ll rely on some hostnames that you can set in your /etc/hosts file. Ensure the following are defined and a ping results in a suitable response: - rabbitmq squonk2

Finally, ensure that you have setup the KUBECONFIG environment variable, i.e. have set something like: -

export KUBECONFIG=~/.kube/config

3. Enter the playbook environment

You can use one environment to run all the deployment playbooks. The one in the Ansible Infrastructure repository is the best to start with. It’a managed by poetry. From the root of the Ansible Infrastructure clone: -

poetry shell
poetry install

Run all the playbooks from this environment.

4. Deploy the Infrastructure (a Database and RabbitMQ)

From the root of the repository run the following: -

ansible-playbook site.yaml -e @parameters-local.yaml

This will install the core infrastructure components (a database and rabbitmq) to the Namespace im-infra. Wait, and check that RabbitMQ is available at http://rabbitmq. The connection will be insecure but click through the warnings in our browser to see the RabbitMQ login page.

Move to the Account Server (AS) Ansible project…

cd ../squonk2-account-server-ansible/

5. Deploy the Account Server (AS)

Here you will need to ensure that you have one or two environment variables setup. You might want to put these in your ~/.bash_profile or similar file to avoid having to set them every time you want to run the playbooks. You’l find the token under Notes in Keepass GitLab -> account-server -> GitLab Registry Deploy Token - (squonk2): -

export IM_DEV_AS_PULL_SECRET=??????

Then run the playbook (using the same command as earlier)…

ansible-playbook site.yaml -e @parameters-local.yaml

Check the AS pods and the web-page at https://squonk2/account-server-api/api/

If you’re logging in the client ID for the AS is "account-server-api-local"

Move to the Data Manager (DM) Ansible project…

 cd ../squonk2-data-manager-ansible/

6. Deploy the Data Manager (DM)

You’ll now need the Data Manager GitLab deployment token. It’ll be in Keepass GitLab -> data-manager -> GitLab Registry Deploy Token - (squonk2): -

export IM_DEV_DM_PULL_SECRET=??????

Now, just as before, run the playbook…

ansible-playbook site.yaml -e @parameters-local.yaml

Check the DM pods and the web-page at https://squonk2/data-manager-api/api/

If you’re logging in the client ID for the DM is "data-manager-api-local"

Move to the Job Operator project…

cd ../squonk2-data-manager-job-operator/

7. Deploy the DM Job Operator

Run the playbook…

ansible-playbook site.yaml -e @parameters-local.yaml

Move to the Jupyter Operator project…

cd ../squonk2-data-manager-jupyter-operator/

8. Deploy the DM Jupyter Operator

Run the playbook…

ansible-playbook site.yaml -e @parameters-local.yaml

9. Deploy the Data Manager UI

Move to the root of your clone of the UI repository: -

cd ../squonk2-data-manager-ui-ansible/

You will need the UI keycloak client ID secret, and use it as the value for the following environment variable: -


Then, like earlier, run: -

ansible-playbook site.yaml -e @parameters-local.yaml

Check the UI pods and the web-page at https://squonk2/data-manager-ui/

10. Resetting the kubernetes cluster

You can reset your local cluster using Rancher Desktop: -

  • From Rancher Desktop select Troubleshooting -> Reset kubernetes