Aether ROC Developer Guide

Background / Development Environment

This document assumes familiarity with Kubernetes and Helm, and that a Kubernetes/Helm development environment has already been deployed in the developer’s work environment.

This development environment can use any of a number of potential mechanisms – including KinD, kubeadm, etc.

The Aether-in-a-Box script is one potential way to setup a development environment, but not the only way. As an alternative to the developer’s local machine, a remote environment can be set up, for example on cloud infrastructure such as Cloudlab.


When ROC is deployed it is unsecured by default, with no Authentication or Authorization. To secure ROC so that the Authentication and Authorization can be tested, follow the Securing ROC guide below Securing ROC

Installing Prerequisites

Atomix and onos-operator must be installed:

# create necessary namespaces
kubectl create namespace micro-onos

# add repos
helm repo add atomix
helm repo add onosproject
helm repo update

# install atomix
helm -n kube-system install atomix-controller atomix/atomix-controller --version $ATOMIX_CONTROLLER_VERSION
helm -n kube-system install atomix-raft-storage atomix/atomix-raft-storage --version $ATOMIX_RAFT_VERSION

# install the onos operator
helm install -n kube-system onos-operator onosproject/onos-operator --version $ONOS_OPERATOR_VERSION


The ROC is sensitive to the versions of Atomix and onos-operator installed. The values shown above are correct for the 1.3.x versions of the aether-roc-umbrella.

Table 2. ROC support component version matrix

ROC Version

Atomix Controller

Atomix Raft

Onos Operator









Verify that these services were installed properly. You should see pods for atomix-controller, atomix-raft-storage-controller, onos-operator-config, and onos-operator-topo. Execute these commands:

helm -n kube-system list
kubectl -n kube-system get pods | grep -i atomix
kubectl -n kube-system get pods | grep -i onos

Create a values-override.yaml

You’ll want to override several of the defaults in the ROC helm charts:

cat > values-override.yaml <<EOF
    enabled: true

    enabled: false

    enabled: false

Installing the aether-roc-umbrella Helm chart

Add the necessary helm repositories:

# obtain username and password from Michelle and/or ONF infra team
export repo_user=<username>
export repo_password=<password>
helm repo add aether --username "$repo_user" --password "$repo_password"

aether-roc-umbrella will bring up the ROC and its services:

helm -n micro-onos install aether-roc-umbrella aether/aether-roc-umbrella -f values-override.yaml

kubectl wait pod -n micro-onos --for=condition=Ready -l type=config --timeout=300s

Posting the mega-patch

The ROC usually comes up in a blank state – there are no Enterprises, UEs, or other artifacts present in it. The mega-patch is an example patch that populates the ROC with some sample enterprises, UEs, slices, etc. Execute the following:

# launch a port-forward for the API
# this will continue to run in the background
kubectl -n micro-onos port-forward service/aether-roc-api   --address 8181:8181 &

git clone

# execute the mega-patch (it will post via CURL to localhost:8181)
bash ~/path/to/aether-roc-api/examples/MEGA_Patch.curl

You may wish to customize the mega patch.

For example, by default the patch configures the sdcore-adapter to push to sdcore-test-dummy.

You could configure it to push to a live aether-in-a-box core by doing something like this:

sed -i 's^http://aether-roc-umbrella-sdcore-test-dummy/v1/config/5g^http://webui.omec.svc.cluster.local:9089/config^g' MEGA_Patch.curl

#apply the patch

(Note that if your Aether-in-a-Box was installed on a different machine that port-forwarding may be necessary)

Expected CURL output from a successful mega-patch post will be a UUID.

You can also verify that the mega-patch was successful by going into the aether-roc-gui in a browser (see the section on useful port-forwards below). The GUI may open to a dashboard that is unpopulated – you can use the dropdown menu (upper-right hand corner of the screen) to select an object such as VCS and you will see a list of VCS.

ROC GUI showing list of VCS

Uninstalling the aether-roc-umbrella Helm chart

To tear things back down, usually as part of a developer loop prior to redeploying again, do the following:

helm -n micro-onos del aether-roc-umbrella

If the uninstall hangs or if a subsequent reinstall hangs, it could be an issue with some of the CRDs not getting cleaned up. The following may be useful:

# fix stuck finalizers in operator CRDs

kubectl -n micro-onos patch entities connectivity-service-v2 --type json --patch='[ { "op": "remove", "path": "/metadata/finalizers" } ]'

kubectl -n micro-onos patch entities connectivity-service-v3 --type json --patch='[ { "op": "remove", "path": "/metadata/finalizers" } ]'

kubectl -n micro-onos patch kind aether --type json --patch='[ { "op": "remove", "path": "/metadata/finalizers" } ]'

Useful port forwards

Port forwarding is often necessary to allow access to ports inside of Kubernetes pods that use ClusterIP addressing. Note that you typically need to leave a port-forward running (you can put it in the background). Also, If you redeploy the ROC and/or if a pod crashes then you might have to restart a port-forward. The following port-forwards may be useful:

# aether-roc-api

kubectl -n micro-onos port-forward service/aether-roc-api --address 8181:8181

# aether-roc-gui

kubectl -n micro-onos port-forward service/aether-roc-gui --address 8183:80

# grafana

kubectl -n micro-onos port-forward service/aether-roc-umbrella-grafana --address 8187:80

# onos gui

kubectl -n micro-onos port-forward service/onos-gui --address 8182:80

aether-roc-api and aether-roc-gui are in our experience the most useful two port-forwards.

aether-roc-api is useful to be able to POST REST API requests.

aether-roc-gui is useful to be able to interactively browse the current configuration.


Internally the aether-roc-gui operates a Reverse Proxy on the aether-roc-api. This means that if you have done a port-forward to aether-roc-gui say on port 8183 there’s no need to do another on the aether-roc-api instead you can access the API on http://localhost:8183/aether-roc-api

Deploying using custom images

Custom images may be used by editing the values-override.yaml file. For example, to deploy a custom sdcore-adapter:


prometheusEnabled: false


repository: my-private-repo/sdcore-adapter

tag: my-tag

pullPolicy: Always

The above example assumes you have published a docker images at my-private-repo/sdcore-adapter:my-tag. My particular workflow is to deploy a local-docker registry and push my images to that. Please do not publish ONF images to a public repository unless the image is intended to be public. Several ONF repositories are private, and therefore their docker artifacts should also be private.

There are alternatives to using a private docker repository. For example, if you are using kubeadm, then you may be able to simply tag the image locally. If you’re using KinD, then you can push a local image to into the kind cluster:

kind load docker-image sdcore-adapter:my-tag

Developing using a custom onos-config

The onos-operator is responsible for building model plugins at runtime. To do this, it needs source code for onos-config that matches the onos-config image that is deployed. One way to do this is to fork the onos-config repository and commit your onos-config changes to a personal repository, and then reference that personal repository in the values.yaml. For example:

      target: ""
    repository: mydockeraccount/onos-config
    tag: mytag
    pullPolicy: Always

In the above example, the operator will pull the image from mydockeraccount, and it’ll pull the onos-config code from mygithubaccount. Using a personal docker account is not strictly necessary; images can also be built and tagged entirely locally.

Inspecting logs

Most of the relevant Kubernetes pods are in the micro-onos namespace. The names may change from deployment to deployment, so start by getting a list of pods:

kubectl -n micro-onos get pods

Then you can inspect a specific pod/container:

kubectl -n micro-onos logs sdcore-adapter-v3-7468cc58dc-ktctz sdcore-adapter-v3

Securing ROC

When deploying ROC with the aether-roc-umbrella chart, secure mode can be enabled by specifying an OpenID Connect (OIDC) issuer like:

helm -n micro-onos install aether-roc-umbrella aether/aether-roc-umbrella \
    --set onos-config.openidc.issuer=http://k3u-keycloak:80/auth/realms/master \
    --set aether-roc-gui-v3.openidc.issuer=http://k3u-keycloak:5557/auth/realms/master

The choice of OIDC issuer in this case is keycloak-389-umbrella, or alternately dex-ldap-umbrella (deprecated).


Keycloak is an Open Source Identity and Access Management for Modern Applications and Services. It can be used as an OIDC Issuer than can act as a front end to several authentication systems e.g. LDAP, Crowd, Google, GitHub

keycloak-389-umbrella is a Helm chart that combines a Keycloak server with an LDAP installation (389 Directory Server), and an LDAP administration tool. It can be deployed in to the same cluster namespace as aether-roc-umbrella.

Its LDAP server is populated with 7 different users in the 2 example enterprises - starbucks and acme.

When running it should be available at http://k3u-keycloak:5557/auth/realms/master/.well-known/openid-configuration.

See keycloak-389-umbrella for more details.

In a production environment, the public Aether Keycloak (with its LDAP server populated with Aether users and groups) should be used. See public keycloak for more details.


Your RBAC access to ROC will be limited by the groups you belong to in its LDAP store.

dex-ldap-umbrella (Deprecated)

Dex is a cloud native OIDC Issuer than can act as a front end to several authentication systems e.g. LDAP, Crowd, Google, GitHub

dex-ldap-umbrella is a Helm chart that combines a Dex server with an OpenLDAP installation, and an LDAP administration tool. It can be deployed in to the same cluster namespace as aether-roc-umbrella.

Its LDAP server is populated with 7 different users in the 2 example enterprises - starbucks and acme.

When running it should be available at http://dex-ldap-umbrella:5556/.well-known/openid-configuration.

See dex-ldap-umbrella for more details.

As an alternative there is a public Dex server connected to the ONF Crowd server, that allows ONF staff to login with their own credentials: See public dex for more details.


Your RBAC access to ROC will be limited by the groups you belong to in Crowd.

Role Based Access Control

When secured, access to the configuration in ROC is limited by the groups that a user belongs to.

  • AetherROCAdmin - users in this group have full read and write access to all configuration.

  • <enterprise> - users in a group the lowercase name of an enterprise, will have read access to that enterprise.

  • EnterpriseAdmin - users in this group will have read and write access the enterprise they belong to.

    For example in keycloak-389-umbrella the user Daisy Duke belongs to starbucks and EnterpriseAdmin and so has read and write access to items linked with starbucks enterprise.

    By comparison the user Elmer Fudd belongs only to starbucks group and so has only read access to items linked with the starbucks enterprise.

Requests to a Secure System

When configuration is retrieved or updated through aether-config, a Bearer Token in the form of a JSON Web Token (JWT) issued by the selected OIDC Issuer server must accompany the request as an Authorization Header.

This applies to both the REST interface of aether-roc-api and the gnmi interface of aether-rconfig.

In the Aether ROC, a Bearer Token can be generated by logging in and selecting API Key from the menu. This pops up a window with a copy button, where the key can be copied.

The key will expire after 24 hours.

Aether ROC GUI allows copying of API Key to clipboard

Accessing the REST interface from a tool like Postman, should include this Auth token.

Postman showing Authentication Token pasted in


The logs of aether-config will contain the username and timestamp of any gnmi call when security is enabled.

aether-config log message showing username and timestamp

Accessing GUI from an external system

To access the ROC GUI from a computer outside the Cluster machine using port-forwarding then it is necessary to:

  • Ensure that all port-forward’s have –address=

  • Add to the IP address of the cluster machine to the /etc/hosts of the outside computer as:

    <ip address of cluster> k3u-keycloak aether-roc-gui
  • Verify that you can access the Keycloak server by its name http://k3u-keycloak:5557/auth/realms/master/.well-known/openid-configuration

  • Access the GUI through the hostname (rather than ip address) http://aether-roc-gui:8183

Troubleshooting Secure Access

While every effort has been made to ensure that securing Aether is simple and effective, some difficulties may arise.

One of the most important steps is to validate that the OIDC Issuer (Keycloak server) can be reached from the browser. The well_known URL should be available and show the important endpoints are correct.

Keycloak Well Known page

If logged out of the Browser when accessing the Aether ROC GUI, accessing any page of the application should redirect to the Keycloak login page.

Keycloak Login page

When logged in the User details can be seen by clicking the User’s name in the drop down menu. This shows the groups that the user belongs to, and can be used to debug RBAC issues.

User Details page

When you sign out of the ROC GUI, if you are not redirected to the Keycloak Login Page, you should check the Developer Console of the browser. The console should show the correct OIDC issuer (Keycloak server), and that Auth is enabled.

Browser Console showing correct configuration

ROC Data Model Conventions and Requirements

The MEGA-Patch described above will bring up a fully compliant sample data model. However, it may be useful to bring up your own data model, customized to a different site of sites. This subsection documents conventions and requirements for the Aether modeling within the ROC.

The ROC models must be configured with the following:

  • A default enterprise with the id defaultent.

  • A default ip-domain with the id defaultent-defaultip.

  • A default site with the id defaultent-defaultsite. This site should be linked to the defaultent enterprise.

  • A default device group with the id defaultent-defaultsite-default. This device group should be linked to the defaultent-defaultip ip-domain and the defaultent-defaultsite site.

Each Enterprise Site must be configured with a default device group and that default device group’s name must end in the suffix -default. For example, acme-chicago-default.

Some exercises to get familiar

  1. Deploy the ROC and POST the mega-patch, go into the aether-roc-gui and click through the VCS, DeviceGroup, and other objects to see that they were created as expected.

  2. Examine the log of the sdcore-adapter-v3 container. It should be attempting to push the mega-patch’s changes. If you don’t have a core available, it may be failing the push, but you should see the attempts.

  3. Change an object in the GUI. Watch the sdcore-adapter-v3 log file and see that the adapter attempts to push the change.

  4. Try POSTing a change via the API. Observe the sdcore-adapter-v3 log file and see that the adapter attempts to push the change.

  5. Deploy a 5G Aether-in-a-Box (See Setting Up Aether-in-a-Box), modify the mega-patch to specify the URL for the Aether-in-a-Box webui container, POST the mega-patch, and observe that the changes were correctly pushed via the sdcore-adapter-v3 into the sd-core’s webui container (webui container log will show configuration as it is received)