Philip Rogers's picture

Hi, I have today set up and configured a Wordpress GNS3 appliance. Problem is, I have done this about 10 times in a row and am finding that when I reboot or power down the device it defaults back to initial configuration and looses everything I have done.

Am I missing something? Is there something I have to do in order to save the settings or to bypass the initial setup?

When I log into the web interface and look at file system the right hand column all says not saved (which to assume why this is happening but I can’t seem to find a way to make it save?

any advice would be greatfulky received.


Jeremy Davis's picture

TBH, I'm unfamiliar with GNS3?! I just googled it and now have a little idea about it, but am still a little unclear on exactly how it relates to TurnKey and/or how you are installing TurnKey within GNS3 (assuming I understand correctly)?! Could you please give a little more context and/or point me towards some further info on that? Especially which TurnKey build type is being used in this scenario.

Notwithstanding that info, your experience is certainly not expected behaviour! At least not in any of our default builds, with the notable exception of our ISO build running "live". Our ISO builds have a "live" mode which runs the OS from RAM rather than installed to the filesystem. Your experience would be expected within that context, but it should be obvious if that's what's happening and I'm guessing that's not what is going on here? (But perhaps?!)

When you say "When I log into the web interface and look at file system the right hand column all says not saved", I'm not quite clear what you are referring to?! Do you mean the filemanager within Webmin? Or something else? Perhaps a screenshot might assist there?

The only other thing that I can think of is if perhaps you aren't completing the initial "firstboot" scripts via commandline/SSH? Although I still wouldn't expect filesystem changes that you've made to be wiped out by that.

It might also be useful to clarify the version of TurnKey you are using. If you're not sure, please just post the full output of "turnkey-version" (from the commandline within TurnKey).

Philip Rogers's picture

Thanks for your prompt reply.
First off, Apologies, I made an assumtion that the GNS3 appliance was packaged up by yourselves and that you would be familiar with it.
GNS3 is a network virtualisation software. It consists of an application GNS3 and a GNS3 Virtual Machine. I do not know the actuall nitty gritty of how it wall works, but the only way I can explain it is that when you select your virtual appliacne (in this case Wordpress), you choose to run on the GNS3 virtual machine. I presume this in affect is like a VM running on a VM. Here is a link to the appliance info on their website:
With other Virtual devices, for example a Cisco ASA firewall, when I save the config on the device, close the project and reopen it and power on the machine it maintains its configuration much as if it was a phsical device. The isse I am having with the Wordpress virtual machine is that when I reopen the project and boot the device, it runs all the initial scripts etc and requires Initiallising each time.
Once you drag the Wordpress virtual machine onto the project you can configure the network settings so this is the first thing I do. Then I power on and open the console interface. You see all the boot up sequequence including the random generated password int he output and eventually are left with a prompt: "root@WordPress-1 ~#"
I type login, then put the username root, then the random password that was on the screen before. This then opens up the First time set up series of screeens. I set all the passwords, skip anything that can be skipped and then eventually it gets to the sumamry screen that tells you all the various ways you can access the administration side with a Quit button at the bottom.
At this point everything is operational, I can access the wordpress site and the wordpress admin.
If I close the project and re-open the project the whole process starts again.
When I was referring to the files system yes, I have attatched a screen shot. Shoudl these files be showing as saved?
Verison as requested is: turnkey-wordpress-14.2-jessie-amd64
Its maybe also worth noting I thought perhaps I needed to reboot the machine to make it save its configuration. When I do this via the advanced menu, It doesnt appear to work and comes up with a caught exception.. not sure if this is relevant but I have also attached a screen shot of this.
Jeremy Davis's picture

Thanks for the extra info, but TBH, I'm still not clear what might be the cause of your issue?!

Unfortunately, the download link on the GNS3 doc page you posted is broken (I get a message "Downloads can only be accessed from main site"), but decyphering the HTML encoding, leads me to Judging from that, GNS3 is using our Docker build. As you note (at least for your purposes) Docker is something akin to a VM (TBH only vaguely in reality, but for your purposes the differences are semantic).

So judging from what you say, plus your screenshots, it looks like GNS3 itself is running inside VMware. So I would assume that GNS3 is based on some Linux distro which itself has Docker installed (which is the software that Docker containers run within; somewhat akin to VMware being software that VMs can run within). And TurnKey WordPress is running as a Docker container nested within that. So far so good...

You note that other "VMs" save their settings fine and it's only the TurnKey instance that isn't. TBH, that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Can you access the Web front end of WordPress ok? I.e. in all other ways, does the TurnKey appliance appear to be operating as expected?!

It's possibly also worth noting that the v14.2 WordPress appliance was released over 18 months ago. As this is the first report of this behaviour, that would suggest to me one of 3 possibilities:

  • it's an issue with how GNS3 configures the TurnKey WordPress appliance and nobody has previously bothered to report it the issue; or
  • some recent changes (e.g. to Docker?) have broken the v14.2 TurnKey WordPress appliance; or
  • there is some uniquely broken with your set up, that for some reason only affects the TurnKey appliance

I would expect the second and third to be more likely scenarios, but I'm guessing.

This is likely an aside to your issue, but the current version of our WordPress appliance is v15.2. It's also worth noting that we've changed our Docker naming convention. So to get the latest, instead of this line (in the turnkey-wordpress.gns3a file):

"image": "turnkeylinux/wordpress-14.2:latest",

You could replace it with this line:

"image": "turnkeylinux/wordpress:latest",

Note that that will always pull in the latest version. If you explicitly want the v15.2 release, you could instead use this:

"image": "turnkeylinux/wordpress:15.2",

But as I hint, I find it unlikely that is related to your issue. The old v14.2 version should still work fine. (Although it might be worth trying the newer version?).

I'm not a Webmin user so unfortunately I can't confirm what the "Saved?" column should look like, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to look like that! It should certainly be saving everything as you go. I'm not sure if it's relevant, but it also appears that it's reporting as "Apple FIlesystem (hfs)" too, which I also wouldn't expect either. AFAIK, it should be reporting as ext4 (or possibly ext3). Although whether that is just an oddity, or part of the issue, I could only guess...

I personally don't use Docker much and don't have an install handy ATM, so I can't double check right now, but when I get a chance, I'll test out the v14.2 Docker container and see if I can reproduce your issue.

One other question, is our WordPress appliance the most recent addition to your GNS3 setup? I'm wondering if perhaps the cause is something as simple as your VM has run out of storage space? Perhaps it's unable to save the changes you've made because there simply isn't enough room on the GNS3 VM vHDD?!

Also the error that you posted when you try to shut it down internally is certainly not expected behaviour. Your screenshot shows that the shutdown command itself is returning a non-zero exit code (i.e. it's failing). If you could, could you please exit out of the confconsole and run this command:

shutdown -r now

I.e. the same command that confconsole is running internally. When you run it manually, hopefully the error message may give us some more useful feedback?! Fingers crossed, it may even make it completely obvious what the issue is?!

Jeremy Davis's picture

FWIW I've just opened a pull request to get GNS3 using the latest TurnKey version.

Philip Rogers's picture

Hi Jeremy,

Yesterday I gave up trying with the Worpress Appliance, you make a good poi9nt about the version that it is using! a combination of that and the fact that other than the post I made the other day, there is no mention by anyone in their forums about using it. So either I am expecting this type of appliance to be doing something that is not intended or noone else has ever used it or as you suggest there may be something specific about my set up causing it to act this way.

Instead I downloaded an image from your site and am now running it as a VM along side the GNS3 VM and have connected its vnic to a cloud connected to the inside interface of my virtual firewall. I now have my project fully working with the Worpress sevrer accessible by the internet rotected by a Cisco ASA firewall (this was what I wanted to achieve ultimatly for my first project).

Let me know how you got on pulling the version as I also tried that and it didnt ever seem to finish so I gave up and skipped that step each time.


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