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Getting started

This chapter guides you through the installation of the VMClarity backend and the CLI, and shows you the most common tasks that you can perform with VMClarity.

1 - Deploy on AWS

An AWS CloudFormation template is provided for quick deployment of the VMClarity environment.

Note: To avoid extra costs (cross-region snapshots), you may want to deploy the VMClarity AWS CloudFormation template in the same region where the majority of the VMs are that you want to scan with VMClarity.

The following figure shows the basic AWS resources that the VMClarity CloudFormation template creates:

  • a VPC with a public and private subnet, and

  • an AWS Internet Gateway (IGW) and NAT Gateway (NGW) into the VPC.

The public subnet (VmClarityServerSubnet) hosts the VMClarity Server (VmClarityServer) EC2 instance. The VMClarity server houses the scanning configuration, the UI, and other control components. The EC2 instance is assigned an external IPv4 address (EIP) for SSH and web UI access.

The private subnet (VmClarityScannerSubnet) hosts the VM snapshot instances (EC2) that are scanned for security vulnerabilities.

Prerequisites

Deployment steps

To deploy the VMClarity AWS CloudFormation Stack, you can:

  • click this quick-create link to navigate directly to the AWS CloudFormation console and jump to the wizard instructions, or
  • complete the following steps.
  1. Download the latest VMClarity release.

    wget https://github.com/openclarity/vmclarity/releases/download/v0.6.0/aws-cloudformation-v0.6.0.tar.gz
    

    Alternatively, copy the AWS CloudFormation template file from the project repository to deploy the latest development code and skip the next step.

  2. Create a new directory and extract the files.

    mkdir aws-cloudformation-v0.6.0
    tar -xvzf aws-cloudformation-v0.6.0.tar.gz -C aws-cloudformation-v0.6.0
    
  3. Log in to the AWS CloudFormation console and go to the AWS CloudFormation Stacks section, then select Create Stack > With New Resources (standard).

  4. Check Template is ready and Upload a template file, then click Upload a template file/Choose file and upload the previously downloaded CFN template file.

  5. In the VMClarity CloudFormation Stack wizard, set the following:

    1. Enter a name for the stack.
    2. Select the InstanceType (defaults to t2.large for the VMClarity Server, and the scanner VMs).
    3. Specify the SSH key for the EC2 instance in the KeyName field. You will need this key to connect to VMClarity.
    4. Adjust SSHLocation according to your policies.
    5. Do not change AdvancedConfiguration, unless you are building from a custom registry.
    6. Click NEXT.
    7. (Optional) Add tags as needed for your environment. You can use the defaults unless you need to adjust for your own policies.
    8. Click NEXT, then scroll to the bottom of the screen, and check I acknowledge….
    9. Click SUBMIT.
  6. Once the stack is deployed successfully, copy the VMClarity SSH address from the Outputs tab.

  7. Open an SSH tunnel to VMClarity the server

    ssh -N -L 8080:localhost:80 -i  "<Path to the SSH key specified during install>" ubuntu@<VmClarity SSH Address copied during install>
    
  8. Access the VMClarity UI.

    1. Open the VMClarity UI in your browser at http://localhost:8080/. The dashboard opens.

      VMClarity UI Dashboard

    2. (Optional) If needed, you can access the API athttp://localhost:8080/api. For details on the API, see API reference.

Next steps

Complete the First tasks on the UI.

2 - Deploy on Azure

Prerequisites

Deployment steps

  1. Click here to deploy VMClarity’s custom template.

  2. Fill out the required Project details and Instance details in the Basics tab.

    You can set the following parameters:

    ParameterRequiredDescription
    SubscriptionTrueAzure subscription where resources will be billed.
    RegionFalseAzure region where resources will be deployed.
    VMClarity Deploy PostfixTruePostfix for Azure resource group name (e.g. vmclarity-<postfix>).
    VMClarity Server SSH UsernameTrueSSH Username for the VMClarity Server Virtual Machine.
    VMClarity Server SSH Public KeyTrueSSH Public Key for the VMClarity Server Virtual Machine.
    VMClarity Server VM SizeTrueThe size of the VMClarity Server Virtual Machine.
    VMClarity Scanner VMs SizeTrueThe size of the VMClarity Scanner Virtual Machines.
    Security TypeFalseSecurity Type of the VMClarity Server Virtual Machine, e.g. TrustedLaunch (default) or Standard.
  3. (Optional) In the Advanced tab, modify the Container Image for each service if a specific VMClarity version is required. Then, select the delete policy and the database.

    ParameterRequiredDescription
    Service Container ImageTrueDocker Container Image to use for each service.
    Asset Scan Delete PolicyTrueDelete Policy for resources created when performing an asset scan, e.g. Always, OnSuccess or Never.
    Database To UseTrueDatabase type to use, e.g. SQLite, PostgreSQL or External PostgreSQL.
  4. Click Review + create to create the deployment.

  5. Once the deployment is completed successfully, copy the VMClarity SSH address from the Outputs tab.

  6. Open an SSH tunnel to VMClarity the server

    ssh -N -L 8080:localhost:80 -i  "<Path to the SSH key specified during install>" ubuntu@<VmClarity SSH Address copied during install>
    
  7. Access the VMClarity UI.

    1. Open the VMClarity UI in your browser at http://localhost:8080/. The dashboard opens.

      VMClarity UI Dashboard

    2. (Optional) If needed, you can access the API athttp://localhost:8080/api. For details on the API, see API reference.

Next steps

Complete the First tasks on the UI.

3 - Deploy on Docker

Prerequisites

Deployment steps

To run VMClarity in Docker on a local machine, complete the following steps.

  1. Download the latest VMClarity release.

    wget https://github.com/openclarity/vmclarity/releases/download/v0.6.0/docker-compose-v0.6.0.tar.gz
    
  2. Create a new directory, extract the files and navigate to the directory.

    mkdir docker-compose-v0.6.0
    tar -xvzf docker-compose-v0.6.0.tar.gz -C docker-compose-v0.6.0
    cd docker-compose-v0.6.0
    
  3. Start every control plane element with the docker compose file.

    docker compose --project-name vmclarity --file docker-compose.yml up -d --wait --remove-orphans
    

    The output should be similar to:

    [+] Running 14/14
    ⠿ Network vmclarity                        Created                                                       0.2s
    ⠿ Volume "vmclarity_grype-server-db"       Created                                                       0.0s
    ⠿ Volume "vmclarity_apiserver-db-data"     Created                                                       0.0s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-orchestrator-1       Healthy                                                      69.7s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-yara-rule-server-1   Healthy                                                      17.6s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-exploit-db-server-1  Healthy                                                      17.7s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-swagger-ui-1         Healthy                                                       7.8s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-trivy-server-1       Healthy                                                      26.7s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-uibackend-1          Healthy                                                      17.6s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-ui-1                 Healthy                                                       7.7s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-freshclam-mirror-1   Healthy                                                       7.8s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-grype-server-1       Healthy                                                      37.3s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-gateway-1            Healthy                                                       7.7s
    ⠿ Container vmclarity-apiserver-1          Healthy                                                      17.7s
    

    Please note that the image_override.env file enables you to use the images you build yourself. You can override parameters in the docker-compose.yml by passing a custom env file to the docker compose up command via the --env-file flag. The /installation/docker/image_override.env file contains an example overriding all the container images.

  4. Check the running containers in the Docker desktop.

  5. Access the VMClarity UI. Navigate to http://localhost:8080/ in your browser.

Next steps

Complete the First tasks on the UI.

Stop the containers

  1. After you’ve finished your tasks, stop the running containers.

    docker compose --project-name vmclarity --file docker-compose.yml down --remove-orphans
    

4 - Deploy on GCP

Prerequisites

  • You can install VMClarity using the CLI, so you have to have gcloud on your computer available beforehand. For details on installing and configuring gcloud, see the official installation guide.
  • If you have already installed VMClarity before and want to reinstall it, you have to manually restore deleted roles that were created during the previous installation.

Deployment steps

To install VMClarity on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), complete the following steps.

  1. Download the newest GCP deployment release from GitHub and extract it to any location.

    wget https://github.com/openclarity/vmclarity/releases/download/v0.6.0/gcp-deployment-v0.6.0.tar.gz
    
  2. Create a new directory, extract the files and navigate to the directory.

    mkdir gcp-deployment-v0.6.0
    tar -xvzf gcp-deployment-v0.6.0.tar.gz -C gcp-deployment-v0.6.0
    cd gcp-deployment-v0.6.0
    
  3. Copy the example configuration file and rename it.

    cp vmclarity-config.example.yaml vmclarity-config.yaml
    
  4. The following table contains all the fields that can be set in the vmclarity-config.yaml file. You have to set at least the required ones.

    FieldRequiredDefaultDescription
    zoneyesThe Zone to locate the VMClarity server.
    machineTypeyesThe machine type for the VMClarity server.
    regionyesThe region to locate VMClarity.
    scannerMachineTypee2-standard-2Machine type to use for the Scanner instances.
    scannerSourceImageprojects/ubuntu-os-cloud/global/images/ubuntu-2204-jammy-v20230630Source image to use for the Scanner instances.
    databaseToUseSQLiteThe database that VMClarity should use.
    apiserverContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/vmclarity-apiserver:0.6.0The container image to use for the apiserver.
    orchestratorContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/vmclarity-orchestrator:0.6.0The container image to use for the orchestrator.
    uiContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/vmclarity-ui:0.6.0The container image to use for the ui.
    uibackendContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/vmclarity-ui-backend:0.6.0The container image to use for the uibackend.
    scannerContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/vmclarity-cli:0.6.0The container image to use for the scanner.
    exploitDBServerContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/exploit-db-server:v0.2.4The container image to use for the exploit db server.
    trivyServerContainerImagedocker.io/aquasec/trivy:0.41.0The container image to use for the trivy server.
    grypeServerContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/grype-server:v0.7.0The container image to use for the grype server.
    freshclamMirrorContainerImageghcr.io/openclarity/freshclam-mirror:v0.2.0The container image to use for the fresh clam mirror server.
    postgresqlContainerImagedocker.io/bitnami/postgresql:12.14.0-debian-11-r28The container image to use for the postgresql server.
    assetScanDeletePolicyAlwaysWhen asset scans should be cleaned up after scanning.
    postgresDBPasswordPostgres DB password. Only required if DatabaseToUse is Postgresql.
    externalDBNameDB to use in the external DB. Only required if DatabaseToUse is External.
    externalDBUsernameUsername for the external DB. Only required if the DatabaseToUse is External.
    externalDBPasswordPassword for the external DB. Only required if the DatabaseToUse is External.
    externalDBHostHostname or IP for the external DB. Only required if the DatabaseToUse is External.
    externalDBPortPort for the external DB. Only required if the DatabaseToUse is External.
  5. Deploy VMClarity using gcloud deployment-manager.

    gcloud deployment-manager deployments create <vmclarity deployment name> --config vmclarity-config.yaml
    
  6. Open an SSH tunnel to the VMClarity server with gcloud. For further information on how to create an SSH connection with gcloud to one of your instances check the official page.

    gcloud compute ssh --project=<project id> --zone=<zone name> <name of your VM> -- -NL 8080:localhost:80
    
  7. Access the VMClarity UI.

    1. Open the VMClarity UI in your browser at http://localhost:8080/. The dashboard opens.

      VMClarity UI Dashboard

    2. (Optional) If needed, you can access the API athttp://localhost:8080/api. For details on the API, see API reference.

Next steps

Complete the First tasks on the UI.

Uninstall VMClarity

  1. You can uninstall VMClarity using the gcloud manager.

    gcloud deployment-manager deployments delete <vmclarity deployment name>
    

Restore deleted roles

  1. On the IAM & Admin page on GCP, open the Roles tab, then search for VMClarity in the filter input.

  2. Now manually undelete the Discoverer Snapshotter and Scanner roles to set their statuses from Deleted to Enabled.

    Undelete roles

5 - First tasks on the UI

Configure your first scan

  1. Open the UI.

    1. Open the VMClarity UI in your browser at http://localhost:8080/. The dashboard opens.

      VMClarity UI Dashboard

    2. (Optional) If needed, you can access the API athttp://localhost:8080/api. For details on the API, see API reference.

  2. Click on the Scans icon. In the Scans window, you can create a new scan configuration.

    VMClarity UI Scan
  3. Click New scan configuration.

    VMClarity Scan Setup - Step 1
  4. Follow the steps of the New scan config wizard to name the scan, and identify the AWS scope (region, VPC, security groups, etc). The following example shows the AWS us-east-2 region, a specific VPC, and the vmclarity-demo-vm EC2

    VMClarity Scan Setup - Step 2
  5. Enable the scan types you want to perform.

    VMClarity Scan Setup - Step 3
  6. Select the time and/or frequency of the scans. To run the scan immediately, select Now.

    VMClarity Scan Setup - Step 4
  7. Click Save. The new scan appears on the Scan Configurations tab.

    VMClarity Scan Config Summary
  8. Once a scan is finished, you can browse around the various VMClarity UI features and investigate the security scan reports.

    VMClarity Scan List VMClarity Dashboard with Findings