Deploying BOSH on AWS

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This topic describes how to use the bosh-bootloader command-line tool to set up an environment for Cloud Foundry on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and deploy a BOSH Director.


This topic describes how to create:

  1. A BOSH Director instance

  2. A bastion instance

  3. A set of randomly generated BOSH Director credentials

  4. A generated key pair that allows you to SSH into the BOSH Director and any instances that BOSH deploys

  5. A copy of the manifest used to deploy the BOSH Director

    Note: A manifest is a YAML file that defines the components and properties of a BOSH deployment. For more information, see Deployment Manifest in the BOSH documentation.

  6. A basic cloud config

    Note: A cloud config is a YAML file that defines IaaS-specific configuration for BOSH. For more information, see Usage in the BOSH documentation.

  7. A set of Elastic Load Balancers (ELBs)

    Note: bosh-bootloader creates the ELBs, but you must still configure DNS to point your domains to the ELBs. For more information, see Setting Up DNS for Your Environment.

Step 1: Download Dependencies

To download the required dependencies for bosh-bootloader:

  1. Download Terraform v0.9.1 or later. Unzip the file and move it to somewhere in your PATH:

    $ tar xvf ~/Downloads/terraform*
    $ sudo mv ~/Downloads/terraform /usr/local/bin/terraform

  2. Download BOSH CLI v2+. Make the binary executable and move it to somewhere in your PATH:

    $ chmod +x ~/Downloads/bosh-cli-*
    $ sudo mv ~/Downloads/bosh-cli-* /usr/local/bin/bosh

  3. To download and install bosh-bootloader, do one of the following:

    • On Mac OS X, use Homebrew:
      $ brew install cloudfoundry/tap/bbl
    • Download the latest bosh-bootloader from GitHub. Make the binary executable and move it to somewhere in your PATH:
      $ chmod +x ~/Downloads/bbl-*
      $ sudo mv ~/Downloads/bbl-* /usr/local/bin/bbl
  4. Install the AWS CLI.

Step 2: Create an IAM User

To create the Identity and Access Management (IAM) user that bosh-bootloader needs to interact with AWS:

  1. Configure the AWS CLI with the information and credentials from your AWS account by running:

    aws configure
    AWS Access Key ID [None]: YOUR-AWS-ACCESS-KEY-ID
    AWS Secret Access Key [None]: YOUR-AWS-SECRET-ACCESS-KEY
    Default region name [None]: YOUR-AWS-REGION
    Default output format [None]: json


    • YOUR-AWS-ACCESS-KEY-ID is your AWS access key ID.
    • YOUR-AWS-SECRET-ACCESS-KEY is your AWS secret access key.
    • YOUR-AWS-REGION is the AWS region whose servers you want to send your requests to by default.

      For more information about retrieving your credentials, see Configuring the AWS CLI in the AWS documentation.
  2. Create the IAM user for bosh-bootloader with the AWS CLI by running:

    aws iam create-user --user-name "bbl-user"
  3. Copy the following policy text to your clipboard:

        "Version": "2012-10-17",
        "Statement": [
                "Effect": "Allow",
                "Action": [
                "Resource": [
  4. Apply the policy by running:

    aws iam put-user-policy --user-name "bbl-user" \
    --policy-name "bbl-policy" \
    --policy-document "$(pbpaste)"
  5. Create an access key by running:

    aws iam create-access-key --user-name "bbl-user"

    This command outputs an Access Key ID and a Secret Access Key. Record these values and store them in a secure place. You use them in the next section.

Step 3: Create Infrastructure, Bastion, BOSH Director, and Load Balancers

To create the required infrastructure and deploy a BOSH Director, run:

bbl plan \
    --name YOUR-ENV-NAME \
    --iaas aws \
    --aws-access-key-id YOUR-ACCESS-KEY-ID \
    --aws-secret-access-key YOUR-SECRET-ACCESS-KEY \
    --aws-region YOUR-AWS-REGION \
    --lb-type cf \
    --lb-cert YOUR-CERT.crt \
    --lb-key YOUR-KEY.key \
bbl up


  • YOUR-ACCESS-KEY-ID and YOUR-SECRET-ACCESS-KEY are the credentials for the bbl-user you created in the previous section.
  • YOUR-AWS-REGION is your AWS region, such as us-west-2.

The bbl up command takes five to eight minutes to complete.

After bbl deploys the BOSH Director, you must point YOUR-SYSTEM-DOMAIN at the BOSH Director’s name servers. For example, if you are using AWS Route53 to manage YOUR-SYSTEM-DOMAIN:

  1. Run:

  2. See the list of name servers for the BOSH Director by running:

    bbl outputs | yq .env_dns_zone_name_servers
  3. Log in to the AWS Route 53 dashboard and go to Registered Domains.


  5. Click Add/Edit Name Servers.

  6. Add a YOUR-ENV-NAME.YOUR-SYSTEM-DOMAIN NS record, and add the name servers found in the output of the above bbl outputs command to that record.

For more information, see Adding or Changing Name Servers or Glue Records in the AWS documentation.

When bbl plan or bbl up is run, files in the --state-dir (or present working directory) will be created, modified, or deleted.

Note: The bbl state directory contains credentials and other metadata related to your BOSH Director and infrastructure. Back up this directory and store it in a safe location.

To extract information from the bbl state, use bbl. For example, to obtain your BOSH Director address, run:

bbl director-address

Run bbl to see the full list of values from the state file that you can print. You must always run bbl from the state directory.

For more information about the options for securing HTTP traffic into your Cloud Foundry deployment with TLS certificates, see Securing Traffic into Cloud Foundry.

For test and development environments, you can also generate your own CA certificate and key with a tool such as certstrap.

Step 4: Connect to the BOSH Director

To connect to the BOSH Director, run:

eval "$(bbl print-env)"

Destroy the BOSH Resources

You can use bbl destroy to delete the BOSH Director infrastructure in your AWS environment. Use this command if bbl up does not complete successfully and you want to reset your environment, or if you want to destroy the resources created by bosh-bootloader for any other reason.

To delete load balancers only, run:

bbl plan
bbl up

To delete the infrastructure, bastion, director, and load balancers, run:

bbl destroy
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