Deploying Charms Offline

Many private clouds have no direct access to the internet due to security reasons.

In these cases it's useful to maintain a copy of the internet-accessible Charm Store for your local deployments.

Note: Though this method will ensure that the charms themselves are available on systems without outside internet access, there is no guarantee that a charm will work in a disconnected state. Some charms pull code from the outside world, such as github. We recommend modifying these charms to pull code from an internal server when appropriate.

Retrieving charms using the Charm Tools


In addition to Juju we need to install charm-tools:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install charm-tools


The Charm Tools comes packaged as both a stand alone tool and a juju plugin. So you simply can call it with charm or as usual for Juju commands with juju charm.

There are several tools available within the Charm Tools itself. At any time you can run juju charm to view the available subcommands and all subcommands have independent help pages, accessible using either the -h or --help flags.

If you want to retrieve and branch one of the charm store charms, use the get command specifying the CHARM_NAME you want to copy and provide an optional CHARMS_DIRECTORY. Otherwise the current directory will be used.

juju charm get [-h|--help] CHARM_NAME [CHARMS_DIRECTORY]


The command

juju charm get mysql

will download the MySQL charm to a mysql directory within your current path. By running

juju charm get wordpress ~/charms/precise/

You will download the WordPress charm to ~/charms/precise/wordpress. It is also possible to fetch all official charm store charms. The command for this task is:

juju charm getall [-h|--help] [CHARMS_DIRECTORY]

The retrieved charms will be placed in the CHARMS_DIRECTORY, or your current directory if no CHARMS_DIRECTORY is provided. This command can take quite a while to complete - there are a lot of charms!

Deploying from a local repository

There are many cases when you may wish to deploy charms from a local filesystem source rather than the charm store:

  • When testing charms you have written.
  • When you have modified store charms for some reason.
  • When you don't have direct internet access.

... and probably a lot more times which you can imagine yourselves.

Juju can be pointed at a local directory to source charms from using the --repository=<path/to/files> switch like this:

juju deploy --repository=/usr/share/charms/ local:trusty/vsftpd

The --repository switch can be omitted when shell environment defines JUJU_REPOSITORY like so:

export JUJU_REPOSITORY=/usr/share/charms/
juju deploy local:trusty/vsftpd

You can also make use of standard filesystem shortcuts, if the environment specifies the default-series. The following examples will deploy the trusty charms in the local repository when default-series is set to trusty:

juju deploy --repository=. local:haproxy
juju deploy --repository ~/charms/ local:wordpress

The default-series can be specified in environments.yaml thusly:

default-series: precise

The default-series can also be added to any bootstrapped environment with the set-env command:

juju set-env "default-series=trusty"

Note: Specifying a local repository makes Juju look there first, but if the relevant charm is not found in that repository, it will fall back to fetching it from the charm store. If you wish to check where a charm was installed from, it is listed in the juju status output.

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