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Create a Google Compute Engine controller

Juju is unrivalled in its ability to model and deploy dependable cloud distributed applications. To prove this, we're going to use Juju to deploy one such application - MediaWiki - with Google Compute Engine (GCE) in less than 10 minutes. But you could just as easily use Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, and just as easily deploy Kubernetes, Cassandra or even OpenStack. It's the magic of Juju that makes it happen.

Note: If you already have a controller configured, such as the LXD controller created in the 'Getting started with Juju' page, this new controller will be seamlessly added alongside.


First, install Juju 2, if you have not done so already. See [the install docs][install].

Pick a cloud

Type juju clouds and you'll see output very similar to the following:

Cloud        Regions  Default        Type        Description
aws               14  us-east-1      ec2         Amazon Web Services
aws-china          1  cn-north-1     ec2         Amazon China
aws-gov            1  us-gov-west-1  ec2         Amazon (USA Government)
azure             24  centralus      azure       Microsoft Azure
azure-china        2  chinaeast      azure       Microsoft Azure China
cloudsigma         5  hnl            cloudsigma  CloudSigma Cloud
google             6  us-east1       gce         Google Cloud Platform
joyent             6  eu-ams-1       joyent      Joyent Cloud
rackspace          6  dfw            rackspace   Rackspace Cloud
localhost          1  localhost      lxd         LXD Container Hypervisor

As mentioned, we're going with Google's Cloud Engine, which we'll configure over the next couple of steps. But you could just as easily use Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure, or any of the listed clouds you have credentials for.

Download GCE credentials

All you need to get started with GCE and Juju is a JSON-formatted credentials file for a new Compute Engine API-enabled project. Either sign up for a free trial, or connect to your GCE dashboard. If needed, see our GCE Create a Project documentation for further help.

Add credentials

Copy the credentials file somewhere sensible, such as '~/.local/share/juju/gcejuju.json,' and initiate the import process by typing juju add-credential google. You'll first be asked for an arbitrary name to identify the credentials with, followed by a prompt asking for 'Auth Type'. Press return to select the default jsonfile* type and then enter the absolute path to the credentials file:

Enter credential name: juju-demo
Auth Types

Select auth-type:
Enter file: /home/graham/.local/share/juju/gcejuju.json
Credentials added for cloud google.

You can now start using Juju with your GCE cloud.

Bootstrap Juju

Pushing Juju onto your new cloud is as simple as typing:

juju bootstrap google mycloud

This should only take a few minutes. You could use this time to brush up on some Juju terminology.

When complete, Juju will have instantiated a new controller and created a default model with output similar to the following:

Creating Juju controller "mycloud" on google/us-east1
Looking for packaged Juju agent version 2.1.1 for amd64
Launching controller instance(s) on google/us-east1...
 - juju-ea6a48-0 (arch=amd64 mem=3.5G cores=4)
Fetching Juju GUI 2.4.3
Waiting for address
Attempting to connect to
Attempting to connect to
Logging to /var/log/cloud-init-output.log on the bootstrap machine
Running apt-get update
Running apt-get upgrade
Installing curl, cpu-checker, bridge-utils, cloud-utils, tmux
Fetching Juju agent version 2.1.1 for amd64
Installing Juju machine agent
Starting Juju machine agent (service jujud-machine-0)
Bootstrap agent now started
Contacting Juju controller at to verify accessibility...
Bootstrap complete, "mycloud" controller now available.
Controller machines are in the "controller" model.
Initial model "default" added.

Create a model

Before deploying an application, we're going to first create a new model. Models are used by Juju to group applications, resources and their relationships into environments that can be seamlessly managed, deployed and scaled.

For example, different models can be deployed to different regions. You can see which regions your cloud supports with the juju show-cloud google command, and create a new model hosted on europe-west1 with the following:

juju add-model gce-test europe-west1

Deploy an application

Applications themselves are deployed either as 'charms' or as 'bundles'. Charms are singular applications, such as Haproxy or PostgreSQL, whereas bundles are a curated collection of charms and their relationships. Bundles are ideal for deploying OpenStack, for instance, or Kubernetes.

It's also possible to write your own charms and deploy locally, or release via the Charm Store.

Deploying a charm is as simple as searching for your required application on the Charm Store, and using the 'juju' command to grab and deploy it automatically:

juju deploy haproxy

You can check on the state of any deployment, model or controller with the 'juju status' command. If you query the status directly after deploying 'haproxy', for instance, you'll something similar to this:

Model     Controller  Cloud/Region         Version
gce0test  mycloud     google/europe-west1  2.1.1

App      Version  Status   Scale  Charm    Store       Rev  OS      Notes
haproxy           waiting    0/1  haproxy  jujucharms   40  ubuntu

Unit       Workload  Agent       Machine  Public address  Ports  Message
haproxy/0  waiting   allocating  0                               waiting for

Machine  State    DNS  Inst id  Series  AZ
0        pending       pending  xenial

Relation  Provides  Consumes  Type
peer      haproxy   haproxy   peer

Use Juju's GUI

Juju includes a beautiful web interface. This allows you to perform almost all the same functions as the CLI, only without RSI. To launch the web interface in your default browser, type the following:

juju gui --browser

Then use the output username and password to connect to the GUI via your browser:

Juju GUI login

After logging in, you'll see the Juju GUI overview for the current model. Not only does the web interface show you the current state of your applications and their relationships, it allows you to manage your models, resources and machines, and deploy both charms and bundles.

For example, you can use the GUI to switch between the two models currently running on your controller - the default one we left empty and the new one we created for Haproxy. Look for the drop-down menu to the right of the user profile (which currently says 'admin'). In this drop-down list you should find both 'default' and 'gce-test' models, and selecting one will switch the current model.

Juju GUI model switching menu

To create a new model from the GUI, click on 'Profile' from the drop-down model list. This will open a more detailed list of the current models. A new model can now be created by clicking on the 'Create New' button at the top of the list, entering a name for the new model, and clicking submit. Click on 'Manage' for this model to return to the main view.

For more details on how to use Juju's web interface, take a look at our overview.

Deploy MediaWiki from the GUI

With the blank canvas of a new model created, we're now in a position to deploy MediaWiki.

From the GUI, this really is as simple as clicking on the link to the store and searching for mediawiki. There are currently two results returned, MediaWiki and 'MediaWiki Single'. The first result is MediaWiki on its own, while the second result is a bundle which also contains MySQL and the required pre-configured relationships to make MediaWiki work without any further configuration. Select the bundle then click on 'Add to [MODEL NAME]' to import the bundle into your model. Click on 'Commit changes' to review what's about to happen and finally 'Deploy'.

Monitor the GUI as the applications are deployed to GCE and when each application's colour changes from orange to grey, you're all set.

Congratulations - you've just modelled and deployed your own scalable cloud application.

Juju GUI model of MediaWiki bundle

Next Steps

Now you can see how Juju makes it easy to model workloads, you are sure to want to share. Find out how easy it is to add users to your Juju controllers and models.