Installation Reference

Install Zuul

To install a Zuul release from PyPI, run:

pip install zuul

Or from a git checkout, run:

pip install .

That will also install Zuul’s python dependencies. To minimize interaction with other python packages installed on a system, you may wish to install Zuul within a Python virtualenv.

Zuul has several system-level dependencies as well. You can find a list of operating system packages in bindep.txt in Zuul’s source directory.

It is further required to run zuul-manage-ansible on the zuul-executor in order to install all supported ansible versions so zuul can use them. See Ansible for details.

Zuul Components

Zuul provides the following components:

  • zuul-scheduler: The main Zuul process. Handles receiving events, executing jobs, collecting results and posting reports. Coordinates the work of the other components. It also provides a gearman daemon which the other components use for coordination.

  • zuul-merger: Scale-out component that performs git merge operations. Zuul performs a large number of git operations in the course of its work. Adding merger processes can help speed Zuul’s processing. This component is optional (zero or more of these can be run).

  • zuul-executor: Scale-out component for executing jobs. At least one of these is required. Depending on system configuration, you can expect a single executor to handle up to about 100 simultaneous jobs. Can handle the functions of a merger if dedicated mergers are not provided. One or more of these must be run.

  • zuul-web: A web server that receives “webhook” events from external providers, supplies a web dashboard, and provides websocket access to live streaming of logs.

  • zuul-fingergw: A gateway which provides finger protocol access to live streaming of logs.

For more detailed information about these, see Components.

External Dependencies

Zuul interacts with several other systems described below.


Gearman is a job distribution system that Zuul uses to communicate with its distributed components. The Zuul scheduler distributes work to Zuul mergers and executors using Gearman. You may supply your own gearman server, but the Zuul scheduler includes a built-in server which is recommended. Ensure that all Zuul hosts can communicate with the gearman server.

Zuul distributes secrets to executors via gearman, so be sure to secure it with TLS and certificate authentication. Obtain (or generate) a certificate for both the server and the clients (they may use the same certificate or have individual certificates). They must be signed by a CA, but it can be your own CA.


In order to run all but the simplest jobs, Zuul uses a companion program, Nodepool, to supply the nodes (whether dynamic cloud instances or static hardware) used by jobs. Before starting Zuul, ensure you have Nodepool installed and any images you require built. Zuul only makes one requirement of these nodes: that it be able to log in given a username and ssh private key.


Nodepool uses ZooKeeper to communicate internally among its components, and also to communicate with Zuul. You can run a simple single-node ZooKeeper instance, or a multi-node cluster. Ensure that the host running the Zuul scheduler has access to the cluster.


There are two approaches that can be used to install Ansible for Zuul.

First you may set manage_ansible to True in the executor config. If you do this Zuul will install all supported Ansible versions on zuul-executor startup. These installations end up in Zuul’s state dir, /var/lib/zuul/ansible-bin if unchanged.

The second option is to use zuul-manage-ansible to install the supported Ansible versions. By default this will install Ansible to zuul_install_prefix/lib/zuul/ansible. This method is preferable to the first because it speeds up zuul-executor start time and allows you to preinstall ansible in containers (avoids problems with bind mounted zuul state dirs).

usage: zuul-manage-ansible [-h] [-c CONFIG] [--version] [-v] [-u] [-l]
                           [--validate] [-r INSTALL_ROOT]

Zuul ansible manager.

This command installs or upgrades all supported Ansible installations
so zuul can use them.

You can set the following environnment variables
to install additional packages you might need along with ansible.
These variables must contain a space separated list of dependencies
that can be parsed by pip.

    Packages to add to every ansible installation.

    Packages to add to a specific version of Ansible. The version must
    be the same as listed in 'zuul-manage-ansible -l' but without
    special characters. e.g. ANSIBLE_27_EXTRA_PACKAGES=myextradep

optional arguments:
  -h, --help       show this help message and exit
  -c CONFIG        specify the config file
  --version        show zuul version
  -v               verbose output
  -u               upgrade ansible versions
  -l               list supported versions
  --validate       validate installed versions
  -r INSTALL_ROOT  root path for ansible venv installations

In both cases if using a non default path you will want to set ansible_root in the executor config file.

Zuul Setup

At minimum you need to provide zuul.conf and main.yaml placed in /etc/zuul/. The following example uses the builtin gearman service in Zuul, and a connection to Gerrit.





[connection my_gerrit]


See Components and Connections for more details.

The following tells Zuul to read its configuration from and operate on the example-project project:


- tenant:
    name: example-tenant
          - example-project

Starting Zuul

You can run any zuul process with the -d option to make it not daemonize. It’s a good idea at first to confirm there’s no issues with your configuration.

To start, simply run:


Once run you should have two zuul-scheduler processes (if using the built-in gearman server, or one process otherwise).

Before Zuul can run any jobs, it needs to load its configuration, most of which is in the git repositories that Zuul operates on. Start an executor to allow zuul to do that:


Zuul should now be able to read its configuration from the configured repo and process any jobs defined therein.

Web Deployment Options

The zuul-web service provides a web dashboard, a REST API and a websocket log streaming service as a single holistic web application. For production use it is recommended to run it behind a reverse proxy, such as Apache or Nginx.

The zuul-web service is entirely self-contained and can be run with minimal configuration, however, more advanced users may desire to do one or more of the following:

White Label

Serve the dashboard of an individual tenant at the root of its own domain. is an example of a Zuul dashboard that has been white labeled for the openstack tenant of its Zuul.

Static Offload

Shift the duties of serving static files, such as HTML, Javascript, CSS or images to the reverse proxy server.

Static External

Serve the static files from a completely separate location that does not support programmatic rewrite rules such as a Swift Object Store.


Serve a Zuul dashboard from a location below the root URL as part of presenting integration with other application. is an example of a Zuul dashboard that is being served from a Sub-URL.

Most deployments shouldn’t need these, so the following discussion will assume that the zuul-web service is exposed via a reverse proxy. Where rewrite rule examples are given, they will be given with Apache syntax, but any other reverse proxy should work just fine.

Reverse Proxy

Using Apache as the reverse proxy requires the mod_proxy, mod_proxy_http and mod_proxy_wstunnel modules to be installed and enabled.

All of the cases require a rewrite rule for the websocket streaming, so the simplest reverse-proxy case is:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^/api/tenant/(.*)/console-stream ws://localhost:9000/api/tenant/$1/console-stream [P]
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://localhost:9000/$1 [P]

This is the recommended configuration unless one of the following features is required.

Static Offload

To have the reverse proxy serve the static html/javascript assets instead of proxying them to the REST layer, enable the mod_rewrite Apache module, register the location where you unpacked the web application as the document root and add rewrite rules:

<Directory /usr/share/zuul>
  Require all granted
Alias / /usr/share/zuul/
<Location />
  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteBase /
  # Rewrite api to the zuul-web endpoint
  RewriteRule api/tenant/(.*)/console-stream ws://localhost:9000/api/tenant/$1/console-stream [P,L]
  RewriteRule api/(.*)$ http://localhost:9000/api/$1 [P,L]
  # Backward compatible rewrite
  RewriteRule t/(.*)/(.*).html(.*) /t/$1/$2$3 [R=301,L,NE]

  # Don't rewrite files or directories
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteRule . /index.html [L]

Sub directory serving

The web application needs to be rebuilt to update the internal location of the static files. Set the homepage setting in the package.json to an absolute path or url. For example, to deploy the web interface through a ‘/zuul/’ sub directory:


The web dashboard source code and package.json are located in the web directory. All the yarn commands need to be executed from the web directory.

sed -e 's#"homepage": "/"#"homepage": "/zuul/"#' -i package.json
yarn build

Then assuming the web application is unpacked in /usr/share/zuul, enable the mod_rewrite Apache module and add the following rewrite rules:

<Directory /usr/share/zuul>
  Require all granted
Alias /zuul /usr/share/zuul/
<Location /zuul>
  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteBase /zuul
  # Rewrite api to the zuul-web endpoint
  RewriteRule api/tenant/(.*)/console-stream ws://localhost:9000/api/tenant/$1/console-stream [P,L]
  RewriteRule api/(.*)$ http://localhost:9000/api/$1 [P,L]
  # Backward compatible rewrite
  RewriteRule t/(.*)/(.*).html(.*) /t/$1/$2$3 [R=301,L,NE]

  # Don't rewrite files or directories
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteRule . /zuul/index.html [L]

White Labeled Tenant

Running a white-labeled tenant is similar to the offload case, but adds a rule to ensure connection webhooks don’t try to get put into the tenant scope.


It’s possible to do white-labeling without static offload, but it is more complex with no benefit.

Enable the mod_rewrite Apache module, and assuming the Zuul tenant name is example, the rewrite rules are:

<Directory /usr/share/zuul>
  Require all granted
Alias / /usr/share/zuul/
<Location />
  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteBase /
  # Rewrite api to the zuul-web endpoint
  RewriteRule api/connection/(.*)$ http://localhost:9000/api/connection/$1 [P,L]
  RewriteRule api/console-stream ws://localhost:9000/api/tenant/example/console-stream [P,L]
  RewriteRule api/(.*)$ http://localhost:9000/api/tenant/example/$1 [P,L]
  # Backward compatible rewrite
  RewriteRule t/(.*)/(.*).html(.*) /t/$1/$2$3 [R=301,L,NE]

  # Don't rewrite files or directories
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteRule . /index.html [L]

Static External


Hosting the Zuul dashboard on an external static location that does not support dynamic url rewrite rules only works for white-labeled deployments.

In order to serve the zuul dashboard code from an external static location, REACT_APP_ZUUL_API must be set at javascript build time:

REACT_APP_ZUUL_API='' yarn build