Setting up a cstar_perf development environment

If you want to start hacking on cstar_perf, the best way to do that is with the built-in cstar_docker command. This will setup a cluster, client node, and frontend node automatically for you in separate Docker containers. This means you can setup an entire cstar_perf environment for development or testing, all on a single machine.

NOTE: This tutorial is only good for development or demoing of cstar_perf. Any real-world benchmarks should not be done from within docker.

Setup from scratch on OSX 10.10+ (lower might work)

This document will go through all the steps necessary to setup your environment on a fresh OSX machine.

Install VirtualBox and VirtualBox_Extension_Pack

Install docker either from Docker_Toolbox or via Homebrew:

brew install docker docker-machine docker-compose

Create a docker base virtual machine – adjusting the cpu and memory based on your plans and system:

docker-machine create --driver virtualbox --virtualbox-cpu-count "4" --virtualbox-memory "6144" cstar-perf

Start the docker-machine image:

docker-machine start cstar-perf

Connect to docker-machine image and add symlink for later:

docker-machine ssh cstar-perf
ln -sv /usr/local/bin/docker /usr/bin

Setup environment vars for docker (must be run when starting a new shell:

eval "$(docker-machine env cstar-perf)"

Setup routing to access docker containers: Get the IP address of the docker-machine host:

docker-machine inspect cstar-perf | grep "IPAddress"

Add route for docker containers (must be re-run after reboot / or add it to a startup script):

sudo route -n add <<IP ADDRESS FROM ABOVE COMMAND>>

Setup from scratch on Ubuntu 14.04

This document will go through all the steps necessary to setup your environment on a fresh Ubuntu 14.04 machine.

Install docker as per the Docker instructions

wget -qO- | sh

Add your normal user account to the docker group:

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
newgrp docker

Setup cstar_perf code and build docker images

Checkout cstar_perf source code someplace:

export CSTAR_PERF_HOME=~/git/cstar_perf
git clone $CSTAR_PERF_HOME

Create a Python virtual environment and install the code there:

sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv
virtualenv $CSTAR_PERF_HOME/env
source $CSTAR_PERF_HOME/env/bin/activate
pip install -e $CSTAR_PERF_HOME/tool

If you close your shell, or open a new one, remember to re-activate the virtualenv. The rest of these instructions assume you are running with the virtualenv activated:

source $CSTAR_PERF_HOME/env/bin/activate

Build the cstar_perf docker base image:

cstar_docker build

Launch a cluster to run the client and Cassandra nodes:

cstar_docker launch test-cluster 1 -m

The above command launches a single node to act as a Cassandra cluster, and an additional node for the cstar_perf client. For development purposes, a single node Cassandra cluster is usually suffient, but you can increase this if you are running on a powerful box that can handle more than one node at a time. As another example, if you specified 3 (instead of 1) you would get a total of 4 nodes, 1 to run the client, and 3 to run Cassandra.

The -m is useful for development, as your local cstar_perf checkout ($CSTAR_PERF_HOME in our example here) will be mounted inside the docker containers directly, so any changes you make to the cstar_perf source code will immediately be available in the docker containers as well. (Without the -m, fresh cstar_perf code will be cloned from

Launch a node for the frontend:

cstar_docker frontend test-frontend -m

If your base machine is Ubuntu:

If you are running on a machine with a webbrowser installed, the home page of the frontend should automatically load to http://localhost:8000. The frontend container is only bound to the loopback device for security reasons. If you are running cstar_perf on a headless box, you will need to create a port map on your own. One way to do that is with ssh. From your personal machine, connect to the machine running cstar_perf:

## Use this only if you need to access a remote cstar_perf instance:
ssh your_cstar_perf_server -L 8000:localhost:8000 -N &

Then you should be able to load http://localhost:8000 normally.

If your base machine is OSX:

You can load the frontend by it’s IP address. This can be found by:

docker inspect test-frontend_00 | grep "IPAddress"

And visiting that IP on port 8000. ex:

At this point, the frontend can’t run any tests because it still doesn’t know about the test cluster. To link the frontend to the test cluster, use the associate command:

cstar_docker associate test-frontend test-cluster

Now you are ready to run tests directly from the frontend web page. Click Login in the upper right hand corner and enter the default credentials:

To see what other commands cstar_docker includes, run it without any arguments:


For example, you can ssh directly to any of the nodes, or start, stop, or destroy them.

OSX Users

You can now edit code in your choice of editor and it will be updated in the docker container. If you make edits that need a restart to either the client or server service, ssh in a use supervisord.

server restart:

cstar_docker ssh test-frontend
sudo supervisorctl -c /supervisord.conf restart cstar_perf_server

client restart:

cstar_docker ssh test-cluster
sudo supervisorctl -c /supervisord.conf restart cstar_perf_client

If you make useful modifications to cstar_perf, please consider opening a pull-request on the cstar_perf github page

The rest of this guide is geared toward setting up a real-world test environment using real hardware.