Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

Mist Cloud Management Platform - Community Edition

Mist is an open source platform for managing heterogeneous computing infrastructure, aka a Multicloud Management Platform.

The managed computing resources may be running on any combination of public clouds, private clouds, hypervisors, bare metal servers, container hosts.

Mist is developed by Inc. The code for the Community Edition is provided under the Apache License v2. The Enterprise Edition and the Hosted Service include plugins for Governance, Role Based Access Control & Cost Insights. They are available for purchase at Paid support plans are available for any edition.

Who needs Mist?

  1. Organizations that depend on hybrid or multi-cloud infrastructure
  2. Organizations that provide computing resources to their users on a self-service fashion

They often end up building silos of distinct tools, processes & teams for each supported platform, introducing operational complexities which can affect both security and efficiency.

As the heterogeneity increases, it's becoming increasingly difficult to

  • train users
  • set access control rules
  • set governance policies like quotas and other constraints
  • audit usage
  • monitor/optimize costs
  • automate complex deployments
  • set up metering & billing

Mist provides a unified way to operate, monitor & govern these resources. The mission statement of the Mist platform is to help commoditize computing by alleviating vendor lock-in.


  • Instant visibility of all the available resources across clouds, grouped by tags
  • Instant reporting/estimation of the current infrastructure costs
  • Compare current & past costs, correlate with usage, provide right-sizing recommendations (EE/HS only)
  • Provision new resources on any cloud: machines, volumes, networks, zones, records
  • Perform life cycle actions on existing resources: stop, start, reboot, resize, destroy, etc
  • Instant audit logging for all actions performed through Mist or detected through continuous polling
  • Upload scripts to the library, run them on any machine while enforcing audit logging and centralized control of SSH keys
  • SSH command shell on any machine within the browser or through the CLI, enforcing audit logging and centralized control of SSH keys
  • Enable monitoring on target machines to display real time system & custom metrics and store them for long term access
  • Set rules on metrics or logs that trigger notifications, webhooks, scripts or machine lifecycle actions
  • Set schedules that trigger scripts or machine lifecycle actions
  • Set fine grained access control policies per team/tag/resource/action (EE/HS only)
  • Set governance constraints: e.g. quotas on cost per user/team, required expiration dates (EE/HS only)
  • Upload infrastructure templates that may describe complex deployments and workflows (EE/HS only)
  • Deploy and scale Kubernetes clusters on any supported cloud (EE/HS only)



Any service that provides on-demand access to computing resources

  • Public clouds (e.g. AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, DigitalOcean, Linode, Packet)
  • Private clouds (e.g. based on OpenStack, vSphere, OnApp)
  • Hypervisors (e.g. KVM, ESXi),
  • Container hosts / Container clusters
  • Bare metal / Other server


Any computing resource is a machine. There are many types of machines and some machines may contain other machines.


Any physical or virtual data storage device. E.g. Physical HDD/SSD, Cloud disks, EBS volumes, etc. Volumes may be attached on machines. May be provisioned along with machines or independently.


Private network spaces that machines can join. e.g. AWS VPC's


An executable (e.g. bash script) or an Ansible playbook that can run on machines over SSH. Scripts may be added inline or by a reference to a tarball or a Git repository.


A blueprint that describes the full lifecycle of an application that may require multiple computing resources, network, storage and additional configurations. E.g. The provided Kubernetes template enables the deployment of a Kubernetes cluster on any cloud and provides workflows to easily scale the cluster up or down. Currently supporting Cloudify blueprints. Terraform support coming soon.


The deployment of a template is a Stack. A Stack may include resources (e.g. machines, networks, volumes) and provides a set of workflow actions that can be performed. A Stack created by the Kubernetes template refers to a Kubernetes cluster. It includes references to the master and worker nodes and provides scale up & down workflows that can be applied to the cluster.


A point to point VPN enabling Mist to manage infrastructure that's not on publicly addressable network space.


Mist is a cloud native application split into microservices which are packaged as Docker containers. It can be deployed on a single host with Docker Compose, or on a Kubernetes cluster using Helm.

The most notable components are the following:

  • Mist UI, a web application built with Web Components and Polymer
  • REST API that serves requests from clients
  • WebSocket API, sends real-time updates to connected clients and proxies shell connections
  • Hubshell service, opens SSH connections to machines or shell connections using the Docker API
  • Dramatiq workers, running asynchronous jobs
  • APScheduler based scheduler that schedules polling tasks, rule checks, as well as user defined scheduled actions
  • Gocky as the relay to receive and pre-process monitoring metrics
  • RabbitMQ message queue service
  • InfluxDB, or VictoriaMetrics as a time series database
  • MongoDB or FoundationDB Document Layer as the main database
  • Elasticsearch for storing and searching logs
  • Logstash for routing logs to Elasticsearch
  • Telegraf as a data collection agent, installed on monitored machines


The user interacts with the RESTful Mist API through client apps like the Mist UI in the browser, or command line tools (e.g. cURL, Mist CLI). The Mist UI, apart from invoking the RESTful API, also establishes a WebSocket connection, which is used to receive real time updates and to proxy shell connections to machines. The Mist API server interacts with the respective API's of the target clouds, either directly, or by adding tasks that get executed asynchronously by Celery workers. The messaging is following the AMQP protocol and gets coordinated by RabbitMQ. The main data store is MongoDB. Logs are being stored in Elasticsearch. Time series data go to either VictoriaMetrics or InfluxDB, depending on the installation. Rule checks, polling tasks & user tasks are triggered by the scheduler service. Whenever a shell connection is required (e.g. SSH or Docker Shell), Huproxy establishes the connection and makes it available through the WebSocket API.


Hardware requirements

We recommended setting up Mist in a machine with 4 CPU cores, 8GB RAM and 10GB disk (accessible to /var/lib/docker/).

Single host

The easiest way to get started with Mist is to install the latest release using docker-compose. So, in order to run it, one needs to install a recent version of docker and docker-compose.

To install the latest stable release, head over to releases and follow the instructions there.

After a few minutes (depending on your connection) all the mist containers will be downloaded and started in the background.

Run docker-compose ps. All containers should be in the UP state, except shortlived container elasticsearch-manage.

Linode users can quickly set up Mist through Linode's One-Click App Marketplace. You can find Mist here and a video about how it works here.

Kubernetes cluster

Add the mist chart repository and fetch available charts

helm repo add mist
helm repo update

To install Mist you need to configure the hostname

helm install mist-ce mist/mist-ce --set

TLS configuration

If you have configured a TLS certificate for this hostname as a k8s secret you can configure it using the http.tlsSecret option

helm install mist-ce mist/mist-ce --set --set http.tlsSecret=secretName

If you want to issue a new certificate, also configure the cluster issuer that will be used

helm install mist-ce mist/mist-ce --set  --http.tlsClusterIssuer=letsencrypt-prod --set http.tlsSecret=secretName


In order to easily customize all available options:

  1. Export default chart values
helm show values mist/mist-ce > values.yaml
  1. Edit values.yaml according to your needs
  2. Install or upgrade release
helm upgrade --install mist-ce mist/mist-ce -f values.yaml

Running Mist

Make sure you're inside the directory containing the docker-compose.yml file.

Switch to the directory containing the docker-compose.yml file and run

docker-compose up -d

This will start all the mist docker containers in the background.

To create a user for the first time, first run

docker-compose exec api sh

This should drop you in a shell into one of the mist containers. In there, run

./bin/adduser --admin [email protected]

Replace the email address with yours. Try running ./bin/adduser -h for more options. The --docker-cloud flag will add the docker daemon hosting the mist installation as a docker cloud in the created account.

Mist binds on port 80 of the host. Visit http://localhost and login with the email and password specified above.

Welcome to Mist! Enjoy!


After the initial docker-compose up -d, you'll see that a configuration file is created in ./settings/ Edit this file to modify configuration. Any changes to the ./settings/ require a restart to take effect:

docker-compose restart

Required configuration


If running on anything other than localhost, you'll need to set the CORE_URI setting in ./settings/ Example:


Mail settings

In some cases, such as user registration, forgotten passwords, user invitations etc, mist needs to send emails. By default, mist is configured to use a mock mailer. To see logs sent by mist, run

docker-compose logs -f mailmock

If you wish to use a real SMTP server, edit ./settings/ and modify MAILER_SETTINGS.

Don't forget to restart docker-compose for changes to take effect.

TLS settings

This section applies if you've installed mist by using the docker-compose.yml file of a mist release.

Assuming a certificate cert.pem and private key file key.pem in the same directory as the docker-compose.yml file:

Create a docker-compose.override.yml file with the following contents:

version: '2.0'
      - ./nginx-listen.conf:/etc/nginx/nginx-listen.conf:ro
      - ./cert.pem:/etc/nginx/cert.pem:ro
      - ./key.pem:/etc/nginx/key.pem:ro
      - 443:443

Create a nginx-listen.conf in the directory of docker-compose.yml, with the following contents:

    listen 80;
    listen 443 ssl;
    ssl_certificate     /etc/nginx/cert.pem;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/nginx/key.pem;
    if ($scheme != "https") {
        rewrite ^ https://$host$uri permanent;

Update CORE_URI in mist's settings (see URL section above).

Run docker-compose up -d.

Managing Mist

Mist is managed using docker-compose. Look that up for details. Some useful commands follow. Keep in mind that you need to run these from inside the directory containing the docker-compose.yml file:

# See status of all applications
docker-compose ps

# Almost all containers should be in the UP state. An exception to this
# is shortlived containers. Currently the only such container is
# elasticsearch-manage. This should run for a few seconds and exit 0 if
# everything went fine.

# Restart nginx container
docker-compose restart nginx

# See the logs of the api and celery containers, starting with the last
# 50 lines.
docker-compose logs --tail=50 -f api celery

# Stop mist
docker-compose stop

# Start mist
docker-compose start
# or even better
docker-compose up -d

# Stop and remove all containers
docker-compose down

# Completely remove all containers and data volumes.
docker-compose down -v

Migrating from previous versions

  1. Bring down your current installation by running docker-compose down.
  2. Download the docker-compose.yml file of the latest release and place it within the same directory as before. This way the new installation will use the same Docker volumes.
  3. Run docker-compose up -d to bring up the new version.
  4. Check that everything is in order by running docker-compose ps. Also check if your Mist portal works as expected.


Mist can automatically backup itself to an S3 bucket. To set this up, first create a bucket for the backups on your S3 provider (AWS, MinIO, etc).

Then go to settings/ of your Mist installation and edit the following part accordingly:

BACKUP_INTERVAL = 24  # hours between each backup
    'host': '',  # eg
    'key': '',
    'secret': '',
    'bucket': '',
    'gpg': {
        'recipient': '',
        'public': '',
        'private': '',

Providing a GPG key is optional but strongly recommended. If you provide it, your backups will be encrypted before getting uploaded to your bucket. Mist also offers a set of manual commands for backing up, listing backups and restoring backups:

docker-compose exec api ./bin/backup
docker-compose exec api ./bin/list-backups
docker-compose exec api ./bin/restore {{myBackupName}}

Backups on time series data stored on VictoriaMetrics will be incremental by default. To perform a full backup, use the --no-incremental flag:

docker-compose exec api ./bin/backup --db victoria --no-incremental

Finally, please keep in mind that backups include MongoDB, InfluxDB & VictoriaMetrics data. Mist logs are stored in Elasticsearch. If you would like to backup these as well, please check out

Monitoring methods

Mist stores monitoring metrics in InfluxDB by default. Since v4.6 it's possible to use VictoriaMetrics instead. You can configure that in settings/

DEFAULT_MONITORING_METHOD = 'telegraf-victoriametrics'

Restart docker-compose for changes to take effect.

docker-compose restart

Then run the respective migration script.

docker-compose exec api python migrations/

The above script will update all monitored machines to use the configured monitoring method. It will also update all rules on metrics to use the appropriate query format. It won't migrate past monitoring data between time series databases.

If running on Kubernetes, configure monitoring.defaultMethod in values.yaml instead and use helm to upgrade your release as described above.

Staging version

If you want to install the latest bleeding edge build of mist, run the following:

mkdir mist-ce && cd mist-ce && echo 'MIST_TAG=staging' > .env
docker-compose up -d

Development deployment

If you're planning to modify Mist's source code, an alternative installation method is recommended.

Clone this git repo and all its submodules with something like:

git clone --recursive
cd mist-ce
docker-compose up -d

This may take some time.

This setup will mount the checked out code into the containers. By cloning the directory, now there's also a docker-compose.override.yml file in the current directory in addition to docker-compose.yml and is used to modify the configuration for development mode.

If you're not interested in frontend development, you can comment out the ui & landing sections within the docker-compose.override.yml file and re-run docker-compose up -d. Otherwise, you'll also need to install the ui & landing page dependencies before you can access the Mist UI.

Install all front-end dependencies with the following commands

docker-compose exec landing npm install
docker-compose exec ui npm install

And then build the landing & ui bundles

docker-compose exec landing npm run build
docker-compose exec ui npm run build

When doing front-end development, it's usually more convenient to serve the source code instead of the bundles. To do that, edit settings/ and set JS_BUILD = False. Restart the api container for the changes to take effect

./ api

The above instructions for running and managing Mist apply.

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