Bastion Automation Server

A starting point for network and cloud automation!

Bastion Automation Server

Purpose: To provide a guide on how to set up a Bastion Server to be used on Network, Cloud and Other Automation tasks you may have.

This server was setup using Ubuntu Server 22.04, however the majority of the software if not all of it mentioned in this article can be installed on your desired distribution.

You may download this distribution at this Ubuntu Site click on Option2 and Manual Server installation.

Note: I will not cover how to install this distribution, but I can advise not to install any of the packets that come with the distribution, like docker, as it may cause unexpected behavior that may conflict with my instructions below.

You may proceed to install this OS on either bare metal, vmware, qemu or other method. It does not matter.

For simplicity I have created different categories you should follow based on your needs.

Before proceeding, make sure you update all of your packages by fetching the latest version of the package list from your distro's software repository, and any third-party repositories (apt update) and then download and install the updates for each outdated package and dependency on your system (apt upgrade)

   sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

> Code Editor

Visual Studio Code.

| Download |

My recommendation goes to Visual Studio Code to be used as the preferred Code Editor.

The following are the Extensions I recommend to install:

    - Remote - SSH
    - Python
    - Python for VSCode
    - Python Auto Venv
    - Python Docstring Generator
    - Docker
    - Dracula Official
    - Remote WSL
    - Remote SSH
    - GitLab Workflow
    - JSON
    - Live Server
    - REST Client
    - XML Tools
    - YAML
    - YANG
    - Yangster
    - Better Jinja
    - autoDocstring
    - Code Runner
    - HashiCorp Terraform
    - Jupyter  
    - Markdown All in One

> Programming

Python: (Interpreted, High-Level and general-purpose programming language)

| Documentation |

  • Make sure you have the most updated version of Python:
sudo apt install software-properties-common  
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa  
sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3    

    python3 -V            (Check the current version)
    Python 3.10.4

    whereis python3        (Check folder installations)

    sudo apt-get install python-is-python3 
    sudo apt-get install python-dev
  • Add corresponding aliases (~/.bash_aliases or .bashrc)
    alias                (show current alias)
    echo alias python=python3 >> ~/.bashrc            
    echo alias pip=pip3 >> ~/.bashrc
    source ~/.bashrc    (loads the file)

-Add corresponding ENV variable only if you have issues with the current ENV PATH, but this should work as by default /usr/bin is added into the PATH.

export PATH="$PATH:/usr/bin/python"
 env | grep py
  • Install PIP3: (Python Package Manager)
    sudo apt install python3-pip -y

    pip3 -V            (to check the current version)
    pip 22.0.2 from /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip (python 3.10)

    sudo pip3 freeze   (to review your installed modules)
  • Update PIP3 and SetupTools:
    sudo pip3 install --upgrade setuptools
    sudo pip3 install --upgrade pip
  • Create a requirements file which will include all the packages we require to install:
touch requirements.txt
vi requirements.txt

###### All packages will install the latest version ######
# If you want to install an specific version you should specify it after the name. 

ipython        #(Interactive python)
paramiko     #(SSH API)
netmiko       #(SSH API)
napalm        #(Unified API to Network Devices)
requests     #(Used for restconf)
ncclient        #(Used for netconf)
xmltodict    #(XML Parser, dictionary...)
pylint            #(Bug and quality checker)
nornir          #(Automation framework)
nornir_utils  #(nornir utilities)
django        #(Web Framework)

prettyprint          #("pretty-print" Python Data Structures)
lxml              #(XML Parser ElementTree API) 
pyyaml      #(YAML Parser and emitter)
jinja2          #(Templating language for Python)
unittest2      #(Python testing framework)
pytest          #(Python testing framework)
jsons         #(JavaScript Object Notation parser)

  • Install the following Modules/Libraries:

     pip3 install -r requirements.txt   
     python -m pip list     
     pip3 freeze

> Projects

Poetry (dependency management and packaging in Python)

| Documentation |

    curl -sSL | python3

    source $HOME/.poetry/env

    poetry --version or ~/.poetry/bin$ ./poetry --version        (Check the current version)
    Poetry version 1.1.1

Cookiercutter (project templates)

| Documentation |

    pip install --user cookiecutter
    cookiecutter -V
    Cookiecutter 1.7.3 from /home/server/.local/lib/python3.10/site-packages (Python 3.1)
    Poetry version 1.1.1

> Version Control

Git: (version-control system for tracking changes in source code)

| Documentation |

  • Make sure you have the latest version of git
    sudo apt install git-all
    git --version            (Check the current version)
    git version 2.34.1

> Containers

Docker (OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers)

| Documentation |

  • Install Docker:
    sudo apt-get install \
        apt-transport-https \
        ca-certificates \
        curl \
        gnupg-agent \

    sudo add-apt-repository \
       "deb [arch=amd64] \
       $(lsb_release -cs) \

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli -y

    docker --version
    docker version
    Docker version 20.10.14, build a224086349

If you don't want to use SUDO every single time you call docker you may consider changing Permissions:

    usermod -aG docker $USER
    chgrp docker /usr/bin/docker /usr/bin/docker-compose
    chmod g=rwx /var/run/docker.sock
    chmod g=rwx /usr/bin/docker /usr/bin/docker-compose

Test your installation:

    docker run hello-world            (Test installation)
    docker images                    (Show current docker images)

Docker-compose (To define and run multi-container docker applications)

| Documentation |

    sudo apt-get install docker-compose

    docker-compose version

    docker-compose version 1.29.2, build unknown
    docker-py version: 5.0.3
    CPython version: 3.10.4
    OpenSSL version: OpenSSL 3.0.2 15 Mar 2022

> Automation-Orquestration

Ansible (automation tool)

| Documentation |

    sudo apt install ansible -y

    ansible --version                (Check version)
    ansible 2.10.8

    - Test Ansible install: 
    ansible localhost -m ping
    ansible all -i "localhost," -m debug -a "msg='Hello Ansible'"

Terraform (Infrastructure as Code IaC)

| Documentation |

How to Install

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y gnupg software-properties-common curl
    curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -
    sudo apt-add-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) main"
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install terraform

    terraform -version
    Terraform v1.2.1
    on linux_amd64

    terraform -help

> Cloud

Azure CLI

| Documentation |

How to Install

    curl -sL | sudo bash
    az upgrade
    az --version
    azure-cli                         2.37.0


| Documentation |

How to Install

    curl "" -o ""
    sudo ./aws/install

    To Update:
    sudo ./aws/install --bin-dir /usr/local/bin --install-dir /usr/local/aws-cli --update

    aws --version
    aws-cli/2.7.3 Python/3.9.11 Linux/5.15.0-33-generic exe/x86_64.ubuntu.22 prompt/off

This is it, I hope you enjoyed it !!!