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Magma Installation on Ubuntu 20.04

By May 3, 2022May 9th, 2022No Comments

Follow along this post to see how to install Magma in a virtual environment on Ubuntu 20.04 and set up a basic LTE connection.

Note 1: The Magma gateway cannot be set upon Apple computers with the M1 chip. Using Rosetta or even double virtualization will not do the trick. On MacOS, the installation of most prerequisites can be done relatively easily, especially with the help of brew. While brew can be set up for Ubuntu, a more roundabout approach will be taken here.

Note 2: When choosing a host machine, ensure that it has enough RAM and memory. Insufficient RAM will lead to errors such as the host closing the connection to the gateway VM when building the gateway.

Installing the prerequisites


systemctl start docker

Installing docker compose

Setting up Virtualbox


  • Click on <Ok> and create a new passphrase.
  • To finish setting up Virtualbox, you need to complete two more steps
    • Restarting the system will take you to a screen asking for the passphrase generated above. Suppy this and the start the system.
    • If errors such as the following are produced, you will also have to log into the BIOS and disable secure boot.

Errorvirtualbox commands

Installing Vagrant

Vagrant helps manage virtual machines and allows users to interact with them in a uniform way across systems.

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 vagrant

Setting up Go

The command given in the Magma prerequisites page indicates that Go 1.13 is necessary.

  • Obtain the compressed file from the archived versions from the Go downloads page.
  • Run sudo rm -rf /usr/local/go && sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf go1.13.15.linuxamd64.tar.gz
  • Add Go to the path in ~/.profile as below
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin

The Magma prerequisites page asks for the path to added to ~/.bash_profile instead of ~/.bashrc. Look at this medium post and this Stack Exchange question for the difference between ~/.bash_profile~/.bashrc and ~/.profile.

  • To check the correctness of the Go installation run
source ~/.profile
go version

The output should be similar to that below

go version go1.13.15 linux/amd64
  • This will however not apply to any new terminals you create as the change is not in ~/.bashrc. Therefore, restart the system (interchangeably used with host from now on) for this change to take hold.

Setting up Python 3.7.3

The Magma prerequisites page recommends that pyenv be installed to set up Python 3.7.3. However, we will use conda in this setup instead as we were unable to proceed with the following steps using pyenv on Ubuntu 20.04. A global installation of Python 3.7.3 is not recommended as discussed in this post on Python best practices.

conda config --set auto_activate_base false

to prevent the base environment from activating by default when a terminal starts.

  • Created a conda environment named magma_python with Python 3.7.3 and pip 21.2.2. Refer to this conda cheat sheet for conda commands.
  • Activate the environment using
conda activate magma_python
  • Install the remaining libraries in this environment as given in the prerequisites page.


Install as in the prerequisites page.


Magma can be cloned from the repository on the official GitHub page.

Prerequisites for deployment

Running the quick start guide

  • Open two terminal tabs as directed in the Quick Start Guide (called guide from here on).
  • Activate the conda environment created previously in each terminal
conda activate magma_python
  • Check out the branch you want to use. If you want to use, say, v1.6, you would navigate to the magma git repository and do
git checkout v1.6
  • Provision the AGW VM as directed in the guide using one of the terminals.
  • As the Magma Quick Start Guide mentions, the development VMs are in the, and address spaces. These need to be made allowed ranges. If not, vagrant up magma will terminate with an error similar to the one belowAddress errors
  • Follow the instructions in the VirtualBox manual on Host-Only Networking and add

to /etc/vbox/networks.conf creating it in the process if necessary.

  • Further, in order to set up the magma VM, virtualization needs to be enabled on the host system. If it is not, it will produce an error such as that below

virtualization disabled

To fix this, log in to your BIOS (the method to do this varies from host to host) and enable Virtualization Technology. You will likely find this in System Configuration or Security. If this option is not available, then virtualization is not possible on your machine and you will require an new one.

  • Upon making these changes, vagrant up magma should finish with an output similar to that shown below. It is important that the number of failures be zero i.e failed = 0.

Ansible provisioning successful

  • The first time around, provisioning the AGW VM (the whole process from vagrant up magma) took 34 minutes on the author’s host machine.
  • Now, follow the instructions in the guide to ssh into the VM and build the AGW.
  • To set up the Orchestrator, once again follow the instructions in the Build Orchestrator section of the guide. This took around 29 minutes on the author’s machine.
  • Start the Orchestrator as directed in the guide. If run with metrics, this should terminate with an output similar to that below


  • Navigating to the magma/cache/test_certs folder (open using nautilus/magma/cache/test_certs) and double clicking on the admin_operator.pfx and supplying the password “magma” produces the following dialog box


Add the certificate to Firefox by navigating to Preferences and looking for “View certificates” and adding the .pfx file to the “Your certificates” tab of Certificate manager. As this has to be imported from the sytem and .cache is a hidden folder, transfer the .pfx file to a visible directory outside the repository and import it from there. This results in the following dialog box

firefox certificate

Upon opening https://localhost:9443/swagger/v1/ui in Firefox, you will see the following warning (as mentioned in the guide)

Firefox warning

Click on Advanced and then choose to continue. This will open the following

Swagger UI

  • Attempting to connect the Orc8r and LTE Gateway using
fab -f register_vm

might produce an error such as the one below

PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission denied:
sudo chown -R $USER .cache/test_certs/
  • Start the magmad service as directed in the guide. Note that you might see errors relating to td-agent-bit. These are to be expected as the Quick Start Guide doesn’t enable this service. Refer to this issue about FluentBit for more details.
  • Finally run the NMS UI as directed in the guide. Note that if the Gateway Error 502 persists, check the status of the magmalte docker container using
docker container ls

and kill it if it is unhealthy using

docker kill <container_id>

and set up the NMS UI again.

  • If your Orchestrator (Orc8r) and AGW are connected and the magma services are running on the AGW, then the health of the gateway in the NMS UI (navigate to the Equipment tab on the left of the NMS UI and scroll down to Gateways) should read Good. This health status is based on how often the gateway checks in. Look at this comment on the gateway health.
  • The Orc8r can be shut down using docker-compose down. If this fails, try
HOST [magma/orc8r/cloud/docker]$ ./

and then docker-compose down.

If you would like to learn more about the project and get involved check the website for more information or download the code and start to experiment with the platform.