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Horizon Management Hub

Deploy All-in-One Horizon Management Hub, Agent and CLI

This enables you to quickly set up a host with all of the Open Horizon components to facilitate learning and doing development.

Read the notes and then run the following command to deploy the Horizon components on your current host.


  • Currently only supported on Ubuntu 18.x, Ubuntu 20.x, and macOS
  • This script is not yet compatible with Docker installed via Snap. If Docker has already been installed via Snap, remove the existing Docker snap and allow the script to reinstall the latest version of Docker.
  • The macOS support is considered experimental due to this docker bug. Making some of the recommended changes to my Docker version and settings enables progress past the problem.
  • Support for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL 1&2) should also considered experimental at this time. WSL2’s Ubuntu is based on init.d instead of the systemd used in standard Ubuntu distributions. The Open Horizon Agent requires systemd support so workarounds will simulate systemd usiing this script. This technique may not be stable and reliable.
  • Deployments can be customized by overriding environment variables in The variables can be found near the top of the script, right after the usage message and command line parsing code. All *_PW and *_TOKEN environment variables and variables in the form VAR_NAME=${VAR_NAME:-defaultvalue} can be overridden.

Preparation required for Windows operating systems:

In order to use this tooling on Windows, you must be running Windows 10 or greater with WSL2 installed. Please follow these instructions to prepare your WSL2 environment before proceeding with the steps below.

As root run:

curl -sSL | bash

System Requirements

The All-in-One environment is intended for use on devices or virtual machines with at least 4GB RAM and 20GB of storage space.

Ubuntu Server 18.04 and 20.04 are the preferred operating systems for evaluating and learning Open Horizon for now. You can download Ubuntu Server from Ubuntu Releases.

If you wish to use the All-in-One environment in a virtual machine, please read the VM setup notes further down for details.

What To Do Next

Run the Automated Tests

After the Horizon components have been successfully deployed, you can verify that all components are functioning correctly by running the automated tests. Before doing that, you must set the variables for any passwords and tokens that generated (displayed in its output), and any variables that you overrode. You can set them one of two ways:

  1. Export the variables and then run the tests:

  2. Or set the variables in a config file and pass the file to the test script:

    ./ -c <config-file>

If all tests passed, you will see a green OK as the last line of output. Next you can manually run the following commands to learn how to use Horizon:

Open Horizon Agent Commands

Note: If you used the -A flag, the commands in this section won’t be available.

  • View the status of your edge node: hzn node list
  • View the agreement that was made to run the helloworld edge service example: hzn agreement list
  • View the edge service containers that Horizon started: docker ps
  • View the log of the helloworld edge service: hzn service log -f ibm.helloworld
  • View the Horizon configuration: cat /etc/default/horizon
  • View the Horizon agent daemon status: systemctl status horizon
  • View the steps performed in the agreement negotiation process: hzn eventlog list
  • View the node policy that was set that caused the helloworld service to deployed: hzn policy list

Open Horizon Exchange Commands

To view resources in the Horizon exchange, first export environment variables HZN_ORG_ID and HZN_EXCHANGE_USER_AUTH as instructed in the output of Then you can run these commands:

  • View all of the hzn exchange sub-commands available: hzn exchange --help
  • View the example edge services: hzn exchange service list IBM/
  • View the example patterns: hzn exchange pattern list IBM/
  • View the example deployment policies: hzn exchange deployment listpolicy
  • Verify the policy matching that resulted in the helloworld service being deployed: hzn deploycheck all -b policy-ibm.helloworld_1.0.0
  • View your node: hzn exchange node list
  • View your user in your org: hzn exchange user list
  • Use the verbose flag to view the exchange REST APIs the hzn command calls, for example: hzn exchange user list -v
  • View the public files in CSS that can use to install/register the agent on edge nodes: hzn mms -o IBM -u "$HZN_ORG_ID/$HZN_EXCHANGE_USER_AUTH" object list -d -t agent_files
  • Create an MMS file:

    cat << EOF > mms-meta.json
      "objectID": "mms-file",
      "objectType": "stuff",
      "destinationOrgID": "$HZN_ORG_ID",
      "destinationType": "pattern-ibm.helloworld"
    echo -e "foo\nbar" > mms-file
    hzn mms object publish -m mms-meta.json -f mms-file
  • View the meta-data of the file: hzn mms object list -d
  • Get the file: hzn mms object download -t stuff -i mms-file -f mms-file.downloaded

Open Horizon Exchange System Org Commands

You can view more resources in the system org by switching to the admin user in that org:

export HZN_ORG_ID=IBM   # or whatever org name you customized EXCHANGE_SYSTEM_ORG to
export HZN_EXCHANGE_USER_AUTH=admin:<password>   # the pw the script displayed, or what you set EXCHANGE_SYSTEM_ADMIN_PW to

Then you can run these commands:

  • View the user in the system org: hzn exchange user list
  • View the agbot: hzn exchange agbot list
  • View the deployment policies the agbot is serving: hzn exchange agbot listdeploymentpol agbot
  • View the patterns the agbot is serving: hzn exchange agbot listpattern agbot

Open Horizon Hub Admin Commands

The hub admin can manage Horizon organizations (creating, reading, updating, and deleting them). Switch to the hub admin user:

export HZN_ORG_ID=root
export HZN_EXCHANGE_USER_AUTH=hubadmin:<password>   # the pw the script displayed, or what you set EXCHANGE_HUB_ADMIN_PW to

Then you can run these commands:

  • List the organizations: hzn exchange org list
  • Create a new organization: hzn exchange org create -d 'my new org' -a IBM/agbot myneworg
  • Configure the agbot to be able to use the example services from this org: hzn exchange agbot addpattern IBM/agbot IBM '*' myneworg
  • View the patterns the agbot is serving: hzn exchange agbot listpattern IBM/agbot
  • View the deployment policies the agbot is serving: hzn exchange agbot listdeploymentpol IBM/agbot

Adding More Edge Devices

You can install additional edge devices and connect them to this Horizon management hub. To enable this, the management hub needs to be listening on an IP address that is reachable by the edge devices and be using HTTPS (unless your management hub and edge devices are all behind a firewall). If you used the default value for HZN_LISTEN_IP ( and HZN_TRANSPORT (http) when you initially installed the management hub, you need to reconfigure it:

./ -S   # stop the mgmt hub services (but keep the data)
export HZN_LISTEN_IP=<external-ip>   # an IP address the edge devices can reach
export HZN_TRANSPORT=https

Then on each edge node:

export HZN_ORG_ID=myorg   # or whatever you customized it to
export HZN_EXCHANGE_USER_AUTH=admin:<admin-pw>   # use the pw displayed
export HZN_FSS_CSSURL=http://<mgmt-hub-ip>:9443/
curl -sSL | bash -s -- -i anax: -k css: -c css: -p IBM/pattern-ibm.helloworld -w '*' -T 120

When complete, you can run hzn exchange node list to see your new nodes.

Try Out FDO

The LF Edge FDO project (FIDO Device Onboard) codebase is embedded in Open Horizon and their technology can configure an edge device and register it with a Horizon instance automatically. Although this is not necessary in this all-in-one environment (because the agent has already been registered), you can easily try out SDO to see it working.

Note: FDO is currently only supported in this all-in-one environment on Ubuntu.

Export these environment variables:

export HZN_ORG_ID=myorg   # or whatever org name you customized it to
export HZN_EXCHANGE_USER_AUTH=admin:<password>

Run the FDO test script. If you overrode any variables when running, pass those same variable values to, by either exporting them or putting them in a config file that you pass to using the -c flag.


You will see the script do these steps:

  • Unregister the agent (so SDO can register it)
  • Verify the SDO management hub component is functioning properly
  • Configure this host as a simulated SDO-enabled device
  • Import the voucher of this device into the SDO management hub component
  • Simulate the booting of this device, which will verify the agent has already been installed, and then register it for the helloworld edge service example

“Pausing” the Horizon management hub services

The Horizon management hub services and edge agent use some CPU even in steady state. If you don’t need them for a period of time, you can stop the containers by running:

./ -S

When you want to use the Horizon management hub services and edge agent again, you can start them by running:

./ -s

Setting up a VM for the All-in-One Environment

Using a Virtual Machine (VM) allows you to learn and experiment with Open Horizon in a safe, controlled environment without affecting your host system. This requires the use of virtualization software that is easily obtainable or even integrated into your host’s operating system.

VirtualBox and QEMU are two popular open-source choices.


Oracle VM VirtualBox is a virtualization application that runs on macOS, Solaris and Windows as well as Linux. Its Virtual Machine Manager user interface has a reasonable learning curve for beginners while keeping advanced settings within easy reach.

The Open Horizon website has a video detailing the process of setting up a VM in VirtualBox for use with the All-in-One environment.

This is a summary of the setup process:

To create a VM, click on the New button in the VirtualBox Manager’s toolbar, then use the settings below as prompted.

Option Choice
Name and operating system Set Name to personal preference1
Memory size 4096 MB
Hard disk Create a virtual hard disk now
Hard disk file type VDI
Storage on physical hard disk Fixed size2
File location and size Set Size to 20GB, leave the location unchanged unless advised otherwise.

After the creating the VM, select it on the left hand pane in the VirtualBox Manager, then click on Settings in the toolbar to open up the VM’s settings. Make the following changes:

Setting Choice
General > Advanced Set Shared Clipboard to Host to Guest3
System > Motherboard Unselect Floppy4
Network > Adapter 1 Set Attached to to Bridged Adapter to share network with host

QEMU with GNOME Boxes

The QEMU virtualization software is preinstalled on most major GNU/Linux distributions. There are several ways to use QEMU, from third-party VM managers to the command line, but GNOME Boxes is one of the simplest.

Please note that GNOME Boxes is generally only available on GNU/Linux distributions running the GNOME desktop environment. Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS and RHEL are some distributions that use GNOME by default.

To create a VM in Boxes:

  1. Click on the + button on the upper left to start the VM creation process.
  2. When the Create a Virtual Machine page appears, scroll down and select Operating System Image File. In the file browser that appears, navigate to a directory containing an Ubuntu image file and select the image file.
    • Alternatively, Boxes can download the image files for you. Select Operating System Download, and on the next page, type ‘Ubuntu’. The image file list should show only Ubuntu image files in clear view.
    • Image files downloaded by Boxes are saved to the Downloads folder in your home directory (i.e. ~/Downloads).
  3. On the Review and Create page click Customize to reveal options for your VM.
    • Set Memory to 4GB and Maximum Disk Size to 20GB.
  4. Click Create on the upper right corner of the page. The new VM will start automatically after it is created.
  5. For subsequent runs, click on the VM you just created in on the main screen to run it.
    • To rename the VM you just created, right-click it in the main screen and select Properties. In the dialog box that appears, type a new name into the Name field.
    • Advanced users can fine-tune the VM by editing its XML configuration file. To access this, go to the System tab and click on Edit XML.

All new VMs are configured with bridged networking and thus share the same network as the host.

Installing Ubuntu for the All-in-One Environment

Ubuntu image files (or ISOs) may be configured to use one of these installers:

  • Subiquity (identified by a black background and an orange top)

  • Debian-style (with a purple background and grey dialog boxes)

Subiquity Installer

Choose the following options when prompted, when installing with Subiquity:

Option Choice
Language5 English or English (UK)
Installer Update Update to the new installer
Keyboard configuration* Whatever most appropriate for your system
Network connections Use defaults. Change as advised if using a custom network configuration.
Configure proxy Leave blank if your internet connection does not use a proxy. Otherwise, change the proxy address as advised.
Ubuntu archive mirror Use defaults unless advised otherwise
Guided storage configuration Use defaults
Storage configuration Use defaults. Confirm the ‘destructive action’.
Profile setup Use your personal preferences
SSH setup Enable Install OpenSSH server, do not Import SSH Identities.
Featured Server Snaps Do not select any Snaps

Please wait until the entire installation process is complete, including updates. Only skip updates if the update stalls for an unreasonably long time. Remember to update the system afterwards if you choose to skip updates.

If prompted, press Enter to reboot.

Debian-style Installer

Choose the following options when prompted, when using the Debian-style installer:

Option Choice
Select a Language English5
Select your location Choose the country you are currently in, or other if it is not on the list6
Configure the keyboard (multiple dialogs) Whatever most appropriate for your system
Configure the network (Hostname) Use your personal preference, or as advised
Set up users and passwords (multiple dialogs) Use your personal preferences
Configure the clock Whatever most appropriate for your location
Partition disks Guided - use entire disk, or as advised
Partition disks (select disks to partition) Choose the only option, or as advised
Partition disks (write the changes to disks) Yes
Configure the package manager (HTTP proxy) Leave blank if your internet connection does not use a proxy. Otherwise, change the proxy address as advised.
Configuring tasksel (automatic updates) No automatic updates, or as advised
Software selection Select OpenSSH server only
Install the GRUB boot loader… Yes

On the last Installation complete dialog box, select Continue.

Ubuntu Server Notes

The first boot after installation may be slow. A VM may appear to be unresponsive and present a blank screen for up to a few minutes. A login prompt should soon appear.

Log events may be printed over the login prompt and appear to interfere with username and password entry. If this happens, disregard the events and enter your username and password as normal.

Run this command to start a manual update:

sudo apt-get -y update

Once you have set up your VM, you are ready to deploy the all-in-one environment. Instructions are at the top of this file.

Using SSH with your VM

If your VM is correctly set up with the OpenSSH server, and an SSH client is correctly set up on your host, you can log in to your VM from a terminal on your host by running:

ssh ohguru@

if you set your username to ohguru, and your VM has an IPv4 address at Notice how the user and hostname in the terminal changed when you log on to your VM. You can return to the host with the exit command, or by pressing Control-D.

SSH has performance advantages over using a VM monitor, and enables copy-pasting with the VM without the need for additional software in the VM.

  1. VirtualBox will attempt to set the correct Type based on keywords used in the VM’s Name. Include the word ‘Ubuntu’ in the name and VirtualBox will set the Type to Ubuntu

  2. Either setting works, Fixed Size has better performance. 

  3. Optional. Shared Clipboard allows you to copy and paste commands into the VM through the VM’s monitor (this can also be done via SSH). 

  4. It is also good idea to disable unused devices. 

  5. Other languages have not been tested, but no compatibility issues are expected  2

  6. The location list changes according to the language you have selected