As you may be aware, VMware’s Cloud Foundry is an open source “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) on which you can “deploy and scale your application in seconds.” In anticipation of my presentation at STIC 2012, I have been learning about Cloud Foundry and this blog post describes my initial steps, using material from and from

I started by registering for an account because I wanted to try deploying on VMware’s cloud (this step is not necessary for our later deployment on a private cloud). The confirmation email took several hours to come, and I’ve read of others who waited for days, so if you register don’t be surprised if it takes a while to hear back.

On a clean install of Snow Leopard (Mac 10.6), I started by creating a very simple Sinatra application in Ruby. (Of course, the goal of this project is to deploy Smalltalk to the cloud, but we will start with things that Cloud Foundry understands, and go from there!) In a Terminal, I entered the following commands (providing my password when prompted):

sudo gem install mime-types
sudo gem install rubyzip
sudo gem install uuidtools
sudo gem install sinatra
mkdir env; cd env

In ~/env/ I created a file, env.rb, consisting of the following text:

require 'rubygems'
require 'sinatra'
get '/' do
    host = ENV['VMC_APP_HOST']
    port = ENV['VMC_APP_PORT']
    "<h1>XXXXX Hello from the Cloud! via: #{host}:#{port}</h1>"
get '/env' do
    res = ''
    ENV.each do |k, v|
        res << "#{k}: #{v}<br/>"

Then, from the Terminal, I entered the following command:

ruby env.rb

This told me that Sinatra was running a web server on port 4567, so I opened a web browser on http://localhost:4567/env and verified that my application ran and returned the expected values. I used <Ctrl>+<C> in the Terminal to terminate the application.

The next task was to install the command-line tools (vmc) used to interact with Cloud Foundry. In the Terminal I entered the following command:

sudo gem install vmc --pre

The ‘–pre’ option tells ruby to install the pre-release version of vmc. Next, I specified the target cloud for deployment, I logged in using the email address and the password I got when I registered (see above), and I pushed the application to the cloud:

vmc target
vmc login
vmc push

The push command prompts a series of questions. I accepted the default (Y) to deploy from the current directory. I gave a unique name for the application (‘jfoster-env’). I accepted the default to confirm that this is a Sinatra application and it can be deployed in 128M of RAM. I specified two (2) instances so I could see the application run on two machines. Finally, I accepted the default to confirm that I did not need any services and I did not need to save the configuration. The tools then proceeded to confirm that the application was pushed and started successfully. In a web browser, I went to the designated location,, and found that my application was indeed running. I refreshed the page a few times and confirmed that the application was running on two machines (showing different internal IP addresses and ports).

I tried a number of commands to explore what was available through the vmc command-line tools:

vmc help
vmc user
vmc target
vmc info
vmc runtimes
vmc frameworks
vmc apps
vmc instances jfoster-env +2
vmc apps
vmc instances jfoster-env -2
vmc stats jfoster-env
vmc logs jfoster-env
vmc files jfoster-env
vmc files jfoster-env app
vmc files jfoster-env logs
vmc env jfoster-env
vmc stop jfoster-env
vmc apps
vmc delete jfoster-env
vmc apps
vmc logout

In all of this, we have been interacting with the VMware public cloud. The next blog post will explore creating and using a private development cloud.

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