OEM Customization

Helion Stackato OEM customers can distribute a customized Helion Stackato VM or make a branded version available on their IaaS. Making these changes persistent in the VM image requires the following general steps:

  1. Boot the Helion Stackato VM.
  2. Make modifications to files and config settings.
  3. Reset the firstboot flag
  4. Shut down the VM.

The branded VM can then be distributed or uploaded to the IaaS image store for use by end customers.

Helion Stackato customers without an OEM contract may not redistribute or the VM, but can use the techniques described in the VM Renaming, Key Generation, and Patching sections for modifying and maintaining VM images used within their organization.

See also

Theming and Customization for a more general guide on theming the Management Console.

Styling and Branding

The following four files override the Helion Stackato defaults for various configurable parts of the interface:


Values specified in these files become the new defaults. They are loaded early on in the Console start up, so they are applied even on the first user setup page once the VM has been booted.

These files survive upgrades and patches, and will be loaded if they exist. Regardless of which defaults are used, admins can always override them in Settings > Console.

The console_settings.json file contains a JSON object with the following settings (with example values):

  "product_name": "Example",
  "company_name": "ExampleCo",
  "vendor_version": "3.2",
  "default_locale": "en",
  "product_logo_favicon_url": "/static/example_logo_favicon.png",
  "product_logo_header_url": "/static/example_logo_header.png",
  "product_logo_footer_url": "/static/example_logo_footer.png",
  "background_color": "#ffffff",
  "style": "body {color: #134840; font-size: 16px;}",
  "external_docs_url": "http://docs.example.com/",
  "use_local_docs": "false",
  "client_version": "1.1",

CSS style overrides should be inserted under "style:" using the same technique described in the Custom Stylesheet section. Because JSON cannot store multi-line strings, the "style" value must be a single line; use your favorite CSS minifier.

The three template files should contain HTML/EJS. Use the default pages displayed in Console Settings as a starting point for creating this content.

Renaming the Client

The stackato client is distributed as a single file executable for Windows, OS X and Linux (x86 and x86_64). You can find zip files containing executables for each platform in the ~/stackato/static directory.

Some customers may wish to repackage and rename these CLI executables to match their own branding. To do so:

  1. Decompress each archive.
  2. Change the name of the executable.
  3. Compress the contents with the desired filename.
  4. Save the archives to the /s/static/ directory of each Router node.
  5. Change the filenames in the console_settings.json file.

Error Pages

To expose customized error pages, create the following HTML files in /home/stackato/stackato/static/vendor/errors/ on each Router node:

  • 404.html
  • 422.html
  • 500.html
  • 502.html
  • app-not-available.html

When present, these files will be used to display the corresponding HTTP errors.

The default error page files in /home/stackato/stackato/code/console/errors/ can be used as a reference, but should not be modified directly as changes may be lost during upgrades or patches.

Kato Configuration Keys

There are various configuration keys you may wish to override when branding your Helion Stackato VM. To change these, set the following keys in the cloud controller config using kato config set.

  • cloud_controller_ng:
    • info:
      • name: a short product name or identifier with no spaces
      • support_address: this email address will be emitted by some error messages
      • description: the product name
    • app_store:
      • default_icon: set the URL to a default icon to use for Sample Application items
      • stores: a set of key-value pairs defining individual Sample Application sources as:
        • <name-of-store>:
          • content_url: <url-of-store>
          • enabled: true

You may also wish to adjust other keys. Run the kato config get command to check the default values, and contact stackato-support@hpe.com if you have any questions about changing particular settings.

Message of the Day

The motd is updated at restart from /etc/update-motd.d/00-header, you may edit that file if you wish to have a custom motd presented on SSH login.

VM Renaming

During first boot, the VM is given a dynamically generated hostname (for example, stackato-9zks.local). You may override the stackato- prefix with your own by injecting an environment variable into the upstart process at /etc/init/stackato-firstboot.conf. Add the line env OEM_HOSTNAME_PREFIX=oemprovider under the following line: env STACKATO_HOME=/home/stackato

This change causes a name such as oemprovider-a94b.local to be generated on next boot. To disable renaming, run the following command:

$ touch /home/stackato/.stackato-disable-rename

The default name of stackato.local or the IaaS-assigned hostname (for example, via cloud-init) will be used. You may also direct kato to name the node during the next boot using a kato op defer command:

$ kato op defer "node rename myhost.example.com --no-restart"

Key Generation

The following keys are regenerated during the firstboot sequence:

  • The password for the PostgreSQL database used by the cloud_controller, aok, stackato_rest and postgresql_node processes.
  • The password for the MySQL data service
  • Authentication tokens and secrets for the cloud_controller, stackato_rest, aok and data services
  • An encryption key for the cloud controller database
  • Tokens which data services use to register with the cloud controller
  • SSH keys are generated
  • A self-signed SSL certificate is generated

These keys may be set using the various kato op regenerate commands. For more information run:

$ kato op regenerate --help

In addition, a redis prefix is generated from a placeholder value the first time kato start is run. This may be re-triggered by running:

$ kato config set redis_node command_rename_prefix "protect-command-prefix"

To reset all keys on the next boot, run the following commands:

$ kato op defer "op regenerate all --no-prompt" --post-start
$ kato op defer "op regenerate ssh --no-prompt" --post-start
$ kato config set redis_node command_rename_prefix "protect-command-prefix"
$ touch /home/stackato/.stackato-firstboot


It may take slightly longer than normal for the Helion Stackato to finish starting. If you are experiencing issues after booting, check the log files in /var/log/stackato for errors


It should be safe to apply all official patches to your VM prior to rebooting.

If you wish to change the url of the patch server, you may set the following config setting:

$ kato config set patch base_url "http://www.example.org/patches"

You may also disable ssl validation:

$ kato config set patch disable_ssl true


Altering these values is not supported, and doing so makes the OEM vendor responsible for subsequent patches. The format of patches and structure of the patching system may be subject to change.

Firstboot Sequence

When a Helion Stackato VM boots for the first time, it runs a series of firstboot scripts. Once OEM modifications have been made, these scripts must be set to run again on during the next boot (the first boot by the OEM users) by running the following command:

$ touch /home/stackato/.stackato-firstboot

Once this file is created, you can shut down the VM using the sudo shutdown -h now command and copy the VM for distribution. The next boot of the VM image will show all configured branding changes.