Find Your Concourse Installation

The genesis info command will get the general information that you need.

$ genesis info my-env


CONCOURSE Deployment for Environment 'my-env'

  Last deployed more than a month ago (06:52PM on Oct 14, 2019 UTC)
             by you
        to BOSH my-env
   based on kit concourse/3.7.0
          using Genesis v2.6.16
  with manifest .genesis/manifests/my-env.yml (redacted)


Web Client
  username: concourse
  password: ...


If you have a need to see the find all the IPs in your concourse deployment, use bosh directly to do that.

$ bosh -e my-env -d my-env-concourse vms
Using environment '' as user 'admin'

Task 1416. Done

Deployment 'my-env-concourse'

Instance                                      Process State  AZ  IPs           VM CID                                   VM Type           Active
db/537db50b-e548-4af2-b799-7c2d5d2b38aa       running        z1  vm-d0402cb0-2a6f-4c60-a400-a0aabc20d2fe  small             true
haproxy/8cc09e62-9ac2-44cc-8594-acca42113895  running        z1  vm-b7e74ce1-50d5-4a03-9001-0b14880970c8  small             true
web/1543f581-167b-4791-b044-ce7eea0dd3fe      running        z1  vm-876eaf63-ad86-4789-87d5-93aaae99f6ec  small             true
worker/6dcc7c21-c976-41fd-ad5a-9c86b63a95fb   running        z1  vm-13346811-d7f0-41af-b963-4dc0bd9c2752  concourse-worker  true
worker/a2d8882c-f649-4318-880d-e29612489a6c   running        z1  vm-71a21afa-8773-4e5a-b93c-9ff86b5b03d3  concourse-worker  true
worker/e4d3d23b-469c-40a0-ad16-a99fa7a8e092   running        z1  vm-3b3509f3-0567-4246-8f5b-6d52105fcc51  concourse-worker  true

6 vms


The haproxy instance IP matches the Web Client URL in the genesis info output above because haproxy is the one terminating inbound API access. If specified, the Web Client URL will be the external domain.

There are a number of helpful Genesis addons as well:

$ genesis do my-env list

Running list addon for my-env
The following addons are defined:

  visit                Open the Concourse Web User Interface in your browser
                       (requires macOS)

  download-fly         Get the version of fly compatible with this Concourse

  login                Login to this Concourse deployment with fly

  logout               Logout of this Concourse deployment with fly

  fly                  Run fly commands targetting this Concourse Deployment

  setup-approle        Create the necessary Vault AppRole and policy for Genesis
                       Concourse deployments.

Install fly, The Concourse CLI

Quickest way is with the genesis addon download-fly.

genesis do my-env download-fly
Running download-fly addon for my-env

Downloading darwin/amd64 version of fly from

  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 20.2M  100 20.2M    0     0  18.6M      0  0:00:01  0:00:01 --:--:-- 18.6M

Download successful - written to ./fly

As you upgrade Concourse, you will also need to update your local copy of fly. Assuming you have logged into Concourse, you can easily update by running download-fly again.

Log Into Concourse

To log in from the command-line, you’ll need to have fly installed. Then you can use the login addon.

$ genesis do my-env login
Running login addon for my-env

Logging in to Concourse deployment my-env as user 'concourse'.

logging in to team 'main'

target saved

You can use this addon when your token expires as well.

$ fly targets
name             url                              team   expiry
my-env              main   n/a: Token is expired

$ genesis do my-env login
Running login addon for my-env

Logging in to Concourse deployment my-env as user 'concourse'.

logging in to team 'main'

target saved

$ fly targets
name             url                              team   expiry
my-env              main   Sat, 23 Nov 2019 19:48:30 UTC

You can use fly directly using the -t my-env option to specify the target deployment, or use genesis do my-env fly to execute fly commands and genesis will specify which deployment to target.

$ fly -t my-env status
logged in successfully

$ genesis do my-env fly status
Running fly addon for my-env

Running fly against my-env

logged in successfully

Similarly, there is a logout addon as well.

$ genesis do my-env logout
Running logout addon for my-env

logged out of target: my-env

If you are on the same machine as your browser instance (not on a jumpbox), you can use the visit command to get to the web UI. Or you can reach it directly via the Web Client URL from info.

genesis do my-env visit
Running visit addon for my-env

You will need to enter the following credentials once the page opens:
  username: concourse
  password: ...

Press any key to open the web console...

Concourse Main Page

Select login. For Github authentication, click the login with Github button.

Concourse Login with Github

The first time you do this, you will need to authorize the Github endpoint to access your account information. On subsequent authentication attempts, it should be seamless.

Login to Concourse Without Genesis

If you are trying to access concourse on a machine without Genesis, or give someone access to Concourse without giving them access to Genesis

First thing is to install fly. Easiest way to get the correct version of fly is from the Apple, Windows, or Linux buttons in the concourse UI. They can be found on the bottom bar of most concourse screens (usually towards the right). They can also be found on the welcome screen prior to login.

Concourse Login with Github

First, tell fly where your Concourse is:

$ fly -t my-env login -c https://$IP -k
logging in to team 'main'

navigate to the following URL in your browser:


or enter token manually:

If you are executing fly from the same machine that runs your browser instance, you can just visit the link and the Concourse server will communicate to the fly process through the browser.

If you are running fly on a jumpbox or bastion host, the port connection won’t be properly wired up (your browser can’t communicate with the jumpbox instance of fly). You can either omit the trailing &fly_local_port=... on the URL you put in the browser, or leave it and let it fail. In either case, the browser will display a bearer token that looks like this:


(newlines added for clarity)

You must copy the entire string, including the "Bearer " prefix, into the waiting prompt in terminal.

Use fly targets to verify:

$ fly targets
name             url                              team   expiry
my-env              main   Sat, 23 Nov 2019 19:48:30 UTC

From now on, all of your fly commands will need the -t my-env option, to target correctly.

View Your Pipelines

From a browser, the list of pipelines is accessed via the three-bar icon in the top-left corner of the interface, which shows the sidebar.

Concourse Pipeline

Clicking on a pipeline in the sidebar brings up the main page, which has all of the inputs, outputs, and jobs that comprise the workflow.

From the terminal (assuming you have installed fly and are logged in), you can run:

$ genesis do my-env fly pipelines
name                    paused  public
blacksmith-genesis-kit  no      no
bosh-genesis-kit        no      no
concourse-genesis-kit   no      no
jumpbox-genesis-kit     no      no
shield-genesis-kit      no      no
squid-genesis-kit       no      no
vault-genesis-kit       no      no        no      no
prometheus-genesis-kit  no      no
... etc ...

You can list the jobs on a single pipeline as well:

$ genesis do my-env fly jobs -p concourse-genesis-kit
name        paused  status     next
testflight  no      succeeded  n/a
rc          no      succeeded  n/a
minor       no      succeeded  n/a
major       no      n/a        n/a
shipit      no      succeeded  n/a

Jobs that have never run have a status of n/a.

List Workers

NOTE: This task requires that fly is installed and that you are logged in.

To list off all of the workers that have registered with your Concourse TSA, and their health, use fly workers:

$ genesis do my-env fly workers
name                                  containers  platform  tags  team  state    version
7cfecc9b-e0cd-4f8d-b771-6c26b8782de3  6           linux     none  none  running  1.2
ac17d59e-e92e-4304-a09e-9a5356996296  19          linux     none  none  running  1.2
e52c1b40-1171-464e-89ac-07c60cb09d5d  17          linux     none  none  running  1.2

In sequestered network environments, you will have one contingent of workers for each separate network environment. Those workers will have tags defined that help to partition the overall concourse into zones for purposes of deployment scheduling.

Trigger Pipeline Jobs

From the browser, you can select a job and click on the big + icon on any job to force it to run right now:

Concourse Trigger Button

From the command-line, you can use fly (assuming it is installed and you are already logged in).

First, find the pipeline, and inspect its jobs:

$ genesis do my-env fly pipelines
$ genesis do my-env fly jobs -p my-pipeline

Then, trigger the pipeline/job:

$ genesis do my-env fly trigger -j my-pipeline/my-job

Pause and Unpause Pipelines

If you pause a pipeline, it will not execute, even if one of its inputs triggers it to. This can be useful if you want to make sure Concourse isn’t building software or doing deployments in a chagne blackout window.

You can pause a pipeline from the web UI by clicking on the ⏸ icon in the top right next to your user:

Concourse Paused Pipeline

To unpause, click the ▶ icon in the same location. Paused pipelines show up with a blue header in the web UI:

Concourse Paused Pipeline

To pause a pipeline from the command-line, you will need to install fly and make sure you are logged in.

$ genesis do my-env fly pause-pipeline -p my-pipeline

To unpause:

$ genesis do my-env fly unpause-pipeline -p my-pipeline

Note: Genesis always unpauses its pipelines after you repipe them.

Access Check and Task Containers

Concourse has a feature called hijacking or (more politically correct) intercepting, by which an operator can gain a remote shell on a check or task container and poke around.

This is handy for troubleshooting failing pipelines, but the execution is hit or miss. Concourse tends to only keep failed containers around for a brief period of time, to facilitate debugging. Successful containers are destroyed immediately.

Start by finding the job you are interested in:

$ genesis do my-env fly pipelines
$ genesis do my-env fly jobs -p m-pipeline

Then, specify the pipeline/job in a call to fly hijack:

$ genesis do my-env fly hijack -j my-pipeline/testflight
1: build #51, step: git, type: get
2: build #51, step: notify, type: get
3: build #51, step: notify, type: put
4: build #51, step: testflight, type: task
choose a container: 4

[email protected]:/tmp/build/778af108# ls /
bin  boot  dev  etc  home  lib  lib64  media  mnt  opt  proc  root  run  sbin  scratch  srv  sys  tmp  usr  var

[email protected]:/tmp/build/778af108# exit

You will note that containers in Concourse are often very bare and stripped down. For example, in the above container, there is no ping utility.

Fix Broken Workers

A common cause of “drive-by” failures in CI is a misbehaving worker, often caused by an out-of-disk scenario. In these cases, the easiest recourse is to forcibly recreate the workers via BOSH.

Workers have no persistent state. All of the interesting bits of Concourse are stored in the database node, which does have a persistent disk attached. Deleting and rebuilding workers has no lasting ill effects on a Concourse installation, although it does temporarily reduce capacity. Of course, if your workers are unable to perform, you are already at reduced capacity.

To recreate workers:

$ bosh -e your-env -d your-env-concourse recreate worker

This will redeploy just the worker instance group, assuming the rest of the Concourse deployment is healthy.

If you operate in a distributed infrastructure with sequestered networks served by workers-only deployments, you will need to target the appropriate environment BOSH director and worker deployment, but the command is otherwise identical.

Determine What Triggered a Job

It can be helpful to know what input triggered a given job to run in a pipeline, especially with deployment pipelines that seem to run for no apparent reason.

Concourse does give you a visual cue, but you have to know to look for it, and what it is. Any input that triggers a job will have a yellow/gold down arrow as opposed to a white down arrow.

Concourse Triggering Input

Here, even though we have two inputs to this job, it was the git resource that triggered the rc job, not the version.

And now you know.

View Pipeline Configurations

Concourse has a complete manifest that it uses to run your pipeline. You can use fly to retrieve this manifest.

$ genesis do my-env fly get-pipeline -p name-of-pipeline

This will dump a (probably very large) YAML document, to standard output. This YAML document describes the pipeline, in whole.

Configure a Pipeline

To create a new pipeline, assuming you have already written the YAML definition file (the “manifest”), all you need to do is:

$ genesis do my-env fly set-pipeline -p name-of-pipeline path/to/def.yml

Note: for Genesis deployments, you should refer to the Genesis runbooks, since genesis actually manages the pipeline definition, and has first-class support for configuring Concourse on your behalf.

Setup Vault Approle for Genesis

If you wish to use the pipeline features of genesis, you first need to create an approle within vault. The easiest way to do this is by running:

$ genesis do my-env setup-approle