Airship UI Developer’s Guide


  1. Go v1.13 or newer

Getting Started

Clone the Airship UI repository and build.

git clone
cd airshipui
make # Note running behind a proxy can cause issues, notes on solving is in the Appendix

NOTE: Make will install node.js-v12.16.3 into your tools directory and will use that as the node binary for the UI building, testing and linting. For windows this can be done using cygwin make. Windows may also require tdm-gcc for the sqlite dependency.

Run the airshipui binary



Transport Layer Security

The UI will need to send sensitive / receive information therefore all channels of communication will need to be encrypted. The main protocol for this is HTTPS, and the websocket communication is also over the secured channel (wss)

The airshipui stores the public and private key location in the etc/airshipui.json by default. If one is not present at the time of the airshipui is started a self signed certificate and private key will be generated and stored in etc/airshipui.json for the server to start in a developer’s mode. This will cause an SSL error on your browser that you will need to click past to get to the UI. It is assumed the server will have access to the proper key & certificate in production. Both the private key and certificate need to be ASCII PEM formatted.

Example webservice definition in etc/airshipui.json:

    "webservice": {
        "host": "<host, default is localhost>",
        "port": <port, default is 10443>,
        "publicKey": "<path>/<cert>.pem",
        "privateKey": "<path>/<private_key>.pem"

User Authentication

The UI uses Json Web Tokens (JWT) to control access to the UI. The default method of generation is based on a userid and password enforcement that the user is required to enter the first time accessing the UI. The UI will store the token locally and use it to authenticate the communication with the backend on every transaction.

The airshipui stores the user and password in etc/airshipui.json by default. The userid is clear text but the password is an non reversible sha512 hash of the password which is used to compare the supplied password with the expected password. No clear text passwords are stored.

If no id and password is supplied the airshipui will create a default userid and password and store it in the etc/airshipui.json file so there will be no ability to use the UI without a base id / password challenge authentication.

The default userid is: admin The default password is: admin

To generate a password you can run the password.go program in the tools directory:

$ go run tools/password.go test_password

Example user definition in etc/airshipui.json:

    "users": {
        "test": "c8afeec4e9d29fa6307bc246965fe136a95bc47a9cfdedba0df256358eaa45ec0bf8d7a4333a4b13dc9a5508137d0f4d212272b27e64e41d4745a66b5f480759"

After the user is defined in the etc/airshipui.json file the user can be used for authentication going forward.

Authentication decision tree

AirshipUI Interactions

Behind the scenes

AirshipUI interaction

AirshipUI Interactions

Communication with the backend

The UI and the Go backend use a websocket to stream JSON between the UI and the backend. The use of a websocket instead of a more conventional HTTP REST invocation allows the backend to notify the UI of any updates, alerts, and information in real time without the need to set a poll based timer on the UI. Once the data is observed it can be transformed and moved to the UI asynchronously.

The UI will initiate the websocket and request data. The backend uses a function map to determine which subsystem is responsible for the request and responds with configuration information, alerts, files, and data.

Communication with the dashboards

Dashboards may or may not be generally available for end users based on the cluster the AirshipUI is deployed to. If access to the endpoint is controlled in a way that is not easy to manipulate or if a Single Sign On approach is necessary the AirhshipUI provides the ability to proxy the targeted dashboard.

AirshipUI proxy interaction

AirshipUI Interactions



Minikube runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster for users looking to try out Kubernetes or develop with it day-to-day. Installation instructions are available on the kubernetes website: If you are running behind a proxy it may be necessary to follow the steps outlined in the How to use an HTTP/HTTPS proxy with minikube website.

Docker on Windows

The default Docker install on windows will attempt to enable Hyper-V. Note: if you are using VirtualBox it cannot coexist with Hyper-V enabled at the same time. To build docker images you will have to shut down VirtualBox and enable Hyper-V for the build. You will need to disable Hyper-V to use VirtualBox after the images have been built.

Issues with npm

If you’re running behind a corporate proxy, you may see this error:

npm ERR! network connect ETIMEDOUT
npm ERR! network This is most likely not a problem with npm itself
npm ERR! network and is related to network connectivity.
npm ERR! network In most cases you are behind a proxy or have bad network settings.
npm ERR! network
npm ERR! network If you are behind a proxy, please make sure that the
npm ERR! network 'proxy' config is set properly.  See: 'npm help config'

To solve this issue, you must tell npm to utilize the proxy by using these commands:

npm config set proxy
npm config set https-proxy

If your corporate proxy terminates the SSL at the firewall you may also see this error:

$ npm install .
npm WARN monaco-editor-samples@0.0.1 No repository field.

npm ERR! request to failed, reason: unable to get local issuer certificate

npm ERR! A complete log of this run can be found in:
npm ERR!     /home/user/npm-cache/_logs/2020-06-16T18_19_34_581Z-debug.log

If you normally have to install a certificate authority to use the corporate proxy you will need to instruct NPM to use it:

export NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS=/<path>/<truststore>.pem

Issues with SQLITE on Windows

You may experience issues when attempting to install SQLITE:

C:\<path>\sqlite> go get
/usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-pc-cygwin/10/../../../../x86_64-pc-cygwin/bin/ld: cannot find -lmingwex
/usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-pc-cygwin/10/../../../../x86_64-pc-cygwin/bin/ld: cannot find -lmingw32
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
go: failed to remove work dir: GetFileInformationByHandle C:\Users\someUser\AppData\Local\Temp\go-build323470906\NUL: Incorrect function.

To fix this you will need to install tdm-gcc and set your path to reference the tdm-gcc first on the path:

C:\<path>\sqlite> set PATH=c:\TDM-GCC-64\bin;%PATH%

Test that the tdm-gcc is first on the path

C:\<path>\sqlite> which gcc

You should be able to sucessfully run a ‘go get’ without error

Optional proxy settings

Environment settings for wget or curl

If your network has a proxy preventing successful curls or wgets you may need to set the proxy environment variables. The local ip is included in the no_proxy setting to prevent any local running process that may attempt api calls against it from being sent through the proxy for the request:

export http_proxy=<proxy_host>:<proxy_port>
export HTTP_PROXY=<proxy_host>:<proxy_port>
export https_proxy=<proxy_host>:<proxy_port>
export HTTPS_PROXY=<proxy_host>:<proxy_port>
export no_proxy=localhost,,<LOCAL_IP>
export NO_PROXY=localhost,,<LOCAL_IP>