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Automated Deployment of Lab Environments System (ADLES)

Project description

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Automated Deployment of Lab Environments System (ADLES)

ADLES automates the deterministic creation of virtualized environments for use in Cybersecurity and Information Technology (IT) education.

The system enables educators to easily build deterministic and portable environments for their courses, saving significant amounts of time and effort, and alieviates the requirement of possessing advanced IT knowledge.

Complete documentation can be found at ReadTheDocs.

Publication describing the system.

Getting started

pip3 install adles
adles -h
adles --print-spec exercise
adles --print-spec infra
adles --list-examples
adles --print-example competition


Creating an environment using ADLES:

  • Read the exercise and infrastructure specifications and examples of them.
  • Write an infrastructure specification for your platform. (Currently, VMware vSphere is the only platform supported)
  • Write an exercise specification with the environment you want created.
  • Check its syntax, run the mastering phase, make your changes, and then run the deployment phase.
adles -c my-competition.yaml
adles -m -s my-competition.yaml
adles -d -s my-competition.yaml

System requirements


  • 3.4+ (Recommended)
  • 2.7.6+ (Will be deprecated in the future)

ADLES will run on any platform supported by Python. It has been tested on:

  • Windows 10 (Anniversary and Creators)
  • Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 (Including Bash on Ubuntu on Windows)
  • CentOS 7

Python packages

See requirements.txt for specific versions

  • pyvmomi
  • docopt
  • pyyaml
  • netaddr
  • colorlog
  • setuptools (If you are installing manually or developing)


VMware vSphere

  • vCenter Server: 6.0+
  • ESXi: 6.0+


Contributions are most definitely welcome! See for a list of what needs to be done. Before submitting a pull request, do ensure you follow the general style and conventions used. Just read the code for a bit to get a feel for how things are done, and stay consistent with that.

If you have questions about the system, don't hesitate to contact me by email or Twitter. (Email is in, Twitter handle is same as GitHub).

Goals and TODO

The overall goal of ADLES is to create a easy to use and rock-solid system that allows instructors and students teaching using virtual environments to automate their workloads.

Long-term, I’d like to see the creation of a open-source repository, similiar to Hashicorp’s Atlas and Docker’s Hub, where educators can share packages and contribute to improving cyber education globally.

Main things on the radar (see for full list)

  • User and group implementation for Vsphere
  • Post-phase cleanups
  • Result collection
  • Provisioners
  • Automated testing for utils and ideally Vsphere
  • Working Docker platform implementation
  • Implement a cloud platform interface, with Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure being the easiest picks


This project is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See LICENSE for the full license text, and NOTICES for attributions to external projects that this project uses code from.

Project History

The system began as a proof of concept implementation of my Master's thesis research at the University of Idaho in Fall of 2016. It was originally designed to run on the RADICL lab.

Project details

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