Introduction and motivation

Genesis is a tool for data center automation. The primary motivation for developing Genesis at Tumblr was to streamline the process of discovering new machines and reporting their hardware details to Collins, our inventory management system, without having to do a bunch of data entry by hand. In addition, we’ve also extended Genesis to be a convenient way to do hardware configuration such as altering BIOS settings and configuring RAID cards before provisioning an operating system on to the host. It has replaced an older system which was a collection of shell scripts. Being written in a ruby DSL has enabled a more flexible, easy to understand, and easy to maintain system that more of the staff can use and extend.

From a high-level point of view, Genesis consists of a stripped down linux image suitable to boot by PXE and a ruby DSL for describing tasks to be executed on the host.


The README file has detailed information about the project and links to additional documentation that is maintained as part of the source repository.