TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Building a better, bigger TurnKey library

This blog post started out as a response to a private email discussion between me and contributing developer Eric (tssgery) whom recently developed TurnKey Observium, one of TurnKey's top ten downloads. Observium is very popular for a newly hatched appliance. It has the same number of downloads as Redmine, which we've supported for a few years now!

Eric wrote:

TKL has two big issues as I see it:

  1. Marketing. You're the best kept secret of the internet.
  2. Testing. Too many appliance/products to be supported.

Creating a bootable USB drive from an ISO image

What's an ISO?

ISO, short for ISO9660 is the standard filesystem format for optical disc media. This is the default format created by the TurnKey GNU/Linux build system (AKA TKLDev)

Why would you want to write an ISO to a USB drive?

Typically one of two reasons:

Announcing TurnKey Docker optimized builds

docker logoAs we've mentioned before, making TurnKey easy to deploy no matter your platform of choice is an important goal for the project. TurnKey already supports a mirade of build types including ISO, VMDK, OVF, Amazon EC2, OpenStack, OpenVZ, OpenNode, Xen, and recently added support for LXC.

Announcing TurnKey LXC

In a nutshell, LXC (LinuX Containers) can be thought of as the middle ground between a chroot on steroids and a full fledged virtual machine, making it possible to run multiple isolated "containers" on a single host.

There has been quiet a lot of interest in supporting TurnKey on LXC, so I set out to see what it would take.

TurnKey 13 out, TKLBAM 1.4 now backup/restores any Linux system

This is really two separate announcements rolled into one:

  1. TurnKey 13 - codenamed "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!"

    The new release celebrates 5 years since TurnKey's launch. It's based on the latest version of Debian (7.2) and includes 1400 ready-to-use images: 330GB worth of 100% open source, guru integrated, Linux system goodness in 7 build types that are optimized and pre-tested for nearly any deployment scenario: bare metal, virtual machines and hypervisors of all kinds, "headless" private and public cloud deployments, etc.

    New apps in this release include OpenVPN, Observium and Tendenci.

    We hope this new release reinforces the explosion in active 24x7 production deployments (37,521 servers worldwide) we've seen since the previous 12.1 release, which added 64-bit support and the ability to rebuild any system from scratch using TKLDev, our new self-contained build appliance (AKA "the mothership").

    To visualize active deployments world wide, I ran the archive.turnkeylinux.org access logs through GeoIPCity and overlaid the GPS coordinates on this Google map (view full screen):

     

  2. TKLBAM 1.4 - codenamed "give me liberty or give me death!"

    Frees TKLBAM from its shackles so it can now backup files, databases and package management state without requiring TurnKey Linux, a TurnKey Hub account or even a network connection. Having those will improve the usage experience, but the new release does its best with what you give it.

    I've created a convenience script to help you install it in a few seconds on any Debian or Ubuntu derived system:

    URL=https://raw.github.com/turnkeylinux/tklbam/master/contrib/ez-apt-install.sh
    wget -O - -q $URL | PACKAGE=tklbam /bin/bash
    

    There's nothing preventing TKLBAM from working on non Debian/Ubuntu Linux systems as well, you just need to to install from source and disable APT integration with the --skip-packages option.

    Other highlights: support for PostgreSQL, MySQL views & triggers, and a major usability rehaul designed to make it easier to understand and control how everything works. Magic can be scary in a backup tool.

    Here's a TurnKey Hub screenshot I took testing TKLBAM on various versions of Ubuntu:

    Screenshot of TurnKey Hub backups

TurnKey 13.0 release candidate 3 - a community effort!

Before getting to the release, let's recap on how we got here:

In June the TurnKey 12.1 64-bit maintenance release was announced, built with the (soon to be released) TKLDev build appliance.

TurnKey 13.0 ready for community development

Want to roll your own Debian Wheezy based images? You're in luck because we just finished upgrading TurnKey's build chain, including new versions of TKLDev and TurnKey Core ready for download.

Introducing TKLDev - Turnkey's appliance development and build system in a box

Today we proudly announce the official release of TKLDev, the new mothership of all TurnKey Linux appliance development. With TKLDev, building TurnKey Core from scratch is as easy as running make. If you can handle that you're ready to roll:

TurnKey moves to GitHub

octocatAs Liraz mentioned a couple of weeks ago, TKLDev - TurnKey's shiny new appliance that can build appliances (including itself - now that's cool!) will soon be released, along with all the appliance source code.

TurnKey 12.1 64-bit maintenance release built with new tkldev build appliance

TurnKey 12.1 is out and it's the first 64-bit maintenance release to be built with tkldev - TurnKey's shiny new open appliance build system in a box.

With 64-bit support out the door, we've also pushed out a round of updates to the Hub so that users can finally deploy TurnKey on all instance sizes.