TurnKey Linux 11 released (part one)

Ladies and gentlemen, part 1 of the TurnKey Linux 11 release is now officially out, including 45 new images based on Ubuntu 10.04.1. We pushed out the 11.0 release candidates 3 months ago, and with the help of the community have tested the images and resolved the few remaining issues.

Part 1 mostly refreshes the existing roster of appliances in the library. In the upcoming part 2 we'll release the new appliances the community has been helping us develop over the last year. This will roughly double the size of the library.

A handful of new appliances have also been squeezed in:

Joomla 1.6 Magento StatusNet PrestaShop vTiger CRM

This was mostly a side effect of the original (misguided) plan to do one big massive release with over 80 appliances.

What's changed since the release candidates

  • VM optimized builds: are now available, in two exciting flavors...

    1. Default: this is primary downloadable VM build. Works best with VirtualBox, low-end VMWare products (Player, Workstation, Server).
    2. OVF: OVF is the new VM standard supported by VirtualBox and high-end VMWare products (e.g., ESX, vSphere).

    We're also working on providing images optimized for other popular virtualization platforms such as Xen, UEC / Eucalyptus and OpenVZ.

  • Default passwords: You no longer have to keep track of any default passwords or change them after installation. TurnKey now helps you configure them on first boot, via the console.

    For headless deployments without a console, it's possible to pre-seed answers to first boot configuration questions.

  • /etc under git: Automatic revision control of /etc using etckeeper, as suggested by Jeremiah Snapp. If a configuration change you made breaks something, just roll it back!

  • LVM snapshots: Fixed LVM snapshots by adding 10% unallocated disk space to default LVM configuration. This will make it easier to add support for atomic filesystem backups in upcoming versions of TKLBAM.

  • Amazon EC2 / TurnKey Hub related changes:

    • Hub does TKL 11: TurnKey Hub now deploys TurnKey Linux 11 images by default, though support for older legacy images is still available to ease migration.

    • Basic pre-launch configuration: No more having to fiddle with the default passwords after an instance launches. TurnKey Hub now supports pre-seeding appliance configuration before launch. This makes up for not having console access that would usually be required for first boot configuration.

    • TKLBAM pre-initialization: No more having to cut and paste your Hub APIKEY to initialize TKLBAM. The TurnKey Hub pre-initializes TKLBAM automatically when the instance is first launched.

    • Upgradeable Kernels: We've figured out how to make it easy update the kernel.

      Kernel upgrades were previously not supported on Amazon EC2, because each Amazon Machine Image (AMI) had to be associated with a specific Amazon Kernel Image (AKI). Now instead of associating the image to a specific kernel, we associate it with a special EC2 compatible bootloader (pv-grub), which can bootstrap whatever kernel is configured from within the system (e.g., security fix).

  • Updated website documentation

  • Bug fixes: An assortment of fixes for issues reported by the community.

See the previous announcement of the release candidates for changes since the last maintenance release (2009.10-2, based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS).

Many, many thanks to...

  • Everyone who helped test the release candidates and provided ideas and feedback.
  • The many rivers of upstream: Ubuntu, Debian and all of the wonderful open source communities who give love and write code for the software that goes into TurnKey.
  • JedMeister, Adrian Moya, Basil Kurian, and Rik Goldman - pillars of the TurnKey community who have inspired us with their dedication and generosity.
  • TurnKey enthusiasts everywhere. Without you, TurnKey's audience, there really wouldn't be a point!

What's next

  • Images optimized for Xen, Eucalyptus / UEC and OpenVZ
  • Part 2: double the size of the library
  • 64-bit support
  • Debian squeeze based beta builds (we've decided to skip Lenny)
  • PostgreSQL support for TKLBAM
  • TurnKey Hub stuff
    • Support for Amazon EBS backed root devices
    • Support for micro instances. Amazon's 1-year free tier will now allow free evaluation of TurnKey on Amazon EC2.
    • Support for larger instances (64-bit support required).
    • Support for more hosting providers.


Adrian Moya's picture

The etckeeper feature looks very interesting, it's nice to know it's there on the core. Sometimes we are so desperate to see an official TKL release that it's easy to forget all the hard work behind. When I read this kind of post, you can see all that have happened in the backstage to get to this wonderful release. 

KUDOS for the official TKL team!

Liraz Siri's picture

I don't know if I'm just overly optimistic by nature or what, but releases are always more difficult to execute than I can anticipate. I told Alon I figured it wouldn't take more than a day or two to update the web site for the release. Ha! More like a week or two. You would think I'd have learned not to underestimate the effort involved by now. Oh well.

BTW, I think you're sort of on the official TKL team member by now, so I'll have to return a good portion of that KUDOs back to sender, before the second part of the release comes out with some of the best new additions being based on your TKLPatches. Otherwise all this self congratulatory salutation could prove embarrassing!

Reid Ellis's picture

I've been turning to TurnKeyLinux for my VM needs (looking forward to a Gitorious appliance!), and all the work you're doing is very impressive.

Keep up the good work!


Liraz Siri's picture

I saw you were giving Adrian feedback on his Gitorious TKLPatch, which is the basis for the upcoming official appliance. If you come across any issues or think of ideas for improvement don't hesitate to share them with us so we can work that into the upcoming release.

BTW, as a developer myself I consider the upcoming TurnKey Gitorious appliance to be one of the most exciting new additions to the library. Adrian really hit it out of the park with that one.

Reid Ellis's picture

Actually, I kind of felt like I was rambling on and on about my own problems. :-)

Is there any sort of beta process for TurnKeyLinux? I would be really happy to try installing Gitorious VM after Gitorious VM to help get it right.


Liraz Siri's picture

Thanks for volunteering! I think it would probably be a good idea to upload bundles of beta ISOs to sourceforge and let the community help us test them. If we do that we'll announce the availability on the TKLPatch forum threads.
Jeremy Davis's picture

One of the things that I love most about TKL (besides the awesome community and engaged core dev team) is the level of inovation. Not only are there a huge new range of appliances on the way, but the attention to detail is awesome, for example the addition of etckeeper - although in honesty I think I'll need to have a bit of a read and find out how to work it!

Well done! :)

Liraz Siri's picture

I was keeping /etc under automatic revision control for years with a bunch of adhoc scripts I wrote until we recently discovered etckeeper. It's pretty neat!

Regarding the attention paid to details, I think it flows naturally from our views on how TurnKey adds value.

In a way, open source is the ideal Do It Yourself resource. A literal treasure trove of tens of thousands of parts you are free to explore and tinker with. For those of us that enjoy messing around under the technological hood, it's the ideal playing ground.

On the flip side it's easy to get lost/distracted by the endless possibilities and detail. Especially for newcomers. I think the default is to start out by feeling a bit overwhelmed. What really gets you isn't the stuff that works, it's the frustration from the small stuff that doesn't. Death by a thousand paper cuts they call it.

And that's exactly where TurnKey comes in. We give users the confidence to take advantage of open source by taking care of all those small details that would usually trip them up. Every good experience strengthens their confidence.

Jeremy Davis's picture

We give users the confidence to take advantage of open source by taking care of all those small details that would usually trip them up. Every good experience strengthens their confidence.

This sums up my experience with Linux/TKL exactly! Through my wins with TKL I have been able to become quite confortable with Linux. I rarely use Webmin now, but that was one of the components that made it really easy for a newb to make a start :)

Deployed the StatusNet appliance via ESXi (from ISO, not vmx or ovx) at our school at the earliest opportunity. Very nice work by everyone involved. Setup was a breeze. We're looking at how it can be applied to enhance productivity in an organization with 100 or so people. Two aspects interest me: how it can postively affect communication within the organization; and, how it can be used as a tool to enhance learning and instruction - particularly for a population among whom many struggle with language - and I'm putting my money on how it particularly helps rhetoric.

Great job - so far my only setback is sending out invitations. I haven't read the docs yet, but it didn't send to the addresses specified as easily as it wanted me to think it would.

Another great job.

Alon Swartz's picture

It would be great if you could reply back with the results after you've run the experiment for a while.

Regarding sending email, it should work out of the box, but email might be getting caught by spam filters. 

A quick search on google yields this:

$config['mail']['appname'] = 'Foo';
$config['mail']['notifyfrom'] = '"Foo" ';
$config['mail']['domain'] = 'bar.com';

The above should go into /var/www/statusnet/config.php

Jeremy Davis's picture

This is an old blog post which relates to a really old release. As such, it isn't super relevant anymore. As it seems to be attracting a lot of spam posts, I'm going to lock it. Please feel free to comment elsewhere or better still sign up and start a new thread.