Virtualization notes

Supported virtualization platforms

TurnKey works well with all the major virtualization platforms (e.g., VMware, VirtualBox, Parallels, Xen and KVM).

If you don't already have virtualization software installed, VirtualBox is available in a free open source edition for most major OSs. VMware Player and Server products are proprietary but free to download. Proxmox Virtual Environment is a free, open source enterprise grade hypervisor which provides both KVM and LXC.

Supported build types

For your convenience, TurnKey appliances are available in multiple build types:

  • The OVA VM build is (as of v14.0) the recommended VM build for users of VirtualBox and VMware products (Player, Workstation, Server, ESX and vSphere). It is a "double-click" format which is really easy to import.
  • The VMDK VM build was the previously recommended default. It is recommended for users of legacy low-end VMware products (Player, Workstation, Server). These work on KVM too. Some users have reported success in Xen HVM as well although that has not been confirmed.
  • Specialized VM builds - these are designed for specific virtualisation technologies and are probably self explanatory.
    Note: All of these builds are used in headless deployments (without an interactive console). As such, they include an inithook which preseeds default values and passwords. These can be set prior to firstboot, or the firstboot scripts will run interactively on first login. 'turnkey-init' command can be used to manually initiate the firstboot scripts to run interactively if you have issues. See relevant Announcement for full details.
    • The OpenStack build is for use on OpenStack virtualization (or implementations which use OpenStack, such as StackOps).
    • The Proxmox build is primarily aimed as usage as an LXC container within ProxmoxVE. The latest images are currently only available in v5.x ProxmoxVE. With minimal tweaking this build should also be suitable for use within vanilla LXC container virtualization. Note that whilst the images are available for download; the best way to access them in Proxmox is via the 'Turnkey channel' within the Proxmox webUI.
    • The Xen build is for running on Xen virtualization (note that these builds are not compatible OOTB with the proprietry XenServer product).
  • The generic ISO image is recommended for bare metal hardware deployments and for any virtualization platform that does not support any of the other specialised VM formats.


The basic principles shown in the VirtualBox appliance installation tutorial should apply to other virtualization platforms not specifically mentioned above.

VirtualBox reminder: enable the PAE/NX option in Settings > System > Processor. Otherwise your VM may fail to boot.