m3ch4n15m's picture

I must say, Turnkey linux is amazing. For someone who wants to be on top of things server-wise, learning linux is key, and well, having access to software that works the first time around helps a whole let and makes troubleshooting a little less of a headache.


And to help you with with "future" appliances , I offer these three suggestions.


1) File server/print server. I am a bit surprised that it wasn't done already, since Ubuntu server edition actually offers samba as an option. But with the turnkey concept, it would make it even more user-friendly. Also, perhaps even throw in Icecast and make it into a media server?


2) Webcam server. Although Linux and webcams aren't exactly in love with each other, this could be a nice alternative to some commercial network cams who have the unfortunate habit of been hackable (in the bad way) I.E. www.metacafe.com/watch/327094/google_hacking_how_to_watch_and_control_webcams_videotutorial/ . So to have that in linux could make it perhaps more secure and scalable?


3)Primary Domain controller. Although it could be done with Ubuntu server edition, it would be nice to be able to set up an entire domain with just a live CD in case of an emergency. Just a few clicks and done.


Thanks and keep up the good work!!

Liraz Siri's picture

Thanks for the encouragement!

Regarding your suggestions. A NAS-type appliance is already high on our todo list. As is a PDC type appliance. Samba can serve as the basis for both but the default configurations are quite different. I think whether to make this one appliance or two will mainly revolve around usability.

I'm less familiar with the printing side of Samba so I'd have to take a closer look at that to know if its a viable candidate for a new release in the near term.

Also thanks to one of our more industrious community members (szczym), we're working on a new video podcasting appliance that I'm really excited about. Perhaps Icecast would be a good feature to add to that. See "Configuring Samba for a new video publication appliance".

Your idea for a webcam server is very interesting. We hadn't considered that application before (or done any research on it). Any help the community can provide regarding the integration details would be very helpful. Meanwhile, I've added it to our todo list and will be taking a closer look soon.


aplatypus's picture


I also think there are some great ideas in this post.  That said not everyone will want a "web cam" or "widget x" something they need.  I also like the simplicity of a purposed appliance and don't like the idea of a Swiss Army Knife appliance that "does everything" ... are there other ways?

One I thought I'd post is to consider some kind of "plug-in" structure or "option up" from the appliance boot menu.  Such things as a print server could be listed in an options menu.

I think it might be desirable if 3rd-party plugins were feasible too.  Something like a TKL-marketplace for instance where one might download "plugins" that will work with the TKL core or appliance configuration from a repository. 

Ultimately that might mean 'appliances' can be thought of as back-bones that can have extras.  Keeping the main appliance simple and still allowing important extras like a print facility, FAX service, email, etc.

two-cents from,


Jeremy Davis's picture

I agree and we don't really want to go down the path of "Swiss army knife" style standalone appliances.

Under our current model, the closest way to achieve what you suggest is using some sort of higher level hypervisor or container host (such as our LXC appliance or a hypervisor such as Proxmox) and install separate TurnKey appliances for each purpose (although we don't currently have some of these appliances).

Eventually we will move to a containerized model which we have already started work on. It's been tagged "TKLX" (you can get some hints about it from this blog post or looking at the code on GitHub).

The idea is that TurnKey will then only produce a single base appliance and provide some sort of agent. Then the user can add "roles" or "functional components" (each contained within their own docker style container) in a granular way to provide all the services that they wish to use. That will essentially provide the plugin sort of nature that you are suggesting.

The idea of providing an "agent" means that you won't even need to be running a TurnKey server to use TurnKey. You'll just need to install the agent and add the components you wish. Once Docker is natively supported on Windows (if it's not already?) we may even provide a Windows agent?!

aplatypus's picture

G'day Jeremy,

Thanks for that helpful response.  To address one of your points, one of the key reasons I'm asking these questions it that Docker 1.3 for Windows is a 'native'; but using it means you MUST reboot  to use VirtualBox or VMWare.

Jeremy Davis's picture

I didn't realise that Docker on Windows had progressed so far!

TBH though. Since I switched to Debian full time, (about 3-4 years ago now) there's no looking back! I do still have a Windows partition but it runs slow and is a little unstable at times (OEM Win 7 on Gen 1 Lenovo X1 Carbon). Debian runs like a treat. And I don't need to reboot to use Docker and VirtualBox at the same time! ;) Anyway, enough of my fanboy-ness! :)

Seriously though, for me, needing to reboot to use a VM would be a deal breaker. If I were you, I'd rather have a headless Linux VM running with Docker installed. The overhead of a single headless Linux VM is minimal. You can do some cool stuff with VirtuaBox; things like script your VM to run as a background service.

cboecking's picture

I would like to put a vote in for a primary domain controller iso. It has been written multiple times that the config for such a setup is challenging and multifaceted as compared to windows. We need to update our domain, and I am currently looking for a solution. I would love to be able to drop in a DC as a VM.
Jeremy Davis's picture

I think a PDC appliance would be fantastic! I think for the sake of completeness it may be good to include file & printer serving in that appliance. Although in my opinion, using separate VMs (even on the same hardware) for each appliance is not an unreasonable plan. A Linux based VM DC would be awesome.

I have been really busy lately and haven't been able to spend much time on other projects, but I am very keen to work out how the ISOs are put together and do a bit of dev work to share with the community. I know there is a fair bit of info available here.
Liraz Siri's picture

The ISO is just the packaging. Putting it together is usually the last thing we do. We have some links on the wiki about that, but it's really not that critical a part of the development process. You don't have to know how to do that to get involved in appliance development. All you have to do is install TurnKey Core into a virtual machine and then research the integration details, test that it works and document the process.

See community development page for details.

m3ch4n15m's picture

I think combining this with the proposed NAS would be the easiest approach.

Anyone who has ever had the fun of configuring a PDC in linux will find that when configuring the samba.conf, you have much more control.

Mind you for small businesses who don't have IT personnel but have need of that level of security that a domain provides, some point and click interface with some pre-made configs would be just awesome.

What would be the most basic samba.conf for a PDC? Any ideas?

Jeremy Davis's picture

I just had a quick Google and it seems that there is a fair bit of info out there on setting this sort of thing up. I am very keen to get to work on it, but just haven't got the time at the moment...... Soon I hope!
cboecking's picture

I would join a group to help move the project along. I can devote 3 to 4 hours per week on the project. I have two issues to solve (1) NAS (more specifically SAN or iSCSI between two VMWare servers) and (2) PDC.
m3ch4n15m's picture

I too could dedicate some time, although I fear it's a bit erratic with the summer and all, but I will offer my experiences with what is being done. I know I will be downloading core this week-end and start plinking away at it, and see if I can't remaster it into a basic NAS/PDC. If my experience with Ubuntu server edition serves me correctly, this isn't too complicated, just a matter of knowing which package to download.
Alon Swartz's picture

Thanks for all the encouragement and initiatve to help out. I would recommend all those interested subscribe to the relevant blueprints to get updates and so we can coordinate development.

If you already have notes that could assist in development, or could sketch out the required spec, please update the development wiki.
m3ch4n15m's picture

Amazing. In March I make a suggestion. 9 months later, I get not only a PDC, but a fileserver.

Gottah love the open-source movement.

Just amazing. After testing it I was estatic. This is perfect for small businesses and non-profit organizations (Which I cater to). This makes it much much simpler.

And it makes a great tool.

Now for you code-munchers out there, here's a challenge. Try to put Turnkey linux, on a Compact flash card so that with a a CF to IDE/SATA adapter, you end up with a home-grown solid state device and a near industrial-class appliance.



Jeremy Davis's picture

but along similar lines, check this out, pretty nifty!

James Drew's picture

Hay take a look at openfiler.com to check out a fairly good implimentation of a fully blown NAS appliance.


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