Redmine Appliance (with VirtualBox on XP) for production purposes?

Jake Dyson's picture

I'm an appliance-noob. My only experience so far is playing around with the Turnkey Linux-Redmine appliance on Windows XP and it has been great to try out a local Redmine.
I would want to try using redmine for organizational purposes for myself anyway. So my question is if it makes sense to use the redmine appliance for production purposes. To be more specific:

(1.) Are there any (redmine) appliance-specific downsides to my "Windows XP-use case"?

(2.) Migration: Would migrating every "change": all customizations, "projects", "issues", ... from the local redmine appliance to a redmine server installation, be (a) possible and (b) reasonably easy? I'd consider half upto a full workday reasonable, 3 days or a whole week would be too much. (I'm not asking how to migrate, just if it's reasonably easy according to your experience ;-)

(3.) Updating - a big advantage of appliances?
Another noob question, please correct if anything of what I'm stating is wrong.
I understand an appliance to be an OS bundled with the application. So if two people are using a specific appliance like "TurnKey Redmine version (2009.10-2)" it means that both appliance-installations would (at least initially) live in the exact same surroundings (like identical OS, identical number of packages all having the exact same versions, etc...)

I'm used to the fact that installation/update manuals are never as easy as claimed and the process oftentimes becomes a huge PITA, but if what I stated previously about appliances is correct I would assume that I can expect following an update manual for a specific appliance-version like e.g.
to be a much smoother experience and to work a lot more just like described. I would consider that to be a pretty big plus for appliances.
Is this correct, consistent with your experiences?


Liraz Siri's picture

In the last couple of weeks we've made good progress on tklbam, the upcoming backup and migration service, which will provide at least part of the solution you are looking for. It will basically allow you to backup that local instance running inside your Windows XP VM and restore it on another TurnKey based server running in a datacenter, or in the cloud (e.g., Amazon EC2), etc.

tklbam will also make it easy to migrate not just between servers but also between different versions of the appliances (e.g., Hardy based appliance to Lucid based appliance).

Jeremy Davis's picture

I see no reason not to use TKL appliances in production. From where I sit, that's really the point of them!

Response to your questions:

1) I'm not particularly familiar with Redmine but I would not imagine any appliance specific downsides to running it as a VM. Of course though there will be the generic ones of running a VM from a desktop: Desktop must always be on, any issues that effect desktop OS (much more likely IMO than if running a VM from a server OS) may impact on VM availability & performance, and potential performance hit on both host and guest OS (probably negligable if you only run one VM and system has suficient resources).

2) Liraz has got that covered with tklbam - which BTW sounds like a winner!

3) As suggested by Liraz tklbam will allow migration to the most recent TKL edition. Other unofficial (community supported) updates (such as your example) should apply identically to separate installations of the same appliance as you suggest. Although I think a tklpatch to update an official iso, with tklbam to migrate data from the old to the upgraded appliance would probably be a better and more robust solution.

Jake Dyson's picture

Thanks a lot for the answers!

I'll give it a try.

Dan Robertson's picture


I am currently using the Redmine appliance in a production intranet environment and haven't had any major problems with it, although I also prefer to use a newer version of Redmine than the one that comes packaged.

In my experience, migrating Redmine installations is a straight-forward process and you should be able to do so within your half a day time frame.  I am also interested in the tklbam utility, it sounds like it could be very helpful!

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