Appliances inside appliances

Danny Kopping's picture

Hi there

Thank you for your phenomenal work! I'm absolutely amazed at how brilliantly the Turnkey LAMP appliance works :)

I wanted to find out how to install an appliance inside another appliance, or am I thinking about this wrong? For example, I'd like to install the Version Control appliance inside of the Turnkey LAMP appliance. Possible?

Keep up the amazing work!

Jeremy Davis's picture

As TKL v11 is based on Ubuntu 10.04 Server you can do anything with TKL that you could otherwise do with Ubuntu. This means that you could use one appliance as a base and install the functionality of another appliance to it. For some it may be relatively straight forward but for others it may be quite painful.

IMO a better way to go is to install a hypervisor OS (ProxmoxVE is my favourite) to bare metal and then install the desired appliances as VMs.

Danny Kopping's picture

Hi JedMeister

Thanks for the reply! How would one install an appliance inside another appliance without using a VM?

Jeremy Davis's picture

So for your original request you'd need to install MySQL to the Revision Control appliance and configure MySQL and Apache to get full LAMP functionality as well.

Danny Kopping's picture


That's not what I want to do - I want to install the revision control appliance on top of the LAMP appliance... not possible?

Jeremy Davis's picture

Don't you want an appliance that has Revison Control and LAMP? You could start with the LAMP appliance and install revision control stuff to it but 2 things; firstly it would be more involved than going the other way (more stuff to install and configure), and secondly the end result (if all goes well) would be the same: a server with both LAMP and Revison Control.

If you really wanted to install LAMP inside Revision Control as a separate appliance you could do it by installing a headless virtual environment (such as KVM or headless VirtualBox) to the Revision Control appliance and then install LAMP as a VM inside but IMO that would be a pain, you'd be much better off with a hypervisor and just install them both as VMs.

Keep in mind that these appliances are minimalist complete and independant operating systems. You can add functionality (by installing additional components) but unless you want to combine them together then, virtualisation is the only other option.

Danny Kopping's picture

Ah, I see. Well, that's a pity.

It'd be great to have the ability to install appliances alongside each other... perhaps something for the developers to think about?

Thanks for the help :)

Jeremy Davis's picture

There has been numerous discussions on this over the last couple of years, have a look here if you are interested. What we will end up with is a TKL master server that is basicly a hypervisor (tailored for TKL but ideally also be able to handle other appliances/OSs) and has the appliances running as some sort of VM inside.

Assuming that you are looking to install to hardware (and your hardware is up to it - 64bit CPU with support for virtual extentions - ie all AMD Athlon/Phenom since socket AM2 & most Intel since Core2Duo) I would urge you to consider ProxmoxVE with the appliances running as OpenVZ containers (there is a mechanism in development to convert ISOs to OVZ templates - see here). You could easliy run a LAMP and a Revision Control appliance side by side on very minimal desktop type hardware. I have a Proxmox server at home running on a 5yo Desktop hardware (but with a little extra RAM) which easily copes with 20+ appliances running side by side. I also have a couple of minimalist Windows installs on there too (running under KVM).

Danny Kopping's picture

Wow, that is quite a wild idea! I must definitely try it out and some stage :)

Thanks for your time and effort!

Jeremy Davis's picture

Have fun!

AFelix's picture

I want to run a server that can:

1- share storage (fileserver appliance).

2 - allow FTP access to some folder on the shared storage.

3 - allow SMB access to some folder on the shared storage.

4 - Host one or more webserver (LAMP appliance).

Is this possible? Can i install the file server and then add the other appliances?
What about the WebGUI? will it work for all "modules"?



Jeremy Davis's picture

You could install a hypervisor to bare metal (I recommend ProxmoxVE for capable hardware, or Rik's Headless VirtualBox TKLpatch for non 64-bit and/or non virtual-extension enabled hardware) and install the desired appliances side-by-side, or you could configure the one appliance to meet all your needs.

So for the functionality you desire in one single appliance:

  1. Fileserver appliance (obviously).
  2. Fileserver appliance also (assuming you are ok with SFTP - it's enabled by default). If you desire straight FTP (or FTPS) then you can do that but it would involve hacking the current setup. If you don't plan to use the FTP component of eXtplorer (Web based fileshare access) then you could reconfigure vsftpd (the default backend for the FTP component of eXtplorer) to do this.
  3. Fileserver appliance again (by default - basically this is #1).
  4. Could either hack/reconfigure Lighttpd config (and add MySQL and PHP) to create a general webstack (technically not LAMP, but LLMP). Or install Apache, MySQL and PHP to create a LAMP webstack independant of the default functionality (although they won't both be able to listen on the same ports).

Or the other way to go, which would probably be easier (assuming that you don't intend to use eXplorer - although that's probably not too hard to set up) would be to install Samba to the LAMP appliance. And vsftpd (if SFTP doesn't suit your purpose). vsftpd doesn't have a Webmin module AFAIK so you would need to configure that manually but shouldn't be too hard.

When you say "WebGUI" are you refering to Webmin? If so the modules can be installed using apt the same as the other bits (the Webmin modules are packaged by TKL and hosted in their min-repo).

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