Paul's picture

As a web developer trying to automate as many tasks as I can in sys-admin (I currently work in Windows with Debian + Samba in VirtualBox with network bridge config - see, I was considering lately to rent my own dedicated server (also perhaps installing a non-virtual machine at home running Debian + XEN to have different environments on LAN, possibly serving as cheap "staging" servers), and here are the features I look for :

  1. Automatic security updates
  2. Local virtual copy of the production server
  3. Pushing new features installed & tested in local dev. env. to production
  4. [bonus] Sharing any env. with other developpers so they can work locally (in VirtualBox too)
  5. [bonus] Updating any local env. from latest staging or production version

My questions then are :

  1. Are there any plans for a Turnkey appliance able to install modular "building bricks" like "juju charms", so that we could "pick'n'mix" features - instead of having to choose one single-task appliance for a whole server ? (I think it was mentionned in
  2. Is there a better way of achieving this ? (I was reading about Vagrant, Chef & Puppet, Ansible, Fabric, etc. but I find those too complex for my simple needs).
  3. Are there any plans for a XEN Turnkey appliance ? (#inception !)

Thanks in advance,


(by the way, TONS of thanks for your amazing work with Turnkey appliances !)

Jeremy Davis's picture

1. TKL devs have just released TKL Dev build environment and moved all the appliance build source to GitHub so that you can potentially build 'All-in-one' type appliances... This use case was not necessarily the intention of TKLDev but I suspect with some tweaking could potentially fulfill your desires...

2. (This is not a direct answer... Just speaking of my personal perspective and experience) Personally I like the redundancy afforded by having indivdual VMs fulfill all the various roles I require of Linux servers. I use (Debian based) ProxmoxVE as my hypervisor which supports both OVZ (Linux container virtualisation) and KVM (full virtualisation which supports most OS e.g. Windows etc). TKL is available as OVZ containers (you can even download them directly from within the PVE web interface) and they are very light on resources (I successfully run about 20 low load testing servers on 5 year old desktop hardware at home & run a number of higher usage TKL servers - with some Windows servers - on more up-to-date desktop hardware at work). The downside of running OVZ containers is that whilst sharing is easy (you simply need to tar the guest OVZ filesystem and share it) it only works on OVZ and OVZ popularity has dwindled (other than PVE AFAIK it is only available in RHEL - support in Debian and Ubuntu has stopped...). So basically you can really only share with others that have PVE (or RHEL) so it doesn't quite fulfill your desires...

3. Do you mean a XEN host? As you may be aware there are already XEN guest images... Assuming that you do mean a XEN host appliance, then not exactly, although the devs do have dreams/intentions of a 'TKL meta appliance' that can run as a host OS and host guest TKL appliances. I think that they are intending to use LXC (container virtualisation similar to OVZ, in fact something of the upcoming replacement for OVZ. Unfortunately from my understanding LXC is still not quite to the point that it is stable enough for production (IMO anyway...). Also there was a TKLPatch developed for a headless VirtualBox host appliance. Now that TKLDev has been released perhaps someone will port that over and it can become a official appliance one day in the not too distant future... 

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