Liraz Siri's picture


Joe Klemmer's picture

I would prefer a CentOS based appliance.  Or even a Fedora based one.

"Using Linux since November 1991"

Bob Fontlaw's picture

It will be a cold day to see RPM based appliances. I wish the Asterisk project could move away from there.

mhoa's picture

i would like Debian or CentOS

Skunk's picture

It would be nice if we could choose Ubuntu or a Centos base for each appliance.

Guest's picture


A thought:
- set a meta standard for the base os
- a workflow to set up any basic appliance

should be trivial to create turnkeys with any distro.

just a thought. more thought needed. ;)

0xB33F's picture

OpenBSD for security and FreeBSD for its stability and NetBSD to run on your toaster!

Liraz Siri's picture

Will be more difficult than supporting Debian, but given the amount of interest expressed this deserves serious thought. In theory, the hard part isn't creating the appliances on any given distro. That's an infrastructure problem we can solve. The hard part will be all the additional testing required. But maybe in practice this won't be such a big deal.
Guest's picture

Doesn't lead to as much rapid deployment & makes any project MUCH more difficult to maintain.....  The system performance is always lower (sometimes only slight bits) as well.  Not to mention the fact that CentOS is falling waaaayyyy behind already.  Don't worry about RPMS & keep up the great .deb focussed work you all have been doing!  :D

spatton's picture

If it doesn't take away from the superior turnkey products you all have produced, I'd kind of like to see a CentOS version of things and here's why.  In the industry, Fortune 500 companies predominantly use RedHat.  Why?  Support.  Redhat Support contracts will also cover CentOS & Scientific builds, sometimes even specified in the contract.

I'd be willing to put in some hours helping to test & bugcheck Scientific or CentOS builds.

Bastiaan's picture

I would like gentoo stage3 so I can figure out after this what I need myself.

Fookraa's picture

As fas as the product is bootable and in  .iso image and works well with oracle VM VirtualBox , I am happy. :-)

Wether debian , ubuntu , fedora , unix , linux and what not.... if they run on VirtuaBox... I am happy...

TomW's picture

Why...I put security first, then simplicity-maintainabilty.  Appearance-usability last but certainly not least. :)

xminer's picture

I use Turnkey almost exclusively as VM's in VirtualBox, running on Ubuntu LTS hosts... so as far as that goes, I just want OVF and virtual kernal tweaks supported well... I wont mind much if it switches to  Debian other than having to learn their little differences... I am more interested in appliances being improved and rapid developement of new appliances... as long as the base OS is LTS, or wont be outdated and out of support in 6 months, I am happy.

What reasons has TurnKey decided to consider moving to Debian from Ubuntu?  Debian is great, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water... there is a reason Ubuntu is so successful. What will switching to Debian do for developers, what will it do for the end users? What will change? I don't really know, someone tell us? Turnkey let's me spend less time admining... and LTS with easy security updates is clutch... that's why I use it.

Also, thanks for all the work you guys do on TurnKey, top class stuff!

Jeremy Davis's picture

Debian is reknowned for being rock solid stable and secure. Ubuntu makes some concession to userbility and newer versions of software. Debian has no commercial backer so support contracts for (which large enterprise often requires) is not easily available (although I would imagine that the TKL devs would offer that if they released Debian based appliances). Ubuntu OTOH has Cannonical. Debian has a huge user and dev base and has heaps more packages in it's repos. They both have pros and cons. So the TKL devs are not planning to move away from Ubuntu, just include the option of Debian based appliances as well.

AFAIK at this stage it is not completely clear whether all the exact same appliances will be available on both platforms. For example I have suggested that the Debain based appliances be setup more for security and stability; keeping true to Debian. The tradeoff for that though is usually older versions of software (with all security patches backported to the older version and supplied via the repo).

Ubuntu does this too, although many of the TKL appliances include newer versions of software installed from upstream. The advantage is that new features are included and often bugs are fixed (some non security bugfixes are never backported to repo packages). The downside is that security patches (to the app installed from upstream) are not auto applied.

From a development standpoint, due to their similarities it is relatively easy to offer Debian and Ubuntu based appliances side-by-side. Many of the TKL under  the hood customisations and software will run on either with little or no tweaking.

Errrrrrrric's picture

Instead of wasting time on other nonsense.

Liraz Siri's picture

It's true that limited resources do require us to prioritize what features we invest in first. However in this particular case, 64-bit and Debian support require the same or very similar upgrades to our development infrastructure, which is what we're working on.
Heinz's picture

Ubuntu may be fine for some, so I second the idea of a generic build framework to base on any distro (What about integrating ultra fast, ultra tiny distros such as Puppy?) In any case, I wouldn't like to have to be Ubuntu based. Last time I accepted a major Ubuntu update, it broke my carefully tweaked client settings by pushing a major release of Firefox, and that broke a lot! I don't want to have to deal with that sort of stuff, anywhere, ever again!

Jeremy Davis's picture

In my experience, despite the fact that they have the same base, Ubuntu desktops vs Ubuntu servers are quite different beasts, and how I treat them is also quite different. With desktops I tend to do full updates fairly frequently and often within the early days of a release, these updates come thick and fast and can sometimes have not so great side effects. With servers I tend to very rarely apply updates (other than security ones - which are auto-applied in TKL anyway). This means the risk of updates doing anything untoward are almost nil.

I agree that more recent releases of Ubuntu are becoming more bloated but with most things there is always a trade-off. In my mind Ubuntu offers many things that just aren't available with other Linux OS - such as the breadth of pre-packaged software, official, but also via 3rd party repos and PPAs. It also has copious amounts of online documentation and other support materials.

I have tried Debian, CentOS and Fedora, as well as some of the 'micro distros' (such as Puppy and DSL). Whilst they all have positives and are quite useable, for one reason or another I keep coming back to Ubuntu and/or Ubuntu based distros (such as TKL) for the above mentioned reasons. Also many corporate operations require comercial support contracts with their server software and Canonical (with Ubuntu) is one of the only ones I know that offer this (other than RedHat).

So I think it'd be great to offer other alternatives (such as Debian or even CentOS), but to move away from Ubuntu altogether would be a step in the wrong direction.

Ric Moore's picture

I agree 100%. I've been using Ubuntu since 8.04 and it has gotten fat, sloppy and they are following in the footspteps of Fedora, dumping half-baked updates onto the users. Each release there is some NEW major change to anything to be found in /etc. There is no way for a service like turnkeylinux to keep up, much less the users. If one is going to run a headless server, then the issue is not so much Debian vs CentOS, it's the issue of a small devel team becoming stretched too thinly to do what they set out to do. Then, they will have to increase their staff size and operating expenses. Then your selfish desire becomes our expense. 

The reason Ubuntu is on a tobbogon ride to the open maw of hell, on greased grooves, is that they try to accommodate all the desires of the users/devels, and wind up with a huge mess. So, I would urge that turnkeylinux stick with one plan and be focused on it. But, if some GovCo wants/demands CentOS, let them pay for it. It's not like they already don't pay billions for useless crap and bail-outs, so this ought to be an easy pitch for something that works. Just don't expect for ME to pay for it. Debian just works. The foot print used is no bigger than puppy. My two cents, Ric

Noah's picture

Please don't get distracted by CentOS. Debian is better.

Jack's picture

Linux is linux. I know that people have different userland choices, but once you have grasp of Debian, Ubuntu isn't far off, neither is mint. Once you know Debian, moving to Gentoo and / or Slackware is pretty easy too - they all have the same filesystem layout. Switching to fedora/rhel/centos is different, but once you figure out their init systems... it's simple. I think the O/S choice *should* be up to the people producing the product. If Joe Blow complains because it's not his preferred O/S, well, tell him to stuff it and maybe if that person is motivated for more than just complaining about stuff, he'll make a new turnkey idea based on his/her O/S. I'm a freebsd / solaris guy. Don't actually like linux much, but it's simple and does the job. these TK images are just the ticket. The fact they run on my least liked version of linux matters little. The fact that I didn't put in the effort to get ProjectPier up and running does. Your images are perfect, just keep it up with the perfection, you have it now. Make the 64 bit stuff, stay within your aread of comfort and you'll keep producing a product that many many will use.

kneekoo's picture

I think this is the best way to describe why TurnKey is actually good as it is. This is about having a high-quality turn-key solution to the most wanted features that free software can offer, regardless the foundation.

The comments on this page don't mention issues with the current TurnKey core and appliances, which is actually a good thing. So we need a 64-bit version for people using TKL on servers with more than 4GB of RAM, then we need some more useful appliances, testing and maintenance to what's been released.

It's easy to want something but a lot harder to get it done so people should simply understand its in everyone's best interest if the TKL developers focus on what's really important than splitting their effort on more than they can cover. Unless the TurnKey Linux users provide regular donations to support new developments and maintenance we should simply trust and respect the TKL team to do what they are already good at.

Guys, this is a great job you're doing. Thank you!

Andrew C's picture


Dont know if this is the right location for a request but here it goes, it would be really nice to have an apliance with LDAP integrated hope some day this can be done.

Thank you !

Jeremy Davis's picture

It's getting a bit dated now, but should still work although may need a little tweaking? Have a look here. If you try it out, be great if you could provide some feedback (on that thread).

Oliver Doepner's picture

Please go for Debian stable 64bit - Better for servers than Ubuntu (more stable packages) - netinstall iso allows minimal base systems - Not affected by corporate strategies - Official Debian backports and Debian multimedia provide moreup-to-date packages if needed CentOS: Couldn't care less
meperson's picture

debian, slackware, archlinux and gentoo would be 4 good options. any option is better than ubuntu, of course. ubuntu is good for some feature demoing to get people into linux but nothing more. it's way too unstable and unreliable for daily use. i've seen way to many people getting burned by ubuntu. only fools use it daily nowadays.

Jeremy Davis's picture

But perhaps that's true of the non-LTS releases. Generally it's pretty good on the LTS releases (which is what TKL is based on) in my experience anyway...

And I think we may see TKL Debain based appliances but I don't think we'll see any of the others anytime soon, as all the core TKL development and build infrastructure is Ubuntu based. That makes it pretty easy to support Debian as well but not so much with other Linux distros.

And I don't think the core devs have any plan to move away from Ubuntu. Not any time soon anyway.

Ric Moore's picture

Shucks Jeremy, half the users on the Ubuntu offtopic list agree that Debian is far more stable and quite a few are switching to it for their desktops. We old timers get mighty disgruntled when some new feature/advance makes our desktops unstable, and we don't understand what has changed under the hood AGAIN to make it so. How you could be expected to keep up and maintain a stable/rock solid offering using Ubuntu, as would be like trying to do that with Fedora. This wasn't always so. But, now it is and that's the truth of it, I'm very sorry to say. Thank you for your service!

I'm new to this and am still trying to get my head wrapped around the entire concept. I just want the files/packages to be on my server iron and be run from there. All of these iso images confuse me as I think of them as each being a fresh install. I will figure it out! Ric

kneekoo's picture

You may be tempted to compare the two editions but there's no need to use a production server as a desktop machine by installing the graphics stack and all the "fat" that goes with it. And this goes the same for any server setup regardless the distro.


Sure a beginner (with servers) is tempted to avoid the console and exclusively use graphical tools with a mouse but as long as the server can be managed from the browser this wish is already granted to these users. But if a beginner actually wants the graphics server and probably remote desktop on the server then I see something wrong here. Not because managing servers should be restricted to the console but to skilled people who know exactly what they're doing. Because a live production server you can trust should be managed by a knowledgeable system administrator. Such a guy will never be afraid of a web interface nor the console but he will gladly use them because (s)he will save hardware resources which are not unlimited.

Just consider the stress on a server with 10 or 20 virtual machines on it, where each machine must pull off update packages for every installed package. Consider the network stress, the disk space involved, the added complexity and greater chance of something going wrong in any customized environment and so on.

I'm not saying it's the best, but from my experience I can tell you that Ubuntu Server is a good choice that I used the past 3-4 years without any breakage. And I'm not a professional server administrator but rather a hobbyist but I was willing to learn what I had so I can keep my (live, production) virtual machines healthy and secured with the least amount of software installed on those machines. I won't say it's easy, especially when you have a busy life outside this hobby, but I gained new skills, some good servers and that experience I could use to help others and earn some money for it. So it paid off pretty well.

MattB's picture

I think it would be a mistake to try to support several different distributions as the base. It would just increase the amount of testing required and complicate things.

Isn't the whole point of this that the server is plug-and-play, without having to install and configure the applications? If it's sort of a black box to perform a service, who cares what's inside as long as it's stable and gets the job done?

0xB33F's picture





Just keep Ubuntu!

Oscar's picture


I just was dosapointed when I seen that the next release of TKL was debian based, I like Debian a lot, but Ubuntu has a better life cilce of software, an unparalled support, huge amounts of documentations and an incredible amount of companies, building their software solutions around Ubuntu.

Going away from Ubuntu , as I see, is a bad desition; go at the Debian way, isn't wrong, but doing that at Ubuntu expenses isn't smart. How many people known TKL because Ubuntu? A LOT.

Any way, I'm moving away TKL, good job before, and good luck in the future.

Best regards,


Jeremy Davis's picture

There will be TKL v12.x Ubuntu (12.04) based appliances. Supporting Debian as well has been on the cards for a long time and the Devs decided that they would work on releasing Debian based appliances now (they started before the release of 12.04). Once the v12.x Debian appliances have been released they will turn their attention to Ubuntu appliances.

Any OS provided it has all required factors for that application(appliance).

and OS should consume minimum resource.

Mat's picture

First wrt Debian or Ubuntu, it doesn't matter to me. It's an appliance, it should just work, and it should be stable. As a purist, I would usually say Debian. But since Ubuntu 12.04 LTS just came out, I'd suggest that and then offer Debian/Wheezy when Wheezy becomes stable.

Second, wrt to CentOS and some of the comments I've seen. At home, I run Debian and Ubuntu. On my desktop, I often have Ubuntu, because on the desktop, I am a user, and therefore lazy. Home servers tend towards Debian. At work, it is a different ballgame. If I expect to connect a Linux box or VM to the work network, it better be RHEL or its free variants (CentOS/Scientific Linux) -- kind of like when Henry Ford said you can have any Model T color as long as it is black. Other Linux distros need not apply. That's just the way it is going to be in a number of Corporate Cultures. The goodness of Ubuntu/Other distros versus Red Hat is not a consideration. Solaris or BSD would be okay at work, but I don't see Turnkey Linux going there. I can tinker with turnkey linux at home, but can't use it at work.

Ric Moore's picture

MOSTLY because RPM has been less favorited than DEB packages by mainstream. It hasn't always been so, especially back in the day when Bob Young ran Red Hat and they had a full blown official release for the users of RH, not the Fedora release which maintains a murderous beta quality release schedule. I worked there in 1999-2000 and when I finally switched to Ubuntu, from Fedora, it was like getting a divorce from a bad spouse. 

Unfortunately, it seems Debian/Ubuntu is now getting the attention and press as so many others, like me, migrated from the RPM world. And that is where the package maintainers are headed. Where the greatest number of bodies/users are. I could swear by Pepsi, but if everyone else is drinking Coke, then that is what gets served.

Rick's picture

I would like the ability to deploy multiple packages into a single VM...

Jeremy Davis's picture

Although you could do it manually yourself if you wanted.

Or you could use a hypervisor like Proxmox - which incidentally already allows you to download TKL OVZ templates (very low resource overhead container virtualisation) straight from the WebUI. Then you can have a reverse proxy to support all the different servers.

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