I have a personal Ubuntu server at home for my various personal development needs. I often spend time to configure it for various purposes e.g. for serving a blog or my mercurial repositories etc. However, I am getting very interested in pre-packaged linux appliances available e.g. TurnKey linux etc. It takes no effort to get an appliance up and running!

I was wondering if I could make my home server into VM server, where I can run multiple VMs for various needs. The server does not have a screen, hence I would like to be able to manage my VMs from the web or console

I guess in short, I am asking if its possible to have my own personal, light weight Amazon EC2. If yes, how can I set it up? Is there an Ubuntu derived distro available for this? OR can I install a couple of packages and get this running?

5 Answers 5


Great question.

There is currently an on-going community effort to create what is currently dubbed as TurnKey master server. In a nutshell it aims to provide exactly what you are looking for, but nothing official has yet been released - we are still in experimentation mode.

Several community developers are exploring different technologies, such as Proxmox OpenVZ and PHPVirtualBox (alpha-testing TKLPatch and ISO's available).

It would be great to get feedback and ideas if you have them.

  • That does sound very cool indeed. Turnkey Master Server would be so ideal. Have gotten quite a few ideas on this question, will try a couple and post my feedback
    – Danish
    Mar 16, 2011 at 13:03

You might like Vagrant. It's a Ruby app that uses Virtualbox and Chef to make it easy to create per project VMs. This may sound confusing but check out the site and the getting started video. I've "discovered" it recently and it has become one of my favourite applications.


Another Free alternative would be PHPVirtualBox

Its great for monitoring, deploying, creating, managing, and performing maintenance on virtual machines backed by VirtualBox.

Not many people are aware that Virtualbox comes prepackaged with a web-SOAP style server VBoxWebSrv. This will accept client connections and provides yet another interface to run your VM Server. You're not tethered to the GUI that comes with the default install.

  • Thanks for sharing that. I like it a lot, specially since I'm so used to the virtualbox ui on windows
    – Danish
    Mar 16, 2011 at 2:37

Check out proxmox. http://www.proxmox.com/

A real alternative to VMware ESX


put Xenserver on your hardware and then run any OS in VMs on it. You are only limited by the RAM your server has! XenServer is a Hypervisor OS. You can install it on your hardware. Once installed, you control it with a console application(browse to the ip of this server to download) This will then allow you to create new Virtual Machines on the Server using predefined templates or download and deploy virtual appliances. The nice thing about a hypervisor is that you are not limited to ubuntu or linux virtual appliances. This can be a good setup for a lab.

  • How? Why? You have not explained anything with this post.
    – Oli
    Oct 22, 2012 at 12:55
  • I have edited my answer. please read and promote answer if it helps you more. Cheers.
    – rabbid
    Apr 24, 2013 at 4:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .