TurnKey under the hood in relation to Ubuntu/Ubuntu Server

Liraz Siri liraz at turnkeylinux.org
Mon Nov 3 11:30:41 UTC 2008

Hi Fredrik!

> My name is Fredrik Jonsson, and I am a Ubuntu Server Team Member, focusing on automated deployments and central management.
> First of all I what to give you cheers and respect for you work! Based on the things I saw on you website, it looks really cool! Good stuff! :)

Thanks for checking us out, and thanks for the kind encouragement!

> I am very curious about the deployment central management capabilities for Turnkey. Since you have based it on Ubuntu, you should
> have native seed capability? What operating system does Turnkey identifiy itself as? Does it report itself as Turnkey or Ubuntu?
> What reposiorys are beeing used? The Ubuntu ones or do you have your own? In case Turnkey is reporting itself as a Ubuntu distrubution,
> and uses the Ubuntu repositorys, perhaps it whould be possible to manage it with Landscape for instance. :)

First, feel free to download any of our appliances and explore them
at depth.

I'm not entirely sure I know what you mean by "native seed" capability,
but I'll assume you mean seeding d-i during installation...

OK, let me try and answer your questions one by one:

1) we haven't payed much attention to central deployment of TurnKey

    Correct me if I'm wrong but the use case for actively supporting that
    is a bit weaker on our side since our appliances aren't general
    purpose platforms like Ubuntu Server.  I believe at this point people
    are mostly using TurnKey appliances for demonstration purposes,
    testing and one-off deployment.

    I'm not confident I know how this works in Ubuntu Server, but keep in
    mind that our appliances run live and we use our own installer
    (di-live) to support that usage scenario. In other words, the
    installation process is a bit different and I'm thinking in terms of
    central deployment and seeding and such is probably a bit weaker...

    Under the hood, at this point our TurnKey appliances probably have
    more in common with Ubuntu desktop than Ubuntu server, despite being
    focused on more server oriented tasks because:

    - we run live
    - our installer runs live
    - we use the Ubuntu desktop kernels, not the Ubuntu server kernels

2) All current TurnKey appliances identify themselves as vanilla

         # cat /etc/issue
         Ubuntu 8.04.1 \n \l

         # cat /etc/lsb-release
         DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 8.04.1"

3) We are using standard Ubuntu repositories supplemented with our
    own repository for updates to custom packages::

         # cat /etc/apt/sources.list |grep ^deb
         deb http://archive.turnkeylinux.org/ubuntu hardy main
         deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy main
         deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-security main
         deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu hardy-updates main

    You can read more about the custom packages on our development wiki:


4) I believe it should be possible to manage TurnKey appliances with

So you see, under the hood TurnKey appliances, are... by design... just
optimized versions of Ubuntu. We've made a conscious effort to try and
keep divergence to the minimum while still achieving our objectives.

> Just some thought from my side, and I whould be happy to help you guys if you need any help from my side regarding automated deployments or central management! :)

Thanks Fredrik! In your experience, what would be involved in improving
the support for central deployment/management? Just off the top of my
head it would be neat to have access to Landscape for
testing/development purposes! We've read a bit about Landscape on the
web, but we haven't had a chance to see it in action yet.

Anyhow, its still a bit early in the game, but we do realize that for
some types of users using TurnKey without commercial support is not a
viable option. Our projects motto is "everything that can be easy should
be easy" and I think support options will eventually be included in that

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Website: http://www.turnkeylinux.org/
Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/~liraz-siri

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