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CentOS/OpenVZ: Virtualize on the Fly

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It must have been the fanboy mention, because some folks at OpenVZ let me in on a scoop for an announcement they plan to make sometime in the next few days.

The gist of the news is this: the project team has released a Live CD version of the CentOS 4.4 distribution that will include the OpenVZ software, so users can essentially stick a CD in their machine's drive and test-drive OpenVZ in just a few minutes.

This kind of release from OpenVZ is not new, actually. Back in May of this year, the OpenVZ crew did something very similar with a Knoppix release.

This time, the SWsoft-sponsored virtualization project opted to go with an enterprise-level operating system, and the popular free enterprise distro CentOS seemed the way to go. Since CentOS is closely based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, server admins for RHEL and CentOS can get a hit-the-ground-running feel for OpenVZ's capabilities.

I have to admit, it almost seems overkill to toss out a CentOS/OpenVZ Live CD. After all, it should take only a half an hour to install and configure OpenVZ, so is it really saving you that much time? Maybe not but, it occured to me, it can at the very least save you the hassle of configuring your test machine. With this option, once you are done with your test drive, your test machine is right back where it started.

To be fair, this isn't exactly a big secret. The software has been available for download on the OpenVZ site since July. There are even directions on how to get started with your OpenVZ Live CD once you get a hold of it. Heck, they even have a guide on how to make your own CentOS/OpenVZ Live CD, if you want to make one from scratch.

If you're curious, swing on by the aforementioned sites and grab a copy before the formal announcement and see what you think.


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