Is Linode the right choice?

I've been using Linode's services for a while, and I have to say that I'm very satisfied with regard to price and features.

However… from time to time I'd need to run other operating systems which aren't Linux (FreeBSD for example), and so far I've been unsuccessfull in doing that on a Linode.

QEMU works, but unfortunately it freezes several times a day (even when running a virtual machine that is basically idle 99% of the time).

VirtualBox is not an option either, as it has been pointed out. I assume that the same applies to VMWare.

So considering all this, I'm starting to wonder if Linode is the right choice for this kind of task.

Like I've said on another thread, I am aware that running a virtual machine on top of a virtual machine has many drawbacks. I'd just like to know if what I want to do is possible or not. And if it isn't, are there any VPS providers that allow to reliably run a virtualization product?

I'm not interested in performance. And no, I'm not planning on running Windows.

14 Replies

I'm skeptical that you'll find it's really possible to do virtualization-on-virtualization in a reliable manner. And you don't really have a Linode question, you have a Xen question. If you can find some combination of software that works for this, then you can attempt to find a VPS that offers it. But I'm not convinced it'll really work.

If all you want to do is to run FreeBSD or other operating systems, why do double virtualization when you can run it virtualized by itself in Linode? As stated pv-grub lets you do that, but is highly experimental.

If you really want to use virtualization, you need a dedicated server rather than a VPS. If you want to run different operating systems, some VPS providers offer all three (Linux/BSD/Windows). Linode can take care of the first two.

@Xan: this is actually a Linode question. I've run virtual-on-virtual (well, emulated on virtual) before without problems (QEMU on Xen). So I just wanted to know if this was possible using the Linode infrastructure (QEMU runs but it freezes frequently, even with the Linode and the QEMU instance almost idle).

@scotty: thanks for the tip, I wasn't aware of that possibility.

@guspaz: yes, obviously a dedicated server would be the way to go, but with montly costs being 8-10x higher than a virtual server, that's something that unfortunately I cannot afford.

Like I said before, running FreeBSD is something that I would be doing from time to time, so going for a dedicated server, or even buying another Linode instance for that single purpose doesn't seem like a good choice.

That's why I asked if Linode was the right platform for this kind of task. According to the answers received so far, it looks like it isn't.

Unless you're paying $5-6 at Linode, a dedicated server shouldn't cost you 8x-10x more than Linode. Dedicated servers can be found as low as $33 or so, and I've seen them as low as $29 in the past.

You also don't need a second Linode to run FreeBSD, you just can't run them at the same time. However you can create another disk image and configuration and from the Linode manager choose if you want to boot Linux or FreeBSD.

EDIT: Which Linode kernel are you using? There are significant differences in virtualization behaviour between the lastest stable kernel (2.6.18) and the latest stable paravirt-ops kernel (2.6.31). You may want to try the other if you've only tried one.


I've been overly critical at this point without even waiting to hear from Linode. My apologies for the thread hijack.


Your mileage may very.

My mileage may very what?

Nice thread hijack.



Your mileage may very.

My mileage may very what?

Nice thread hijack.

You too, Mr. Grammar Nazi.




Your mileage may very.

My mileage may very what?

Nice thread hijack.

You too, Mr. Grammar Nazi.
Seriously, we understand you are upset about things but that doesn't mean you go into other threads just to complain. Please come to the conclusion you don't want to be here anymore and leave.


Please come to the conclusion you don't want to be here anymore and leave.

That might make the forums more pleasant - or should I say,

"More might the forums make pleasant that".


The fan boys are in full force tonight. Clearly having a dissenting voice is cause to be attacked on mutliple fronts. I pay for a service just like the rest of you. I thought my post was more or less on topic(not 100% admittedly). I've retracted my previous post, yet you continue to hijack. Pot calling the kettle black.


Who the f*** are you to tell me to leave? I have every right to be here, at least as much as the next user. I reserve the right to have an opinion you ignorant tool.

I don't think you understand. We always respect others opinions when it comes to having a civilized discussion about the subject at hand. alemartini is discussing how to accomplish a particular technical issue with Linode and maybe not need to purchase a second Linode.

I hope you can see the difference.

Guspaz, could you post some links to providers offering dedicated servers for $ 33 or less? I'd really like to explore other options.

Thanks again!

There are a few. I'm not willing to name names or post links here, since it's Linode's forum, but I will hint that if you google for affordable dedicated servers, you will find what you're looking for.


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