LXD in the Sky with Diamonds

Picture yourself containers on a server
With systemd trees and spawned tty’s
Somebody calls you, you answer quite quickly
A world with the density so high

– Sgt. Graber’s LXD Smarts Club Band

Last week, we proudly released Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily) — the final developer snapshot of the Ubuntu Server before we focus the majority of our attention on quality, testing, performance, documentation, and stability for the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS cycle in the next 6 months.

Notably, LXD has been promoted to the Ubuntu Main archive, now commercially supported by Canonical. That has enabled us to install LXD by default on all Ubuntu Servers, from 15.10 forward.

Join us for an interactive, live webinar on November 12th at 5pm BST/12pm EST led by James Page, where he will demonstrate LXD as the fastest hypervisor in OpenStack!

That means that every Ubuntu server — Intel, AMD, ARM, POWER, and even Virtual Machines in the cloud — is now a full machine container hypervisor, capable of hosting hundreds of machine containers, right out of the box!

LXD in the Sky with Diamonds! Well, LXD is in the Cloud with Diamond level support from Canonical, anyway. You can even test it in your web browser here.

The development tree of Xenial (Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) has already inherited this behavior, and we will celebrate this feature broadly through our use of LXD containers in Juju, MAAS, and the reference platform of Ubuntu OpenStack, as well as the new nova-lxd hypervisor in the OpenStack Autopilot within Landscape.

While the young and the restless are already running Wily Ubuntu 15.10, the bold and the beautiful are still bound to their Trusty Ubuntu 14.04 LTS servers.

At Canonical, we understand both motivations, and this is why we have backported LXD to the Trusty archives, for safe, simple consumption and testing of this new generation of machine containers there, on your stable LTS.

Installing LXD on Trusty simply requires enabling the trusty-backports pocket, and installing the lxd package from there, with these 3 little commands:

sudo sed -i -e "/trusty-backports/ s/^# //" /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y
sudo apt-get -t trusty-backports install lxd

In minutes, you can launch your first LXD containers. First, inherit your new group permissions, so you can execute the lxc command as your non-root user. Then, import some images, and launch a new container named lovely-rita. Shell into that container, and examine the process tree, install some packages, check the disk and memory and cpu available. Finally, exit when you’re done, and optionally delete the container.

newgrp lxd
lxd-images import ubuntu --alias ubuntu
lxc launch ubuntu lovely-rita
lxc list
lxc exec lovely-rita bash
  ps -ef
  apt-get update
  df -h
  free
  cat /proc/cpuinfo
  exit
lxc delete lovely-rita

I was able to run over 600 containers simultaneously on my Thinkpad (x250, 16GB of RAM), and over 60 containers on an m1.small in Amazon (1.6GB of RAM).

We’re very interested in your feedback, as LXD is one of the most important features of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. You can learn more about LXD, view the source code, file bugs, discuss on the mailing list, and peruse the Linux Containers upstream projects.

With a little help from my friends!

Join us for an interactive, live webinar on November 12th at 5pm BST/12pm EST led by James Page, where he will demonstrate LXD as the fastest hypervisor in OpenStack!

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