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MiniCloud is a cloud-computing toolkit built on OpenVZ

  • Installation is simple and operational tasks are to the point

  • It's perfect for rapid testing and development requiring disposable compute resources

  • There is no central database (or any database)


MiniCloud is a set of client/server programs to drive the container-based virtualisation platform, OpenVZ. It allows you to manage instances with a simple set of command line tools.

MiniCloud was built out of a frustration surrounding existing open source cloud management solutions. It aims to be simple while being flexible enough to fit into an organisations existing infrastructure.

Installing the server

Install and setup OpenVZ: MiniCloud expects OpenVZ to be operational and able to run containers. Currently MiniClould server must be run as root.

Clone the MiniCloud repo to install.

$ sudo su -
$ cd /opt
$ git clone

Run the MiniClould server, specifying a range of IP addresses that it can hand out

$ /opt/minicloud/sbin/mcserver -r

Check the log files

$ tail -f /opt/minicloud/log/mcc-server.log

Installing the client tools

The client tools are also part of the MiniCloud repo. They are all located under bin/

Clone the MiniCloud repo.

$ cd ~/
$ mkdir .minicloud
$ git clone .minicloud/
$ export PATH=$PATH:~/.minicloud/bin

Create an instance

Once we've setup the server and client tools, we can create an instance

Fist export the MCC_SERVER environment variable. It is the hostname and port of the MiniCloud server.

$ export MCC_SERVER=myopenvzserver:8080

List the images we are able to select

$ mcc-list-images 
    IMAGE   centos-5-x86_64
    IMAGE   centos-5-x86
    IMAGE   fedora-14-x86_64
    IMAGE   gentoo-10.0-x86_64
    IMAGE   ubuntu-10.04-x86_64

List the instance types we can select

$ mcc-list-instance-types 
    INST_TYPE	  basic
    INST_TYPE	  light
    INST_TYPE	  unlimited
    INST_TYPE	  vswap-1024m
    INST_TYPE	  vswap-256m
    INST_TYPE	  vswap-512m

List the keys we have associated with MiniCloud

$ mcc-list-keys

Humm, nothing. We need to register one

$ mcc-add-key --name doylenet --public-key "ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2.....aQ== mykey"

Now let's launch an instance!

$ mcc-run-instances -i centos-5-x86_64 -t basic -k doylenet -n my-web-server
          ID   IP
    INST  501

We will get back the ID of the instance and the IP address to connect to. Let's see the progress using mcc-list-instances

$ mcc-list-instances 
             ID   IP          STATUS   TEMPLATE              NAME
    INSTANCE 501  running  centos-5-x86_64       my-web-server

It's up! At the moment the instance won't appear until it is up and running. It may take a few seconds for the instance to appear. It will not be present in the list until it is up and running!

Destroy an instance

It's easy - use mcc-destroy-instace

First check the running instances

$ mcc-list-instances
          ID   IP
    INST  501

Kill off any you don't want

$ mcc-destroy-instance -i 501

It could take a while for MiniCloud to kill off the instance. Use mcc-list-instances to check the status

$ mcc-list-instances


  • The server needs to be run as root

  • Calls between the client and server are XML-RPC over HTTP without authentication


  • Client-side libraries to do what the CLI tools do

  • Rspec tests and mocking RPC calls

  • RPM and DEB packages for installation of the server, client tools and libraries

  • Running the server as a user other than root

  • Look at better RPC methods

  • Replace the vz* binary programs with Ruby equivalents


Copyright © 2012 Ryan Doyle

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.