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Rackspace Cloud Servers Now Support CentOS 6.3, FreeBSD 9

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Rackspace has made additions and changes to the operating systems available in Cloud Servers, and we’re excited to share those updates with you.

The first is CentOS 6.3, which is the latest version of the popular CentOS 6.x platform. The next is a new operating system offering for Rackspace, FreeBSD 9, which offers customers another powerful choice for their cloud infrastructure, with features like high performance networking, the ZFS filesystem and the strong FreeBSD ports software collection.

CentOS 6.3 and FreeBSD 9 Now Available

CentOS 6.3 is the latest version of the CentOS distribution, and was just released two weeks ago.  We’re doing our best to make these available as quickly as possible after release.  For more information, you can find the CentOS 6.3 release notes here.

FreeBSD support has been a popular request for a while and we are extremely excited to now make it available. To make FreeBSD support possible, we needed to make a couple of fundamental enhancements to Cloud Servers. One such change is support for non-ext3 and NTFS file systems (FreeBSD runs ZFS). For more information, go to http://www.freebsd.org/features.html

To keep things simple for you, Cloud Servers automatically expands and shrinks the file system when launching and resizing servers. Some customers, however, have asked for more control, such as being able to install different file systems, set up multiple partitions, etc. To support both scenarios, we created a new option called Disk Configuration, which allows a filesystem to either automatically expand to the size limits of the instance being created, or to be left alone for manual management by the user. For FreeBSD, Disk Configuration is set to the latter (which means you may see unpartitioned disk space and will need to configure it however you want).

Previously, Disk Configuration was an internal setting that Rackspace used, but we have carried this feature forward into OpenStack and our upcoming Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack offering, which gives you control over this setting. That means you will be able to configure any image for either automatic or manual Disk Configuration. Simplicity or control – you get to choose.

Removal of Fedora 15 and Debian 5

Support has ended for both Fedora 15 and Debian 5. As such, we will remove these images from Cloud Servers on Aug. 27, 2012. We recommend customers consider Fedora 17 and Debian 6 for production servers needing these distributions of Linux.

Update: This post was edited to fix two errors that suggested that FreeBSD was a completely new operating system, and a reference that mixed Linux and FreeBSD terminology.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Richard Goodwin.

Richard Goodwin joined Rackspace as a Product Manager in June 2012, focusing on images and the OpenStack Glance project in the Cloud Compute team. Before joining Rackspace, he helped manage and launch a series of online services, including online backup, in the Symantec.cloud group at Symantec Corp. He has a long history in both web services and storage technologies, with almost a decade each at Symantec and Dell Inc. serving enterprise and SMB customers.


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5 Comments

“new operating system called FreeBSD” – FreeBSD a new operating system? It’s been there for quite a while!

avatar James on August 3, 2012 | Reply

Rather lame to call FreeBSD “new operating system called FreeBSD”… especially when next year it will enter into its twentieth year of distribution.

avatar Steve on August 22, 2012 | Reply

I guess he means new for Rackspace…
Worse is the news letter where FreeBSD is called a Linux distribution!
That’s not nice to call a OS which base is actually older than Linux.

I know this is probably just marketing people talking, but it leaves the impression that Rackspace is not taking the “new” FreeBSD operating system really serious.

avatar Morten Vinding on August 23, 2012 | Reply

Hello all!

Sorry for the delay, had to get my account setup so i could properly reply to everyone.

James, Steve: Definitely a typo/glitch in the post; I’ve used FreeBSD at various times since v6 I believe, so I concur that it is NOT new, just new in our Next Gen cloud!

Morten: Again, a language glitch as the post went through editing. We’ll get that fixed up quickly, and thanks for noticing!

avatar Richard Goodwin [Racker] on August 27, 2012 | Reply

I can’t find the information on pricing FreeBSD cloud servers. Are they the same as Linux or Windows prices?

For example, on Amazon EC2, FreeBSD servers have to be launched as Windows servers because of FreeBSD’s poor paravirtualized Xen support and then obviously, they are charged as Windows servers, which then increases the cost. What is the case on Rackspace Cloud?

Thanks.

avatar Sasha on October 13, 2012 | Reply

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