VPS that will run xBSD

Rafal Lukawiecki raf at rafal.net
Wed Aug 30 21:39:28 UTC 2017

While I am not a FreeBSD expert, I have built a good few AWS AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) for various Linuxes I have used over the years. The process generally requires you to use an existing available machine (say FreeBSD RELEASE) to build what you need first. You should use a pricier and a much faster machine for that, but you can change the underlying hardware just for this purpose, switching down to a cheaper one later. 

In the process, you create an AWS ESB volume that contains your desired new OS (say STABLE in your case). You snapshot that, which is an easy AWS operation, and you register that snapshot as a new AMI that you can now use to launch any number of new machines with your desired kernel and config.

Bear in mind this is an oversimplification of the process, as you have to pay attention to the needs of the hypervisor and the provided hardware. However, all of this has been done for us by Colin Percival. Have a look at his article in which he explained how to build your own FreeBSD AWS AMIs: 


If you do not need an AMI, that is you only want to update the very machine on which you are working, you can simply change to a new kernel and reboot. Caveat: I have not tried that with FreeBSD (yet) only CentOS.

Rafal Lukawiecki
Data Scientist and Director 
Project Botticelli Ltd

> On 30 Aug 2017, at 22:19, Frank Leonhardt <frank2 at fjl.co.uk> wrote:
> On 25/08/2017 03:16, Shane Ambler wrote:
>> On 24/08/2017 23:03, Kristof Provost wrote:
>>> On 24 Aug 2017, at 11:32, Frank Leonhardt wrote:
>>>> There are a load of cheap VPS services out there; so cheap I decided to give one a go to run a backup NS.
>>>> Then when I looked closer they all offer Windoze or some Linux or other.
>>>> Does anyone know of a VPS provider that can do any OS I like? Or do I need to create my own VPS provider :-)
>>> RootBSD (https://www.rootbsd.net) are nice people.
>>> I use Gandi (https://www.gandi.net/) myself.
>> If you look at the release notes you will find info on pre-installed
>> images for aws and google compute.
>> While aws may not be what you call a "cheap" provider it can have lower
>> prices, a t2.nano on demand will cost 4.39 a month, but it can get as
>> low as 1.92 a month if you pay upfront to reserve it for 3 years - thats
>> 69 for 3 years. So you may pay a few bucks more to test it out but for a
>> final setup it can be cheaper.
> Hi Shane,
> Thanks, but the whole problem is that they're "pre-installed". I can't run STABLE or any other version Amazon hasn't set up, never mind custom kernels. Actually, I've no idea what would happen if you took one and recompiled the kernel from new source but I don't really have the time to find out - nothing good I suspect.
> Regards, Frank.
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