Need a server for a quick little project? Or maybe even for some long-term development? Check out TurnKey Linux and their virtual appliances. This is a brilliant little solution! Just download a Linux-based VM configured and ready to go with whatever your app needs. Very slick.
Turnkey Linux is a virtual appliance library that integrates and polishes the very best open source software into ready to use solutions. Each virtual appliance is optimized for ease of use and can be deployed in just a few minutes on bare metal, a virtual machine and in the cloud.
For instance, I wanted to do some quick and dirty experimenting with WordPress the other day. Downloaded the appliance, fired it up with my VMware Workstations and I had a fully functional server ready to go in a matter of minutes. And not just WordPress; I also had PHPMyAdmin and even Webmin installed, configured and ready to go. Compared to building my own server and configuring it this saved me quite a bit of time.
The WP appliance is just over 200 MB and the VM is configured to run using 256MB of RAM. Works great with VMware Workstation and I have no doubt it would be just fine with the free VMware Player as well (and heck, probably Server and ESX as well but I haven’t tried those yet).
First time you run the appliance you provide some basics (like passwords) and it gets all configured up. When ready you have a nice informative display with everything you need to get rolling:
When you’re done with the project, chuck it and start another. You’ll always have a clean playing field. This really takes a lot of time out of starting up a new project or even doing some research. I’m a fan! Give it a shot. They have all the major CMS, blogs, and popular apps all ready to go.
There’s also the Turnkey Hub but I haven’t done any work with this one yet. Looks like a quick way to deploy a server to Amazon ECS if you’re into that sort of thing.