Download/live CD

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Here you can find OpenVZ Live CD images. Live CD is a great way to test drive the OpenVZ technology without a need to actually install it on your machine.

We offer three live CDs at the moment:

  • The "official" Openwall GNU/*/Linux (or Owl) disc image (live & installable, maintained).
  • One based on CentOS 4.4 (abandoned).
  • One based on Knoppix 5.1.1 (abandoned).


The ISO images for Owl are available from the Openwall FTP mirrors, such as via the links below (which use a specific fast mirror). The precreated ISO images for Knoppix and CentOS are available directly from or any of the download mirrors.

Yellowpin.svg Note: the .mtree*, .md5, and .asc files below do not need to be copied to the CD-R; they are here to check the authenticity of the iso files. This page has some info on this topic.


File Size
Owl-3_1-stable-20180703-x86_64.iso.gz 562 MB
Owl-3_1-stable-20180524-i686.iso.gz 556 MB
iso.mtree (MD5 and SHA-1 digests of the ISOs above) ~1 KB
iso.mtree.sign (GnuPG signature of the digests file above) ~1 KB


File Size
CentOS-4.4-OpenVZ-i386-LiveCD.iso 684 MB
CentOS-4.4-OpenVZ-i386-LiveCD.iso.md5 68 B


File Size
KNOPPIX_V5.1.1-OPENVZ-CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso 683 MB
KNOPPIX_V5.1.1-OPENVZ-CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso.md5 77 B
KNOPPIX_V5.1.1-OPENVZ-CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso.asc 189 B


After downloading the image, you have to burn it to the actual media, i.e. a CD-R or CD-RW disk. The process depends on the actual OS and CD burning software that you have, and the exact details are out of scope of this article.

If you don't know how to burn the ISO image to CD-R, try this document.


Just insert the fresh CD into your CD-ROM and reboot. In some cases you have to modify your BIOS settings in order to enable booting from a CD. If you use CentOS-based CD you'll be able to choose the kernel to boot: ovz9rh, ovz18, ovz18rh, ovz20 or linux (original CentOS kernel).


With the Owl CD, brief instructions (not OpenVZ specific yet) will be printed to the console, right before dropping you to a shell prompt. Then you will need to proceed with instructions for getting started with OpenVZ on Owl, as found on the Openwall wiki.

With the Knoppix (and CentOS?) CDs, upon successful boot, a browser window with some helpful hints will appear to help you start using OpenVZ. The latest version of that document is also available on this wiki: Getting started with OpenVZ live CD.


Since these are live CDs, everything is created in RAM, i.e. is not persistent. If you will create a number of VEs, they will not be available after the reboot.

A number of VEs that you can create using this live CD greatly depends on the amount of RAM your machine has, since the system uses RAM instead of a hard disk. On a 1 gigabyte RAM machine you can create about 5 VEs. To work around this, you have to have a disk partition mounted to /vz/private/ for CentOS-based CD and to /var/lib/vz/private for KNOPPIX-based CD.

OpenVZ disk quota does not work on LiveCD at the moment due to OpenVZ Bug #558, so df in VE shows ludicrous values if quota is on. Because of it on Owl and CentOS 4.4 LiveCD disk quota is switched off by default.

Checkpointing (and consequently live migration) doesn't work on KNOPPIX LiveCD at the moment due to OpenVZ Bug #606. You can work around it by mounting some filesystem (ext2, ext3, tmpfs) to /var/lib/vz/private directory. On CentOS-based LiveCD tmpfs is mounted on this directory automatically during the booting.

CD contents[edit]

Owl DVD contents[edit]

This DVD image (about 800 MB in size) uses the following OpenVZ components:

  • kernel 2.6.18-431.el5.028stab123.1.owl2 (latest unreleased/unofficial post-EOL revision from OpenVZ's RHEL5 branch as of May 2018, with minor changes for Owl)
  • vzctl 3.0.23 (with minor enhancements and customizations by ALT Linux and Owl teams)
  • vzquota 3.0.12

The live system is a full install of the Owl userland, including networking clients, servers, as well as "development" tools and libraries (C, C++). It also includes installable packages, the installer program, full source code, and the build environment. Unfortunately, it does not include pre-created container templates, but you may either configure networking (with "setup") and download a pre-created template to RAM, or you may use "make vztemplate" to create a new template of the Owl userland right on the CD-booted system.

CentOS CD contents[edit]

This CD is based on CentOS 4.4 Live CD and contains the following OpenVZ packages:

  • kernels:
    • original CentOS 4.4 kernel without virtualization (2.6.9-42.livecd.c4)
    • 2.6.9-023stab044.4
    • 2.6.18-028stab035
    • 2.6.18-028stab035-rhel5
    • 2.6.20-ovz007.1
  • tools:
    • vzctl 3.0.18
    • vzquota 3.0.9
  • template tools:
    • vzyum-2.4.0-11
    • vzrpm44-4.4.1-22.5
    • vzrpm43-4.3.3-7
    • vzpkg-2.7.0-18
  • template metadatas:
    • vztmpl-centos-4-2.0-2
    • vztmpl-fedora-core-3-2.0-2
    • vztmpl-fedora-core-4-2.0-2
    • vztmpl-fedora-core-5-2.0-2
  • precreated templates:
    • centos-4-i386-minimal
    • fedora-core-5-i386-minimal
    • debian-3.1-i386-minimal

A number of original CentOS packages were removed (openoffice, gimp, etc.) in order to free disk space for OpenVZ packages and templates.

Knoppix CD contents[edit]

This CD contains the following OpenVZ packages:

  • kernel 2.6.18-028stab027
  • vzctl 3.0.16
  • vzquota 3.0.9

plus a number of precreated templates:

  • Debian 3.1 minimal
  • CentOS 4 minimal
  • Fedora Core 5 minimal

It also contains all the software from the original Knoppix 5.1.1 CD, excluding:

  • OpenOffice
  • GIMP
  • Frozen Bubble

The above packages were taken out to make some room for OpenVZ packages.


  • 29 January 2010, added Owl
  • 5 July 2007, version based on CentOS 4.4
  • 7 May 2007, initial version based on Knoppix 5.1.1

External links[edit]