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OpenVZ is container-based virtualization for Linux. OpenVZ creates multiple secure, isolated Linux containers (otherwise known as VEs or VPSs) on a single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that applications do not conflict. Each container performs and executes exactly like a stand-alone server; a container can be rebooted independently and have root access, users, IP addresses, memory, processes, files, applications, system libraries and configuration files. For more information about the technology and how it differs from the others like Xen, VMware etc., see introduction to virtualization, doc/openvz-intro.pdf (73 KB), wikipedia:OpenVZ or comparison table.

OpenVZ software consists of an optional custom Linux kernel and command-line tools (mainly vzctl). Our kernel developers work hard to merge containers functionality into the upstream Linux kernel, making OpenVZ team the biggest contributor to Linux Containers (LXC) kernel, with features such as PID and network namespaces, memory controller, checkpoint-restore (see and much more. OpenVZ tools (vzctl) is a solid alternative to LXC tools, see vzctl for upstream kernel for more details. While OpenVZ can be used with recent upstream kernel, we recommend using OpenVZ kernel for security, stability and features.

OpenVZ is free open source software, available under GNU GPL.

Installation and usage

OpenVZ is easy to install if you already have Linux installed on your machine. See quick installation for installation info. Alternatively, you can try a live CD to test drive the technology without a need to install anything.

A comprehensive (although somewhat old) doc/OpenVZ-Users-Guide.pdf ( 1.3 MB) is a good start. This wiki also has a lot of information (use search function, see list of all categories or list of all pages.

Control panels

OpenVZ comes with command line tools only. If you need management tools, consider upgrade to Virtuozzo.

Also, there is a list of third-party software (both free and proprietary) available at Control panels. If you can't make your choice, we recommend:


OpenVZ is project with open processes and development artifacts. It means everyone can participate in development, testing or discussing of OpenVZ. Also we have a bunch of articles for OpenVZ contributors.


Odin is now offering an OpenVZ Maintenance Partnership program. The program provides bug resolution support and feature development to the OpenVZ community. The OpenVZ Maintenance Partnership has a small annual fee and provides two benefits to partnership members.

  • Partnership members will receive a support ID that will allow them to submit up to10 high priority bugs per year. These bugs will be placed at the highest priority level in the development stack.
  • Partnership members will also be able to submit a feature request(s) which will be reviewed by the Odin engineering team. They will work with you to clarify the requirements and implementation options and provide an implementation estimate and a schedule.

Learn more and join the OpenVZ Maintenance Partnership

Free support

Please read the documentation before asking questions. Check the FAQ, use Google, search both this wiki and the forum. If this doesn't help, ask on either forum or a mailing list. Please report all bugs to OpenVZ bug tracker.

This wiki

This site is a wiki — the place to gain and share your OpenVZ knowledge. Wiki is a documentation portal, a knowledge base, a collaboration tool. Everyone (you!) can create or edit content, it's really easy. For information about wiki syntax and wiki editing, see meta:Help:Editing.

Below are a few links you can start from. In addition, you might want to take a look at the list of all categories or all pages.

OpenVZ and virtualization concepts
Description of OpenVZ technologies
How to install OpenVZ
Everything about OpenVZ templates
Articles concerning OpenVZ kernel
What to do if something fails
Networking-related articles
Storage-related articles (mostly ploop and pstorage)
How to do something
Frequently Asked Questions
Show your appreciation of OpenVZ on your site using these images
Short definitions of various terms used in OpenVZ
list of major project milestones
public conversations with OpenVZ developers
to other container solutions
past and future releases of OpenVZ and its components


See also

External links