Managing OpenVZ With The WebVZ Control Panel On Debian Lenny

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This guide explains how you can install WebVZ on a Debian Lenny OpenVZ host. WebVZ is a light web-based control panel for OpenVZ. It has its own web server (Webrick) and database engine (SQLITE 3).

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I'm using a Debian Lenny server with the hostname and the IP address here.

I'm assuming that OpenVZ is already installed on working on the server, e.g. as shown in this tutorial: Installing And Using OpenVZ On Debian Lenny (AMD64)


2 Installing WebVZ

First we install some prerequisites:

apt-get install ruby rubygems libsqlite3-ruby sqlite3 irb1.8 libopenssl-ruby1.8 libreadline-ruby1.8 rdoc1.8

WebVZ needs Rails version 2.1.0 which we install as follows:

gem install -v=2.1.0 rails

Next we download and install WebVZ in the directory /usr/local/webvz:

cd /usr/local
tar xvfz webvz.2.0.tar.gz
mv webvz.2.0 webvz
cd webvz

ln -s /var/lib/vz /vz
ln -s /usr/bin/irb1.8 /usr/bin/irb
mkdir /etc/sysconfig
ln -s /etc/vz/conf /etc/sysconfig/vz-scripts

That's it - now we can install WebVZ as follows (you must still be in the /usr/local/webvz directory):

ruby script/server    

You should see something like this:

server1:~/webvz.2.0# ruby script/server
=> Booting WEBrick...
=> Rails 2.1.0 application started on
=> Ctrl-C to shutdown server; call with --help for options
[2009-02-09 19:55:04] INFO WEBrick 1.3.1
[2009-02-09 19:55:04] INFO ruby 1.8.7 (2008-08-11) [x86_64-linux]
[2009-02-09 19:55:04] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=3106 port=3000

(Please note that the input prompt will not return until you press CTRL+D, but that would also terminate WebVZ. I will address this issue in a moment. For now we leave WebVZ running.)


3 Using WebVZ

Now open a browser and go to or and log in with the username admin and the password admin123:

After the first login, go to the Users tab and change your password:

The OS-Templates tab displays a list of currently installed operating system templates for OpenVZ:

To create a new container, go to Containers > New Container...

... and complete the following form:

The container will then be created. Afterwards, you can manage it from WebVZ:


4 Running WebVZ As A Daemon

As I mentioned at the end of chapter 2, as soon as you press CTRL+D or close the command line window, the WebVZ process is killed. Of course, this is not what we want. We can make WebVZ run as a daemon as follows:

cd /usr/local/webvz/
ruby script/server &>/dev/null &

If you want WebVZ to be started at boot time, you can edit /etc/rc.local...

vi /etc/rc.local

... and add the line cd /usr/local/webvz/ && /usr/bin/ruby script/server &>/dev/null & before the exit 0 line:

#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.

cd /usr/local/webvz/ && /usr/bin/ruby script/server &>/dev/null &

exit 0


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By: Johannes Martin

You don't actually have to create symlinks to make the debian openvz installation look like a standard installation. You can patch a few webwz files instead. Here's a little script to do it (run from /usr/local/webwz):


# replace /vz by /var/lib/vz in these files

# replace /etc/sysconfig/vz-scripts by /etc/vz/conf in these files

sed -i.orig 's+\([" ]\)/vz+\1/var/lib/vz+g' $FILES1
sed -i.orig 's+/etc/sysconfig/vz-scripts+/etc/vz/conf+' $FILES2