Category: Rackspace Cloud

*** Disclaimer: This is not supported by Rackspace. If it blows up, we can’t help you fix it. I’ve tested it a fair bit and it seems to be working fine, however if it does not work for you, you’re pretty much on your own. I would advise thorough testing before deploying this solution to a production environment. ***


After a long hiatus from writing articles, I found something interesting to tinker with again after a customer asked about VPN, I had never tried it so my answer was “It should be possible, but I’m not sure”. Now I can say that it is definitely possible, and give you a practical setup utilizing IPSEC to hook into your sweet Cisco ASAs in your corporate networks. This was tested using two cloud networks,  but it should work for cloud network to anything that supports IPSEC. You could also potentially do this with any other VPN solution, such as OpenVPN.

This guide will walk you through setting up an openswan ipsec tunnel that connects one network to another, as well as a dhcpd server to make it mostly automatic to anything on the network.  Read on after the jump.


View full article »

The ability to have temporary URLs is something that has been requested for quite some time. Since Cloud Files runs on openstack swift, we get some of the new features available, such as temporary URLs. This will allow you to create temporary URLs so your end users can consume your product, while having it expire after a few days, or minutes, so it isn’t possible to share the link, limiting unauthorized downloads.

Keep in mind, this isn’t officially supported by Rackspace yet, so you’re on your own for it, however it does work and you can start taking advantage of it now. Read on after the jump for the how-to.

View full article »

This guide will walk you through installing a custom linux distro to Rackspace Cloud Servers without the need of taring up a file system from a donor box. This particular guide is specific to openSuse, but the same method can be used to install other distros that support automated/remote install.

This process is entirely unsupported by Rackspace.

First, some documentation before we get started:

View full article »

I see complaints across twitter and the feedback page, as well as various blog posts about how the Rackspace Cloud doesn’t support this OS, or that OS. With the introduction of PV-Grub, you should be able to run nearly any OS you want – with a bit of work.

Keep in mind, this process is entirely unsupported by Rackspace. If your OS breaks on you, and you’re using some OS no one has heard of, they’ll be hard pressed to support it.

For this process you will need the following:

  • A Tar archive of the filesystem for the OS you want to use, excluding /proc, /sys and /dev
  • The New Cloud Server
  • A good understanding of the OS you want to use.

For my example, I will be using Suse 11.3, it should work the same for other OSes. Let’s go ahead and get right into it.

View full article »

To compile kernel modules on a Cloud Server you need to complete the following steps, making sure to change the kernel version and directories where appropriate (–for example, extracts to linux-, whereas extracts to

View full article »

According to the website, backups for Cloud Servers are only available for instances with a memory size of 2GB or less.  However, this restriction only applies to (some of) the control panel, and not the API itself.  It is still quite possible to take snapshots of your larger servers, though there are a few caveats along the way.

To take snapshots of your >2GB Cloud Servers through the control panel, you first need to go to Hosting -> Cloud Servers and click on the “My Server Images” tab.  Note that you do not want to go to an individual server’s overview page to take the image;  it will not work for >2GB servers.

View full article »

Whenever you upgrade the memory on a Windows Cloud Server, you’ll notice that, although the memory has increased, the disk space has not.  This happens because the hypervisor uses a sparce disk file for the virtual hard drive on Windows instances.  Since the hypervisor is unable to access the partition structure inside this file directly, the additional drive space that is allocated to your server after the resize must be manually managed within the OS itself.


Before making any changes to your partition structure, make sure you take a backup!  Any kind of mistake or problem during this process will render your machine unusable!

Windows 2008

On Windows 2008, this can be accomplished quite easily with the built-in tools.  After the resize operation has been completed and the Rackspace control panel has asked you to verify the integrity of your server, you can follow these steps to expand the partition:

View full article »

For the longest time, cloud servers has been limited to the hypervisor’s seeded kernels. They were patched for exploits, and generally worked well – but some people require specific things in their kernel. While you could compile modules before, you were never allowed to touch the kernel itself.

However recently, PV-Grub became available as an option for Cloud Servers. This loads your grub loader and lets you use whatever kernel you feel like. In order to get it, all you need to do is request it in a ticket and give permission to restart the server. However before that, you will need to set up your kernel and a grub stub.

View full article »

There is currently no way to build a server on one account from an image on another account, at least not directly. This article will show you how to do it manually using a Cloud Files image.

This only covers Linux servers, Windows users get no love! (Actually, once I’ve had a chance to test on Windows servers I’ll update this article as to whether it’s possible and what steps are required to do it.)

View full article »

The Rackspace Cloud allows you to save your images to Cloud Files, however currently your automated backups are still stored with server.

Additionally you can only have a backup every day. What if you wanted one say, every 6 hours? You can achieve this with the API, curl and a bash script.

Below is the script, all you need to do is plug in your API key and your username. After that we just need to create a cron job to run it and we’re all good to go.

This Script Requires the Following:

  • Awk
  • cURL

These should all be installed by default, try running the script manually and making sure it doesn’t return any errors before setting up your cron job.

View full article »