Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Open Media Vault and Docker, Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

So Docker is pretty cool.  And I think it could solve a few problems I have.  I currently run Open Media Vault on an HP N40L microserver as my NAS, as an application server and as a general "do anything" box.  The problem is that any time I monkey around with the box, such as installing experimental software, I run the risk of breaking something.  And while it's not a serious business machine, I really don't want the potential disruptions.

In most business scenarios, you'd typically run TWO machines -- one to serve as a development and/or testing environment, and the other to serve as a production environment.  In a situation with constrained resources (like a small business), you might maintain a single physical server, but use virtualisation to maintain separate development and production environments.  And after looking at a number of different virtualisation options, Docker was the only one I could find that really suited my needs -- that is, open source, easy to use, well documented and supported, minimal overhead and ideally, compatible with tools that I'm already familiar with.

So, how do we get Docker up and running on Open Media Vault?

The Docker website has some basic instructions for running Docker on a Debian Jessie system.  There are also instructions for installing Docker on Debian Wheezy (which is the version upon which OMV Krazelic is based), but they are a little bit more involved -- since you need to install a backports kernel.  I suspect these instructions will probably work for OMV, but generally, installing backports kernel is handled through the web interface.  So I recommend the following steps;
  • Follow the steps here to install the  OMV-extras plugin
  • Once the OMV-extras plugin is installed and working, you should see a tab for installing the backports kernel.  Once selected, it will take a little while to download and install.  You'll need to reboot afterwards
  • After the reboot has finished, you'll need to ssh into your machine, and you can continue following the instructions from step 2 -- that is, run  
curl -sSL | sh
  • If you haven't done so already, you may need to instead curl (sudo apt-get install curl)
At the end of the whole process, you should have a working installation on your OMV machine.  Now it's time to try out installing an application.

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