Arch Linux VPS
- Virtual private server (VPS) is a term used by Internet hosting services to refer to a virtual machine. The term is used for emphasizing that the virtual machine, although running in software on the same physical computer as other customers' virtual machines, is in many respects functionally equivalent to a separate physical computer, is dedicated to the individual customer's needs, has the privacy of a separate physical computer, and can be configured to run server software.
This article discusses the use of Arch Linux on Virtual Private Servers, and includes some fixes and installation instructions specific to VPSes.
- Linux 2.6.32 is not supported by systemd since version 205 (and will not work with systemd-212 or higher). Since many container-based virtualization environments rely on older kernels, it may be impossible to keep an Arch Linux install up-to-date in such an environment. However, OpenVZ, as of kernel build 042stab094.7, has backported the CLOCK_BOOTTIME feature, making it work with later versions of systemd.
- Systemd since version 220 doesn't work on OpenVZ containers.  This issue has been fixed in OpenVZ kernel 042stab111.1 
Providers that offer Arch Linux
- Loading custom disc images (requires hardware virtualization such as in Xen or KVM),
- Installing under chroot, for example with the help of the vps2arch script (it will download the latest iso; be particularly aware of the systemd 220/221 bug), or
- Following #Installing the latest Arch Linux on any OpenVZ provider instructions, using rsync to synchronize Arch over the top of another distribution.
|4smart.cz||2013.08||OpenVZ||Prague, CZ||(Czech language site only) when updating system make sure you use [tredaelli-systemd] in pacman.conf (see Unofficial user repositories|
|affinity.net.nz||2013.08.01||KVM||Auckland, New Zealand (NZ)||IRC channel is #affinity on ircs.kiwicon.org|
|Atlantic.Net||2015.05.01||KVM||NYC/SF/Toronto/Dallas/Orlando, US & Canada||100% SSD 1-click Arch Linux, ready in 30 seconds|
|BuyVM||2013.07.01||KVM||LA, Buffalo NY||Must chose a different OS at sign up. Once accessible, choose to mount the latest Arch ISO and reboot to install manually.|
|Coinshost||2015.04||Xen||Zurich, Switzerland||Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies accepted.|
|DirectVPS||2014.01.xx||OpenVZ||Amsterdam, NL; Rotterdam, NL||(Dutch language site only)|
|Edis||2013.03.01||vServer, KVM, OpenVZ||Multiple international locations.||Also offer dedicated server options as well as an "off-shore" location at the Isle of Man (IM).|
|Gandi||2013.10.27||Xen||Paris, FR; Baltimore, MD, US; Bissen, LU||Very granular scaling of system resources (e.g. RAM, disk space); IPv6-only option available; you can supply your own install image, version based on keyring package version; Baltimore facility shutting down 2016-12-01|
|GigaTux||2013.06.01||Xen||Chicago, US-IL; Frankfurt, DE; London, GB; San Jose, US-CA|
|Host Virtual||2014.06.01||KVM||Multiple International Locations||Appears to use KVM virtualization. Site lists "Xen based virtualization" and features lists ability to install from ISO.|
|Hostigation||2010.05 i686||OpenVZ, KVM||Charlotte, US-NC; Los Angeles, US-CA||You can migrate to x86_64.|
|Kloud51||Latest||OpenVZ||US-CA, Canada||SSD, 2 images available: A bare-bones system or a pre-configured Desktop with OpenBox, XRDP, Firefox, SSH Brute Force, Geany, and Yaourt.|
|Leapswitch Networks||2013.10.xx||OpenVZ/KVM||USA, India, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, Germany||Arch Linux currently available in Control Panel for reinstall, not on order form.|
|Linevast.de||Latest||OpenVZ, KVM||Germany||Arch Linux is possible on openvz and on KVM with the one click os installer.|
|Linode.com||2015.08 and 2015.02||Xen, KVM||Tokyo, JP; Multiple US; London, GB||To run a custom kernel, installAUR ( will break on a 32-bit Linode). When shipped, the NIC enp4s0 is renamed to eth0 and reverts back to enp4s0 on reboot --- on reboot, this may cause sshd load to fail.|
|LYLIX||2014.01.xx||OpenVZ||Multiple US; Europe||32-bit and 64-bit available|
|Node Deploy||2014.10.01||OpenVZ, KVM||Germany (DE); Los Angeles, US-CA; Atlanta, US-GA; Phoenix, US-AZ||"At NodeDeploy we support virtually every linux distribution." Arch Linux is listed under their Operating Systems. No version information.|
|Netcup||2012.11.xx||KVM||Germany (DE)||(German language site only)|
|OnePoundWebHosting||2014.01||Xen PV, Xen HVM||United Kingdom (UK)||They are a registrar too. Unable to verify server locations.|
|PacmanVPS||Latest||KVM||Canada (CA), Poland (PL)||Support for any kernel. Ready to use template or install manually from ISO in VNC console.|
|Proplay||Latest||OpenVZ, KVM||Germany (DE)||(German language site only)|
|Rackspace Cloud||2013.6||Xen||Multiple international locations||Billed per hour. Use their "next gen" VPSes (using the mycloud.rackspace.com panel); the Arch image on the first gen Rackspace VPSes is out of date.|
|RamHost.us||2013.05.01||OpenVZ, KVM||Los Angeles, US-CA; Great Britain (GB); Atlanta, US-GA; Germany (DE)||You can request a newer ISO on RamHost's IRC network.|
|RamNode||2016.01.01||SSD and SSD Cached: KVM||Alblasserdam, NL; Atlanta, GA-US; Los Angeles, CA-US; New York, NY-US; Seattle, WA-US||You can request Host/CPU passthrough with KVM service. Frequent use of discount promotions., Must install Arch manually from an ISO using VNC viewer.|
|RoseHosting||Latest||OpenVZ, KVM||St. Louis, Missouri, USA||SSD powered hosting plans with free fully-managed 24/7 support|
|TransIP||2016.02.01||KVM||Amsterdam, NL||Also registrar.|
|upCUBE||Latest||Docker||Germany||Different prepared arch linux templates available|
|XenVZ||2009.12.07||OpenVZ, Xen||United Kingdom (UK), United States (US)||Hardware|
|Virpus||2014.11.07||Xen||Kansas City, US-KS; Los Angeles, US-CA||A subcompany of Wow Technologies, Inc. 24/7 support via Live Chat, Email, Phone, and Ticket System.|
|Virtual Master||2012-08||??||Prague, CZ|
|VMLine||2013.09.01||KVM, OpenVZ||Kraków, PL||(Polish language site only) S-Net reseller. Full virtualization.|
|VPSBG.eu||2013.10||OpenVZ||Sofia, Bulgaria||Offshore VPS in Bulgaria - anonymous registrations and Bitcoin are accepted.|
|VPS6.NET||2013.01.xx||OpenVZ, Xen, HVM-ISO||Multiple US; Frankfurt, DE; Bucharest, RO; Istanbul, TR||Registrar.|
|World4You||2015.10.28||OpenVZ||Austria (AT)||Internet hosting provider; quick setup; 24/7 support; shared web hosting; also CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Arch OpenVZ servers; supports newest systemd (227 atm)|
Installing the latest Arch Linux on any OpenVZ provider
It is possible to directly copy an installation of Arch Linux over the top of a working OpenVZ VPS. This tutorial explains how to create a basic installation of Arch Linux with
pacstrap (as used in a standard install) and then replace the contents of a target VPS with it using rsync.
This process (with minor modification) also works to migrate existing Arch installations between various environments and has been confirmed to work in migrating from OpenVZ to Xen and from Xen to OpenVZ. For an install to Xen, other hardware-virtualized platforms, or probably even to physical hardware (unconfirmed), extra steps (basically running
mkinitcpio and installing a bootloader) are needed.
- A working Arch Linux installation
- To keep things simple, it should match the architecture you want to install on your VPS (x86_64 or i686).
- To build from other distributions, arch-bootstrap.sh can be used in place of
- The official repositories
, , and packages from the
- SSH is not strictly required, but rsync over SSH is the method used here.
- A VPS running any distribution, with
rsyncand a working SSH server
- Its architecture (x86_64 or i686) does not matter as long as the OpenVZ installation can support your target architecture.
/lib64, it is recommended to use a distribution that does the same to avoid issues while installing Arch Linux with
rsync. An example of such a distribution is Fedora 23.
- OpenVZ's serial console feature (usually accessible via your provider's control panel)
- Without this, any network configuration for the target VPS will have to be done immediately after the "Build" step below.
Building a clean Arch Linux installation
As root, build the installation (optionally replacing
build with your preferred target directory):
# mkdir build # pacstrap -cd build
Other tweaks for the
-C custom-pacman-config.conf- Use a custom pacman configuration file. By default,
pacstrapbuilds according to your local pacman.conf. This determines the architecture (i686 or x86_64) of the build, the mirror list, etc.
pacstrapfrom copying your system's pacman keyring to the new build. If you use this option, you will need to run
pacman-key --populate archlinuxin the Configuration step to set up the keyring.
pacstrapfrom copying your system's pacman mirror list to the new build.
- You can pass a list of packages to
pacstrapto add them to your install, instead of the default
basegroup. For example:
pacstrap -cd build base openssh dnsutils gnu-netcat traceroute vim
Replacing everything on the VPS with the Arch build
Replace all files, directories, etc. on your target VPS with the contents of your
build directory (replacing "YOUR.VPS.IP.ADDRESS" below):
rsyncis very destructive, especially with any of the
# rsync -axH --delete-delay -e ssh --stats -P build/ YOUR.VPS.IP.ADDRESS:/
Explanation of options:
At minimum, only the
-a (preserve timestamps, permissions, etc.),
-x (do not cross filesystem boundaries), and
--delete (delete anything in the target that does not exist in the source) options are required. The
--delete-delay option is an alternate deletion mode which waits to delete anything until the synchronization is otherwise complete; this is not necessary but may reduce the risk of a slow transfer causing the target VPS to lock-up. The
-H causes hardlinks to be preserved. The
-e ssh (use rsync over SSH) option is recommended and makes things simple. The
-P options are just to show more information.
- Reboot the VPS externally (using your provider's control panel, for example).
- Using OpenVZ's serial console feature, configure the network and basic system settings (ignoring fstab generation and arch-chroot steps).
- If you do not have access to the serial console feature, you will need to preconfigure your network settings before synchronizing Arch to the VPS.
- On some VPS configuration you won't have a gateway to connect to, here is an example netctl configuration for this setup. It configures static IP addresses and default routes on venet0 and uses Google Public DNS.
Description='VPS venet connection' Interface=venet0 Connection=ethernet IP=static Address=('192.0.2.42/32') Routes=('default') IP6=static Address6=('2001:db8::1234:5678/128') Routes6=('default') DNS=('2001:4860:4860::8888' '2001:4860:4860::8844' '184.108.40.206' '220.127.116.11')