VMBuilder is a Python-based software package for creating VM images of free software GNU/Linux-based operating systems. It's currently being developed by the Ubuntu Virtualization Team. It makes building and installing VMs a breeze. The vanilla / trunk release supports Ubuntu on Xen, VirtualBox, VMware, KVM and Amazon EC2.

As part of a SummerOfCode2009 project, DavidWendt is working to expand VMBuilder to support Debian Etch and Lenny on the aforementioned VMs, as well as extend the Amazon EC2 support to Eucalyptus.


Currently, David works on an Alioth Git repository as part of pkg-escience. You can grab the latest master branch revision by typing:

git clone git://git.debian.org/git/pkg-escience/vmbuilder.git

The current master branch includes Debian packaging, although you can also use it from within the directory.


First of all, note that VMbuilder requires you to be superuser/root in order to build VMs.

Usage of our VMbuilder is very similar to the trunk revision, except obviously you can select Debian as a distro and Etch and Lenny as a suite. You can find some documentation in the Community Ubuntun Documentation site

Lenny on KVM - basic

The following command line will install a default lenny system with default --user "debian", --pass "debian" and non-refault root password "debian". What may be handy for all those with a memory-mapped /tmp file system is the specification of an alternative path to prepare the image:

./debian-vm-builder kvm lenny --tmp=/var/tmp --mirror http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian --rootpass debian

See also