TryStack: OpenStack for fun and profit

Since I began to understand better the possibilities offered by OpenStack I quickly realized that I had a problem with my environment… the lack of resources! And buying a RAM module or an additional disk, would not solve the problem.

To correctly perceive the power of this software is necessary to have many resources, and usually the common user can not afford to have them at his fingertips, both because of the cost and the utility they can give to them.


Looking a bit I found TryStack, an OpenStack sandbox free to use that aims to alleviate this problem.

TryStack will allow you to choose from a x86 or an ARM architecture, according to your wishes. In my case I chose ARM to test a different architecture to which I have on hand usually.

For now the more updated version of OpenStack available in TryStack is Essex and, although some features built into the latest releases of OpenStack will not available, from there you will be able to feel how is working with a different and more powerful underlying structure.

Instances created in TryStack only last for 24hs because special emphasis is put on the fact its just for testing, but I think is enough time to test whatever you need.

Playing over ARM

Calxeda's EnergyCard atop a HP Redstone server prototype.

Just like this are the servers on which is mounted TryStack ARM. The source of the photo is Calxeda Stretches ARM into the Clouds, an excellent Wired post.

I created an instance and I SSH to it to show a little bit of what will you find.

[vkmc@gondor ~]$ ssh -i folsomarm.pem root@
Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.2.0-1000-highbank armv7l)

* Documentation:

System information as of Mon Feb 4 19:27:31 UTC 2013

System load: 0.02 Processes: 22
Usage of /: 0.4% of 147.89GB Users logged in: 0
Memory usage: 26% IP address for eth0:
Swap usage: 0%

Graph this data and manage this system at

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

Get cloud support with Ubuntu Advantage Cloud Guest

Last login: Mon Feb 4 19:27:32 2013 from

root@ubuntu:~# uname -a
Linux ubuntu 3.2.0-1000-highbank #141-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Mon Oct 15 08:14:05 CDT 2012 armv7l armv7l armv7l GNU/Linux

root@ubuntu:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 0 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 2190.54

processor : 1
BogoMIPS : 2190.54

processor : 2
BogoMIPS : 2197.09

processor : 3
BogoMIPS : 2190.54

Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3 tls
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x3
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 0

Hardware : Highbank
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get moo
  / |    ||   
 *  /\---/\ 
    ~~   ~~   
...."Have you mooed today?"...

:’) Isn’t it awesome?

Ok, ok… I want my account!

To get an account you’ll need to subscribe, if it is for ARM through a newsletter, and if it is for x86 through TryStack Facebook group.

As the account creation process is done manually the subscription confirmation takes a couple of days to arrive, but once you get the access is like using an email account.

For more information I share this video in which Anne (annegentle) let us know a bit more about TryStack, and you can also see how the interface looks and what you can do with it.

Getting started

Some guidelines that may be helpful

Comments (2)

    • Hey James! Thanks for sharing and sorry for the late response. I didn’t know about NanoStack! Is indeed a great option for those who want to try the stack right away. Cheers!

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