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Breaking news, 1 November 2003: Version 1.00 of the kernel patch has been released!

Get it here: [Herbert's v1.00 Release Page].

VServer Project Overview/History

The VServer project is fractured & difficult to follow. There are many docs available but many are out of date or conflicting. This page explains how everything fits together, where to find the latest patches & tools, and how to get help if you have troubles.

VServer Architecture

The Linux VServer consists of two main parts:

  1. The kernel patch. This adds context support to the kernel. Contexts are the heart of the vserver idea. Contexts protect vservers from each other. A process running in a particular context can see only processes in the same context, can use only the IP address assigned to that context, and is blocked from doing things such as making new device nodes (note: even if it's running as root!).
  2. The VServer tools. The tools provide commands such as "vserver", which lets you start, stop & enter vservers. They also provide scripts for creating vservers.

There are also some additional patches such as Herbert's Per Context Quota, Per Context Disk Limits and Memory Limits, which add features to vserver that wouldn't otherwise be available. See the main site for information on these.

One Kernel Patch, 2 Different Tools

Jacques Gélinas created the VServer project a number of years back (see [Jack's Site]). He still does vserver development and the community can be glad to have him. He's a genius, without him, vserver would not exist. Three cheers for Jack.

But sometime during 2003 it became apparent that Jack didn't have the time to keep vserver development up to pace. So in November, Herbert Pötzl officially took charge of development. He now releases the vserver kernel patches, announcing them on the vserver mailing list and making them available at [his website].

Additionally, Enrico Scholz decided to reimplement Jack's vserver tools in C. These are now distributed as "util-vserver" ([project page]). They are backward compatible to Jack's tools as far as possible, but follow the kernel patch development more closely.

Getting Help


This site (linux-vserver.org) is currently under development. Unfortunately it is also under-developed at the moment. Fortunately there's lots of external documentation. Unfortunately it's hard to find exactly what you need. Check out the Documentation page for the available docs.

I recommend you to read first [Jack's paper on vservers], then [Paul Sladen's FAQ].

Mailing List

There are helpful people on the mailing list. If you want to ask a question, make sure you provide specific information as to the versions of tools you are using. Make sure you are running v1.00 or later kernel patch. Many problems on the list seem to come because people didn't realise there was a newer version of the VServer code available.


Join #vserver on irc.oftc.net. There's generally someone helpful in here. But if you are given a solution to a problem, please post the details on the website or to the mailing list! Otherwise people will just keep asking the same questions over and over again.