Omnia as an replacement for a home server


I am having classic router and then Raspberry Pi for my scheduled tasks, server for a few small webpages (in HTML, Django or nodejs), FTP and some other home purposes. Since running only one device instead of two sounds like a good idea, I am curious what are my chances going for just one device with Turris Omnia. Techspecs are (on paper) better than the original Raspberry Pi B+ which I am using now, so if it was just for a linux server, it would be even better. But it is not the case and I can’t imagine how much the “router” part of resources take and what is left for the rest. I understand that there is some virtualization for running my own linux distro, but that is a bit mystery for me. Or should I forget about this as a good idea (like having Omnia as a reliable web server)? What is the best option for this (quite often) with Omnia?

I understand that the answer depends on the actual usage, but there might be e.g. some knowable limitations already known or someone might have already tried that.



I will post just my uneducated opinion, based on previous discussions here:

I think you will be pretty fine running even some CMS system (you know, like Joomla!,…) on such HW.
Question is, what else, apart from this web-ish stuff you want to run there ?
Judging from previous answers i.e. about utilization with VPN service, this can get serious - and don’t forget that fanless design will make this piece of HW quite hot.


I am wondering too (+1)! I’ve supported the project under the impression that it would be possible to run Debian in an LXC container on the Omnia out of the box, enabling me to indeed make the Turris Omnia my “open-source center of my home” (utilizing several - mostly idle - Debian containers running on it).

  • Is (and/or will) there be any instructions available about running Debian (specifically?) on the Omnia?

E.g. some specific question that I struggle with right now are:

  • Will LXC-Debian-templates be made available (and maintained)?
  • If not; how hard* is it to make one’s own templates (bootstrap?)?
  • Will I be able to normally apt-get install from the container - without having to add difficult* (badly maintained) repositories etc.

*Mind me being new to embedded devices and only moderately skilled with Linux (I should be regarded as a simple-user willing and able to learn)?

An answer would be very much appreciated, as being able to run Debian will define the success (or failure) of the Omnia in my home (and having spent my ICT-budget for this year on it, the uncertainty makes me very nervous - so please be gentle :worried:).

I just watched the following clarifying video where Alex Samorukov shows a demo of running a Debian container (a.o.) on the Turris Omnia:

This, kind of, answered some of my questions - as he discussed matter that touched my questions “left and right” - but the fact that during the presentation DebianPCSPEPort was used now got me extra scared, as on the DebianPCSPEPort website I read the following:

This port was removed from debian-ports because it was unmaintained, …

So now I am actually worried to have bought a (high-end) device that may well have little purpose in my home. :sweat: Luckily the Turris Omnia website still reads the following:

The virtual server serves as a normal LAN connected computer and you can run any Linux you want on it - even Ubuntu or Debian. This makes experimentation with new software extra simple and safe.

But I would nevertheless very much appreciate it if someone (preferably a cz.nic official) confirms this and take away my worries! So I can sleep gently again and dream of my “virtual servers on the open-source router that is coming my way”!


Ok, let me try to answer. JFYI - i am not cznic representative, so it is not official statement/reply :slightly_smiling:

  1. Yes, i am planning to do debian lxc tempate when i will get this router.
  2. It is very easy to create a templates, its just a shell (usually - bash) scripts
  3. Yes, apt-get works as intended.
  4. Forget about DebianPCSPEPort - Omnia is based on ARM, so in fact pretty all ARM based distros should be easy to support, including debian, ubuntu, possibly centos, fedora, etc. DebianPCSPEPort was about Turris 1 Router (one before omnia), which is based on a PPC SPE CPU, so choice of the operating systems is very limited.
  5. With LXC you can connect containers as LAN clients, or create separate bridge, or just disable networking at all. It is very very flexible.
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Thanks @samm_git ! My mind is at peace again. :sweat_smile: and I will keep an eye out on your git repo!

Now to find out how to make a template myself (if indeed “easy” then I will also see what I can do). I don’t suppose it would be as easy as:

LANG=C SUITE=jessie MIRROR=Index of /debian lxc-create -n debian8 -t debian

As I assume that only “downloads” an instance from a pre-made template (probably not made for ARM even).

Anyone know about any good (general) LXC template related tutorials / information on-line?

You can start reading template from the source repository - it is using debootstrap and some shell magic for the initial configuration. Not sure if it will work as is in the openwrt, last time when i tried - debootrap opkg was broken, may be it is fixed now. As for the documentation - use official man pages and source code, there is nothing complicated in the templates, try to play with them on debian/ubuntu to understand how they are working.

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I like use the LXC “download” template, it only require “wget” no debootstrap or others. It is valid for Debian arm:

lxc-create -t download -n container -- -d debian -r jessie -a armhf

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Kewl! I recognize an “architecture” switch when I see one :smile: (what does it mean: ARM-HaveFun ? :wink:).

If that indeed does the trick on the Omnia than it sure seems simple! @opotonil do you reckon it will work on the Omnia too (not sure if it comes with wget out of the box even)? And thanks for sharing your knowledge (it is genuinely appreciated)!

I am looking into the methods @samm_git proposed as well though; if only to learn some more about the workings of LXC, debootstrap in general, and the like).

ARM Hard Float, meaning it has a real FPU.

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@samm_git Building one’s own template is indeed possible even by a newbie like me (albeit it will take me a considerable amount of time - say a weekend - to get it to work).

I am nevertheless hoping for a more out-of-the-box ‘Virtual Server’ experience. Therefore; @any-knowledgeable-Omnia-“interestee” or @cz.nic-official:

  • Will the Omnia provide default templates out-of-the-box to install a Debian rootFS container (as is the case when installing LXC on a “normal” Linux box)?
  • Will a “regular” download template as described by @opotonil above be possible?

Other question:

  • Can the Virtual Servers (containers if you will) be run from an USB-external-HD or USB-thumb-drive?

Or do we have to install an mSATA inside the Turris Omnia to place the containers on (the best / fasted method in many cases ofc. but also relatively expensive)?

This question is very easy - yes, it is possible, just one line in the lxc.conf. Only recommendation is to format USB flash to EXT4 and possibly use USB3 Flash for performance reasons.

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I see an opportunity to hide all the tools needed for a home network in this beaut little box. My only question I see is: How much ssd capacity will this box can handle, considering that up to 1TB msata cards are now available?
PS. Sorry CZ.NIC I didn’t mean to appear condescending by referring to “The open-source center of your home”, as a beaut’ little box. Thank you so much this is fantastic, at last one can finally clear away the hardware clutter and lack of performance.


and as a follow-up question:

Should I go for the NAS perk and equip the router with 2 conventional HD’s or rather simply buy an mSATA + an external storage-disk (to use as my Omnia’s LXC/virtualised server-OS-disk). and ofc. why?

There should be no limit as it is a plain SATA port.

NAS perk is a bit more “solid” but more bulky. USB drives tend to fall of the desk or whereever they are. But this will probably take less space and may look better or worse. Depends on where you hide the drive or how the drive looks. So this will depend on the surroundings of your router.

As said in ( i would go with a SSD and a HDD. A mixture of access time and free space.

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