I need a server OS that basically maintains itself (automatic updates… ideally automatic rollback on failure but at least manual rollback support).

So I’m looking into Fedora CoreOS but very few VPS hosts seem to support it (wish Hetzner did… that would be ideal for me).

The other one I’m considering is OpenSuse MicroOS.

Any other suggestions? Ideally ones supported by at least one VPS provider with speedy instance setup + an API.

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I wonder if CoreOS becomes an official edition with 37 it will mean more VPS providers support it.

Actually, I’m likely overthinking this for the moment. It should be perfectly fine to start creating servers using Ubuntu 22.04 with unattended upgrades on as that’ll be supported until 2032.

Within those ten years, we can see how things progress with other solutions :)

@aral please share if you find any good alternatives.

@aral Doesn't many providers support custom image install? I think at least Contabo does... if I remember correctly.

@Natanox I’m not sure how many actually support using (for Fedora CoreOS) ignition to set up an image, etc.

The reason I’m prototyping with Hetzner right now is because I’m trying to keep the time it takes from “I want my own server” to “I have my own server” under 60 seconds.

(This is for the small web… so my goal is to be competitive on the onboarding experience with centralised/surveillance-based systems like Facebook, etc., where it takes seconds to set up an account.)

@aral @Natanox I didn’t measure the time to get something usable but using CloudInit with Hetzner (and DigitalOcean and OVH) from their base images with Docker (optionally) then my app inside was in that order of magnitude.

@utopiah If you deploy one of their main images, they’re usually up and running within ~5 secs. The rest of the time is my CloudInit, etc. I haven’† done any optimisation to speak of but I’m currently easily hitting the goal when setting up a Site.js deployment.


I'm a happy vultr user. I could even share a referral code if you want. Their support is, when you need them, very quick and good too.

@sexybiggetje @abid Thanks, Martijn. I’ll have a play but their pricing (compared to Hetzner) means that I can’t really use them for what I have in mind (it would be perfectly fine if I was using it for myself but I don’t think people would pay that much + even a small markup so we can pay rent and eat for a small personal server) *shrug* :)

@aral I feel like this is where Debian Stable shines. I've run Debian servers for years with automatic updates. I'm sure there's an easy way to do roll backs but it never came up for me.

@art I’ve never had an issue with unattended-upgrades on Ubuntu either (assuming that’s what you mean) but I’m thinking more about upgrading the whole OS. That’s where transactional systems like CoreOS and MicroOS (rpm-ostree and BTRFS, respectively) shine.

@aral @art Hey Aral.. Why would he mean Ubuntu?

Seriously, Debian is one of the simplest, cleanest ways to run a server.

@kinetix @art I meant “unattended upgrades” is likely what he meant. The package is the same on both given Ubuntu is a Debian derivative.

@aral @art Unfortunately I've had issues with Debian, specifically with systemd. I've moved to Devuan, packages are even slower to update than on Debian stable but at least I don't have any hard-to-debug issue with systemd.
@hypolite @aral @art I use a mix of Debian 10 and 11 on the Krowverse. This instance is running on 10 but the media and db is on Debian 11.

You could dust off an old system at home to try it out.

@aral coreos' history is pretty interesting. Started out as an independent distro, got bought by redhat, renamed containeros, which was fail, IBM bought redhat, renamed it back... Went from rh to fedora... I love it, but gee it doesn't have good luck!

@aral you might be interested in Intel's Clear Linux
Just requires you to reboot every once in a while but otherwise all automated

@aral Debian Stable? That is also supported for ages.
I use Ubuntu 20.04 on my work laptop and wait for 22.04. How is 22.04? Personal experience, not #youtube review I am looking for 😁


Did you also check out Leap Micro? Basically the same as MicroOS but with slower update cycles.

@aral @just_a_frog

I'm pretty happy with Contabo and Debian Server in my servers. But you can use your own image as said by @Natanox (But I've never tried this feature)

This seems like what NixOS aims to provide. I haven't looked too deeply into it, but this is what their selling point seems to be. (

@jalcine Yup, NixOS does that and more nice things. Can recommend.

@aral the fact that Fedora chooses Ignition instead of Cloud Init doesn't help :)

@aral I tried to use it on proxmox but it really is a PITA.
And the "cloud" industry has heavily standardised on Cloud Init.

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