Help:Cloud VPS

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This is the landing page for Cloud VPS user documentation. It provides an overview of Cloud VPS features and capabilities, then directs you to where you can learn more or get started using the platform.

What is Cloud VPS?

Cloud VPS (Virtual Private Server) provides cloud computing infrastructure, powered by OpenStack, for projects related to the Wikimedia movement. Cloud VPS makes it easier for developers to test improvements to Wikimedia infrastructure (including MediaWiki), do research and analyze data, and host projects that are not viable on Toolforge.


In more technical terms, Cloud VPS is a virtualization cluster that hosts virtual machines (called "instances") using OpenStack Compute. Unlike physical servers that you ssh to, virtual machines only exist on a larger host machine. When you create a Cloud VPS project, you gain access to CPU, RAM, and disk storage to create virtual machines ("instances"). As a Cloud VPS project member, you are responsible for configuring your instances and managing your project's applications, data, runtime, middleware, and operating systems. Read more details about the infrastructure behind Cloud VPS at Portal:Cloud VPS/Infrastructure.

Main features of Cloud VPS

  • Free cloud computing environment, powered by OpenStack
  • Collaboratively-owned collections of virtual private servers, storage, firewall, and HTTPS proxy resources to projects
  • Access to a variety of data services
  • Freedom to install packages not provided by Debian or the Wikimedia Foundation

Constraints of Cloud VPS

To use Cloud VPS, you need:

  • A Wikimedia developer account
  • Advanced programming knowledge
  • Advanced experience with Unix command line
  • The ability to administer your own servers
  • One or more active project maintainers who:
    • Have an active Phabricator account
    • Subscribe to the cloud-announce mailing list
    • Respond to queries and requests for action on the part of WMCS staff and admins

Cloud VPS projects are subject to the following technical constraints:

  • Debian is the only available operating system.
  • Virtual machines running on Cloud VPS are not permanent. Admins periodically review them for potential deletion in alignment with the instance lifecycle.
  • Your open source project must not be viable in the Toolforge environment, or must be something that can't be accomplished using other WMCS offerings. See "Which service is right for you?".

Terms and conditions

You must review and agree to the following terms and conditions:

Get started

  1. Before you can use Cloud VPS, you must have a Wikimedia developer account.
  2. Learn how to request a new Cloud VPS project, or join an existing one at Help:Cloud VPS project.

Communication and support

Support and administration of the WMCS resources is provided by the Wikimedia Foundation Cloud Services team and Wikimedia movement volunteers. Please reach out with questions and join the conversation:

Discuss and receive general support
Stay aware of critical changes and plans
Track work tasks and report bugs

Use a subproject of the #Cloud-Services Phabricator project to track confirmed bug reports and feature requests about the Cloud Services infrastructure itself

Read stories and WMCS blog posts

Read the Cloud Services Blog (for the broader Wikimedia movement, see the Wikimedia Technical Blog)