LabxNow – An Online Cloud Lab for Linux Enthusiasts
Update: It seems LabxNow team has changed their terms now. This service is not free!
LabxNow – OS in the Web browser
Today, we have a very very interesting news for Linux enthusiasts. Now, you can play with your favourite Virtual machines right from your Web browser itself for absolutely free of cost. You don’t need to buy an expensive VPS or deploy any virtualization platforms on your local server to setup Virtual machines. LabxNow, an online Research and Development environment, offers pre-configured VMs for free. You are allowed to install any software or tool of your choice on the VMs and do whatever you want without paying a penny. Sounds great, isn’t it?
You can access the VMs from anywhere from any Internet enabled devices such as Laptop, Desktop, Mobiles, and Tablets etc. All you need is a decent Internet connected device. Forget about high cost VPS, domain space or hardware support. Just sit in your Home, backyard, Office, Park or anywhere and start use your VM.
LabxNow is founded by Ken Zheng. He says,
“Being in the I.T. industry for over 20 years, I spent lots of time either fighting with the I.T. support team for hardware, or my wife for the money I needed to pay for it.”
He also quoted in his website,
“Given the utilization rate of servers is ~15% around the world, there should be lots of unused resources out there. With a 5-year-old server I got early last year, and the experience with cloud, we started utilizing Docker, KVM, Guacamole, and more, to put together what we have right now.
Surprisingly, we launched 1350 ContainerVMs on the 5-year-old server with extremely smooth access to the remote desktop over the browser. We think we might have found a way to share the hardware in a cheap way!”
How LabxNow works?
The LabxNow is an efficient blend of virtualized machines hosted in their data centers. The technologies which are used by LanxNow are given below.
- Docker: All of our supported Linux distributions will be virtualized through the use of Docker Containers and custom Docker Images.
- KVM: The more heavy-weight operating systems will be virtualized through KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine).
- Guacamole: Remote access through the web browser made using Guacamole to a existing RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol and/or it’s Linux derivative XRDP), or VNC connection on the virtualized endpoint machine.
Concerning about the features, we can list the following:
- OS on a browser ;
- You are free to install any software or tools ;
- Add, delete, manage your VMs from anywhere ;
- Fully customizable VMs ;
- Cluster ;
- And more.
Getting started with LabxNow
Go to the LabxNow website: https://www.labxnow.org/labxweb/
Sign up or create your account.
It is completely free. LabxNow is not free. You’ll have to pay to use their service. You can also signup with your existing social networks such as Facebook or Google.
Each registered user will get free virtual private servers with 2 Cores, 4G RAM, and 10G SSD.
Here it is how my LabxNow dashboard looks like.
Once you registered with LabxNow, two virtual machines will be automatically deployed for you; the machines are Ubuntu 14.04 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5. Please note that you can’t delete the default VMs, however you’re free to install any software or tool of your choice.
First of all create your new project. To do that, click on the plus sign (+) besides the Projects tab on the left. Then click on the Labx tab to start your free virtual environment.
Once you started the Labx environement, two machines will automatically deployed for you. You can view the pre-installed VMs under Machines in Environment tab on the left.
See, my Ubuntu 14.04 XFCE system is live now. Just click on the desktop anywhere. You will get the full desktop. The side panel will be automatically hidden after click on the empty space of your Ubuntu 14.04.
Now, feel free to install any software of your choice or start coding your projects.
To power off the system, hover your Mouse cursor on the left side of your Desktop. The LabxNow panel will appear. Click on the Stop icon to turn off the VM.
Creating new VM
Let us create a new virtual machine. To do that click “add a new machine”.
Enter the name of your Virtual machine. Select the OS image you want to deploy from the Machine image drop down box. Then, select the CPU cores and RAM size. Finally, click “Create New Machine” to deploy the VM.
By default, you can create only one additional VM on top two default machines. However, you can add an additional machine for every 5 new users successfully referred.
You can stop and start VMs machines either individually or as a cluster. You will have 3 machine slots in the environment; the 2 default machines cannot be deleted, and you can use the remaining slot (third slot) to add an additional machine. If you want to add additional machine, delete the newly created VM and add another VM. Also, refer 5 users, you may get extra slots.
LabxNow allows you to use all VMs as your personal work spaces. You can do whatever you want to do. LabXNow will be useful for Programmers, Linux enthusiasts, software developers, System administrators and also for all who wants to learn Linux. For now LabxNow will provide all services completely free of charge. This includes all usage and management of user environments will be free. Also, if you find it useful, you can donate or consider other forms of supporting services. For more details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All VMs hosted in the LabxNow may not be available all time. Also, It is not a safe place to put or test your important data of any kind. Use it with caution. It is just a web service that will offer free VMs for learning and testing purposes.