I recently started using VPS from OVH: http://www.ovh.co.uk/vps/vps-classic.xml This is likely problem very specific to this one provider.

My goal is to install and run Docker on it, for this I need kernel supporting modules. By default, OVH's VPS machines use custom kernel that does not and Docker crashes. I tried reinstalling machine a few times with various versions of Debian (6, 7) and Ubuntu (12.04, 13.10) available for their VPSs, every time uname -r shows me

uname -r

... /boot directory is empty, there is no grub nor lilo installed, there are no linux-image packages installed, though they are available.

Installing linux kernel from repository, grub, updating grub (this is widely spread advice I googled out) and rebooting machine has little effect. Grub finds one system image, the freshly installed one, /boot gets populated, but system still runs kernel mentioned above. This and the above symptoms puzzle me greatly: how exactly this machine boots in the first place? Net boot perhaps? How to check it, how to change this behaviour?

Following netboot idea I checked google again, this told me there is an option in OVH web manager version 3 to change net boot settings. I use manager v.6 to tinker with my VPS (they say the functionality is moved there), I found no such option there, previous manager versions don't even see my VPS.

This is how far I went until now. I want to run standard repository kernel on this VPS, would also welcome any explanations on how this setup works and why is it so problematic, because right now I feel rather confused :)

  • 2
    As Bert said, OpenVZ uses the host kernel so it's impossible to use your own.
    – Nathan C
    Apr 2, 2014 at 14:03
  • 2
    You can't run Docker in OpenVZ, as your OpenVZ "VPS" is itself a container. Apr 2, 2014 at 14:10
  • Right, I wasn't aware how this is virtualised and didn't know OpenVZ limitations. After short reading on the topic it's painfully obvious now. Thank you.
    – zencodism
    Apr 2, 2014 at 14:12

2 Answers 2


You cannot run your own kernel on a VPS using OpenVZ. You would have to upgrade from OVH's VPS Classic service to their VPS Cloud service, which runs VMware and would allow you to run a customised kernel.


Please note that OVH now offers images supporting Docker for this VPS service: http://www.ovh.co.uk/vps/operating-system.xml#Dev

You can install the following distributions on your VPS:

  • Ubuntu Docker (Ubuntu 14.04)
  • Ubuntu Docker (Ubuntu 15.04)

You will have to reinstall your VPS though, and I don't know which version of Docker they support.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.