Operating System

What OS is used in antsle?

We often face the question of what OS we use in antsle. While we usually reply "edgeLinux", that is only part of the story. edgeLinux is a Hypervisor

The purpose of antsle is to make it easy to create a set of virtual severs, called antlets. You can run virtually any OS in your antlets. But how about antsle itself? It runs a type-1 hypervisor, serving the single purpose of enabling many antlets. What sets us apart form others is that each antlet can use KVM or LXC, to your own choice. You can make that choice for each individual antlet.

To learn more about edgeLinux OS, check out this article in our docs: http://docs.antsle.com/arch/

What is antMan?
antMan is antsle's browser-based app to manage your antsle Edge Computing device even easier than with a dashboard (or "panel") in a public cloud platform.
What is antAid?
antAid is antsle's instant remote support solution: At the click of button, you can temporarily grant the antsle support team access to your antsle so that they can help you with any problem or question you might have.
Do you support Mac OS?
We're not offering MacOS templates at the moment because Apple EULA only allows running MacOS on Apple-branded hardware; but you can still provide your own MacOS image and run it in the antsle.
Can I install Android OS?
Yes you can run Android Software on an antsle! We haven’t tried it yet but there is a project out there called Android x86 that lets you install it using VirtualBox and then you can port it over to your antsle: http://www.android-x86.org/


Do your windows server templates come with licensing?
Our Windows Server templates come with a 180 day evaluation license, part of which is already been used since we downloaded the image from the Microsoft servers. You need to get your own license keys if you want to do something else than evaluation. This works the same way as VirtualBox or VMware: you can run Windows in it, but the licenses are not included.

How do you setup a windows server guest on the antsle device?
When creating a new antlet select a Windows version from the drop down list of templates.

Any restrictions we should know if running Windows based OS's?
The restriction is: An antsle is designed to run headless. You could connect keyboard a monitor but that is not normal mode of operation. The best way is to run some flavor of Windows Server and use RDP to connect to it from a Mac, Windows or Linux workstation. Otherwise, we’re not aware of any restrictions.

Templates / Images

Can I have a list of the templates you get out of the box?
The list of templates is in our documentation - http://docs.antsle.com/availtemplates/

Are there pre-built VMs or does the user have to build each one?
You can do both. We have a set of pre-built templates (our term for the VM or container images). You can also create your own template from an antlet (our name for virtual server) after installing your software stack. Or import your own VMs from another platform like VirtualBox.
Visit: http://docs.antsle.com/import/

Can you add or create a template of your own?
Yes you can create a template from an existing antlet you have created or import an image from another solution to use as a template. See our Import VM Files documentation - http://docs.antsle.com/import/

Is it possible to convert existing VM’s?
Yes, you can convert existing VM’s. We’re using KVM internally, so any format supported by KVM works. There are many converters available, see e.g here http://docs.antsle.com/import/

What format are your VM’s in?
Any format that KVM & LXC support, antsle also supports.
See docs for list of VM file formats that can be imported: http://docs.antsle.com/import/


Are the parts in the antsle upgradable? RAM? SSD?

You can, but it’s a bit more tricky because of our compact case and the innovative cooling technology. You’d have to unscrew the motherboard, break a thermal connection, remove thermal paste residue with isopropyl alcohol, then reapply thermal paste and screw everything back together. So if you’ve never done it before, it can be tricky and of course we cannot accept any warranty claims that are based on your DIY upgrade.

We always recommend planning ahead and getting a future-proof configuration right out of the factory because it gives you peace of mind.

Can I add additional storage using the USB ports?
Just connect to usb port and create a zpool on it. antMan will then automatically offer that new zpool in the drop down menu when creating new antlet or virtual drive.

Setup and Configuration

How do I set up public internet access to the antsle?

See our docs page: http://docs.antsle.com/accdomain/

For quickly sharing something with the world, you can also use a tunneling solution like ngrok or localtunnel. No need to port forward.
See Freedom cast #5: https://antsle.com/freedomcasts/episode-5/

Can I use a wireless dongle for internet connectivity instead of running a hardwire to a router?
You can use a WiFi dongle. We just think wired connection is much more reliable for server purposes so we don't recommend it. You’ll have to make sure that the WiFi USB dongle is Linux compatible and you must install the driver yourself.

Which NIC is tied to which NIC #? What are the interface names?
If you're looking at the rear of the antsle, ethernet port 0 is the bottom row, left side. antsle ethernet port layout Interface names:
Port 0 : enp0s20f0
Port 1 : enp0s20f1
Port 2 : enp0s20f2
Port 3 : enp0s20f3

I can’t access myantsle.local from my browser.
If you are using Windows make sure you have iTunes installed (it does not need to be started). See why.

How do I call scripts for provisioning and customization?
We have started building our REST API. This can be viewed on your antsle - url: myantsle.local/swagger-ui

If you want to call scripts from within your own shell scripts you can use the virsh command.
Or look at our scripts in /usr/local/bin/ and call them at your liking.

Also, here is a link to the java API documentation

Link to API documentation
We have started building our REST API. This can be viewed on your antsle - url: myantsle.local/swagger-ui

And here is the java API documentation

Use cases

Could I use antsle to host my Minecraft server?
Yes you can! Running Minecraft servers on an antsle actually works really well! We have a few customers who are currently doing it.

Can I run containerized applications and use Docker or Kubernetes or both?
Yes. you can run docker on the edgeLinux OS or inside a virtual server to have a self-contained environment. In the future you will be able to manage the docker containers inside antMan. In KVM antlets, you can easily install docker and Kubernetes.

Can I mine bitcoins with antsle?
Yes you can, but there are definitely better machines for that. To be competitive in that field, you better go with hardware specialized for that purpose.

Will it work with prototyping hardware called photon, made by particle.io?
That is our main use case! :) You can create many virtual servers - each one acting as complete web host. Accessible in your LAN or to the world if you choose.

Can I setup HA, High Availability or Load Balancing?
You can configure the integrated nginx for HA or Load Balancing, or use any solution available on the market.


What is the difference between antsle and NAS (WD myCloud)?

A computer (and also a server, which is just a computer without screen&keybaord, i.e. a “headless” server) consists of three main parts: processor (CPU), memory (RAM), and storage (HDD or SSD).

In a NAS (Network Attached Storage), storage is big and CPU and RAM are tiny. An antsle is a real server, big on all three components. This is a BIG difference to Western Digital myCloud and similar devices.

Is this just a fancy hard drive?
It's a server. A server is a computer. A computer is CPU + memory + storage. In contrast, a hard drive is only storage. Furthermore, we have software/OS that makes it easy to run many virtual servers on one antsle.


How fast are your NIC's?
Our 'antsle one' line have four 1Gig ethernet ports and the XD line include two 10Gig ethernet ports.

What is the operating temperature range?
40F - 90F

What is the advantage of the 8 core over the 4 core processor computing power?
The number of cores and amount of RAM will determine how many virtual servers you can run at the same time.

What type RAID system does antsle use?
We’re using ZFS - a file system made for enterprise features and fault tolerance. It includes RAID-Z. With ZFS, software-based RAID-Z is recommended over hardware RAID.
See here : http://docs.antsle.com/arch/

What linux kernel does your OS use?
edgeLinux is based on Gentoo Linux.

Is there any compression or deduplication on the SSD’s?
Yes, both can be enabled / disabled on an antlet by antlet basis

How many virtual servers can I run on antsle? Can it run 100 servers?

There is no absolute answer to this question, though. That is simply because each of our customers is different, and they have different loads on each of the virtual servers.

You can create two types of antlets (i.e. virtual servers): container-based and KVM-based. If you use (any flavor of) Linux in your antlet, you will be fine to use container-based antlets for that. Only for OSes other than Linux, you need KVM.

On an antsle with 16GB of memory, 10 KVM-based antlets plus 90 container-based antlets, all running in parallel, are possible. These numbers might go down substantially, of course, e.g. if you have more than 1,000,000 visitors to your antsle-based website per month. On the other hand, the number might even go up substantially if there is little load on each of your antlets.

You can mix VM's and containers in one antsle - we're quite unique in that. And you can manage both in a simple GUI we call 'antMan'.

Resources are not blocked, so you can oversubscribe RAM and CPU. These are only used if and when needed. edgeLinux automatically compresses all your data using the ultra-fast Iz4 algorithm.

When creating antlets from templates or taking snapshots, edgeLinux just referees the base data rather than copying it, which is much faster and storage-efficient

It is not powerful enough.
Every (Ok, nearly every) real life server is idling at least 95% of the time. That's how AWS and others make their money: they put hundreds of clients on a single piece of hardware and make a fortune. The same goes for gyms -- you're not there 100% of the time, and lots of paying clients actually never show up... ;-) When owning an antsle, YOU are the one reaping the benefits of those effects, not your hosting provider...


Can I use an external HD to backup my antsle instead of purchasing the internal HD?
Yes you can. You can connect it via external USB 3 ports.

If I had 2 antsle’s , could I replicate the data between the them?
Yes you could but the solution for that is not part of edgeLinux . There are software solutions for that, both open-source and commercial & you can install them on your antsle.


Why host on a Private Cloud Server in the first place?

Everyone has their own reasons. Here's some of the use cases that customers have expressed to us. If your reason isn't listed, drop us an email and tell us about it. We can't wait to hear it.

  1. Own your data - Don't surrender it to data centers and companies that view your data as the new oil or that forward it to government agencies.?
  2. Outsmart the giants - Don't pay extra when you just want to try something out. Don't sign up for subscriptions, fees add up quickly.
  3. Host your own email server - There's politicians who do it, they know why.
  4. Host your own DNS server - ISPs charge for that. It's fun to do it yourself.
  5. Host your own VPN server - professional solutions charge for it.
  6. Make use of the Internet bandwidth in your home that you're paying for anyway.
  7. Backup your personal data from your Mac/PC to your antsle. It's safe and secure there, and even mirrored to two physical SSDs. You'd need some hardware for that anyway, so a good part of your antsle's purchase price has already paid for itself!
  8. Use business applications like e.g. redmine, SugarCRM etc. without any extra fees.

Can antsle completely replace data centers some day?

Yes, they can. But we don't think they ever will. Credit cards have not completely replaced cash and computers have not completely replaced paper and pencil.

In the short term, the antsle is mainly suited for apps that don't have a need to scale indefinitely, e.g. your blog, your CRM system, collaborative software ("groupware"). An antsle is especially suited to let you try out that new piece of open-source server-side software quickly and easily. If you need a large amount of scalability, or a large amount of bandwidth that your ISP won't give you at home, then you won't do it on an antsle.

When thinking medium-term, antsle users can create collaborative networks among themselves. That will give you the opportunity to scale by using the capacity of your peers, and offering them your own capacity in return.

How is antsle different than a regular server?

Well, "regular" is an open term. Most servers are sold as a piece of hardware, and the OS is either not included at all, or just added as a bundled bonus item, but not as an integral part of a complete solution.

Some servers are made for data centers, to be rack-mounted. Some servers are "file" servers for storage purposes. Other servers are specialized as being database servers, etc.

The antsle has been created with three design goals in mind:

Enable bare-metal virtualization with as little overhead as possible, capable of replacing VMs from AWS, digitalocean, ...Suitable for home environments: 100% silent, beautiful, easily connectable to your router so the world can use your appsSecurity, safety, fault-tolerance. In short, the antsle is a complete solution, consisting of hardware, OS/hypervisor and management software, dedicated to the needs of developers and other professionals to host Internet-enabled services from home.

Is the power adapter included? If so, for which countries?
Yes, the power adapter is included. It works 100 - 240V, 50-60Hz, so most countries are covered. The actual wall plug is for the US by default. If you need it for a different country, just let us know and we'll ship that plug to you with your order at no additional cost. Of course, our power adapters have all the usual certifications: CE, FC, KETI, C-UL-US, CCC S&E, SA LR65166C Level 3.

Can I use antsle as a newbie? Or do I need to be a Linux command line expert?
We're proud that antsle supports running any OS inside the antlets - including Windows and FreeBSD. We're also proud that our GUI antMan™ makes things really easy. That said, please note that antMan is still in its early days, and not all functions you might think of are supported in antMan yet. It definitely helps to have some basic understanding of the Linux command line to get the most out of your antsle. We're working our tails off to integrate more and more functions and features into the GUI, and new versions are constantly being released. At the same time, our support ([email protected]) is always there for you to help you achieve any of your objectives.

How does the antsle stay cool? How hot does the antsle get?

The case is made of aluminum and has rips. The case itself functions as the heatsink. The result: absolutely NO fan, no vent holes.

We put antsle under a 7-day stress test and temperature never went above 106F. All cores were at 100% load, no thermal throttles set in. We measured with room temperature (70F) since that is the most common scenario. In case the system were to overheat, you would first see a slow drop in performance and as a last warning the motherboard will start beeping signaling overheating.

Do I need a static IP?
A static IP is not strictly needed but is highly recommended. You can get around this with a dynamic DNS provider, such as noip. They do have a free tier: http://www.noip.com/free

antsle is designed to work with just a single IP address. We use several technologies under the hood (NAT, reverse proxy using nginx) to make that work. You can use multiple domain names or subdomains, map them all to a single IP, and antsle will handle them all in their own antlet (individual virtual server) based on the domain name and/or subdomain.
Visit: http://docs.antsle.com/accdomain/

Proxmox is better...
It's not proxmox, it's antsle ; ). antsle is a turnkey solution, ready out of the box. All components are specifically compiled for performance and ease of use.

Does the antsle setup a windows base that allows the use of VM’s?
We use Linux KVM for our VM’s and Linux LXC for our containers. Both look exactly the same - we can manage both VM’s & containers as first-class citizens. You can access our antMan from any Windows PC or MAC. From antMan, you can start/stop/configure your VM’s or containers.

Are the virtual machines (antlets) double-NATed. Is this the case?
We create a separate subnet for the antlets and we do NAT traffic into the subnet. Thats one time NATing. If your router is doing NAT as well - which it usually does, that does indeed add up to double NATing.

There is no cloud, How can it be a cloud server if its with me physically?
Well ALL cloud computing is running on someones computer. With antsle, You own and control your cloud, not some internet giant. Thats why its called private cloud. You can also run a software called OwnCloud on your antsle.

If your power or Internet fails, will the website that you host on your antsle go down?
To prevent this, you can purchase an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to keep power up for your antsle and internet router.

Can I download and use edgeLinux ?

We sell our antsle bundled with edgeLinux and antMan. edgeLinux is open source so you could download all its components, although it will be of limited use because all the configuration is optimized for the antsle hardware.

antMan would not be included because antMan is currently closed source.

Can’t I build this cheaper myself?
Yes you can. We custom compiled our hardware for the purpose of deploying VPS. SSD’s, 100% mirrored, ECC RAM, ZFS file system, no fans, no vent holes... And on top of that we offer the interplay of our hardware and software (edgeLinux /antMan) so that it’s truly turnkey.

Isn’t this kind of overpriced for an atom-based server?
Well, it’s not like the original Atoms, The Avotons are a class of their own, and have nothing whatsoever to do with early Atoms, except the name. Furthermore, we have professional server features: Our RAM is ECC (error-coorrecting code), a must-have feature in servers that run 24/7, and a feature typically not found in consumer-grade products. Completely SSD-based, and, for the Pro and Ultra, using Samsung’s 3D technology that enables excellent performance in combination with extreme endurance, a combination not found in most consumer-grade SSDs. And last not least there is the preinstalled edgeLinux and antMan, which gets you up and running with creating virtual servers, both VM or container-based, in a breeze.