VM Depot repository off to a flying start

It's been just one month since Microsoft Open Technologies announced the early preview of VM Depot, a community-driven catalog of open source virtual machine images. Today we are proud to announce that the community has rallied to our call and already produced over 100 images. We are thrilled at the reception this preview has received and there are more images appearing every day. VM Depot, even in preview, is already a valuable resource for open source projects and their communities. On VM Depot the community can build, deploy and share their favorite Linux configuration, create custom open source stacks, work with others and build new architectures for the cloud that leverage the openness and flexibility of the Windows Azure platform.

We already have a range of base Linux distributions upon which you can build new images. These include, but are not limited to, Debian, Centos, Ubuntu and Mageia. There are images that include “big brand” open source projects such as WordPress, Drupal as well as developer stacks such as the LAMP, Ruby Stack and Apache Tomcat. All these are complemented nicely by more niche projects such as the Moodle course management system and PhPCompta, an accounting application adapted to Belgian legislation. Each day we are seeing more and more open source software published on VM Depot for deployment to Windows Azure. I can only thank the growing community for so fully embracing the VM Depot preview. It's great to arrive here at Microsoft just as this is taking off, I look forward to working with you as we go from strength to strength.

If you haven't already done so, now is a really good time to take a look at the ever growing range of images available. If you have an Azure subscription, you're ready to try it out, if not you can quickly sign up for a free 90-day trial subscription. In addition to being able to deploy from your Azure portal we have provided cross-platform command line tools that give you all the control you need. All we ask is that you remember this is a community effort so please rate and comment on any images you try out. This will help users find the best images and help maintainers ensure they are meeting user's needs.

Should the image you are looking for not be available yet you can let the community know via the VM Depot forums, with luck someone else will have the same need and publish their image for you. Alternatively, you can build and publish an image yourself. Instructions for publishing and managing images are available on the VM Depot website. If you need any assistance please post to the forums where I or another community member will be pleased to help you.

It is clear from the communities uptake of VM Depot that open source is front and center on Windows Azure, with your help we look forward to building on the early momentum this preview release has generated.