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Help:At a glance: Cloud VPS and Toolforge

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Wikimedia Cloud Services (WMCS) provides tools, services, and support for technical collaborators who want to contribute to Wikimedia software projects.

This page is intended to answer common questions about our Wikimedia Cloud VPS ( or Cloud VPS) and Toolforge products.

For a brief overview of Wikimedia Cloud Services (WMCS), our products and services, see the introduction page.


This page uses a number of terms, which are specific to Toolforge and Cloud VPS. Please see the terminology page for more detailed definitions.

For questions not covered by this page

If you have additional questions, which are not covered by this page, please reach out to us!

Cloud VPS

What is Cloud VPS?

Wikimedia Cloud VPS (or Cloud VPS) is a cloud computing infrastructure powered by OpenStack for projects related to the Wikimedia movement. Volunteer contributors can use this infrastructure to create and maintain open source software projects.

Cloud VPS is for the volunteers to get involved in Wikimedia operations and software development. Cloud VPS contains many projects, each of which uses one or more instances. Toolforge is one of the most important projects in Wikimedia Cloud VPS.

How is Cloud VPS organized?

Cloud VPS is divided into projects. Each project has separate members and administrators who can create and maintain virtual machines ("instances") for use by that project. Each project can have own its own access policies, DNS records, etc.

What is a Cloud VPS project?

A project is a unit of privilege separation inside the Cloud VPS environment. Each project has separate management of membership, virtual machines, HTTPS proxies, firewall rules, etc. Examples of projects include Toolforge and the Beta Cluster.

How does Cloud VPS work?

Cloud VPS is a virtualization cluster and hosts various virtual machines (called instances) using OpenStack Compute. This is slightly different from your normal servers that you ssh to (i.e. Toolserver), as virtual machines do not exist physically, but reside inside a much bigger machine called the host machine. More details about the physical setup of Cloud VPS can be found under Portal:Cloud_VPS/Infrastructure.


What is Toolforge?

Toolforge is one of the projects hosted by Wikimedia Cloud VPS. The Toolforge administrators manage a pool of virtual servers that provide a shared project hosting environment that can be used by Toolforge users. These resources include web servers, databases and other data storage, and a distributed job processing system. These services provide a reliable and scalable hosting environment for volunteers to develop and operate their tools and bots.

Users of the Toolforge project create "tool" accounts (technically service groups) which allow one or more users to collaborate to manage the software source code, configuration, and jobs for that tool or bot.

For additional documentation and help with Toolforge, see Portal:Toolforge.

What is the difference between Cloud VPS and Toolforge?

Cloud VPS is an Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution. It provides virtual machines, storage, firewall, and HTTPS proxy resources to projects. The members of each individual project are responsible for managing applications, data, runtime, middleware, and operating systems themselves.

Toolforge is a Platform as a service (PaaS) solution. It provides web servers, databases and other data storage, and a distributed job processing system as managed services that can be used by tools and their maintainers.

Communication and support

We communicate and provide support through several primary channels. Please reach out with questions and to join the conversation.

Communicate with us
Way Connect Best for
Phabricator Workboard #Cloud-Services Task tracking and bug reporting
IRC Channel #wikimedia-cloud connect
Telegram bridge
mattermost bridge
General discussion and support
Mailing List cloud@ Information about ongoing initiatives, general discussion and support
Announcement emails cloud-announce@ Information about critical changes (all messages mirrored to cloud@)
News wiki page News Information about major near-term plans
Cloud Services Blog Clouds & Unicorns Learning more details about some of our work
Wikimedia Technical Blog News and stories from the Wikimedia technical movement