Installing a software stack

When you create a cloud server, unless you begin from an existing Cloud Images configuration, only an operating system is installed. You can then install any additional software that is compatible with the server’s configuration.

You can install software manually, following the software provider’s instructions. Before you can run some software, you’ll have to install a set of enabling software; for example, if you want to publish a blog using the WordPress content management system, you’ll have to provide WordPress with a Linux+Apache+MySQL+PHP environment (a LAMP stack). To learn about this process, read the article How to Install a LAMP stack on CentOS, Fedora, or Red Hat.

For many popular software packages and their enabling stacks, Rackspace offers an easier way to get what you need. When you create a server, you can choose to install specific software in addition to the operating system. To do that through the Cloud Control Panel, choose Create Stack rather than Create Server, and then choose a template that describes the software that you want to install.

We frequently update the list of templates. To see the complete, up-to-the-minute list of templates, log in to the Cloud Control Panel and click Orchestration.

For some templates, you can choose a flavor. For example, the Rails template is available in single-server and multi-server flavors.

In the Cloud Control Panel, you also have the option to click Create Custom Template to create your own template.

Additionally, if you’ve written your own automation to create cloud servers, you can use the Cloud Orchestration API to create a server from one of our templates. You can also use the API to create your own templates and then use one of your own templates to create your own cloud servers. To learn how to use the Cloud Orchestration API, begin with the Rackspace Cloud Orchestration API Getting Started Guide.


Because installing and customizing software can be time-consuming, it’s a good idea to save a copy of a cloud server that already has the software that you need, configured just the way you like it. You can use Cloud Images to maintain a consistent starting point for future servers that you create.