Sunday, December 20, 2009

A whole lot of virtual

Apologies for the delay in posting. The last four weeks have been a bear, what with the car accident (see previous post), the dryer quiting, the back of the house losing power, receiving a DMCA warning, finishing the semester, and the danged holidays. (I've been busy! Still don't have my car back...)

On top of all that, I've been experimenting with a slew of virtual technologies, including Sun Containers, Xen, KVM, Virtualbox, VMware Workstation, VMware Server, and VMWare ESXi, on either Solaris or Ubuntu platforms. Quick notes (in no particular order):

  • Xen does not play nicely on 64-bit Ubuntu. It's time for the packager to spend some additional time with the code (I think the current packages were meant for 8.04).
  • Solaris Containers take a bit of research and trial/error to get running, but once it's up, it's up. I need to figure out how to do the remote graphical login next.
  • On Linux, the two most successful installs were (believe it or not) Virtualbox and KVM. Workstation needed a couple compile-time tweaks and Server failed in the middle of install (though I kept it because the disk manager came in handy when converting the DimDim appliance to KVM).
  • I played with converting formats between the various software packages and was able to get DimDim running under KVM.
  • The most powerful of the bunch is ESXi. Unfortunately, you just can't dual boot the thing. I came up with a cheesy way to work around this by reconfiguring the boot order in BIOS. It runs quite nicely on my little AMD Dual Core. Needs a Linux version of the VIC, though.
  • KVM needs a bit of code to handle shutdowns (the power off piece).
  • There's a whole lot of discussion about Solaris Containers on Google but very few pointers to actual howtos. (Yeah, I know. I need to write down how I set it up.)
  • (On my equipment) None of them play nicely with each other. I bought my computer when hardware hypervisors were just coming out so my half-arsed implementation of a BIOS causes enough problems that I cannot run the various programs, nested or side-by-side.

There, my techie catharsis should be complete. I'll start writing up notes on all of this, this coming weekend.