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Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04 (Read 36001 times)
Rad
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #30 - Jul 29th, 2008 at 2:10pm
 
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Yin and yang. Gotta have both. Anyway, I digress.

Precisely. We need to be flexible, versatile.  Enjoyable digression.
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #31 - Jul 29th, 2008 at 10:26pm
 
Kinda interesting:

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Xen may also be used on personal computers that run Linux but also have Windows installed. Traditionally, such systems are used in a dual boot setup, but with Xen it is possible to start Windows "in a window" from within Linux, effectively running applications from both systems at the same time.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xen

Opposite the method we were talking about.

http://www.howtoforge.com/ubuntu-8.04-server-install-xen-from-ubuntu-repositorie...

Do I have RE-install Linux once the VM is set-up? Of do I somehow simply point to the Linux install/partition? Would it be able to read Ext3?

Do you know if Xen (a hypervisor) allows each VM to run their own O/S? .. flavor of Linux .. or do all VMs share same O/S .. like with Virtuozzo?

My web host disabled bursting, which means no memory sharing. I can't use anybody elses, and they can't use mine .. like a hypervisor, I believe.
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #32 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 12:07am
 
You can do the same with most of the virtual machine managers; VirtualBox, VMWare Workstation and VMWare player run on both Windows and Linux (and VMWare Fusion on MacOSX), VirtualBox also runs on OpenBSD hosts, and any of them can host the same VM images on any host platform. Xen isn't really that much different.

All of them can run Windows or Linux or something else in any combination in the guest VMs.

Incidentally, some comparisons on the perf impact of virtualization: http://www.xensource.com/Documents/hypervisor_performance_comparison_1_0_5_with_... - those numbers are about right. For CPU-bound things everything is most the same, and 10-15% overhead for things doing I/O is kinda in the right ballpark.

Rad wrote on Jul 29th, 2008 at 10:26pm:
Of do I somehow simply point to the Linux install/partition? Would it be able to read Ext3?

You can do that; VMWare is happy pointing a virtual disk at a physical one (either a whole disk or a partition), although it's easiest to create those with VMWare workstation (Player users can create VMware virtual disks that refer to physical drives using the free version of VirtualBox). Since VMWare just runs whatever OS you want inside it, if you point it at a disk or partition the OS you run inside the VM can take care of reading the filesystem.

Incidentally you can also convert a partition or disk to a VMDK (VMware's virtual disk format) using that genuine Ghost binary I gave you; when you do a clone with a current version, you can pick the VMDK format instead of .GHO. I haven't used that myself to do a P2V (that's the lingo for physical to virtual conversion) of a Linux install since I'd never bother physically installing it, but you can give it a shot.

Although it isn't intended for converting Linux installs, you also have some extra options over a network or from V2i images: http://vmware.com/products/converter/ - I've used this myself and as I do planned upgrades and replacement of Windows machines I convert them to VMs for the replacement to run. Most of the time, the low overhead of virtualization and the improvement in machine performance means that the VMs on the new box run faster than the originals Smiley
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #33 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:33pm
 
Quote:
you can also convert a partition or disk to a VMDK (VMware's virtual disk format) using that genuine Ghost binary 

I've never seen that option. How would I navigate to it?

If I created a *.vmdk .. then any changes/upgrades I made to the source partition (ext3) would not be reflected in the *.vmdk, right? Or would I simply make changes to the *.vmdk directly using VMWare software?

I recall you mentioning something about assigning a block of memory to VM. Where/when would I do that? Any how much? (I have 2GB.)

Seems like you live, to some degree, in a 'virtual' world. Ever read any Neal Stephenson?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash

 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #34 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:43pm
 
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Player users can create VMware virtual disks that refer to physical drives using the free version of VirtualBox

Not very clear. Player creates? Or Virtual Box? Or Player via a VirtualBox plug-in?

Quote:
any of them can host the same VM images on any host platform

Raised my eyebrows. Very versatile.

Quote:
the low overhead of virtualization and the improvement in machine performance means that the VMs on the new box run faster than the originals

Hard to believe.
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #35 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 6:05pm
 
Rad wrote on Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:33pm:
Ever read any Neal Stephenson?

I read Snow Crash when it was first published (ditto for the Diamond Age, and the Cryptonomicon), all of which were quite fun. His more recent writing (viz, Quicksilver and followups) is, however, quite tedious and repetitive, utterly bare of notable ideas.
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #36 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 6:24pm
 
Rad wrote on Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:33pm:
I've never seen that option. How would I navigate to it?

In the file browser when you look for image files as a source or destination, it defaults to looking for GHO but you can select .VMDK from the drop-down.

If you put a file with a .VMDK extension into the dialog, genuine Ghost just decides based on the file extension that you want it to create the image in that form as a virtual disk (I'm not entirely sure how it decides on a default upper bound for the size of the virtual disk, however - I'll ask the cloning lead). Essentially, it creates an empty virtual disk, mounts it internally, and does the equivalent of a disk-to-disk or partition-to-partition clone into it. In fact, you can even use a VMDK file as source and destination, e.g.:
Quote:
ghost32 –ad=disk1.vmdk –clone,mode=create,src=50,dst=disk2.vmdk–vmdksize=40960

which would reorganize the virtual disk creating a new, larger one.

There are also switches to control the defaults for the VMDK disk, but no UI for them: -vmdksize -vmdksplit -vmdktype -vmdkadapter - however, the defaults are perfectly good for most purposes.

Rad wrote on Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:43pm:
Not very clear. Player creates? Or Virtual Box? Or Player via a VirtualBox plug-in?

The free Player doesn't let you make new virtual machines or create the more exotic kinds of virtual disks (although the .vmx file is a text file, VMDK's aren't), hence why things like http://easyvmx.com/ exist to help. However, making virtual disks that point at physical volumes is a bit more involved.

The VirtualBox VMM can mount .VMDK files, and since Vbox's own virtual disk format wasn't designed with the capability to point at physical disks or partitions, VirtualBox gets this capability via the ability to use VMWare's system for it. The free edition of VirtualBox includes a command-line tool that has a command to create such a VMDK file.

There's a tutorial at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=769883 which shows one way of doing this (with Linux as the host OS and Windows as the guest, just for a change) just for VirtualBox, but the internal VirtualBox command creates a VMDK file you can just as easily use with Player.

None of this matters if you pay up for VMWare Workstation, which lets you do all this vastly more simply and is totally worth it (especially with genuine Ghost's new capabilities to fill in some gaps in the toolchain and help with P2V and V2P).
 
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #37 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 6:43pm
 
Rad wrote on Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:43pm:
Hard to believe. 

Easy to believe; it's Moore's Law in effect. Computers continue to get better - and cheaper - at such an astounding rate that any gap of a few percentage points in performance introduced by something like virtualization really only represents at most a couple of months of the industry's regular rate of improvement.

The addition of multicores and other things are improving computers in different ways now, of course, that don't show up in raw speed, but also work well with virtualization. It's hard to keep even today's 4-way single-CPU desktops busy; when you've virtualized an old machine, even in the background on a new machine there's so much idle horsepower present it's insane.

Now, the latency cost of I/O is harder to mask - bandwidth improvements are easy to get, latency improvements hurt - but the growth in size of things like disk and main memory mean that it's cheaper and easier to throw more memory at avoiding that latency except for the most relentlessly I/O-bound operations (doing builds of our whole product from scratch, for instance) but even though the latency penalty is there, the flexibility gain you get from being able to migrate VMs around and run them on whatever hardware you have easily negates that penalty.

[ And of course if you turn the savings from the efficiency gains from virtualization into buying more capable hardware for the VMs to run in... ]
 
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #38 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 6:48pm
 
Rad wrote on Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:33pm:
Where/when would I do that? Any how much? (I have 2GB.)

It's a setting in the VM description that takes effect when you activate the virtual machine. There's a slider in the VMWare Workstation GUI for it, ditto for VirtualBox, and although it's not in the Player GUI it's just a matter of editing the "memsize =" line in the VMX file.

Given that VM's can be "paused", by the way, and suspended VMs can be resumed any time, but you can't really change the amount of allocated memory to a machine without restarting the OS inside it (since the ability to hot-plug additional memory is not a feature of the commodity hardware these particular Virtual Machine Managers or the OS's we're virtualizing support - it's only available in particular server hardware with particular OSs).
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #39 - Jul 30th, 2008 at 6:53pm
 
Rad wrote on Jul 30th, 2008 at 4:33pm:
If I created a *.vmdk .. then any changes/upgrades I made to the source partition (ext3) would not be reflected in the *.vmdk, right? Or would I simply make changes to the *.vmdk directly using VMWare software?

If you create a VMDK pointing at a physical disk, you generally configure it to write through changes to the physical disk (although there's an option where it will buffer all the changes in a side file which it will discard when you restart the VM).

If you use genuine Ghost to convert the physical partition to a copy in a VMDK, then that's separate and has no connection to the source partition any more.

Do the former if for some reason you do want to retain the ability to directly physical boot the OS without doing a V2P conversion back; do the latter to fully virtualize things and get a VM you can move around to other host hardware.
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #40 - Jul 31st, 2008 at 3:57am
 
Quote:
I'm not entirely sure how it decides on a default upper bound for the size of the virtual disk, however - I'll ask the cloning lead

This turns out to be the sensible thing - when you image to a VMDK, the default size given to the VMDK is the same size as the source disk unless you say otherwise with the -vmdksize switch, with the virtual disk being sparse (only containing sectors in actual use).
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #41 - Jul 31st, 2008 at 6:43pm
 
Downloading VMWare Player 2.0.4 for Windows right now. 450-KBps, 170-MB d/l.

Noticed Ubuntu 8.04 desktop is their #1 most-downloaded virtual appliance:

https://www.vmware.com/appliances/

Quote:
Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop - English
This Ubuntu 8.04 VM is perfect to test drive Ubuntu or as a secondary operating system running within Windows.

This virtual Linux system with all its applications is usable out-of-the-box (e.g. with the free VMware Player). Thus, it is perfect to test drive Ubuntu or as a secondary operating system running within Windows.

This VM comes with support for sound, USB, and CD/DVD drives. The virtual hard drive grows up to 20 GByte, but only takes as much space on the host as needed. The default screen size is 1024x768.

Last updated: 05/02/2008

https://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/1232

Also d/l'ing trial of VMWare Workstation 6.04: 330-MB (twice as big as Player). Is the Workstation woth checking out?
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #42 - Jul 31st, 2008 at 7:29pm
 
Rad wrote on Jul 31st, 2008 at 6:43pm:
Is the Workstation worth checking out?

Hell yeah. We license it for everyone here, both dev and QA.

There's no harm in picking up VirtualBox and VirtualPC as well for comparison, they all play nice together.
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #43 - Jul 31st, 2008 at 7:52pm
 
Can you give me a mini-compare and contrast of the various players you mention? I'm looking at the VMWare user manual now. It nearly 500 pages.

Can you run multiple VMs from a single "instance" of VMWare, or does/would each VM (say for example .. Ubuntu, Solaris & CentOS) need their own .. what am I trying to say? .. their launch of VMWare workstation?

Says 3 million ppl use VMWare. Is this statement true?

Quote:
VMware Workstation 6 is the most advanced virtualization software available today for desktop and laptop computers.

http://info.vmware.com/content/GLP_VMwareWkstn3b
 
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Re: Ubuntu Linux Desktop v8.04
Reply #44 - Jul 31st, 2008 at 7:54pm
 
http://www.virtualbox.org/

Quote:
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), and OpenBSD.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/virtualpc/default.mspx

Quote:
Virtual PC 2007 is a powerful software virtualization solution that allows you to run multiple PC-based operating systems simultaneously on one workstation, providing a safety net to maintain compatibility with legacy applications while you migrate to a new operating system. It also saves reconfiguration time, so your support, development, and training staff can work more efficiently.

Virtual PC 2007 runs on: Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Enterprise, and Windows Vista Ultimate. See system requirements.
 
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