linux on esxi

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by fR33z3, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. fR33z3

    fR33z3 Member

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    I'm feeling a bit noobed at the moment. I have been out of the linux game for a while now. I used to be comfortable with RH before it went commercial. So I got familiar with Debian. Debian is great but has limited official support from VMWare for ESX, so now now I have another decision to make.

    Which free distro to use on esxi? Apparently ubuntu has debian roots, which works for me. However, I liked debian because it contained less bloat than the other distros at the time. ANything i missed in the initial install was only an apt-get away. Is ubuntu going to satisfy my need for a clean stable no bullshit linux, or should i continue to stick with debian. Or is there another lean mean free distro that is supported under ESXi?

    Oh....and i've posted in this forum, because I'm not interested in a desktop distro - I want it lean and mean, and suitable for building ESXi appliances.

    cheers.
     
  2. phrosty-boi

    phrosty-boi Member

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    what about suse linux enterprise server, it's free to download and use but you pay for support and updates, maybe ubuntu server as well?

    suse is certified and supported on esxi as we use it for our novell OES boxes, pretty sure ubuntu is as well
     
  3. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    CentOS seems popular for this, if you like redhats style of things.
     
  4. OP
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    fR33z3

    fR33z3 Member

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    centos isn't in the esxi guest OS chooser. Neither is FC. Suse i was always a bit sus of, given its association with novell and their under-the-table deals with another well known OS vendor. That may well be FUD, but its a concern nevertheless.
     
  5. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    The drop down list is very limited and all it really does is try and pick the right amount of memory/disk and correct network card for you. Hence the option of 'other 32 bit linux'. CentOS is almost 100% RHEL. You would be safe picking that one.
     
  6. Squeezer

    Squeezer Member

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    The recent versions of Ubuntu is fully supported also. It is in the drop down list of guest O/S
     
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    fR33z3

    fR33z3 Member

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    Hmmm....ok. Might have to get me an ISO of CentOS for some playing.

    Yes....and with its grass roots in Debian, i think this might be the first distro i really have a good play with. Apparently Ubuntu-Server can be kept pretty lean. In fact I believe in the current release there is an installation option which pretty much installs a JeOS (Just enough Operating System) - perfect for building high speed virtual appliances. And this was my primary reason for moving to Debian after RH became commercial, and FC started getting bloated.

    Thanks for the replies :)
     
  8. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    i chose Debian stable.

    most of our VM's run Debian stable and are patched + maintained to that level.

    some applications in the current Debian stable are long in the tooth and don't work quite as expected, eg the current squid 3 and CISS data stores (squid segfaults)

    testing isn't maintained by security patches as quickly as stable unfortunately.

    so we're happy to use Debian stable as a system base and maintain individual application patch levels outside of that.

    to make my life easier, bring on Lenny.

    yes, my servers are lite, this is a base system.

    Code:
    Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda1              18G  854M   17G   5% /
    
     
  9. OP
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    fR33z3

    fR33z3 Member

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    Do you have any issues with building new servers - things like vmtools, the vmx network driver etc? I'm sure that is one of the reasons why the OS list exists in ESX.
     
  10. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    Sorry yes that's also true. If you select a drop down os then generally they will have a pre compiled binary ready to install.

    The other alternative is you simply get the generic linux vmware tools, give it your kernel headers and make tools and it will compile one for you :)
     
  11. mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    I regularly deploy ubuntu jeOS as a decent platform. Its designed to be a platform for VMs. i encourage everyone to check it out. There's likely to be other similar products from other flavours as well though

    its just the basics then you need to apt-get everything basically to build a system

    Works very nicely and is stable

    That said I have just about every flavour of linux running in my production environment. Most of the obscure stuff is reserved for the testing platform systems but alas most work without a hitch. Only thing I can recall having issue with recently was openSUSE. Its CPU/clock drifted over a period of a month till it eventually failed. It was affecting ethernet traffic and all kinds of weird things before it failed though. An updated vmtools package has solved it.

    Were blessed that the linux community has embraced virtualisation so fervently
     
  12. lavi

    lavi Member

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    i can hear Stalin rumble when you put down Suse :)
    I use Centos, works very nice and vmtools plays ball
     
  13. stalin

    stalin (Taking a Break)

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    Yes its FUD, Linux people can be totally stupid at times and just shoot themselves in the foot. end rumble.

    Look at this:
    http://www.novell.com/linux/appliance/
    Like Ubuntu JEOS, but SLES JEOS, which allows you to have a 200MB install and still be 100% compatible with all the vendor products (Oracle, DB2, WebLogic etc etc)

    Its certified on both VMware and Xen -
    http://download.novell.com/Download?buildid=uqr_JjH5ssw - prepackaged for both Vmware and Xen.

    Next choice would be Real RHEL, with Centos just behind. I would not consider Ubuntu, it might be supported on Vmware, but nothing is supported on it. Centos/RHEL is also very good, but doesn't really get as cut down out of the box, although I have built my own only a couple hundred MB in size.

    Ubuntu = Home/Hobby
    SLES/RHEL = Enterprise
    Centos = Inbetweeny.
     

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