Last night at an installFest, I helped someone with a Core i7, 6GB of RAM and 300GB free install Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity into a virtual machine. After the install, it was painfully slow. That is an understatement. Every character that I typed didn’t get displayed until about 30 seconds later. To the other person, it seemed that Ubuntu had locked up. He wanted to delete the Ubuntu install and leave. Clearly, something was broken. This was with 12.04.1 32-bit desktop inside the latest available VirtualBox on MS-Windows7 x64..
If I hadn’t seen this myself, I wouldn’t believe it either. Complete instructions follow to speed up VirtualBox for Ubuntu 12.04.1. It should work for prior versions and other Linux-based VMs too.
Below is the 2nd of 6 questions from a reader. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I’m not short on opinion. ;)
Laurens Duijvesteijn asks:
Q2: I read everywhere about Virtualisation, should I directly install packages to the base system to provide services, or should I virtualise all services? What are the advantages here?
Advantages of Virtualization
The list of advantages is long, but with those advantages comes a few disadvantages. I cannot hope to point out all the advantages, so I’ll limit it to just the main ones.
This weekend, my 3 yr old VirtualBox VDI storage for this, my primary virtual machine, was getting close to 100% filled. It was a 10G partition that started out as a 6.06 installation, then was upgraded to 8.04 and finally to 32-bit Ubuntu Server running 10.04. To get a GUI, I added LXDE a few minutes after the 10.04 upgrade about a year ago. So as I wanted to start a new development project leveraging PerlBrew to manage different versions of entire Perl versions, libraries and CPAN modules, I knew the little space remaining would not be enough.
I did a little research before I began. The web pages that I found seemed to be taking the long way around to solve a fairly easy issue. They wanted users to download some tool, which was completely unnecessary. Anyway, below the shortest, easiest, way to increase the available storage in a VDI-based virtual machine.
Messaging is easy, but Enterprise Calendaring is hard. I’ve just learned about the guys over at SOGo who have a GPL/LGPL competitor to Zimbra and MS-Exchange. Sure, you pay for support, but using the server software doesn’t cost anything.
- If you want to connect MS-Outlook clients, that’s fine.
- If you want to connect smart-phones, that’s fine.
- Thunderbird seems to be their main integration client, which is nice. That’s what I use.
Anyway, go take a look.
I’ve just pulled the VM appliance VMDK down and will be playing with it on ESXi in the next few weeks. They claim it was setup for VirtualBox, but I’d rather not run this sort of thing on that VM technology. This could be perfect timing for my company – we have been planning a Zimbra upgrade and honestly, it scares me.
There are lots of search hits on SOGo on freshmeat.net – that’s encouraging to me.
Check back here later. If SOGo is great, I’ll certainly write more. If it is crap, it will be in the comments below.
This could be good, really good. I’m hopeful.
I was going to create a Top 10 List of 2010 here. Then started looking through the articles and some constant themes can out.
- Virtualization For Desktops and Servers
- Disk Encryption
- Backups Rock!
- Risks and Concerns for Cloud Computing
- Quicken Runs on Linux – ’nuf said.
- Security Isn’t Easy
- How To Build A Home Server – Cheap
Previous Best Articles Here
Happy New Year!
Last week, I visited some relatives. Their computer running MS-WindowsXP had at least 1 rootkit installed and a number of viruses and spywares. This machine was running Firefox with NoScript (disabled) and Thunderbird for email. The main user is not very technical, but uses Firefox, Thunderbird, Quicken, and Investor’s Toolkit most days. I knew that solving the issue on Windows was going to be a problem again and again.
Linux to the rescue.
When you have a laptop, you expect to take it with you. When you have a portable computer, the data on it is at higher than normal risk for theft. This means you need to take steps to protect that data. In 2010, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed laws that require non-public consumer data be encrypted on disk and networks. Basically, disk encryption is here to stay, but there are some drawbacks. Below I’ll describe why you want to encrypt much of your laptop disk storage, why you probably don’t want whole disk encryption, and the setup that I’m using.
Just got a new laptop yesterday, but I didn’t like the way that the 500GB HDD is partitioned.
- Unknown (50MB)
- RECOVERY (18GB)
- WIN7 (whatever remained of the 500GB – over 400+GB)
Only a noob would want that partitioning because they simply don’t know any better. Why do manufacturers still do this? Ah – because it is easy. Sorry for the dumb question.
- Unknown (50MB)
- RECOVERY (10GB – it actually only uses less than 8GB – resize)
- WIN7 (60GB for apps and the OS – resize + move)
- Data (size determined by my backup disk … I’m guessing about 250GB) Much of it will be encrypted, since this is where my VMs are placed.
- Scratch area for local disk backups or snapshots of VMs or …. unimportant temp data.
Ah, if it were only that simple. Below I’ll discuss the methods used to shrink / resize disk partitions and re-align the data so reduce wasted areas on the disk.
For the last few months, X/Windows has locked up without warning on one of my fastest systems (Core i5). This is very unusual. I’ve run Linux systems for over 17 years and X has never been this bad. Never. About every 3 years X/Windows would lockup, but it has happened at least every 4 days for the last 2 months. Killing the Xorg process doesn’t work. That X process is using 100% of a core for multiple hours. It never recovers. The GUI is locked, but remote access from other systems works as do the background processes. Still, X can’t be killed, only a remote reboot brings the X-GUI back.
I don’t use Gnome or KDE. I’m running LXDE on Ubuntu Server x64 !0.04 LTS. It is patched weekly.
It sure would be nice if Ubuntu had not disabled the cntl-alt-backspace keystroke to kill the X-Server, wouldn’t it?
setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp
The FLOSS Weekly podcast did an entire episode on VirtualBox recently. There were some interesting comments in the podcast from the VBox team.
The team believes they are the closest to native for both network and storage virtualization. They recommended a number of specific NICs and how to connect to storage that does not disagree with my Improve VirtualBox Performance by almost 50% article. That was good to hear.
They talked about:
- Oracle’s commitment to VirtualBox
- Virtualization Overview (why, features, security, virtualized hardware, etc)
- Most interesting to me was that VBox supports OpenGL 2.x – that means XBMC should run in a vbox VM.
- Differences between the OSE and PEUL licenses – what is contained in just the PEUL?
- vboxmanage and how 3rd party folks have written some nice tools
- Teleportation (V-Motion like) that does not require identical
- Page-Fusion – shared memory across guest OSes (this was new to me). The intent is to support hundreds of client VMs per server.
- Mac virtualization challenges – it works, but only on Mac hardware due to Apple DRM in hardware checks.
By the way, if you are a dentist, FLOSS Weekly has nothing to do with teeth. FLOSS is *F*ree *L*ibre *O*pen *S*ource *S*oftware.