linux n00b

Installing ESXi 4 in a Home Network

Posted in Virtualisation by downforce on October 22, 2009

NOTE: I actually wrote this back on 16th August but did a Save Draft instead of Publish … DOH!


I’ve run my linux server + Windows VM for a couple years now and the Windows VM does as much as the Linux host does. Coupling this with some issues with VMWare Server 1 on latest kernels and failed attempts to keep VMWare Server 2 stable, I decided to take the plunge into ESXi and virtualise my Linux machine too!

Initial Research

So my initial research indicated my NIC was fine but I can’t use linux software raid, which is how my linux box has been setup! Oh noes, oh well, time to get a hardware RAID controller. The cheapest one on the VMWare HCL is the Adaptec 2405, and found one 2nd hand for around 60% of the cost of a new one.

Problems Problems Problems

1. Virtualising my linux box. The VMWare Standalone Converter can’t convert Linux machines running mdadm/software RAID. BOO. Time to copy my important files off one of my RAID1 array to another single HDD.

2. Can’t initalise the disk. This is the problem and solution:

3. Accessing the ESXi box via remote SSH:

4. Can’t access my non-mdadm drive in ESXi. RDM (Raw Device Mapping) is the answer. Here is the solution I used:

After solving all these issues though, I have to say, that moving to ESXi was the best thing ever. I’ve only had 1 problem since installing it and that was due to the USB drive becoming corrupted.

That was easily fixed by creating a new USB boot key and copying the local.tar.gz file from the old to new key. Boot up and wallah, good as new! Now I have a backup copy anyway 🙂


Out with VMWare – In with VirtualBox

Posted in Desktop, General, Virtualisation by downforce on April 14, 2007

Some days ago I started what sort of looked like a HOWTO for installing InnoTek’s VirtualBox on Ubuntu. Literally the next day, a post appeared on with the exactly the same task!

Well, I’m not going to replicate their work, not to mention they were far more inclusive than I was going to be.

After making some posts on VMWare server, I’ve now started using VirtualBox … and what’s the verdict?
Well it’s still out … to start with I liked it alot, it loads the VM images far quicker than VMWare server, creating new images was a breeze (so is VMWare but it’s marginally easier).

On the flip side, the instances seem more … fragile. I’ve had my WinXP install blue-screen a few times and my debain 4.0 lockup. I think I’ve traced the Debian lockups to the screensaver kicking, but more testing required.

I’ll keep you posted.

Installing VMWare Server on Feisty [Part zéro]

Posted in Administration, Desktop, Howto, Virtualisation by downforce on April 5, 2007

I’ve actually been getting a lot of hits (OK fine – my only hits) about this and upon re-reading I made a few assumptions about getting VM in the first place.

So this is part zero, the bit before what I previously wrote.

Getting VMWare

  • Head on over to VMWare Server page found here
  • Click the Download of VMware Server 1.0.2
  • Download the tar.gz of VMware Server for Linux (BTW its a little over 100MB)/li>
  • Whilst that’s downloading, go register here

Installing VMWare

  • Once it finishes downloading, which depending on your link speed could take a while, let’s unpack it.
  • tar -zxvf VMware-server-1.0.2-39867.tar.gz (Remember just type tar -zxvf VM then hit tab to complete)
  • Run the installer:
  • sudo ./vmware-server-distrib/
  • When it asks:

    Before running VMware Server for the first time, you need to configure it by invoking the following command: “/usr/bin/”. Do you want this program to invoke the command for you now? [yes]

    Enter n

  • Now do what I mentioned in my previous post
  • And once it all finishes you should have a working VMWare Server under Feisty!