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A very Happy Camper with DEBIAN WHEEZY and KVM


jimbo45

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#1
Hi there
After messing around I've finally given uo on OPENSUSE -- has a nice beautiful desktop but I don't like the new releases every so often and it isn't the most stable for getting a VM server to run.

I after a lot of persuasion was persuaded to try DEBIAN - latest version with KDE --

Well I wish I had used it earlier -- the package manager (software istaller) - absolute breeze with APT GET - whatever

Installing the KVM hypervisor was fine and this must be the snappiest Linux system I've ever tried (apart from the specialized tiny distibutions).

First VM (XP) running just fine --will be virtualising a W2003 server next and some other stuff.

What I like with this HYPERVISOR is that you can control the VM's from the HOST if you want -- Esxi requires a separate WINDOWS machine.

Debian perhaps isn't the best for beginners but it's so stable and installing software is SIMPLE. Well worth getting to grips with.

(Multi-media - VLC and dragonplayer) work right out of the box too -- no messing around with untangling installed stuff (OPENSUSE) and replacing with PACMAN repository data).



Cheers
jimbo
 

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MilesAhead

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#2
I haven't done the Linux thing in awhile. But the best thing was moving to Debian derived distros. I used Red Hat package tool and it seemed that there were different schools of thought where stuff should go depending where I got the package from. I switched to Mandrake 9.1. Everything on OneCD which booted and enabled the network card. After disk partitioning and all that you move to package selection. Tons of software development tools etc..

When software package selection was complete, you hit the go button. All the packages that weren't on the CD downloaded and installed. You reboot and you're at a window manager login prompt. With apt-get the stuff just goes where it's supposed to and it works when you run it. It brought Linux up to what a Windows user expected, which is run the installer then you can use the software with virtually(pun intended) no configuration. Light years ahead with no ripping out of hair. :)

Edit: and the same held true after install. If I got another package using apt-get a week or 6 months later... it was just plug and play. :)
 

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LittleJay

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#3
Hi jimbo. Thanks for the info. Besides KDE, how many other desktops are available? The last one I used was GNOME, but that was quite a while ago.
 

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jimbo45

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#4
Hi there

There's of course GNOME and you can install whatever you want -- just search around -- For Windows users KDE is probably the "Most Windows like".

Note though these little hints on Wheezy. You can't login as root ( a good thing) but sudo and su commands work just fine.

File manager as root is slightly more trickey but with a bit of experimentation and googling

1) File manager in super user mode -- you need to press ALT F2 anywhere on screen or use the menu run command
2) enter Dolphin
3) on the tool icon at the right choose run as different user -- enter root and it's password

now the dolphin icon (chest of drawers type of thing) will be on the bottom taskbar (like the windows taskbar) - click it and you are in Dolphin as root.

Konqueror web browser doesn't have flash plugin so don't bother with it. Chrome installs fine straight out of the box and a "Debian version" of Mozilla is default browser -- It's OK actually.


USB3 works as plug'n play -- insert a USB3 drive and you can handle it fine.

You need to untangle any WINDOWS SPANNED drives though -- I haven't found a way of accessing this yet from Debian - but I'm sure someone has done it.
I've seen some posts - install dmraid and by getting the actual blkzize start and end values it can work but I'll leave this.

Once I'm running everything as Windows VM images I won't need any more spanning - the Linux system has a SENSIBLE directory structure where you don't need this so as I'll only be using Windows for Office / Photoshop type of stuff I won't need spanning anyway -- the Multi-media works just fine on Linux -- Networking of any sort is light YEARS ahead of Windows so streamer servers are just fine.

I'm entering this now from a W8.1 Enterprise Virtual machine running from KVM -- performance seems just fine and haven't come across any issues yet --- I might try later messing around on a TOUCH screen laptop - but I'm not sure how well touch is implemented in Linux -- not that bothered actually.

(When I'm confident with this actually as a server I won't bother with a full GUI at all -- the HYPERVISOR for managing the VM's will then be TINY !!

This beats VMware ESXI by a UNIVERSE and saves the overhead of using a full OS for virtualising with things like VMware workstation -- and it's all TOTALLY FREE.

Cheers
jimbo
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

LittleJay

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#5
Thank you very much for the additional info! :thumbsup:
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 bit
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    CyberPower
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    i5 2500K
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    Asus P8P67 Deluxe
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    8 gigabytes Corsair PC3-12800 DDR3
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    EVGA GeForce GTX 460 superclocked
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    Viewsonic 23" LCD
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    128 Gb Samsung 840 Pro SSD
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jimbo45

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#6
Hi there

Backup of the Debian linux system with Acronis 2014) (stand alone bootable version on USB) 8 Mins -- same to restore (main system is on a dedicated 120 GB SSD - the whole system itself is actually quite small (install a small system without 90% of bloat you don't need).

Acronis backs up Linux partitions just fine.

Am using a separate 500GB HDD for the Virtual machine(s) image data spaces while testing - but will move to SSD's later.

The whole Mount system is far superior to having to muck about with entries in fstab - making Windows VM's with KVM is simplicity itself provided you've installed the correct packages.

I can see myself now not using WINDOWS as a primary HOST system any more. -- Next test is to see if I can get a W7 virtual machine to boot from a USB3 external drive running Debian and KVM.

This seems the best way of running portable OS'es so far -- the VM overhead doesn't seem to great at all. Quite fun and learning (again!!) something about Linux at the same time.

Incidently the latest DEBIAN release is available in almost any language you want it in --even ICELANDIC !!!

Still need to find out how to set screen snipper up !! but "getting there".

Networking is a BREEZE compared with windows. The only problem I've encountered so far is printing (which I don't do a lot of anyway - however I use a windows VM to manage the printer (stupid HP doesn't seem to have my model available other than XP and W7).

Screenshot enc of W7 install on KVM

Good thing about this is you don't need a separate machine for controlling the VM's unlike Esxi

Cheers
jimbo
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

pparks1

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#7
This beats VMware ESXI by a UNIVERSE and saves the overhead of using a full OS for virtualising with things like VMware workstation -- and it's all TOTALLY FREE.

Cheers
jimbo
I'm happy that running debian is working well for you. I don't really consider it a true bare metal hypervisor like esxi. That's why you need to manage esxi from another host. I don't see this as being an issue, as I feel that my hypervisor should be a dedicated machine, and I will obviously have at least one more physical machine on the network. Products like esxi excel with things like resource overalocation. In most virtualized environments this is far more of an enterprise need than managing the box locally. Esxi really isn't designed for home use, and isn't really intended for enthusiasts. It's an enterprise type product.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
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    Self-Built in July 2009
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    Intel Q9550 2.83Ghz OC'd to 3.40Ghz
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    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev. 1.1, F12 BIOS
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    8GB G.Skill PI DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12 timings
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    Antec P182
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    stock
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    ABS M1 Mechanical
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jimbo45

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#8
Hi there

I have to agree with you - the system I have now is far better really for home use - It's strange though being able to boot the system from a USB stick which takes all of a few (very few) secs to start and then run full VM's !!!!

The VM's are actually on a separate SSD drive plugged in to a USB3 port -- performance is just fine but use SDL rather than the slower VNC for the video if running from a machine without sensible graphic cards.

Will now try the same thing with XEN -- think this might have even LESS overhead.

I've also made a 32 GB USB3 system with a W8.1 VM on it under VMware workstation -- this works acceptably fine too and is excellent for a "Disaster recovery" type of scenario.

Note to people who might want to try creating this (or similar) a Bootable Linux on external device able to run Windows or other VM's).

You can replace VMWARE workstation with VMware player (free) or even VBOX (standard with the distribution) but I haven't much experience with VBOX -- VMware works just fine.


1) if your laptop is UEFI enabled allow legacy boot too - EFI is still somewhat crazy in some Linux distros -- if the laptop doesn't boot the external device properly use the BOOT popup menu rather than set the Boot priority in the BIOS so it will force boot from the external device rather than use the BIOS'es built in CSM manager which handles legacy boot and can interfere with the normal boot process. Setting the boot device via the popup menu forces the system to read the boot manager from the external drive without using the CSM module.

2) Wireless will usually have to be added on afterwards - use a LAN connection the first time and download the package firmwire-iwlwifi . Modprobe it after boot and then it works (Certainly for a whole slew of INTEL wireless adapters in things like Lenovo and HP laptops).

3) add the ADOBE flash plugin if you want to use streamed video on the HOST

4) to add VMWARE follow this link

Tutorial for Linux | How-to Install VMware Workstation 10 on Debian Linux Easy Guide

5) Install from the LIVE CD -- that way you keep a small system and easily managed and choose the EXTERNAL device as the destination for the install. I used the KDE DEBIAN WHEEZY Live CD (KDE is probably the easiest for Windows users to use - but you can choose other ones -- such as minimal GUI etc etc). Once I've got more practice I'll minimize the system even more by choosing a minimal GUI. Choose the Graphical installation if you are more comfortable with GUI's. The text base version is quicker but it's easy to miss something.

6) at install GRUB install it to the EXTERNAL device (on a laptop it will probably be /dev/sdb - you will get a prompt at that stage - that way you don't hose up your laptop with boot prompts etc etc).


Final note - especially if you are just starting out with Linux -- DEBIAN (IMO quite rightly too) has no LOGON as user -- you have to use SU or SUDO commands.

However sometimes you might need the file manager (akin to Windows explorer) to run in super user mode -- quick and easy for edits and copying rather than using the CLI. Press ALT+F2 and enter dolphin in the box at the top of the screen Dolphin is KDE's file manager. Click on the tool icon on the dropdown and choose run as a different user. Enter root and root's password and you'll be in super user mode.

I'll try and make a tutorial for installing the system on the external device, installing a Guest Windows system and start it up and run it but you should get the idea -- the performance is surprisingly good apart from in some instances getting the 3-D graphics to work -- could be hardware graphic cards - I've got an el-cheapo on board one on my desktop. The laptop has Intel HD graphics so there is a workaround but I still need to find it.

Otherwise great fun, good learning experience and a really USEFUL and proper portable system !!! for ANY version of windows. !!

No need for W8.1 enterprise and Windows to Go. !!!

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

pparks1

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#9
Vmware workstation is a great product, but not necessary for nearly all home users. As you said, player does what is needed, it's free so it saves you money, or gives you no reason to steal it.

I purchase workstation as I test on vms all day long at work. I use snapshots and I use the template feature extensively. Plus, it integrates with our vSphere environment and includes the converter features natively. I can work around all of these, but it's worth the $119 upgrade fee not too.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Self-Built in July 2009
    CPU
    Intel Q9550 2.83Ghz OC'd to 3.40Ghz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev. 1.1, F12 BIOS
    Memory
    8GB G.Skill PI DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12 timings
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA 1280MB Nvidia GeForce GTX570
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC899A 8 channel onboard audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Acer x233H
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Intel X25-M 80GB Gen 2 SSD
    Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black, 32MB cache. WD1001FALS
    PSU
    Corsair 620HX modular
    Case
    Antec P182
    Cooling
    stock
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    ABS M1 Mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
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    15/2 cable modem
    Other Info
    Windows and Linux enthusiast. Logitech G35 Headset.

Hopachi

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#10
Good thread Jimbo! :thumb:

Looks promising,
I'll give this a go too by the end of the week, since I never tried qemu/kvm so far.

Cheers
Hopachi
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 x64
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    Laptop
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    HP Envy DV6 7250
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    Intel i7-3630QM
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    HP, Intel HM77 Express Chipset
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    16GB
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    Intel HD4000 + Nvidia Geforce 630M
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    multiple resolutions
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    Samsung SSD 250GB + Hitachi HDD 750GB
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    small
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    Backlit built-in + big one in USB
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    That's basically it.

jimbo45

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#11
Hi there

In my previous post (in this thread) I made a BIG BO BO -- DEBIAN of course has a USER LOGIN -- what I meant is that it has no LOGIN as ROOT so you have to use SUDO (better) or SU commands

After first boot add yourself to the SUDO group with SU first to get into ROOT mode (equivalent to Windows run in Elevated / administrative mode) and simply type ADDUSER Username sudo.

Using SUDO gives decent root privileges (not 100% of them but enough) so you are less likely to break your system than by using SU. (I'm speaking from experience -- if SU if you make a mistake with the keyboard and say want to delete the entire system -- Bang it happens and that's that !!!!! -- so for new Linux users take care -- Windows it slightly harder to hose up from that point - although Windows is easily breakable in other ways.

BTW the UNITY mode is quite nice if you want to just run WINDOWS programs from your Linux desktop after you've started the VM -- those people who like the old CLASSIC MENU might like running their WINDOWS VM in unity mode.

Screenshots showing Menu in Unity mode and running EXCEL in unit mode and main KDE menu

(In general I prefer running my VM's in Full screen but some people might like the convenience of Unity mode as they can then set their system up just to run specific Windows programs without needing to enter the whole VM).

Sharing Windows files with Linux (both ways) is simple just use SAMBA - and for those who prefer a GUI use SWAT to configure -- open localhost at the relevant port -- it's in the docs -- I'm not doing ALL the work for you !!!.

Windows VM's to other Windows whether VM or physical is no problem provided you enable BRIDGED networking on the VM's running on LINUX HOSTS -- NAT seems to screw up something with the name resolvers -- maybe it's just me but I couldn't get it to work until I enabled Bridged networking. Could be a VMware problem.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

TerryMul

New Member
Posts
1
#12
Hi jimbo, i also have wheezy debian, running both server 2012 and w 10 TR in KVM..
for those that arent aware KVM means Kernal Virtual Machine. meaning that the hypervisor is built into the kernal.
cant use the HYPER V though as there is already a hypervisor running.
Cheers terry
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    asus s551c
    CPU
    intel core i3
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    not known
    Memory
    4GB
    Browser
    IE/Firefox