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Converting Windows 2008 R2 server to CentOS 5.5

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So, here goes. I am currently downloading CentOS 5.5 in order to play with it, since I want to finally retire my Windows '08 R2 server. I am not new to Linux, though I would be considered a Windows power user, I would consider my Linux status to Intermediate. I am not afraid of the command line, and know a few commands off the bat, but I do have to look up tutorials and look at guides/man pages for help on things. Now, for the information!

Currently, on the machine, I have three virtual machines (all running Ubuntu Server 10.04), each serving a different purpose. Now, I am aware of Xen, and needing a specialized kernel for it, so I'll end up doing that. But here's my question. I want to set up a VPN, so that when I am away from home I can VPN into my home system. Can I set up the VPN in a virtual machine or does it have to be on the main server? I like keeping certain functions away from each other. Also, since my main server will be a Xen machine, I am thinking of setting up a second virtual machine as a LDAP/Shares machine. Would that work as well?

I understand I may seem a bit disoriented, but since the kernel for a machine has to be xen based, I am assuming I will not be able to do LDAP/Shares, since that needs a specialized sharing kernel? Maybe I read some things incorrectly or I'm going crazy haha. I just want to completely remove Windows from the equation, since my Windows server likes to mess up shares permissions every month.

Summary: I want to set up my main machine as a Xen host and two Xen domU's (using CentOS headless) one for VPN (openVPN) and one for LDAP/Shares.

So if you Linux gurus can provide any help, please do.

EDIT: I've been reading up on some articles and it seems that RHEL is banking on KVM with it's 6th release, so I am assuming CentOS will be doing the same. Guess I now have got to read up on KVM as well now!
Edited by cubanresourceful - 1/17/11 at 1:35am
post #2 of 12
You could always use VMware Server if you want to use different kernels in your VM's.
Also, PyGrub.
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post #3 of 12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
You could always use VMware Server if you want to use different kernels in your VM's.
Also, PyGrub.
Here's the thing, VMware Server isn't free, or at least, I don't think it is. KVM seems like the way to go, seeing how it's build in the kernel now. Decisions, decisions. Does anybody have any expertise setting up KVM hosts?

Also, to bring attention to the important part of my post, can I run openVPN in a virtual machine, or does it have to be on my physical server in order for it to work. The same question goes for LDAP/Shares.

Thanks,
Mario
post #4 of 12
You can run any Linux kernel in a domU if you compile it with Xen domU support or you can run any OS under HVM. Xen would be more flexible as a VM host than KVM too in networking and resource allocation.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubanresourceful View Post
Here's the thing, VMware Server isn't free, or at least, I don't think it is.
VMware Server 2.0 is free for both Linux and Windows.

Quote:
Also, to bring attention to the important part of my post, can I run openVPN in a virtual machine, or does it have to be on my physical server in order for it to work
You should be able to VPN to a VM.
It's running the same code as if it were on it's own box.
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post #6 of 12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evermooingcow View Post
You can run any Linux kernel in a domU if you compile it with Xen domU support or you can run any OS under HVM. Xen would be more flexible as a VM host than KVM too in networking and resource allocation.
I read that KVM allows unmodified guests whereas Xen needs the guests to be modified (I am assuming a kernel compiled with Xen guest support?) Also, I know Xen is more "mature" but RHEL has adopted KVM as the standard in version 6 of it's OS and I am assuming the same will be applied to CentOS 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
VMware Server 2.0 is free for both Linux and Windows.

You should be able to VPN to a VM.
It's running the same code as if it were on it's own box.
I figured I would be able to VPN into the VM, but would I have access to my entire network? I am assuming I would have to do bridge networking in order to access the other computers on the domain? Sorry if I seem inexperienced with networking, it isn't exactly my forte.

And I was unaware that VMware Server 2 was free. Thanks for the tip.
post #7 of 12
Xen can run unmodified guests. It's called HVM. Your processor will need to support VT-x or the AMD equivalent whereas I think KVM (or qemu rather) can run unmodified guests without VT-x support.

You can bridge your VMs to a physical NIC or bridge to a virtual NIC (dummy device for Xen, tap for KVM) and optionally route between your physical and virtual networks as if they were both physical NICs.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by evermooingcow View Post
Xen can run unmodified guests. It's called HVM. Your processor will need to support VT-x or the AMD equivalent whereas I think KVM (or qemu rather) can run unmodified guests without VT-x support.

You can bridge your VMs to a physical NIC or bridge to a virtual NIC (dummy device for Xen, tap for KVM) and optionally route between your physical and virtual networks as if they were both physical NICs.
That's what I have now come to understand. I have been playing with some of this in virt-manager and I have been reading up on the plethora of command line options that accompany virt-install. Very exciting!
post #9 of 12
Or instead of VMware Server 2.0 just install VMware ESXi (bare metal hypervisor) and install whatever OS you prefer.
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post #10 of 12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman331 View Post
Or instead of VMware Server 2.0 just install VMware ESXi (bare metal hypervisor) and install whatever OS you prefer.
Okay, so I have been reading on ESXi and it seems really cool. Here's the thing, is it worth it? I understand it is free (so the cost cannot be factored in, since Xen and HVM are both free), but are the features that VMware touts really make it better than using Xen or HVM? I just want to make sure I can choose a virtualization technology and not have to switch.

Thanks a lot for the help guys.
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