RHEL

How about an OpenVZ CentOS Variant?

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I've used RHEL, CentOS and Fedora for many years... and as many of you already know... back in January, CentOS became a sponsored project of Red Hat. For the upcoming CentOS 7 release they are going beyond just the normal release that is an as-perfect-as-possible clone of RHEL. They have this concept of variants... where Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are formed around making special purpose builds of CentOS... spins or remixs if you will. I don't know a lot about it yet but I think I have the basic concept correct.

Looking at the numbers on http://stats.openvz.org/ I see:

Top  host   distros
-------------------
CentOS	     56,725
Scientific    2,471
RHEL	        869
Debian	        576
Fedora	        111
Ubuntu	         82
Gentoo	         54
openSUS          18
ALT Linux        10
Sabayon	          6

and

Top 10  CT  distros
-------------------
centos	    245,468
debian	    106,350
ubuntu	     83,197
OR	      8,354
gentoo	      7,017
pagoda	      4,024
scientific    3,604
fedora	      3,173
seedunlimited 1,965

Although reporting is optional, the popularity of CentOS as both an OpenVZ host and an OpenVZ container surely has to do with the fact that the two stable branches of the OpenVZ kernel are derived from RHEL kernels.

Wouldn't be nice if there were a CentOS variant that has the OpenVZ kernel and utils pre-installed? I think so.

While I have made CentOS remixes in the past just for my own personal use... I have not had any official engagement with the CentOS community. I was curious if there were some OpenVZ users out there who are already affiliated with the CentOS Project and who might want to get together in an effort to start a SIG and ultimately an OpenVZ CentOS 7 variant. Anyone? I guess if not, I could make a personal goal of building a CentOS and/or Scientific Linux 6-based remix that includes OpenVZ... as well as working on it after RHEL7 and clones are released... and after such time the OpenVZ Project has released a stable branch based on the RHEL7 kernel.

I will acknowledge up front that some of the top CentOS devs / contributors have historically been fairly nasty to OpenVZ users on the #centos IRC channel. They generally did not want to help someone using a CentOS system running under an OpenVZ kernel... but then again... their reputation is for being obnoxious to many groups of people. :) I don't think we should let that stop us.

Comments, feedback, questions?

Update: Wow, looking here, they already have OpenVZ listed as being of interest in their Virtualization SIG.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 is out

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Just noticed I have a ton of updates for a few RHEL 6 boxes... and to me that indicates there is a new update release. So I logged into Red Hat Network and sure enough RHEL 6.3 has been released. I like finding out about it early in the morning and downloading it before everyone else has noticed.

With CentOS and Scientific Linux both pretty adept in rebuilding 6 now, I'd expect new releases from both within 6 weeks or less. Scientific Linux might be at a disadvantage because they lost one of their main guys but they have replaced him. CentOS on the other hand recently announced that some company was sponsoring two CentOS developers so they could work full-time on CentOS. Who will win?

I haven't had a chance to check out the release notes yet but I will soon. I'm hoping a lot of the KVM, libvirt, and virt-manager stuff that has been in Fedora for a while will have filtered back to this update.

Update: July 9th, 2012 - CentOS 6.3 is syncing to the mirrors today so it has won.


Video: LFNW2010 - RHEL Automation with SystemBuilder

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Automating Configuration, Deployment and Maintenance for Red Hat and CentOS by Kay Williams from Rendition Software.

Opinion: RHEL 5 turns 3, Suggestions for Red Hat

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (Tikanga) was released on March 14, 2007 and yesterday was RHEL 5's 3rd birthday. Since then we have gotten 4 update releases.

Given the fact that Red Hat's original plan was to have a new RHEL release every 18 - 24 months, one has to wonder where RHEL 6 is and why it is so late. My best guess is that RHEL 6 (which so far has had a non-public alpha release within Red Hat as witnessed in some Bugzilla reports) will come out sometime this summer... possibly in time for the Red Hat Summit in Boston (June 22-25, 2010). For that to happen I would expect a public beta for RHEL 6 to be released in the not too distant future. We'll see how that pans out.

While we are waiting, how about some idle discussion?


Review: Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009

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 Main Hall Main HallRed Hat held the Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009 today and it was awesome. What was it? It was a completely online conference that offered everything you'd find at a traditional face-to-face show like the annual Red Hat Summit.

I was hoping Red Hat would use this event to introduce / announce RHEV for Desktops but no such luck. I guess we'll have to continue to wait until January.

Virtual Areas

  • Conference Center - 15 presentations in three tracks with live video, audio and slides including chat submitted questions from the audience
  • Exhibition Hall - 3 regions, US region had 14 vendors with staffed booths offering public and private chat
  • Resource Center - 15 background items (PDF and Flash videos)
  • Birds-of-a-Feather - 4 Topics
  • Networking Cafe - Chat center with presenters and guests
  • Help Desk - Section for help with the virtual experience usage

Running with the Proxmox VE ball?

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I sent this to the centos-virt mailing list today... and thought I'd share it here as well.

Greetings,

I'm a big OpenVZ fanboy. I've sent a few emails on this list that proves that... and I'm sure I've annoyed some people... but be that as it may... I would like to draw everyone on this list's attention to Proxmox VE. What is Proxmox VE?


libvirt begins to add OpenVZ support

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I noticed a blog posting by Daniel Veillard on Fedora People about initial support for OpenVZ being added to libvirt. If you aren't familiar with libvirt, it is an underlying library/API that can be used by higher level tools to create, manage, and monitor virtual machines. libvirt is trying to be technology agnostic by supporting several virtualization technologies. They started off with Xen and QEMU but have since added KVM. libvirt is used by the GUI tool Virtual Machine Manager which first appeared in Fedora Core (now Fedora) but became part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

Looking at some of the postings in the libvirt mailing list archive for this month, it is mentioned that adding OpenVZ support is a bit different than previous technologies because the OpenVZ tools are already GPLed, "simple and straight forward", and than OpenVZ additions to libvirt "ends up looking very close to the original". I don't know how far away complete support for OpenVZ is in libvirt nor when it will show up in Virtual Machine Manager but I definitely look forward to it... although I doubt it would completely replace vzctl and the other OpenVZ tools for me.


Installing CentOS 5 "Debian Style"

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Package SetsPackage SetsIf one knows of the hype about Ubuntu, and it is almost unavoidable, one is led to believe that it is the most popular Linux distribution for desktop users. I have yet to see hard data that shows evidence of that claim so that will remain unresolved for now. One of the reasons touted for Ubuntu's popularity is that it comes on a single CD. Debian, upon which Ubuntu is based, also has fans because it too has a very light-weight install option (among other reasons) which will install the base system and allow one to install all the desired software post-install by downloading only what is needed. While Debian is huge, 27 CDs for the full distro or 3 DVDs (not counting the source CDs), virtually no one downloads all of the .iso images.

Since I'm a Red Hat fan (which includes Fedora Core and CentOS), I'm aware of the complaints people have about "having to download multiple CDs" before they can start installing. In fact, the recently released CentOS 5 is 6 CDs (i386, or 7 CDs for x86_64). To counter those complaints, I thought I'd try a single CD install of the recently released CentOS 5 "Debian style" and then add everything in post-install. Join me if you will...


In Search of iSCSI with OpenFiler

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OpenFiler iSCSIOpenFiler iSCSII installed OpenFiler on an extra machine the other day. What's OpenFiler? According to the OpenFiler website:

Openfiler is a Storage Management Operating System. It is powered by the Linux 2.6 kernel and Open Source applications such as Apache, Samba, LVM2, ext3, Linux NFS and iSCSI Enterprise Target. Openfiler combines these ubiquitous technologies into a small, easy to manage solution fronted by a powerful web-based management interface. Openfiler allows you to build a Network Attached Storage (NAS) and/or Storage Area Network (SAN) appliance, using industry-standard hardware, in less than 10 minutes of installation time.

I've never worked with iSCSI before... but now I want to. The reason I'm looking into it is because RHEL 5 and others can use iSCSI disks to install to... and hopefully it'll work well for XenVMs too. Care to follow me on this, the initial leg, of my journey?


Learning a little Xen on CentOS 5 Beta

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Virtual Machine ManagerVirtual Machine ManagerI got a bit farther with Xen this time. I did another CentOS 5 Beta install and made sure to add the Virtualization package set. It's not like I needed to do another install but I've been doing a few installs just to test out differences with the various package sets.

I originally tried out Xen about a year and a half ago on a Fedora Core 4 host on rather underpowered hardware and a lot has changed since then.


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