Jun
22
2009
17

Watch Netflix on Linux – with Windows XP Virtual Machine running Virtualbox

I signed up for a Netflix account yesterday, but when I tried to watch streaming video online I got an annoying message about hoe my Operating System is not supported.  When I found out that they didn’t support Linux I was so pissed.  Plenty of web content out there is Mac, Linux, and Windows friendly.  But they have this annoying DRM crap.  It’s not like you couldn’t just screen record it anyway, or just download a torrent… The messed up thing is I want to pay!  I’m more than willing to shell out $10-$15 a month to watch from a library of TV shows and movies.  Most people are!

(more…)

May
12
2009
0

Xen Dom0 and Paravirtualized guest reported to work in Fedora 11 Beta

Xen 3.0 Dom0 support reported to be working

Xen 3.0 Dom0 support reported to be working

Great news everyone! Fedora Weekly News, issue 175 reports successful Dom0 integration in Fedora 11 Beta.  Here is the quote I read today:

Pasi Kärkkäinen reports[1] success with a dom0 kernel using Fedora 11 Rawhide. “I’m able to run Xen paravirtual (PV) domUs, install new domUs using virt-install and also install and manage domains with virt-manager.”



The environment used was:



– Fedora 11 (rawhide as of 2009-05-05)
– Xen included in F11, no external patches (xen-3.3.1-11.fc11)
– xen-tip/next pv_ops dom0 kernel as of 2009-05-06, Linux 2.6.30-rc3.
– All the rest was standard stuff included in Fedora 11 as well

This is all coming sooner than I previously expected.  I’ll be following up on this story next week as I compile more information and try it myself.  Paravirtualized Operations provide a significant boost to guest Operating System performance and no project implements it better than Xen.  I’m glad to read that it is working in Fedora 11.

Mar
22
2009
2

Fedora 11 will likely not include Xen Dom0 (virtualization) support

xen logo

I (like many of you) have been patiently waiting since Fedora 8 for Dom0(Domain 0) Xen support in Fedora.  Why hasn’t Red Hat or the Fedora Project made an announcement? Haven’t we been good? I mean libvirtd is great and all, but Xen PV(paravirtualized) VM’s destroy. I did some googling to get to the bottom of this. I found a fedora project page with a January 2009 status update.

Here is a snipit:

“Currently, the Fedora kernel-xen package is based on forward-porting of the XenSource patches from 2.6.18 to more recent kernel versions. This has many problems, including:

  • XenSource code has no chance of being merged upstream, in the near future, making the forward-porting work needed for all new kernel versions.
  • Lots of porting work for each new kernel version
  • Because of the above, kernel-xen has been some releases behind the non-xen kernel package, and the lag between kernel and kernel-xen has been increasing constantly”

And also:

“As of November 2007, the kernel-xen forward-porting was being finished for 2.6.22, and Linux 2.6.24 was about to be released. The effort needed for 2.6.23, 2.6.24 and later would have been even bigger with the introduction of paravirt_ops and the i386-x86_64 merge upstream. Thus, the decision was made to abandon the forward-porting effort and focus on upstream paravirt_ops.”

So where does this leave us?  Unmodified guest are old news.  Even Microsoft can do that.  Well not really, as I understand it, Microsoft’s HyperV platform contains Xensource licensed code.  But a customer of the company I work for likes HyperV a lot(incidently).  On the Xen Wiki it says that Paravirt_ops will be ported to the 2.6.30 kernel.  My prediction, Xen Dom0 support will be available toward the end of Fedora 11’s cycle or Fedora 12.

Why does Dom0 matter?  Dom0 is the specially modifed Xen-linux kernel that sits on top of the hypervisor. From Dom0 you can run fully virtualized guest and partially virtualized guest (paravirtualization).  Paravirtualized guest enjoy a method for allowing the use of a set of generic virtual device drivers provided by Dom0.  PV guest are known to have outstanding perfomance compared to their fully virtualized counterpart.  Paravirt_ops refers to Dom0 integration with the Linux kernel.

Mar
06
2009
0

Cisco to enter the Virtualization Server Market

Is this Cisco's future?

I just read on CNN.com that Cisco has announced a server line of products.  I find this interesting because the main reason I don’t use Cisco products is their high cost.  They make some of the best switches and routers, but do they have the mentality to be competitive in the mainstream server market?
One of the huge selling points of virtualization technology is the ability to cut power and hardware cost.  Knowing Cisco their baseline server product will probably be blade server costing $10,000 or more(+ whatever VMware’s cut is).

here is a quote from the CNN article:

“Chambers says virtualization is one of his big priorities for 2009, along with globalization, video growth, customer relationships, and Web 2.0. With its strong position among corporate information technology departments – Cisco has 61% of the router market – the company surely will be able to get an audience for its servers. But if he aims to beat HP, Dell, and IBM on their home court, Chambers is going to have to serve up something truly groundbreaking.”

You can read the whole article here.

The New York Times also ran an article that brought up some excellent points.

“The product — a server computer equipped with sophisticated virtualization software — is a bold but risky move by Cisco into an unfamiliar, intensely competitive market that typically produces far lower profits than Cisco makes from network gear”

You can read the whole article here.

I seriously doubt Cisco is ready to compete against HP, IBM, Microsoft and the Open Source Community.  Virtualization has taken years to become a reality.  Cisco will rely on a VMware product that buyers can already find on cheaper x86 hardware.  By contrast the VoIP market is ripe for the picking, escpicially if Cisco prices more aggressivly against open source Asterisk.  Gianormous Corporations never learn…

Feb
26
2009
20

Using Multiple interfaces with KVM and Xen

I’ve been meaning to write a post on ethernet bridges and how they can easily be used to accommodate virtual machines with their “own” physical NIC(Network Interface Card).  I see a ton of post online about people struggling to get multiple ethernet cards to work in Xen and other hypervisors like KVM.  A common complaint is that when both NIC cards are plugged into the LAN they lose connectivity from all machines including the host.

Many sites make an attempt to explain the problem of multiple interfaces on the same network by walking you through a Xen custom configuration.  However they fail to identify the concept of bridges, layer 2 loops and why Spanning Tree Protocol is your friend!  So many virtualization nuts(like myself) spend hours trying to find a problem with Xen, Vmware, KVM, whatever… when the problem may just be how the interfaces are configured.

The goals of this post:

* define ethernet bridging

* explain ethernet loops

* discuss how this relates to VM’s and the hypervisor

* LAB: set up two ethernet cards for guest VM and my Fedora 10 KVM Server

(more…)

Jan
21
2009
2

Windows 7 Beta running on Fedora 10 KVM

I was interested to know if the Windows 7 Beta was bootable in Fedora 10 w/ KVM/libvirt setup.  I was surprised that it was a fairly quick and flawless install.  In fact I was happy to finally see a Microsoft product worth getting excited for.

Installing Windows 7

The install was painless with no driver errors, crashes and just one reboot.  Woot.  Installs faster on Linux hypervisor than an ordinary machine!  Or at least it seemed like it.

Ugly default desktop with KDE 4.0 like widgets

So far my overall assesment is that the interface seems to be getting steadily worse since Windows XP, but performence wise it seems waaaaaay faster than Vista.  Also let me point out you can change the Desktop Theme to something that looks XP’ish.

It installed quickly and easily, detected all my drivers and seems to be faster on a limited resources VM then on my Intel 2.6 GHZ Vista system.  We’ll see as I use it further…

My fear is that I’m getting some stripped down Beta that is really fast but gets slower as we get closer to release.  If any of you have experiences you wish to share about Windows 7 and VM’s send me a post!

-Matt

Written by mattb in: Linux,Xen | Tags: , , , , , , , ,