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Old 27th December 2009
There0 There0 is offline
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Default VMWare Workstation 7 with OpenBSD 4.6 i386 guest

Greetings all, there was a few recent posts about virtualizing and some questions about tweaking and such came up, this is done on the Windoz version, i can create a Fusion version if anyone cares.

I decided to take some screen shots of what i do to "tweak" a virutual machine in preperation for an OpenBSD install, there is nothing fancy here just some options that i use to help with performance.

The VM BIOS section i so done the same on all my virutual machines of every operating system, so it is applicable to every install (with the odd exception).
The setup of the VM are also almost the same with some exceptions that i will try to list along with the photo.

Begin with creating a virtual machine, always choose custom, i also choose "I will install the operating system later" and "next".

Choose "other" then "FreeBSD" (use 64bit if you like it works fine), select the location you would like to keep the configs (not the actual data).

Select the amount of cores you would like to use (depending on how many you have) I used just 1, next bring you to the memory, i used 512 (if you have more and require a GUI, use more).

Next is the networking, here is where you can specify things like host only networking or none at all (effectivaly cutting off your VM from the world).

For I/O type i use the default recommended LSILogic, the next screen brings you to disk options, here is where you can select "Use Physical Disk" to make use of an actual hard disk (better I/O guaranteed).

I just recently tried an SDCard (as my physical disk) but it would not write to it properly (under Windows 7, i had XPPro sp3 compatability mode and ran as administrator, no go) and did not install at all.

I choose "Create New Virtual Disk" and click next, i DO NOT use the recommended IDE and select SCSI instead. In the next screen i used 5GB for this example and i made sure i selected "Allocate Disk Space Now", this REALLY helps with disk permance as well.

Click next to create the disk, this will take a minute or so depending how much space you allocated and how fast your disks are.
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Old 27th December 2009
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Default VMWare Workstation 7 with OpenBSD 4.6 i386 guest - Part 2

Ok here is where i make a few tweaks to the settings of the virtual machine, i will include a picture of the "Allocate Disk Space Now" settings to ensure that all use it.

So by right clicking on the virtual machine we just created we can click "settings" and begin. I start with dropping the floppy disk and the audio controller by selecting them (one by one) and clicking the "remove" button.

Next i goto my hard disk section and click "advanced" this is where i ensure to select "independant" under MODE and also "persistent". There is a button called "Utilies" that you can use do defragment your virtual machine if you like.

The next option is CD/DVD, in this example i am going to boot from an OpenBSD iso file, so i will select "use ISO image file" and tell Workstation the path to the file. You may choose to boot from CD/DVD in which case select "use physical drive", this is the selected option after the OpenBSD install is completed.

If you have decided to keep networking enabled you may choose here how to handle it, useing NAT will of course you the IP configuration of the host. I would recommend to select "replicate physical network connection state" as this will track status of your networking (if you are using it).

Next up is the USB section, i keep this because sometimes i use USB drives to transfer things (comes in handy no networking too), i like to check off "show all USB input devices". You can later on enable/disable them from the menu under VM then REMOVABLE DEVICES as you please.

Under the Display section if you are using any type of GUI you can enable the 3D acceleration, this has helped to smooth out a bit of desktop choppiness, even without VMTools installed.
Attached Images
File Type: png disk.png (35.7 KB, 120 views)
File Type: jpg usb.jpg (29.8 KB, 78 views)
File Type: png independent-hdd.png (26.3 KB, 83 views)
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Last edited by There0; 27th December 2009 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 27th December 2009
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Default VMWare Workstation 7 with OpenBSD 4.6 i386 guest - Part 3

This next part is kind of sort of optional but i do like to do it if i am really trying to keep the VM apart from everything else.

By selecting the VM and clicking "settings" again, we will select the Options tab from the top of the window, here will will adjust a few things to our liking.

There is an option named "VMWare Kernel Paravirtualiztion" under the "Processors" this has been known to help make some instances MUCH smoother, i have had success with this in some cases. Some posts reports only 32bit operating systems are to benefit, please give this a try, it it does NOT work it will crash right away, if it does boot, you may be in for quite a performance boost.

First ensure that "folder sharing" is DISABLED, i would like to note that with my XPPro VM i ENABLE this as i have VM Tools installed and do alot of copy pasting into and from the VM.

Under Snapshots, you have a couple of options as to wether you would like to take a snapshot when you are powering off, this is handy if you forget to take one, or do NOT use the next section Autoprotect. With the Autoprotect, you can have it automatically create a restore point for you, i DO NOT use this and do this manually, there is a button available on menu.

This feature CAN be helpful if you are doing alot of configuation changes, it is up to you if you find useful or not, i personally just take a snapshot when i am happy with a stage of configuration, you can revert to different levels of configs.

The next section is Guest Isolation, here i ensure to UNCHECK "enable copy and paste" and also "enable drag and drop", if you would like to know about VMCI read up, i DO NOT use VMCI.

You can select to encrypt your installation files, if you feel safer or have a reason feel free, i have not noticed any significant performance difference with an encrypted install (this is WITHOUT VMTools installed for this example of OpenBSD VM guest). This may or may not be different with a Windoz guest, i do not know the answer to that one.

You can choose to use Remote Display (if networking is installed) simply a VNC connection to the VM, this to my knowledge is NOT encrypted, use wisely, i DO NOT USE IT, SSH and MS remote desktop client (over SSH) is what i prefer.

Under the Advanced section, there is an option to "disable memory page trimming" i select this, below is a write up from the help file, this is also quite optional and a personal choice, RAM is cheap and is good for everybody;

Quote:
Workstation checks which part of the guest OS virtual memory is not used and allocates it back to the host OS. This permits to have more concurrent virtual machines running but everytime the guest OS asks back for its memory it suffers a performance degradation.

So, if you have enough free RAM for all planned concurrent VMs, be sure to disable memory trimming for guest OSes adding the following line to the virtual machine configuration (.vmx) file:

MemTrimRate=0

Note: Memory trimming can be disabled through GUI since Workstation 6.0.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg encrypt.jpg (31.8 KB, 55 views)
File Type: jpg shared.jpg (39.1 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg isolation.jpg (33.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg mem-trim.jpg (42.5 KB, 41 views)
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Last edited by There0; 27th December 2009 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 27th December 2009
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Default VMWare Workstation 7 with OpenBSD 4.6 i386 guest - Part 4

OK cool, this now is the BIOS section of what i "tweak", this is optional as well and serves to basically try and lean out some settings. To boot into the BIOS select F2 when the VM is booting up, selecting ESC will give you a boot menu.

As soon as i get the MAIN screen of the BIOS, depending of if you require a FDD or not, you can DISABLE that, next i like to enable 32bit IO for my Virutal Hard Disk, and finally i like to ENABLE the Boot Time Diagnostics Screen.

Next we head to the ADVANCED section to disable serial and parallel ports, again a personal preference and i usually never use either of them.

If you feel so inclined I DO NOT (of a VM anyways) you may password protect your BIOS and change your boot order accordingly. Password protecting the BIOS of a server or firewall (or desktop) or any computer where phycial access may be possible is a GOOD IDEA. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to the BIOS which may allow booting of other medias or worse.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BIOS-flp.jpg (52.6 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg BIOS-hdd.jpg (42.1 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg BIOS-scrn.jpg (45.9 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg BIOS-IO.jpg (42.8 KB, 46 views)
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Old 27th December 2009
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Default VMWare Kernel Paravirutualization

I have posted a document that may help clear up some of the benefits or not of Paravirtualization, hope it helps, enjoy.
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File Type: pdf VMware_paravirtualization.pdf (1.40 MB, 919 views)
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Old 16th February 2010
Stellar Stellar is offline
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this is surely great help for many people who likes experimenting openbsd before applied in production environment ,thanks a lot dude.
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