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Old 20th December 2014
raindog308 raindog308 is offline
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Default multibooting versus virtualization?

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Originally Posted by cravuhaw2C View Post
I have a triple-boot system: OpenBSD, Debian and ArchLinux. OpenBSD 5.5 does not co-exist well with the other two. OpenBSD 5.6 fares slightly better, but not by much.
Slightly orthogonal, but..do you really need dual booting?

Last time I had a dual boot system was sometime in the 90s.

On the other hand, I have multiple VMs running on the PC I'm typing this on. Back when dual boot was very common, PC hardware was not powerful enough to run multiple VMs. Today, most people have quad-core CPUs, gigabytes of RAM, fast SATA or SSD disk, etc.

You can run OpenBSD in a very small environment. I run it on multiple 128MB VPSes, on small platforms like the Soekris 4801, the Beagle, etc. So it can certainly run quite nicely in a small VM. Even if you want a graphic environment, OpenBSD does not require much.

Likewise, if you want to be able to go back and forth between, say, Windows and a Linux desktop, you might find that modern VM platforms such as Virtualbox, VMware, etc. offer pleasant full screen experiences.
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Old 20th December 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raindog308 View Post
Slightly orthogonal...
...which warrants its own thread. This digression has been separated from the following parent thread:

http://daemonforums.org/showthread.p...2394#post52394
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Old 20th December 2014
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Originally Posted by raindog308 View Post
On the other hand, I have multiple VMs running on the PC I'm typing this on.
The question could also be asked; is it really necessary to be using multiple OSes simultaneously? Some will say yes and others will say no. Likewise, dual or multi-booting with virtual machines or on bare metal will depend on individual needs and preferences. The amount of RAM and processor speed available are not the only factors for everyone.
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Old 20th December 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raindog308 View Post
Slightly orthogonal, but..do you really need dual booting?

Last time I had a dual boot system was sometime in the 90s.
Each to his/her own. My present OpenBSD 5.6 box isn't a beast, it is a Dell Optiplex GX620 running a 2.80 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. It runs XFCE very well. I dual boot Slackware64-current and OpenBSD 5.6 on this box. I can run virtual machines on this unit, but, prefer to run a metal install.
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Old 20th December 2014
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Dual/multiple OS booting has no practical purpose. I am not a big fun of virtualization but it has some useful applications. However virtualization except maybe Jails should not be used for basic network and file services. Those should be run only on the bare metal.
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Old 20th December 2014
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Quote:
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Dual/multiple OS booting has no practical purpose.
Agreed. However, it is enjoyable to tinker with stuff.
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Old 21st December 2014
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I can think of use cases for multibooting. At work, we have laptops used by different people, and people have their own preferences for which operating system they want to use. In addition, at home, I prefer FreeBSD on my laptop, but there are a few things, such as teamviewer and google voice that only work on Linux.

I would say, at least here in the US, going partially by hearsay and partially by what I saw when job-hunting last year, as well as experience at my last job, that VMware is becoming much more common for production servers. I would (very respectfully) disagree that nothing but jails should be used for network or file servers, and would trust both KVM (on Linux, at least, haven't used it on FreeBSD in many years) or VMware in production.

I wouldn't use VIrtualBox to host multiple production servers, I'm not sure if they're aiming to make it something to be used for that or not. For me at least, VBox is good for quick testing of something, having that Windows install for the one thing that might not work in a BSD or Linux, and so on.
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Old 21st December 2014
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oko View Post
Dual/multiple OS booting has no practical purpose.
False.
  • For those with limited equipment, or equipment meager in comparison to today's de facto standard, multibooting is an option, & it should not be eradicated because it is no longer considered cool.
  • Contrary to other environments where virtualization is considered to be bug-free, the OpenBSD community is not ready to make such a blind pronouncement.
While the essence of raindog308's argument is that the convenience which virtualization provides eclipses the mere sharing of diskspace, perhaps this is sufficient for some.

Lastly, bare-metal testing is still the gold standard in verification. Testing only in virtualized environments is considered a sloppy practice.
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Old 21st December 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottro View Post
I would say, at least here in the US, going partially by hearsay and partially by what I saw when job-hunting last year, as well as experience at my last job, that VMware is becoming much more common for production servers. I would (very respectfully) disagree that nothing but jails should be used for network or file servers, and would trust both KVM (on Linux, at least, haven't used it on FreeBSD in many years) or VMware in production.
.
We use mostly KVM (Red Hat) and more and more FreeBSD jails at my work place. I also have extensive experience with VirtualBox. While KVM has proven very stable for our use cases I am having really hard time imagining myself to run Firewall as KVM instance, LDAP server or a mail server. File server is another case where I just can't imagine anything but bare metal. One of the reasons is that we use only ZFS on file servers. VirtualBox looks like a toy but unless you are looking to squeeze performance it was good enough for simple production user cases in our experience. We still use it as a simple desktop VM to test our software with Internet Explorer (no we are not doing web development but rather very deep machine learning tools with web interfaces). I have zero experience with VMware. I am also stuck with a single Debian Xen host and one guest. The machine is set to be retired for a long time not because we are not happy with Xen but because the hardware is dying but I can't get my hands around doing it. I would be happy to remove last Debian from the place. OpenBSD, FreeBSD/TrueOS/FreeNAS plus Red Hat on computing nodes and desktops is too much diversity already.
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Old 21st December 2014
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Default Hard hack

I switch drives, on my laptop it requires a small screwdriver, spare laptop drive, and an antistatic bag-for storage. On a desktop this generally easier with any case that has room for an extra drive. Flash drives are pretty cheap these days too. A 500GB 2.5 drive is only ~$60 right now and after that throw the old drive in the anti static baggy the new drive comes in. And I seem to dig up junk laptops from friends and family, often times the drives are still good.
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Old 21st December 2014
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I dual boot for the following reason. I use FreeBSD as my desktop (word processing, browsing the web, paying bills online, emailing, etc.).

My day job requires me to program in a Windows environment and to work remotely I have to connect to our VPN that only supports Windows machines. For this I have a Windows 7 instance in Virutalbox. This way I can do my personal stuff and work at the same time.

I also dual boot in Windows 7 because when my grandson comes over he likes to play 3D video games and try as I might I cannot get any of the more current games to run through a Virtualbox instance.

I also use Virtualbox to play with OSes that I'll probably never use for more than a few weeks such as Plan 9.
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Old 21st December 2014
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So Oko, going back to KVM, is your distrust of it from experience or more a feeling? I ask because here in the US, at least, I believe a lot of companies put a lot of reliance on it--I know that the popular VPS provider DigitalOcean uses it.

My use of VBox is similar to Rod's, as well as, as I mentioned, having a Windows install for a few things.
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Old 21st December 2014
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The newest fad is not virtualization anymore, it is Linux containers which is like FreeBSD jails. Also see Docker that builds on LXC.
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Old 21st December 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottro View Post
VMware is becoming much more common for production servers. I would (very respectfully) disagree that nothing but jails should be used for network or file servers, and would trust both KVM (on Linux, at least, haven't used it on FreeBSD in many years) or VMware in production.
Cute story...my boss at a previous job came to me (this is many years ago, perhaps VMWare has fixed this since) and asked for a list of servers that are "virtualizable", i.e. they use so little CPU/RAM/etc... that it would make sense to run them as a VM.

I grabbed the list via script, then reviewed the output. Both our primary and secondary DNS servers were in the list. I quietly removed them.

Boss comes back and says, "you know, the list was very nearly complete...why didn't you include ns1 and ns2, though? They're very low overhead and would virtualize nicely!"

I explained, he laughed and said "this is a state of the art VMWare installation! It won't go down!" I quietly copied our core zone files to my workstation and installed bind...just in case...and created a cronjob to sync the zone files every evening.

A few months later, we had an issue with one of the AC units in the DC, I called the building maintenance guys and told them to go shutdown unit "A". When I arrived, they'd shutdown unit "B", and the DC was over 105 degrees. VMWare shutdown (along with pretty much everything else in the DC).

Now, bringing up a network without DNS is a fun experience when VMWare won't start because it can't reach the virtualized VMs that are running your core DNS. Luckily, I had the zone files, was able to fire up BIND on my workstation and bring everything back up...but it scares me to think what would have happened if I hadn't thought to copy those zone files =)

Edit - I'm an AWS employee, so I obviously fall on the "virtualization is useful" side of the fence. But, as Oko pointed out, there are some things that are best left to bare metal...
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Last edited by rocket357; 21st December 2014 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 21st December 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottro View Post
So Oko, going back to KVM, is your distrust of it from experience or more a feeling? I ask because here in the US, at least, I believe a lot of companies put a lot of reliance on it--I know that the popular VPS provider DigitalOcean uses it.

My use of VBox is similar to Rod's, as well as, as I mentioned, having a Windows install for a few things.
I think that rocket357 summarized things very well. As additional food for thought I will tell you this. Lets talk money for a second instead of security, reliability all that stupid stuff that management doesn't care about. A typical KVM host which I have in production is a server paid anywhere 10-15K. I have KVM hosts with at most 10 KVM guests. That comes down to about $1000-1500 per server at best but more like $2500 per guest in real life. And that is kind OK as you can over provision things and essentially replace $3000-$5000 physical server with a KVM guest. On another hand. My firewall, LDAP, and monitoring machines (I have quite a few) are Atom based Supermicro servers which I get for slightly less than $300. I would have to run 50 of those hosts on the single KVM host to justify savings.
Do you really trust KVM that much? Do you really want to really on the single point of failure for so much of your work? I really don't!

Last edited by Oko; 22nd December 2014 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 21st December 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J65nko View Post
The newest fad is not virtualization anymore, it is Linux containers which is like FreeBSD jails. Also see Docker that builds on LXC.
Try playing briefly with it on Springdale 6.6 (Red Hat clone) which we will be keep until the end of the life due to systemd issues with 7.xxx branch. It feels like it is in similar state like Beehyve right now on FreeBSD. It has still rough edges and I am not sure I would trust it right now with my livelihood. Sure enough it would be nice to use only Jails for FreeBSD guests and Beehyve for non FreeBSD guests. I am sure people who love Linux will love to stick with KVM for non-Linux guests and use LXC for Linux guests. However for a smaller shops like mine with half dozen virtual hosts (servers which are hosting guest OSs) it is not such a big deal in particular because I can't get a rid of Linux anyway and I don't want to get a rid of BSDs.

Last edited by Oko; 22nd December 2014 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 22nd December 2014
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You bring up a good point Oko, and one we're having to consider for our jails as well. Interesting comment about the pricing though, though there's also power cost, space, and so on, but definitely food for thought. Actually, it's not KVM that I mistrust so much as the single point of failure, which applies to jails too.
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