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Linux server virtualisation software


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#1 Karzahni

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Posted 29 December 2015 - 11:45 PM

I want to know what software is best for me to use.

 

I want to chuck my 1 TB HDD into my PC for backups to be stored on. I want to set it up so that my desktop itself, my laptop and my mother's PC can all backup over the LAN to the 1 TB HDD. (And also use it for storage, this may also be expanded with other spare HDDs.)

 

(The original idea was to use my old old gaming PC for this purpose with Ubuntu server or something on it, but it is too power hungry.)

 

So what I want to do is run something like Windows' Hyper-V on my desktop (which runs Mint) to run an OS (probably Ubuntu) to use for this purpose. Keep in mind, that my desktop still has to be used as a desktop, for gaming or other purposes, while the virtual server runs as well. It would be nice to run a separate server, or just use the same virtual server, for game servers such as Minecraft.

 

Why?

 

Because I want to separate my server operations from my personal stuff.

 

Specs:

MSI 970 Gaming Motherboard

AMD FX-8350 Eight-core Black Edition 4.0 GHz

G.Skill Ripjaws X 2x4 GB DDR3 RAM OC @ 2133 MHz

128 GB SSD (boot drive)

750 GB HDD (extra storage)

1 TB HDD (the spare)

750W PSU

Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon

 

What I want to allocate the virtual server:

Eight CPU cores

2 GB RAM (or 4 if I use it for game servers)

800 GB of the HDD (200 GB for sharing between the host and guest)

Ubuntu Server 14 LTS

 

Thank-you


"A lizard in the desert wouldn't eat that." ~Gordon Ramsay


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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 11:44 AM

Okay so I'll start out by saying that I run an older dell with Ubuntu Server on it. I have a samba share set up and run things like Plex, mumble, etc. on it as well, so I have some experience with what you are trying to do.

 

Okay now, you can achieve what you want with how you are thinking. Its easy to set up a virtual machine (using either "virtual box" or vmware) and run Ubuntu Server on your main computer.

You of course won't be able to access said server when you PC is shut down, thus cutting off your media access/backup purposes that you are wanting it for. You wouldn't want to limit the times that you can backup your systems, and you probably would want them to backup when the network isn't being used much (you'll push a good amount of data over the LAN when doing backups).

 

So here is my suggestion, and two cents on the matter (for what it's worth), I would get a NAS device that can attach via Ethernet cable directly to your router, this allows you to have a lower power data backup solution that is on all the time. You can get just the bay itself for a bit over a $100 I believe. I think the Western Digital one has software where you can even access it from outside your network by logging into their software.

Then if you wish to have a game server, run that on a virtual machine (you probably would only run it when you want it anyway so that should be okay).
This also gives you some data security as well. You don't want a game server, that someone could potentially hack into, that has all your personal data on it. I would keep it separate.

 

As far as the virtual machine specs, eight cores is probably over kill (especially if you use it just for a data backup type machine). Plus if you give it eight cores you are using up all the cores for you physical machine (remember a virtual machine shares all physical aspects with its host machine). Everything else is fine though.

 

I hope I answered your questions and helped you out some. If you have anymore spawning from what I said above, ask away and I'll try and answer to the best of my knowledge.


Edited by DeimosChaos, 30 December 2015 - 11:45 AM.

OS - Ubuntu 14.04/16.04 & Windows 10
Custom Desktop PC / Lenovo Y580 / Sager NP8258 / Dell XPS 13 (9350)
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#3 Karzahni

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:02 PM

Thank you very much. The NAS idea should be worth looking in to. I could always use a separate PC for the backups. But all I have is a high power using gaming PC from '07, a netbook and a PC from '01 (1.5 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, can get a SATA PCI card I suppose)

 

I might look into pricing for VMWare, I use VMs a lot for experimenting with OSes too, so maybe it's worth buying one. VMWare Player or VirtualBox wouldn't be suitable for game servers would they? And is VMWare even available for Linux?

 

How does 4 cores sound? I used to always allocate around half of my host resources to VMs, but I read somewhere you can use as many cores as you want. 

 

The old gaming PC would be ideal, but it uses a lot of power (I already have my current gaming PC and four monitors running) but according to newegg, I i removed the twin GPUs and replaced them with a low end one, it should only use 450W. If I ran that system using the 600W PSU it has, would it only use the watts it needs, or the full 600W?

 

(off topic) An interesting point, I know someone in year 11 at school who has a dual Xeon powered server in their house!


Edited by Karzahni, 30 December 2015 - 09:04 PM.

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#4 cat1092

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 04:29 AM

 

 

And is VMWare even available for Linux?

 

Yes it is, in fact was recently renamed 'VMware Workstation Player', can be used at no charge if not for commercial usage (email required while installing, skip the entry for key), plus it's a better overall solution than VirtualBox. With VMware, one doesn't need to create all kinds of rules just to connect a USB stick, printer, or whatever, just drop the host connected device down & connect to your VM. BT connections are automatically mounted & shown. From time to time, you'll get a hint to upgrade, though this isn't often & if a home user, is entirely optional. Though even if a Home user, there may be some things you can't do with the software, like a lot of complex configuration. I'm running 3 VM's with it on my Linux MInt install & due to a reinstall of the OS, had to recently reinstall the software. 

 

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation_player/12_0

 

 

 

How does 4 cores sound? I used to always allocate around half of my host resources to VMs, but I read somewhere you can use as many cores as you want. 

 

I had one of my VM's set at 4 cores with 12GB RAM, so use what you want. Though you'll get a warning about Swap space if less than 1GiB, or higher in my case at 4GiB. Had to drop the VM to 8GB RAM to stop those pesky warnings with 4GiB Swap. Really, I don't understand this, with 32GB RAM, why would a system need to swap? Unless 3-4 VM's were open at once. Few Home users would do that. 

 

Just be sure after downloading the file, under Properties > Permissions to allow to execute file as program by checking the box. The name of the file is at the top, which will need to copy/pasted to install using the Terminal. Here's my Topic when installing it some time back. Begin at Post #6 for the install, if that doesn't work, use the ones on the last page of Topic. 

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/561805/need-help-with-installing-latest-vmware-player-on-linux-mint-171/

 

Though you'll begin in the Terminal, the program will open to finish the install. Just take it easy & all will be OK. :thumbup2:

 

Let us know if we can further assist you. :)

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 31 December 2015 - 04:37 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#5 DeimosChaos

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 09:29 AM

 

The old gaming PC would be ideal, but it uses a lot of power (I already have my current gaming PC and four monitors running) but according to newegg, I i removed the twin GPUs and replaced them with a low end one, it should only use 450W. If I ran that system using the 600W PSU it has, would it only use the watts it needs, or the full 600W?

 

Cat answered your other questions, so I'll address this one.

 

A system will only use as much power as it needs, so yes if you have a 600W PSU and the PC only needs to draw 450W, it will only draw that 450. It's actually a good thing to get a PSU with more wattage than you need. This keeps the PC from straining it too much and can help keep the PSU to last a bit longer than it would if it was drawing its max capacity.

 

Oh and to your question on a game server on a virtual machine. You should be able to run one on it (I have never tried mind you), but I don't see why not. Depending on the game you don't necessarily need a giant graphics card, and if you need more cores/memory you can always assign it what you need. Running a game server on one would just be an experiment on your end. Only thing you are going to waste is some time, but you'll learn a fair amount in the process anyway.


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#6 Karzahni

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:16 AM

OK, thank-you all for your help. I didn't realise I could use Workstation for free on Linux. (Recently converted from Win10, so used to Player, which sucked, I'm told) So I should be able to go ahead with this now.

 

With what Deimos said about PSUs, that's what I thought, but I've heard both sides from different people and wanted to check.


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#7 cat1092

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:22 AM

One of the other advantages of VMware Workstation Player over VirtualBox, one's allowed to assign as much as 2GB of the assigned RAM towards graphics, rather than either the 128-256MB allowed by VBox. 

 

Windows 8.1 & 10 will allow the 2GB limit, while it's 1GB for Windows 7. Many Linux OS's are allowed the 2GB max. It's something you'll want to keep in mind when assigning graphics RAM to the guest. 2GB is 8 to 16x the amount that VBox allows, and even the OS's limited to 1GB will gain at least 4x as much graphics RAM, though could be 8x as much if 128MB is the VBox max for the OS being used. That's graphics that can be put to use in gaming & one has more choice over resolution of the VMware screen, though the user will be warned if a choice may be too much. 

 

My VMware WEI's are higher than many PC's out of the box, even though the VM is within the /home partition of an HDD, it's still 6.0, and the lowest score I have. The rest are near identical to a native Windows install, yet breaking the 5.9 WEI on a HDD is an amazing feat in itself. 

 

You should really give the free VMware Workstation Player a shot, and if you're curious whether VBox is better, you can install that & a VM also & see for yourself which is the better of the two. Being that you want to game, you want these WEI's to be as high as possible. :)

 

And as DC stated, when possible, more PSU is desired for the best overall experience. Unfortunately, not all has this choice, with proprietary adapters all over the place, it's rather hard to splice all of these in place, unless one has a lot of experience with these things. Another reason why building is preferred over pre-built when possible. Though when I was looking to build in the summer of 2013, an i5 build with 8GB RAM & everything else needed was over $1,000. It was a no-brainer decision a couple of months later to purchase this XPS 8700 I'm now in, that shipped with an i7, 12GB RAM & a small, yet still a 1GB GDDR5 GPU (Dell OEM Radeon 7570), for $699.99, plus taxes & shipping. Dell themselves charged $350 more for the same exact configuration. So while I was looking at a i5 4xxxK CPU & all of the work that had to be done & compared, feel that I came out as a winner & when new, one of the benchmark sites listed the CPU as the 'cat's whiskers' & only the one data drive brought down the overall score to some degree. 

 

Plus Dell has cleaned up their act in a huge way, are now using mostly basic Intel connectors, rather than a rat's nest of 3rd party proprietary connectors, as many XPS owners dropped in 750-1000W PSU's w/out issues to power large nVidia GTX GPU's (mainly the 980 models), though there were other issues both on nVidia & Dell causing troubles with these to run, a UEFI firmware upgrade to A11 fixed this, plus made it more Windows 10 compatible, as well as native support for the i7-4790K. The PC has now been approved for a specific GTX 970's w/out upgrading the PSU. 

 

 

OK, thank-you all for your help. I didn't realise I could use Workstation for free on Linux. (Recently converted from Win10, so used to Player, which sucked, I'm told) So I should be able to go ahead with this now.

 

With what Deimos said about PSUs, that's what I thought, but I've heard both sides from different people and wanted to check.

 

Karzahni, you're very welcome! :)

 

Let us know if you need further assistance, we'll be happy to help. BTW, VMware has a tool to convert VBox VM's into a file that VMware can open & run, though re-activation will be required for Windows & Office, if installed. 

 

Good Luck! :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#8 cat1092

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:32 AM

 

 

(Recently converted from Win10, so used to Player, which sucked, I'm told)

 

Actually it was still better than VBox, and that's what I had initially installed in the Topic of mine linked in Post #4, worked very well. While there many have been some changes since the software was renamed, any of these didn't affect my use of VMware Workstation Player, it installed over the regular VMware Player & all of my VM's were there for use. 

 

The trickiest part for me, was the initial install, which will need repeating after a couple of releases. I don't upgrade every time Workstation Player does. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#9 Karzahni

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:54 AM

Oh OK thanks. I just realised VMP = VMWP. I thought Player might be sufficient, but only ever used it for malware testing.


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