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Old 01-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
BrewDudeBob
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RHCSA box to play on


Greetings everyone,

First post.

I am a former Solaris Admin. My company recently switched over to Red Hat RHEL. I want to ramp myself up to become certified with the RHCSA, then later with RHCE.

I got the Michael Jang book, and no sooner did I crack it open, I discovered if I want to get the most out of it, I will need to have another server to play on. Of course, the CPU needs to be 64 bit, and I happen to have two old 32 bit desktops collecting dust at home, so I cannot use them.

I do have a laptop running Windows 7 that is 64 bit, but I am leery of using a dual-boot solution to install RHEL6 Server on it.

So I think what I want to do is go out and find a good bargain on a bare bones server, or workstation, that fits the system requirements (which I am finding to be rather nebulous)

Would I be fine running RHEL 6 Server on any 64 bit dual-core or more desktop with >=4GB Memory? Or will I be wasting time and money?

I really want to get the most out of the labs in the book, and I cannot begin using them until I have a box running Linux. I do not want to install any OS other than RHEL6, as I do not want to be confusing myself too much.

So can anyone please share what they have done? what works? what doesn't? Is it possible for me to get a cheap 64 bit desktop, load it with RHEL 6 and run all the labs? Or do I really need to have actual server hardware for this.

Thanks!

-Bob
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
MensaWater
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Make sure whatever CPUs you get allow for "real" virtualization as RHEL6 offers KVM and the RHCE at least expects you to know the virtualization stuff. (Older RHEL5 had XEN which allowed for para-virtualization but latest RHEL5 and all RHEL6 only allows for KVM.)
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
BrewDudeBob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MensaWater View Post
Make sure whatever CPUs you get allow for "real" virtualization as RHEL6 offers KVM and the RHCE at least expects you to know the virtualization stuff. (Older RHEL5 had XEN which allowed for para-virtualization but latest RHEL5 and all RHEL6 only allows for KVM.)
Thanks MensaWater,

I take it from your reply you are not worried about a Desktop model running the RHEL 6 Server software? If that is the case, I will be more comfortable buying the cheapest desktop with "real" virtualization that I can find. I guess it is off to Microcenter or Fry's. I see you are local. do you know a better place to look for bare bones PC's & parts? Also, do you go to the ALE meetings?

-Bob
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:23 PM   #4
mike_rhce
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Dear Bob,

If you have the time, I look forward to hearing more about what you've done. FWIW, I wrote the book on a Lenovo T410 laptop with an Intel i7 CPU. As I think I suggested in the book, you might bring a Live Linux DVD with you on your shopping trip, to make sure the CPU has the vmx or svm labels in the /proc/cpuinfo file (warning -- I'm writing this just from memory).
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
BrewDudeBob
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Where do I get a Live Linux DVD? Remember, I am new to Linux and trying desparately to be absorbed into the collective
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
onebuck
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Hi,

Welcome to LQ!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDudeBob View Post
Where do I get a Live Linux DVD? Remember, I am new to Linux and trying desparately to be absorbed into the collective
From Get Your ISO, LiveCD & Pocket OS section of SlackwareŽ-Links;
Quote:
The LiveCD List <- Very Good List
LiveCD Wiki <- 'Good detailed explanation plus resource'
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
mike_rhce
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Dear Bob,

Onebuck has just posted an excellent list. From that list, I recommend the CentOS 6 live DVD, as it is built on the same source code as RHEL 6. One source for such DVDs is http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/6.2/isos/x86_64/

ISO files such as http://mirrors.kernel.org/centos/6.2...64-LiveDVD.iso are recognized by all DVD writing programs that I've tried. Assuming you have an appropriate DVD writer, you should be able to use a program like Brasero (or even most Windows DVD writing programs) to write the ISO file to a blank DVD.
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:09 PM   #8
BrewDudeBob
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what about this?

http://www.redhat.com/partners/partn.../live_dvd.html

Will that work too?

While you guys were posting, I found that page using Google and already downloaded and verified that ISO...My DVD's are at home, so I won't be able to burn it now.

Last edited by BrewDudeBob; 01-18-2012 at 04:10 PM.
 
Old 01-18-2012, 04:38 PM   #9
mike_rhce
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Dear Bob,

Since I've never tried that ISO, I don't know. In theory, any Live DVD/CD ISO that loads a Linux distribution should work to verify the hardware virtualization feature from the /proc/cpuinfo file.

If I'm understanding the Lotus / Red Hat DVD, it's based on RHEL 5. The Red Hat exams are based on RHEL 6.

So while I'd prefer the CentOS 6.2 64-bit DVD download, what you have is --probably-- OK just for the purpose of verifying the hardware virtualization capabilities of what you might buy.
 
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:05 PM   #10
BrewDudeBob
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Fair enough. I will use yours to make sure.
 
Old 01-19-2012, 03:16 AM   #11
stef80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewDudeBob View Post
So can anyone please share what they have done? what works? what doesn't? Is it possible for me to get a cheap 64 bit desktop, load it with RHEL 6 and run all the labs? Or do I really need to have actual server hardware for this.
Are you buying a machine, or are you building it?
I think any CPU today comes with "hardware assisted virtualization" capability, even Celerons.
You also have to turn the feature on in a BIOS, if it's not turned on by default.
Quad core would be nice, and lots of ram (4->8G). I prefer AMD, since it has cheaper quads (Athlon II X4).

My Setup:
Virtual network (NAT): vnet01 -> 192.168.1.0/24
KVM HOST (router and local installation repo with shared kickstart files) -> 192.168.1.1
KVM guests on vnet01:
server0 - DNS server -> 192.168.1.254
server1 - OpenLDAP server with TLS -> 192.168.1.101
server2 - CA server with HTTP-shared public cert. -> 192.168.1.102
server3 - Samba, NFS and FTP server (exported various filesystems) -> 192.168.1.103
These are all auto-started.

Then I install workstationX (on vnet01) from network, using kickstart, and try out various things with it.

PS: All virtual machines are LVM-based.
PS2: I use my Windows laptop to access KVM host and guests. I use Putty with X11 forwarding (using local Xming server) and TightVNC client.

Last edited by stef80; 01-19-2012 at 04:03 AM.
 
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:54 AM   #12
BrewDudeBob
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Originally Posted by stef80 View Post
Are you buying a machine, or are you building it?
Still in the process of deciding that. Need to do a little more shopping and comparing.
 
Old 01-19-2012, 08:47 AM   #13
lithos
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maybe something like this with some hard drives and you're good to go

good luck
 
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:20 AM   #14
BrewDudeBob
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Originally Posted by lithos View Post
maybe something like this with some hard drives and you're good to go

good luck
That could work, but how loud is that sucker? It will be in my bedroom.
 
Old 01-19-2012, 09:29 AM   #15
lithos
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whoooooooooosh

that is loud machine, I wouldn't let it run in my basement if it wouldn't be closed behind doors (my living place is 1st floor, so I don't hear it)

But if you modify the CPU cooler then it could run quietly (assuming you leave the cover opened to place bigger fans)
 
  


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