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Old 07-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #1
Mcleish
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Registered: Jul 2011
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Test box for RHEL/Fedora suggestions


I wasnít sure which was the best section to put this in, hardware, server or Desktop so if the moderators want to move this to the appropriate area thatís kool, I decided in Newbie due to not having a clue

I only started with Lunix 4 weeks ago from no experience so am very new to it and relise for what I want to do I really need a test box where I can build it, break it and then fix it.
Ideally I think I would want to have a box which I would be able to run virtual machines on.
I was on the week long course that Redhat supply of the RH200, during that course we were using a virtual machine. This course was the first time I had used a virtual machine so this was new to me so I might be biting off more than I can chew, but im sure someone will point that out to me if it will be.


My thoughts are of getting a machine at home where I can play around with outwith work, so I can test various uses for the machine, once I find some tutorials for RHEL/fedora.
I have the basics for it but was wanting to see what peoples thoughts were on the main hardware, ie cpu (speed, make) amount of RAM, motherboard, graphics.
I already got spares of Case, DVD drive, 4-5 Hard drives, PSU.

My thoughts was that I would need a beefed up CPU if im wanting to run virtual machines on it, RAM I was thinking the same but had no idea of what was Ideal, graphics I didnít think I would need to worry about to much as I aint playing games on it and I will be trying to mainly be in command line.

I aint asking for people to tell me the exact specs just some ideas of whats best whether through they have tried this before or if they know I will have issues.
Once i know roughly what to look for i will do the hunting for parts.

Cheers Muchly

Mcleish
 
Old 07-11-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcleish View Post
I wasnít sure which was the best section to put this in, hardware, server or Desktop so if the moderators want to move this to the appropriate area thatís kool, I decided in Newbie due to not having a clue

I only started with Lunix 4 weeks ago from no experience so am very new to it and relise for what I want to do I really need a test box where I can build it, break it and then fix it. Ideally I think I would want to have a box which I would be able to run virtual machines on. I was on the week long course that Redhat supply of the RH200, during that course we were using a virtual machine. This course was the first time I had used a virtual machine so this was new to me so I might be biting off more than I can chew, but im sure someone will point that out to me if it will be.

My thoughts are of getting a machine at home where I can play around with outwith work, so I can test various uses for the machine, once I find some tutorials for RHEL/fedora. I have the basics for it but was wanting to see what peoples thoughts were on the main hardware, ie cpu (speed, make) amount of RAM, motherboard, graphics. I already got spares of Case, DVD drive, 4-5 Hard drives, PSU.

My thoughts was that I would need a beefed up CPU if im wanting to run virtual machines on it, RAM I was thinking the same but had no idea of what was Ideal, graphics I didnít think I would need to worry about to much as I aint playing games on it and I will be trying to mainly be in command line.

I aint asking for people to tell me the exact specs just some ideas of whats best whether through they have tried this before or if they know I will have issues. Once i know roughly what to look for i will do the hunting for parts.
Any fairly current (within the past 3 years) hardware should be easily able to do what you want. But I think you're thinking about this in the wrong way. If you don't know about Linux and want to learn, you're going about it the long way around. Why load Linux, just to load ANOTHER Linux instance in a Virtual box? If you've already got a Windows system, you can install Virtualbox, and then load Linux on it...play around with it, and enjoy.

If you don't have a box, and all you want to do it play around...then just go for it. As you said...it'll be a test box. Who cares if it dies? Just reload it and/or learn to fix it, which is what it sounds like you want to do anyway.
 
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:09 AM   #3
anomie
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Texas
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With the caveat that I am not a virtualization expert, I will share some thoughts for you to consider. If I say something too blatantly idiotic, hopefully an expert can jump in and clarify.

Before you spec out your hardware, it would be helpful to familiarize yourself with the two options you have for virtualization*:
  1. Full-on virtualization, via a hypervisor.
  2. Non-native virtualization, via an emulator.

In the former case, any OS you virtualize has "direct" access to the underlying hardware. Perform is quite good -- as I understand it, almost as good as native performance (minus necessary VM overhead). Examples of this type include Xen and VMware ESX.

In the latter case, any OS you virtualize has access to an emulated hardware environment. IOW, this differs from access to the actual hardware. The VM application fools guest systems into believe they're running on hardware that exists only the consciousness of the VM. As you might imagine, performance in this environment is less impressive. Examples of this type include QEMU and VirtualBox.

If price can be flexible, I'd recommend going for full virtualization with a hypervisor. Specifically, look for processors that support AMD-V (for AMD CPUs) or VT-x (for Intel CPUs). For more details on that, read here (under "Hardware Assist"):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_virtualization

-------

* Actually, there are other options, like pseudo-virtualization (i.e. shared kernel between host and VMs), but I have left those out of my ramblings.

Last edited by anomie; 07-11-2011 at 11:10 AM.
 
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