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Old 10-28-2007, 01:23 AM   #1
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Low Overhead OS to host a VMWARE instance

Hey Linux Community,

I currently manage roughly 50 Virtual Window OS's in an ESX environment.

I'm looking for opinions on what Linux Distro to use for hosting a VMWARE workstation instance to host several VM's..probably one or 2 Windows OS's and one or two Linux OS's. They will be setup on a desktop for testing purposes. The Desktop is an older one.

Hardware for desktop:
1 250G SATA2
1 Celeron D Processor

I need the host OS to be low impact with minimal overhead. VMware Workstation allows for the following OS's:

Workstation 6.0.1 adds experimental support:

* 32-bit and 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1
* 32-bit and 64-bit openSUSE Linux 10.3
* 32-bit and 64-bit Turbolinux 10

Workstation 6.0.1 adds full support for the following operating systems:

* 32-bit and 64-bit Ubuntu Linux 7.04
* 32-bit and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.5
* 32-bit and 64-bit FreeBSD 6.2

I have heard situations where VMware Workstation will run on Gentoo as well as a few others......

The Linux Distro's listed above are pretty much foreign to me since I'm really only knowledgeable in the Knoppix Distro's, so opinions, advice, anything other info that might be of use will be greatly appreciated. Anything in command line is fine!

Old 10-28-2007, 02:14 AM   #2
Registered: Jul 2003
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Distribution: Slackware / Debian / *Ubuntu / Opensuse / Solaris uname: Brian Cooney
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have you considered running vmware server rather than workstation on that machine?

I run vmware server on a much older machine than that, a Slackware 12 install with no X server installed. All vm are accessed remotely on my network from either vmware-consoles on other machines, or vnc.

If you want X running on the machine, I would suggest prehaps using Centos or RHEL. I dont know what version, but esx is based on a stripped down version of redhat, so it would seem logical to consider the same.
Old 10-28-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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To answer your question the answer is yes.. I have considered using server vs. workstation... and more than likely that will be the way this project takes me as I work through the options available to me. I don't see a reason to install ESX on that machine since the importing of images is pretty much seem less regardless of the type of virtual instance running.

Forgive my ignorance but I assume X refers to ESX/GSX? Or am I way off in left field here?

Old 10-29-2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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I run vmware server on Debian, also with no X (X windows System)

No GUI is necessary on the vmware server machine, because you can load the GUI VMware Server client on any workstation to connect to the server.

so basically we are both saying.. - Don't install a GUI desktop on the server.

Use vmware server instead of workstation and connect remotely from your regular desktop.
Old 10-29-2007, 05:18 PM   #5
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As per above, Slack and Debian would be popular (and good) options.
Any distro that allows you to "pick and choose" what gets installed/started should do. Personally I use Arch - much as I like gentoo, you really don't want to go that way if all you are looking at is VM testing.


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