Cater Hero

Learning Linux the Hard Way

January 23rd 2011

The past few days have been difficult to say the least. Let me touch upon some of the goals I was working towards, and what was blocking me from achieving them.

My main goal was to set up a home sever on a desktop box I’ve had laying around for a while. I already had it set up to dual boot CentOS and Win 7, and wanted to create a VM inside CentOS with Ubuntu so I could port my current configuration to it. Since I am running VirtualBox on my laptop, I thought I could just export the VM, and import it to a VirtualBox instance running on CentOS. Wrong, doesn’t work like that.

It took me a while to realize that in order to get Ubuntu running inside VirtualBox on CentOS, I’d need to compile a different kernel. The CentOS version I installed (5.5), unbeknownst to me initially, already has a Virtual Machine Manager. In order for that to work properly, when I installed CentOS in the first place, I installed it with a kernel compiled for Xen VM operations. So long story short, after messing around with my OS for a while to get it to use a PAE kernel, I gave up and decided to try and use the Xen Virtual Machine Manager.

That proved difficult as well. After reading countless forums and error messages, I found out that the hardware I’m running (Pentium D 2.8Ghz) doesn’t support virtual machine functionality I was trying to use.

In the end, I decided to scrap my whole system. I’m installing Ubuntu Server 10.10, got rid of CentOS and Win 7. If I can get VM’s running in this setup, I’ll put CentOS back in so I can experiment with it. If my hardware complains again I’ll have to either get a new box, or stick with one distro for my setup.

All in all, I’ve gained a high level understanding of the different VM options on Linux. I bookmarked a lot of good books to read, and also read How To Ask Questions The Smart Way. Going forward I’m going to need to reference that guide if I want to dive deeper into the FOSS community.

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