Part 4: Quad-Core Workstations for Desktop Virtualization Projects - Quad-Boot OS

For our virtualization projects like JeOS Prototype / Virtual Appliances / VM Templates we need to have Desktop hardware with latest Hardware Accelerated Virtualization support, currently this mean AMD = AMD-V and Intel = VT-x platforms.

Today is avaiable next (SECOND) generation of Hardware Accelerated Virtualization support focused onto improve memory performance AMD = RVI (Rapid Virtualization Technology) with Phenom CPU platform and Intel EPT (Extended Page Table) with Core i7 CPU platform.

This entry is part of HW for Virtualization Workshop

This hardware was used to create OpenSolaris 200906 JeOS Prototype VM images in 10+ Virtualization formats - Download


Common OS Quad-Boot setup (4 Installed OSes)

4 Recommended OSes

We will like to have 4 OSes on each workstation, because we have more then 4GB of RAM we need to use only 64bit OS versions

VendorOS VersionComments
Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64 bit SP2 We will move to Windows & when they will be released
Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise 64bit SP1
Windows 7
Any Windows Vista 64 version will be OK [BR]]Will replace it with final Win 7
SunOpenSolaris 2009.06 We will use installations from first public build on kernel B111b
Community64 bit Linux (Fedora 10 - 12) We may be will try others to, but priority here is KVM virtualization
We will use latest final Fedora release

OS Quad-Boot Layout

We will use a 4 primary equally sized partitions and I will prepare then in Linux before all OSes install, this will prevent issues with overlapping partitions and will eliminate extended partitions auto formating.

OS Disk is 500Gb have 500107862016B , its 465.8GB , one OS partition will be about 116GB. I will use 115GB in fdisk to allow automatic cylinders adjustment

I will use latest Live-CD with SLAX Linux distro SLAX Homepage and pre-create all 4 Primary partitions like this:

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500106780160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 \* 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xafb6afb6

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   \*           1       15013   120591891    7  HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2           15014       30026   120591922+  3c  PartitionMagic recovery
/dev/sda3           30027       45039   120591922+  bf  Solaris
/dev/sda4           45040       60801   126608265   83  Linux
Notes
  • When installing Windows, one of the Windows partition need to be protected by changing id=7 to id=3c as PartitionMagic Recovery partitions which most OSes ignore.
  • Yes, we will don't have separate partition for Linux SWAP, I will use small SWAP file inside Linux.
  • I will install all boot code into OS partitions, so we can boot all OSes also from USB recovery tools

Important: BIOS setup reparation before OSes install

Update BIOS to latets versions before OS, to ensure good Virtualization Features and CPU support and to don't be distrubed with BIOS deafults loaded after some BIOS updates !!!

  • Check then all Virtualization features are enabled
  • Disable unused IDE controller
  • Disable Floppy A (We don't heave real HW on, otherwise you will see nasty errors in VMware and others virtualizations)
  • Switch S-ata controller into AHCI mode
  • Optionally: Disable Hyper-hreading on Intel Core i7 (We left it disabled)
  • Optionally: Disable Turbo Boost over clocking on Intel Core i7 (We left it disabled)

Use proprietary graphic drivers

We will use proprietare graphic drivers directly from chipset producers [b]ATI/b and [b]NVIDIA/b to minimize possible artefact's from non proprietary tuned drivers issues and to set up same QA environments.

Set up 2 users ROOT and VIRTU

  • ROOT for all power root or administrator user account
  • VIRTU for not privileged user account

Install Common Antivirus SW

We will use popular Symantec Antivirus SW, demo is on driver motherboard CDs, plus we have licenses available in SUN internally.

We will not use by default a Symantec Firewall, due to possible issues with Virtualization Technologies.

Apply all OS and drives updates

We will keep system fresh as possible, by regular updates to latest stuff.

Additional Storage drivers

I get iirsp.sys error on Windows XP 64bit original CD-ROM, so we need a Floppy disk:

Static network setup

Static network setup will allow us more easily usa OS instance with remote access SW.

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