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Posts Tagged ‘virtualization’

Oracle releases VirtualBox 3.2

May 20th, 2010 1 comment

With the Sun now set, Oracle has released VirtualBox 3.2 finally ūüôā In particular some lovely optimisations for the newer Intel Core i5/i7 processors, Large¬† Page support (which helps significantly on Windows x64 and Linux) as well as a very welcome optimisation on the networking in VirtualBox as well as multi-monitor support for Windows Guests. Whats more RDP sessions are now accelerated (VRDP).

Amongst the changes from the changelog:

This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, the product is now called Oracle VM VirtualBox and all references were changed without impacting compatibility
  • Experimental support for Mac OS X guests (see the manual for more information)
  • Memory ballooning to dynamically in- or decrease the amount of RAM used by a VM (64-bit hosts only) (see the manual for more information)
  • Page Fusion automatically de-duplicates RAM when running similar VMs thereby increasing capacity. Currently supported for Windows guests on 64-bit hosts (see the manual for more information)
  • CPU hot-plugging for Linux (hot-add and hot-remove) and certain Windows guests (hot-add only) (see the manual for more information)
  • New Hypervisor features: with both VT-x/AMD-V on 64-bit hosts, using large pages can improve performance (see the manual for more information); also, on VT-x, unrestricted guest execution is now supported (if nested paging is enabled with VT-x, real mode and protected mode without paging code runs faster, which mainly speeds up guest OS booting)
  • Support for deleting snapshots while the VM is running
  • Support for multi-monitor guest setups in the GUI for Windows guests (see the manual for more information)
  • USB tablet/keyboard emulation for improved user experience if no Guest Additions are available (see the manual for more information).
  • LsiLogic SAS controller emulation (see the manual for more information)
  • RDP video acceleration (see the manual for more information)
  • NAT engine configuration via API and VBoxManage
  • Use of host I/O cache is now configurable (see the manual for more information)
  • Guest Additions: added support for executing guest applications from the host system (replaces the automatic system presimparation feature; see the manual for more information)

Download from VirtualBox or get the Windows build. I’m really hoping the good Oracle keeps VirtualBox open, this is one kickass bit of kit.

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VirtualBox 3.2.0 Beta 1 Released!

May 3rd, 2010 No comments

Finally downloaded the latest 3.2.0 release of VirtualBox today and gave it ago!

From the forum post for this pre-release.

VirtualBox Version 3.2.0 is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, the product is now called¬†Oracle VM VirtualBox¬†and all references were changed without impacting compatibility.
  • Experimental support for¬†Mac OS X guests
  • Memory ballooning¬†to dynamically in- or decrease the amount of RAM used by a VM (64-bit hosts only) (see the manual for more information)
  • CPU hot-plugging¬†for Linux (hot-add and hot-remove) and certain Windows guests (hot-add only) (see the manual for more information)
  • New Hypervisor features: with both VT-x/AMD-V on 64-bit hosts, using¬†large pages¬†can improve performance (see the manual for more information); also, on VT-x,¬†unrestricted guest execution¬†is now supported (if nested paging is enabled with VT-x, real mode and protected mode without paging code runs faster, which mainly speeds up guest OS booting)
  • Support for¬†deleting snapshots while the VM is running
  • Support for¬†multi-monitor¬†guest setups in the GUI (see the manual for more information)
  • USB tablet/keyboard emulation¬†for improved user experience if no Guest Additions are available
  • LsiLogic SAS controller emulation
  • RDP video acceleration
  • NAT engine configuration via API and VBoxManage
  • Guest Additions: added support for¬†executing guest applications¬†from the host system
  • OVF:¬†enhanced OVF¬†support with¬†custom namespace¬†to preserve settings that are not part of the base OVF standard

In addition, the following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: fixed crash with the OpenSUSE 11.3 milestone kernel during early boot (software virtualization only)
  • VMM: fixed OS/2 guest crash with nested paging enabled
  • VMM: fixed Windows 2000 guest crash when configured with a large amount of RAM (bug¬†5800)
  • VMM: fixed massive display performance loss (AMD-V with nested paging only)
  • Linux/Solaris guests: PAM module for automatic logons added
  • GUI: guess the OS type from the OS name when creating a new VM
  • GUI: added VM setting for passing the time in UTC instead of passing the local host time to the guest (bug¬†1310)
  • GUI: fixed seamless mode on secondary monitors (bugs¬†1322 and¬†1669)
  • GUI: added –seamless and –fullscreen command line switches (bug¬†4220)
  • Settings: be more robust when saving the XML settings files
  • Mac OS X: rewrite of the CoreAudio driver and added support for audio input (bug¬†5869)
  • Mac OS X: external VRDP authentication module support (bug¬†3106)
  • Mac OS X: Moved the realtime dock preview settings to the VM settings (no global option anymore). Use the dock menu to configure it.
  • Mac OS X: added the VM menu to the dock menu
  • 3D support: fixed corrupted surface rendering (bug¬†5695)
  • 3D support: fixed VM crashes when using¬†ARB_IMAGING¬†(bug¬†6014)
  • 3D support: fixed assertion when guest applications uses several windows with single OpenGL context (bug¬†4598)
  • 3D support: added¬†GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object¬†support
  • 3D support: added OpenGL 2.1 support
  • 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (Mac OS X only) (bug¬†4653)
  • Added support for virtual high precision event timer (HPET)
  • LsiLogic: Fixed detection of hard disks attached to port 0 when using the drivers from LSI
  • NAT: fixed ICMP latency (non-Windows hosts only; bug¬†6427)
  • Keyboard/Mouse emulation: fixed handling of simultaneous mouse/keyboard events under certain circumstances (bug¬†5375)
  • Shared folders: fixed issue with copying read-only files (Linux guests only; bug¬†4890)
  • OVF: fixed mapping between two IDE channels in OVF and the one IDE controller in VirtualBox

Bootilicious! Download links are on the site (updated for BETA2).

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VirtualBox 3.1 released!

December 1st, 2009 No comments

Just when you thought you can start a new month without some new software, Sun has blessed the world with a ray of VirtualBox 3.1 goodness on us all! All hail the Sun. I’ve been using the Betas and trying out the spanking awesome Teleportation feature in VirtualBox 3.1. So lets take a bit of a look at the new grub.

Beam me up Scotty!

You know, people say the catch phrase thinking its from Star Trek, but did you know that it was never actually mentioned in any episode?

Teleportation or ‘Live Migration‘ in Xen/KVM¬† or vMotion in VMWare allows you to move a running virtual machine to another host without any downtime. Sun brings us this ‘Enterprise’ feature to VirtualBox. Whats even cooler, is that you can teleport your running VM on different host platforms (Windows -> OpenSolaris or Linux, vice versa) but not from one hardware set (Intel) to another (AMD) unless they both have the same instruction-sets. The transport layer for the teleportation is TCP/IP, so as long as the agreed port is open and accessible you can even teleport it through the tubes! (assuming you have a fast link like those pesky Dutch)

There are a few conditions and caveats as I’ve found. Firstly you must ensure (as you’d expect) the target VM has to have the exact same configuration as the source VM (same RAM, graphics memory, storage, CD/DVD images etc) the other thing is to be weary of the CPUs the host computer has. As long as its between the same generations (different clock speeds are OK) it should work (I tried between a QX6850 -> E6600 but QX6850->AMD X2 4600+ wasn’t so pretty!).

Once you’ve configured the target host to match the source host, time to ask VirtualBox to keep its eyes open for an incoming beam.

VBoxManage modifyvm [VirtualMachineName] --teleporter on --teleporterport [Port]

Then on the source host, send out the beams to initiate the teleportation:

VBoxManage controlvm [VirtualMachineName] teleport --host [TargetIP] --port [Port]

Give it some time to think and if you tried a localhost migration, it should migrate seamlessly ūüôā

Scotty doesn’t know

Scotty doesn’t know about the other little changes, but you will. The new VirtualBox has lots of refinements in the UI. For one, new icons for all the Guest operating systems. The settings window has had a make over and includes ‘optimal settings’ detection.

Windows 2003 VM in VirtualBox 3.1

Windows 2003 VM in VirtualBox 3.1

Here its telling me my Windows 2003 VM should have atleast 20Mb Video Memory assigned to it to work well in full-screen mode. Heading over to the Display options in VirtualBox 3.1 we find that the Video Memory selectors have got little indicators now, as well as the inclusion of 2D Video Acceleration.

Windows 2003 VM - VirtualBox 3.1 Display Settings

Windows 2003 VM - VirtualBox 3.1 Display Settings

Depending how ever many cores you have, it will highlight what you should set as the maximum number of cores available for your VirtualMachine as well as the recommended RAM allocation. This is what I see in my Intel QX6850 development workstation.

VirtualBox 3.1 System Processor Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 System Processor Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 - Motherboard Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 - Motherboard Settings

VirtualBox now also has experimental support for Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) which will eventually replace the aging BIOS bootstrap (which is the default). Well known operating systems that boot via EFI include Windows Vista and Windows 7, Apple OS X and Fedora 11+.

The Storage controls in VirtualBox GUI has also had a bit of a make over. The options to select a disk and a controller have changed, CD/DVD drives can be attached to an arbitrary IDE controller too now!

VirtualBox 3.1 - Storage

VirtualBox 3.1 - Storage

The networking settings GUI in the new VirtualBox has change too, not only that but you can now configure the network interfaces whilst the guest is running – YAY!

VirtualBox 3.1 Network Settings

VirtualBox 3.1 Network Settings

Snapshots are a lot more flexible in this release (much like VMWare’s snapshot feature). Previously you can only restore from the last created snapshot, now any arbitrary snapshot can be restored too or branched off.

For those who use OpenSolaris (like yours truely!) the rewritten USB support (still experimental btw!) should mean we can interact with our USB devices in Solaris Nevada 124 or higher now – I’m running 127 and have USB devices appearing in my VMs.

If those don’t give you any indication on to the pure awesomeness of this release, there was a significant performance improvement for APE & AMD64 guests (VT-x/AMD-V) which will be quite noticeable from what I’ve been told by a college.

As Barack Obama said, tis time for a change..log.

He didn’t say that, I just reused 36 Mafia’s Lolli Lolli. The entire change log appears below from the website.

VirtualBox 3.1.0 (released 2009-11-30)

This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Teleportation (aka live migration); migrate a live VM session from one host to another (see the manual for more information)
  • VM states can now be restored from arbitrary snapshots instead of only the last one, and new snapshots can be taken from other snapshots as well (“branched snapshots”; see the manual for more information)
  • 2D video acceleration for Windows guests; use the host video hardware for overlay stretching and color conversion (see the manual for more information)
  • More flexible storage attachments: CD/DVD drives can be attached to an arbitrary IDE controller, and there can be more than one such drive (the manual for more information)
  • The network attachment type can be changed while a VM is running
  • Complete rewrite of experimental USB support for OpenSolaris hosts making use of the latest USB enhancements in Solaris Nevada 124 and higher
  • Significant performance improvements for PAE and AMD64 guests (VT-x and AMD-V only; normal (non-nested) paging)
  • Experimental support for EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface; see the manual for more information)
  • Support for paravirtualized network adapters (virtio-net; see the manual for more information)

In addition, the following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: guest SMP fixes for certain rare cases
  • GUI: snapshots include a screenshot
  • GUI: locked storage media can be unmounted by force
  • GUI: the a log window grabbed all key events from other GUI windows (bug #5291)
  • GUI: allow to disable USB filters (bug #5426)
  • GUI: improved memory slider in the VM settings
  • GUI: the VirtualBox website couldn’t be opened from the help menu (bug #4559)
  • 3D support: major performance improvement in VBO processing
  • 3D support: added GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array support
  • 3D support: fixed crashes in FarCry, SecondLife, Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament, Eve Online (bugs #2801, #2791)
  • 3D support: fixed graphics corruption in World of Warcraft (#2816)
  • 3D support: fixed Final frame of Compiz animation not updated to the screen (#4653)
  • 3D support: fixed incorrect rendering of non ARGB textures under compiz
  • iSCSI: support iSCSI targets with more than 2TiB capacity
  • VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash (bug #5424)
  • Network: fixed the E1000 emulation for QNX (and probably other) guests (bug #3206)
  • NAT: added host resolver DNS proxy (see the manual for more information)
  • VMDK: fixed incorrectly rejected big images split into 2G pieces (bug #5523, #2787)
  • VMDK: fixed compatibility issue with fixed or raw disk VMDK files (bug #2723)
  • VHD: fixed incompatibility with Hyper-V
  • Support for Parallels version 2 disk image (HDD) files; see the manual for more information
  • OVF: create manifest files on export and verify the content of an optional manifest file on import
  • OVF: fixed memory setting during import (bug #4188)
  • Mouse device: now five buttons are passed to the guest (bug #3773)
  • VBoxHeadless: fixed loss of saved state when VM fails to start
  • VBoxSDL: fixed crash during shutdown (Windows hosts only)
  • X11 based hosts: allow the user to specify their own scan code layout (bug #2302)
  • Mac OS X hosts: don’t auto show the menu and dock in fullscreen (bug #4866)
  • Mac OS X hosts (64 bit): don’t interpret mouse wheel events as left click (bug #5049)
  • Mac OS X hosts: fixed a VM abort during shutdown under certain conditions
  • Solaris hosts: combined the kernel interface package into the VirtualBox main package
  • Solaris hosts: support for OpenSolaris Boomer architecture (with OSS audio backend).
  • Shared folders: VBOXSVR is visible in Network folder (Windows guests, bug #4842)
  • Shared folders: performance improvements (Windows guests, bug #1728)
  • Windows, Linux and Solaris Additions: added balloon tip notifier if VirtualBox host version was updated and Additions are out of date
  • Solaris guests: fixed keyboard emulation (bug #1589)
  • Solaris Additions: fixed as_pagelock() failed errors affecting guest properties (bug #5337)
  • Windows Additions: added automatic logon support for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Windows Additions: improved file version lookup for guest OS information
  • Windows Additions: fixed runtime OS detection on Windows 7 for session information
  • Windows Additions: fixed crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo)
  • Linux Additions: added support for uninstalling the Linux Guest Additions (bug #4039)
  • Linux guest shared folders: allow mounting a shared folder if a file of the same name as the folder exists in the current directory (bug #928)
  • SDK: added object-oriented web service bindings for PHP5

Overall this is a solid new release from Sun – unsure about its stability as I’ve only been running a few VMs (Windows 2003, CentOS and Fedora 12) for about 10-12hrs. Nothing bad as yet.

Download from the VirtualBox site:

  • VirtualBox 3.1.0 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.1.0 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64

Enjoy!

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VirtualBox 3.0.12 released!

November 18th, 2009 No comments

VirtualBox 3.0.12 has been released.

VirtualBox 3.0.12 (released 2009-11-17)

This is a maintenance release. The following items were fixed and/or added:

  • VMM: reduced IO-APIC overhead for 32 bits Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 guests; requires 64 bits support (VT-x only; bug #4392)
  • VMM: fixed double timer interrupt delivery on old Linux kernels using IO-APIC (caused guest time to run at double speed; bug #3135)
  • VMM: reinitialize VT-x and AMD-V after host suspend or hibernate; some BIOSes forget this (Windows hosts only; bug #5421)
  • VMM: fix loading of saved state when RAM preallocation is enabled
  • BIOS: ignore unknown shutdown codes instead of causing a guru meditation (bug #5389)
  • GUI: never start a VM on a single click into the selector window (bug #2676)
  • Serial: reduce the probability of lost bytes if the host end is connected to a raw file
  • VMDK: fix handling of split image variants and fix a 3.0.10 regression (bug #5355)
  • VRDP: fixed occasional VRDP server crash
  • Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, some guests were able to send / receive packets (E1000; bug #5366)
  • Network: even if the virtual network cable was disconnected, the PCNet card received some spurious packets which might confuse the guest (bug #4496)
  • Shared folders: fixed changing case of file names (bug #2520)
  • Windows Additions: fix crash in seamless mode (contributed by Huihong Luo)
  • Linux Additions: fix writing to files opened in O_APPEND mode (bug #3805)
  • Solaris Additions: fix regression in guest additions driver which among other things caused lost guest property updates and periodic error messages being written to the system log

Download it from the Sun VirtualBox download page.

  • VirtualBox 3.0.12 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.12 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64

Woot!

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Part I: Rebuilding ZEUS, the journey of training the next home server

October 6th, 2009 No comments

I’ve been looking at upgrading our existing home server from the archaic (and unsupported!) Ubuntu Gutsy (because I was feeling gutsy at the time) to something newer, fresher and that will last me atleast another 2 years. This is purely for my documentation.

Current Setup

Currently running an AMD setup with Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) – I didn’t think it would last this long, honest! Ubuntu 6.06 had too many issues with the hardware/driver incompatibilities.

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=7.10
DISTRIB_CODENAME=gutsy
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 7.10"

On an ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard (because you know, servers need SLI!) sporting a AMD Athlon64 3200+ (the only AMD CPU at home!) with 2Gb of RAM (hey, DDR1 wasn’t cheap enough!)

lspci

00:00.0 Memory controller: nVidia Corporation CK804 Memory Controller (rev a3)
00:01.0 ISA bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 ISA Bridge (rev f3)
00:01.1 SMBus: nVidia Corporation CK804 SMBus (rev a2)
00:02.0 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation CK804 USB Controller (rev a2)
00:02.1 USB Controller: nVidia Corporation CK804 USB Controller (rev a3)
00:04.0 Multimedia audio controller: nVidia Corporation CK804 AC'97 Audio Controller (rev a2)
00:06.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation CK804 IDE (rev f2)
00:07.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation CK804 Serial ATA Controller (rev f3)
00:08.0 IDE interface: nVidia Corporation CK804 Serial ATA Controller (rev f3)
00:09.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 PCI Bridge (rev f2)
00:0a.0 Bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 Ethernet Controller (rev f3)
00:0b.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev f3)
00:0c.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev f3)
00:0d.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev f3)
00:0e.0 PCI bridge: nVidia Corporation CK804 PCIE Bridge (rev a3)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] HyperTransport Technology Configuration
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Address Map
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] DRAM Controller
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] K8 [Athlon64/Opteron] Miscellaneous Control
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G70 [GeForce 7300 GT] (rev a1)
05:06.0 RAID bus controller: Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3114 [SATALink/SATARaid] Serial ATA Controller (rev 02)
05:07.0 RAID bus controller: Silicon Image, Inc. Adaptec AAR-1210SA SATA HostRAID Controller (rev 02)
05:0a.0 RAID bus controller: Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3114 [SATALink/SATARaid] Serial ATA Controller (rev 02)
05:0b.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments TSB43AB22/A IEEE-1394a-2000 Controller (PHY/Link)
05:0c.0 Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88E8001 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 13)

/proc/cpuinfo

processor       : 0
vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
cpu family      : 15
model           : 47
model name      : AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
stepping        : 2
cpu MHz         : 1000.000
cache size      : 512 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 1
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt lm 3dnowext 3dnow up pni lahf_lm ts fid vid ttp tm stc
bogomips        : 2011.59
clflush size    : 64

This faithful boxen has been the primary source of our fileserver (XFS+LVM 3Tb) – used internal to our house and also by others who upload their stuff to be backed up. Subversion repositories, Apache/LightHttpd test servers for PHP work, Virtualisation for Windows 2003, 2000 and SqlServers running for testing and several other things (think: TeamCity, Continous Integration tools, Confluence etc). Its also been damn convenient when your at work or on holidays to be able to login, muse about via SSH and even fix things remotely.

Needs & Wants

The new server will need to fufil the following roles:

  • Function as a NAS to continue to offer backup (via users home directories) and storage options
    • No file-system constraints asside from no Ext3 or ReiserFS.
  • Offer the ability to still run Virtual Machines, need to virtualise CentOS, Ubuntu and Windows for testing, they’ll be running in¬† Bridged mode
  • No real need for a Gui (I can consider myself a little l33t than a few years ago)
  • Run a Subversion repository (not that hard!)

The idea is to have a bare bones operating system install and have the virtual machines handle the hard and ugly work – webservers to test things, servers to try development deployments (java) and other bits and pieces. The core OS just has to manage the NAS and allow the ability to SSH in to offer subversion access.

Hardware

The hardware I’ve picked from things I had around the place, the only thing I’ve bought is just new sticks of RAM.

  • Motherboard: ASUS P5QL-PRO
    This board offered some excellent specifications via the P43 chipset, the things I looked for was the number of SATA ports ‘out of the box’ – 6 native SATA2, the number of 1x PCIe slots (2!) for future addions of PCIe SATA adapters and the maximum amount of memory possible (8Gb). Oh ofcourse, something cheapy and that can run the CPU I had around. A Gigabit NIC was also important (dual would be better!) but if it wasn’t supported I had a trusty Intel PRO 1000MT Server PCI cards to fill the void – almost everything supports them (e1000)!
  • CPU: Intel Core-2 E6750 – 2.66Ghz (65W TDP, VT)
    Importance was Intel-VT support, low TDP and a dualcore thats not too high.
  • RAM: Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (4Gb kit x 2 = 8Gb)
    Cheapy cheapy, twice the fun of a regular kit, slightly higher CAS, but who CAreS this isnt being overclocked.
  • Graphics: ASUS 9400GT PCI-Express
    The cheapest graphics card to be found at the legendary& award winning computer store MSY Technologies. Depending on how the drivers go (I’m usually biased towards ATI for all Linuxes) I might endup paying for a ATi card later.

Next up the investigation, be warned though I started this initially back in June/July (possibly a bit earlier).

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Redhat 5.4 released, CentOS 5.4 is coming soon!

September 3rd, 2009 No comments

If you haven’t heard already, Redhat has released the eagerly anticipated 5.4 release of Redhat Enterprise Linux at their Redhat Summit in Chicago. As expected, Redhat looks to have moved from using Xen as their favoured virtualisation hypervisor to using KVM (which is an integral part of the Linux Kernel). All this will eventually go into RHEV.

All the changes in this release are documented in the¬† Release Notes, unfortunately Ext4 is still not considered usable in this release (they’re targetting for RHEL6 possibly).

So what of the RHEL clone CentOS? Possibly a 2-4 week delay it seems. WOO! In the meantime, upgrading from 5.3 is easy peasy.

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VirtualBox 3.0.2 released with SMP and Network IO fixes

July 13th, 2009 No comments

Quick note about VirtualBox 3.0.2 being released, this fixes up two critcal problems – one is the poor SMP performance everyone is coming to realise, and the network IO issue (reproduced in Fedora for

  • VMM: fixed network regressions (guest hangs during network IO) (bug #4343)
  • VMM: guest SMP performance improvements
  • VMM: fixed hangs and poor performance with Kaspersky Internet Security (VT-x/AMD-V only; bug #1778)
  • VMM: fixed crashes when executing certain Linux guests (software virtualization only; bugs #2696 & #3868)
  • ACPI: fixed Windows 2000 kernel hangs with IO-APIC enabled (bug #4348)
  • APIC: fixed high idle load for certain Linux guests (3.0 regression)
  • BIOS: properly handle Ctrl-Alt-Del in real mode
  • iSCSI: fixed configuration parsing (bug #4236)
  • OVF: fix potential confusion when exporting networks
  • OVF: compatibility fix (bug #4452)
  • NAT: fixed crashes under certain circumstances (bug #4330)
  • 3D support: fixed dynamic linking on Solaris/OpenSolaris guests (bug #4399)
  • 3D support: fixed incorrect context/window tracking for multithreaded apps
  • Shared Folders: fixed loading from saved state (bug #1595)
  • Shared Folders: host file permissions set to 0400 with Windows guest (bug #4381)
  • X11 host and guest clipboard: fixed a number of issues, including bug #4380 and #4344
  • X11 Additions: fixed some issues with seamless windows in X11 guests (bug #3727)
  • Windows Additions: added VBoxServiceNT for NT4 guests (for time synchronization and guest properties)
  • Windows Additions: fixed version lookup
  • Linux hosts: workaround for buggy graphics drivers showing a black VM window on recent distributions (bug #4335)
  • Linux hosts: fixed typo in kernel module startup script (bug #4388)
  • Installer: support Pardus Linux
  • Solaris hosts: several installer fixes
  • Solaris host: fixed a preemption issue causing VMs to never start on Solaris 10 (bug #4328).
  • Solaris guest: fixed mouse integration for OpenSolaris 2009.06 (bug #4365)
  • Windows hosts: fixed high CPU usage after resuming the host (bug #2978)
  • OVF: accept ovf:/disk/ specifiers with a single slash in addition to ovf://disk/ (bug #4452)
  • Fixed a settings file conversion bug which sometimes caused hardware acceleration to be enabled for virtual machines that had no explicit configuration in the XML.

Download links:

  • VirtualBox 3.0.2 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.2 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.2 Software Developer Kit (SDK) All platforms (registration required)

I’ve been running it all day at work today without issues.

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Time flies: VirtualBox 3.0 final is out!

July 1st, 2009 No comments

It only feels like last week that I mentioned the beta release of VirtualBox 3.0, Sun has released the final version of the much anticipated v3.0!

As mentioned earlier, this release is super exciting for the simple fact that it has SMP support – a maximum of 32 virtual CPUs (but relax, you shouldn’t assign more than what you can afford – or the number of cores you have!). VMWare still only supports a maximum of 2 virtual-cpus (this _may_ change in VMWare 7.0!), another feat is the hardware 3D (Direct3D/OpenGL)¬† support for guests.

This version is a major update. The following major new features were added:

  • Guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs (VT-x and AMD-V only; see chapter 3.7.2.2 of the user manual)
  • Windows guests: ability to use Direct3D 8/9 applications / games (experimental; see chapter 4.8 of the user manual)
  • Support for OpenGL 2.0 for Windows, Linux and Solaris guests

In addition, the following items were ?xed and/or added:

  • Solaris hosts: allow suspend/resume on the host when a VM is running (bug #3826)
  • Solaris hosts: loosen the restriction for contiguous physical memory under certain conditions
  • Mac OS X hosts: ?xed guest PAE
  • Linux hosts: kernel module compile ?xes for 2.6.31 (bug #4264)
  • VMM: ?xed occasional guru meditation when loading a saved state (VT-x only)
  • VMM: eliminated IO-APIC overhead with 32 bits guests (VT-x only, some Intel CPUs don‚Äôt support this feature (most do); bug #638)
  • VMM: ?xed 64 bits CentOS guest hangs during early boot (AMD-V only; bug #3927)
  • VMM: performance improvements for certain PAE guests (e.g. Linux 2.6.29+ kernels)
  • VMM: some Windows guests detected a completely wrong CPU frequency (bug #2227)
  • VMM: ?xed hanging and unkillable VM processes (bug #4040)
  • VMM: ?xed random infrequent guest crashes due to XMM state corruption (Win64 hosts only)
  • VMM: performance improvements for network I/O (VT-x/AMD-V only)
  • GUI: added mini toolbar for fullscreen and seamless mode (Thanks to Huihong Luo)
  • GUI: redesigned settings dialogs
  • GUI: allow to create/remove more than one host-only network adapters (non Windows hosts)
  • GUI: display estimated time for long running operations (e.g. OVF import/export)
  • GUI: ?xed rare hangs when open the OVF import/export wizards (bug #4157)
  • 3D support: ?xed VM crashes for client applications using incorrect OpenGL states
  • 3D support: ?xed memory corruption when querying for supported texture compression formats
  • 3D support: ?xed incorrect rendering of glDrawRangeElements
  • 3D support: ?xed memory leak when using VBOs
  • 3D support: ?xed glew library detection
  • 3D support: ?xed random textures corruption
  • VRDP: support Windows 7 RDP client
  • Networking: ?xed another problem with TX checksum of?oading with Linux kernels up to version 2.6.18
  • NAT: ?xed ‚Äúopen ports on virtual router 10.0.2.2 – 513, 514‚ÄĚ (forum)
  • NAT: allow to con?gure socket and internal parameters
  • NAT: allow to bind sockets to speci?c interface
  • PXE boot: signi?cant performance increase (VT-x/AMD-V only)
  • VHD: properly write empty sectors when cloning of VHD images (bug #4080)
  • VHD: ?xed crash when discarding snapshots of a VHD image
  • VHD: ?xed access beyond the block bitmap which could lead to arbitrary crashes
  • VBoxManage: ?xed incorrect partition table processing when creating VMDK ?les giving raw partition access (bug #3510)
  • VBoxManage: support cloning to existing image ?le
  • OVF: several OVF 1.0 compatibility ?xes
  • OVF: ?xed exporting of disk images when multiple virtual machines are exported at once
  • Virtual mouse device: eliminated micro-movements of the virtual mouse which were confusing some applications (bug #3782)
  • Shared Folders: sometimes a ?le was created using the wrong permissions (2.2.0 regression; bug #3785)
  • Shared Folders: allow to change ?le attributes from Linux guests and use the correct ?le mode when creating ?les
  • Shared Folders: some content was incorrectly written under certain conditions (bug #1187)
  • Shared Folders: ?xed incorrect ?le timestamps, when using Windows guest on a Linux host (bug #3404)
  • X11 clipboard: ?x duplicate end of lines (bug #4270)
  • X11 guests: a number of shared clipboard ?xes
  • Linux guests: Guest Additions support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • Linux guests: new daemon vboxadd-service to handle time synchronization and guest property lookup
  • Linux guests: implemented guest properties (OS info, logged in users, basic network information)
  • Windows host installer: VirtualBox Python API can now be installed automatically (requires Python and Win32 Extensions installed)
  • USB: Support for high-speed isochronous endpoints has been added. In addition, read-ahead buffering is performed for input endpoints (currently Linux hosts only). This should allow additional devices to work, notably webcams (bug #242).
  • USB: ?xed error handling for some USB dongles
  • Web service: ?xed inability to handle NULL pointers for object arguments, which are valid values for a lot of APIs, in both the raw and the object-oriented web service.
  • Web service: object-oriented bindings for JAX-WS did not exhibit interface inheritance correctly, ?xed
  • Web service: added support for IDisplay and IGuest interfaces, which were previously unavailable
  • Registration dialog uses Sun Online accounts now

Why keep reading, upgrade dammit!

  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 3.0.0 Software Developer Kit (SDK) All platforms (registration required)

Enjoy, see the manual online too!

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THIS IS FEDORA: Fedora 11 Released

June 9th, 2009 No comments

This is FEDORA.

Fedora 11 aka Leonidas has been released.¬†Whilst the front page is yet to be updated the mirrors are being updated as I write and ISO’s are being propogated.

Download ISO:

In Australia? Try the local mirrors:

Bit of a torrenter? See the Torrent Tracker page.

Approximate sizes (from internode):

Fedora-11-i686-Live.iso             688M
Fedora-11-i686-Live-KDE.iso         686M
Fedora-11-x86_64-Live.iso           691M
Fedora-11-x86_64-Live-KDE.iso       693M

See the Fedora 11 Release Notes for more information about changes in this release, the Fedora 11 feature list or the Unoffficial Fedora 11 Guide.

I’ve been awaiting this release primarily for the Linux Kernel v2.6.29 (in comparison to Jaunty‘s Kernel 2.6.28) which brings a slew of updates to the table – in particular KMS (Kernel mode setting – flicker free graphics), the inclusion of Btrfs in the kernel for preliminary testing and better memory mangement. Ofcourse Fedora 11 ships with X.org 1.6 as well. With the inclusion of GCC 4.4 all packages are now compiled with gcc4.4 too.

I’ve only dabbled in Fedora 10, but I think its a worthy move from my primarily Ubuntu lifestyle.

Whats really interesting though, is that Ubuntu 9.10 seems to have a decent performance bump, so whilst the wait for Fedora 11 is over, its time to get excited about the snappier the Karmic Koala.

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Sun-shine lolipops: VirtualBox 2.2.4 comes out of the oven

May 31st, 2009 No comments

Sun Microsystems (pwnd by the Oracle) has release VirtualBox 2.2.4.

VirtualBox 2.2.4 (released 2009-05-29)

This is a maintenance release. The following items were ?xed and/or added:

  • Windows Installer: ?xed a potential hang during installation
  • Windows Installer: ?xed several problems (bug #3892)
  • Solaris hosts: make it work with Solaris build 114 or later (bug #3981)
  • Solaris hosts: ?xed a bug serial port character handling found during loopback (bug #3120)
  • Linux hosts: adapted vboxdrv.sh to the latest changes in VBoxManage list runningvms (bug #4034)
  • Windows hosts: ?xed a crash caused by host-only/bridged networking
  • Mac OS X hosts: ?xed access to host DVD with passthrough disabled (bug #4077)
  • Guest Additions: ?xed problems with KDE 4 not recognizing mouse clicks
  • Windows Additions: ?xed incorrect 8-bit guest color depth in Windows 7 guests
  • GUI: warn if VT-x/AMD-V could not be enabled for guests that require this setting (bug #4055)
  • VMM: ?xed occassional crash due to insuf?ent memory
  • VMM: ?xed hanging 64 bits Solaris guests
  • VMM: restore from a saved state occassionally failed (bugs #3984 and #2742)
  • Clipboard: ?xed a deadlock while shutting down the shared clipboard on X11 hosts (bug #4020)
  • OVF: ?xed potential hang during import
  • OVF: ?xed potential crashes during import/export on Win64 hosts
  • VBoxManage modifyhd –compact: ?xed bug which could lead to crashes and image corruption (bug #3864)
  • VBoxManage metrics collect: now ?ushes the output stream.
  • VHD: made VBoxManage internalcommands sethduuid work for .vhd ?les (bug #3443)
  • VHD: some .vhd ?les could not be cloned (bug #4080)
  • VMDK: ?xed creating snapshots
  • NAT: improvement of TCP connection establisment (bug #2987)
  • NAT: ?xed order of DNS servers in DHCP lease (bug #4091)
  • NAT: ?xed DHCP lease for multiple name servers (bug #3692)
  • NAT: ?xed a potential segfault if the host lost its connectivity (bug #3964)
  • Shared Folders: deny access to parent directories on Windows hosts (bug #4090)
  • Shared Folders: make rm/rmdir work with Solaris guests on Windows hosts
  • Networking: ?xed the problem with blocked receiving thread when a broadcast packet arrives too early to be handled by uninitialized e1000 adapter.
  • Networking: ?xed the problem that caused host freezes/crashes when using bridged mode with host‚Äôs interface having RX checksum of?oading on (bug #3926 and related). Fixes problems with TX of?oading as well (bug #3870)
  • PXE boot: Added support for PRO/1000 MT Server adapter.
  • Python bindings: ?xed keyword con?ict
  • SCSI: ?xed occasional crashes on Win64
  • Serial: allow to redirect the serial port to a raw ?le (bug #1023)
  • VRDP: ?xed a rare incorrect screen update

This release’s most significant update is the bugfix for truncating your files to 300Kb when attempting to compact the hard-disk – damn annoying! Update mos def.

Download:

  • VirtualBox 2.2.4 for Windows hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 2.2.4 for Solaris and OpenSolaris hosts x86/amd64
  • VirtualBox 2.2.4 Software Developer Kit (SDK) All platforms (registration required)

Enjoy, oh btw did you know that OpenSolaris 2009.06 is coming tomorrow (Monday?)

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