Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trillian and IM Spam

Something has happened this week that has sky rocketed the amount of instant messenger spam I've been getting. I've got a constant stream of this crap now. To combat this, I've had to block all but known contacts. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to do this on Trillian:
1. Fire up all connections
2. Right click on the connection status light
3. Select Connection Preferences
4. Click the Privacy tab
5. Adjust as needed

Monday, October 20, 2008

Procmail Tutorial

As long as procmail has been around, you think there would be several high quality Howto's. Instead, I've found allot of misinformation. As I tried to solve what should have been a simple SPAM filtering issue, I found's Procmail Tutorial. Problem solved.

(It was :0 B: to do a body search.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

F10-beta Virtualization: native -vs- hosted

More evidence that the Fedora 10 Beta virtualization technology, KVM, is a hosted solution rather than the native solution provided by Xen in versions 5 through 8. In FC6, restarting the virtualization library deamon (libvirtd), was a standard troubleshooting technique. In F10, it crashs the VM, since the VM is running inside the deamon.

FC6 using Xen:
[root@baltar ~]# xm list
Name           ID Mem VCPUs State
Domain-0     0   141         1       r-----
valhalla         5     95         1       -b----
[root@baltar ~]# service libvirtd restart
Stopping libvirtd daemon:       [ OK ]
Starting libvirtd daemon:       [ OK ]
[root@baltar ~]# xm list
Name           ID Mem VCPUs State
Domain-0     0   141         1       r-----
valhalla         5     95         1       -b----
[root@baltar ~]#
The VM survives.

F10-Beta running KVM:
[root@adama ~]# virsh list
Id Name             State
14 vinci             running

[root@adama ~]# service libvirtd restart
Stopping libvirtd daemon:       [ OK ]
Starting libvirtd daemon:       [ OK ]
[root@adama ~]# virsh list
Id Name             State

[root@adama ~]#
The VM dies.

The moral: don't bounce libvirtd.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

F10-beta VM Memory Management

Sadness. Gone is the ability to dynamically change the memory allocation for a VM. Previously, we could change the RAM on the fly:
# xm mem-set 7 256
This was a nice feature, especially for loading new software packages. Since the xm command is gone, the new format is:
# virsh setmem vinci 256000
libvir: QEMU error :
this function is not supported by the hypervisor:
cannot set memory of an active domain

The first thing to notice is the memory must be stated in kilobytes rather than megabytes (how very 80's.) Second, the big nasty error message. In passing, the xm command was issued on an FC6 system, and used the domain number rather than name. In F7 and F8, you would use the name, as in F10.

Will there be a significant impact? Yes. This will impact the density of VMs on a host, but that's assuming the sysad is a perfectionist, like myself. In production, its probably not a big deal. After all, Vmware does not allow dynamic RAM allocation... Until 2009.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

First Impressions: F10-beta Virtualization

My first impression of Fedora 10 Beta's virtualization suite is:

Somebody did something right.

1. We no longer must build a VM at 256Mb of RAM. I don't know what the low limit is, but that's nice.
2. Via GUI, ability to autostart a VM at boot.
3. VM's that Pixie boot. Mind boggeling!
4. Via GUI, connect to a CD in the host or a shared ISO.
5. VM sound support.
6. The ability to define infrastructure storage.
7. Via GUI, create new LVM's for VM images.
8. Ability to run TLS encrypted console windows.
9. Flat text config files under /etc/libvirt/qemu. Oh, how I hated having to export the XML from F7.
10. An F8 VM up in under 10 minutes.
11. Via GUI, take a VM screen shot... NOT a snap shot!
12. Ability to close virt-manager, and keep VM console connections.

Installs and works like a dream.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fedora 10-beta Virtualization

It seems I am the first person on Earth to ever work with Fedora 10's virtualization technology (and Kickstart, too, which is totally FUBAR.) If you don't believe I'm the only person using it, try to search out a HowTo. So where are the HowTo's? Seems we are on our own while F10 is rawhide. At issue is the fact the Red Hat Virtualization has had to be completely redesigned, as evident by its removal from F9.

So how do we use this puppy? Let's find out:

The first thing you may notice is the lack of a Xen kernel. The good new is that we just install and select the Virtualization group. The bad news is that instead of a traditional hypervisor, we now have more of a virtualization engine. Among other things, this means no para-virtualization, and we must have VMX/SVM CPUs Once the system is up, we start virt-manager.

First, we connect to the virtualization engine (I'm going to coin the new term VE) by clicking File / Add Connection. Choose QEMU and Local, click Connect. Don't bother trying to connect to Xen.

I think one of the most complicated parts of this is going to be getting the network on line. First thing I noticed was that it was bridged to the subnet. The easiest way to fix this is to right click the qemu connection and select Details. On the Virtual Networks tab, click the + symbol at the lower left. Walk through the wizard using the same subnet as one of your physical network cards. Initially this will provide a NAT'ed outbound only connection.

Back at virt-manager, click New, and walk through the VM creation wizard. Click Finish, and... Son Of A Bitch! It worked. The first time! It worked. I can't believe it! It worked.

Just for fun, lets hit the command line:
# virsh list
Id Name State
2 Virgil running
Slightly different than what I'm use to. Notice the xm command is gone (remember Xen is a naughty word now.) Needless to say it will take some time to figure out the new commands, but virsh has always been in the background, so it shouldn't be too difficult.