Videos: MontanaLinux CentOS Remix

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 16:28

As you may know, I've been remixing Fedora for several years for my own personal use... called MontanaLinux.  I've also been remixing CentOS and Scientific Linux and thought I'd write a little bit about it.

The main reason I created the EL7 remixes is because I have a few older HP Proliant servers at work that have the CCISS Raid Controller and Red Hat dropped support for those in RHEL 7.  Also, I originally included both GNOME and KDE as part of it but have since decided to make it leaner by switching to XFCE 4.12 that is available in EPEL... and of course it includes all of the available updates as of build time.

I make two flavors:

  1. Minimal - Just the basic XFCE with no desktop applications.  This is pretty close to the CentOS minimal install except with X11 and bare bones XFCE.  It weights in under 550MB.
  2. Full - XFCE with Firefox, LibreOffice, GIMP, Inkscape and a handful of useful tools like gParted, nwipe, rdiff-backup, etc.  This weights in under 900MB.

Here are two short screencasts in webm (vp9/opus) format.  The first shows the minimal install and the second one shows the full.  While I'm not trying to provide a primer of the Anaconda installer, I do rush through it both times and show you post install first boot.

MontanaLinux-CentOS-7-Minimal-20160617.webm (8 minutes, 7.1 MB)

MontanaLinux-CentOS-7-Full-20160617.webm (5 minutes, 4.4 MB)

If anyone is interested in downloading my remix or building it themselves just email me and I'll be happy to provide the needed details.  Luckily livecd-tools with livecd-creator makes it not only possible to make your own spin / remix... but fairly easy if you aren't scared of some command line.  Enjoy!

New-to-me Server Purchase

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 15:48

Gallatin County had an "IT Surplus Sale" today.  I picked up a Dell PowerEdge R710 2U server for only $50.  It is a complete, functional system except they removed the hard drives... so I'm going to have to buy some.  A new 4TB 2.5" Seagate Constellation ES SAS 7200RPM will set me back about $180.

     18 DIMM sockets, 6 populated with 2GB (12GB installed, 288GB max)
     8 2.5" hard drive bays - empty, first two have to be SAS drives, others can be SAS or SATA
     Perc 6 / LSI Logic / Symbios Logic MegaRAID SAS 2108 RAID card
     2 quad-core Intel Xeon E5620 @ 2.40GHz (combined BogoMIPS 76803.42)
     6 GBit ethernet ports (4 onboard, 2 on a descreet card)
     2 Riser cards with 2 empty slots
     Dual power supplies

With only 12GB of RAM, maybe I need to buy some more RAM.  Here's how much the various sizes of DDR3 1600 ECC DIMMs cost:
     4GB DIMM - $48, 8GB DIMM - $65,  16GB DIMM - $118

Dell PowerEdge R710 Layout

Not too bad for $50, eh?  They even threw in a Dell PowerEdge 2950 2U server for free with it.


Video: KVM within KVM, aka Nested

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 13:51

A few of us were talking about VDI and KVM in IRC and our buddy kaptk2 told me that nested KVM was working pretty well these days... since Fedora 19 he said.  I had not tried it yet so I thought I'd give it a try.  It worked so well that I thought I'd make a screencast showing it off. The original recording size was 1920x1080 (plus titlebar) and I scaled it down to 1280x734... so full-screen it for a better view beyond the embedded 824x473 video.  Oh, and yes SELinux is enabled and in enforcing mode everywhere.  Umm, and NO, this is NOT an April fools joke!

There is a tiny bit of work to do to get it going but not much.  Add a kernel boot parameter and configure the CPU details for the VM.  For more info, see this:

nested-kvm-on-fedora-23.webm (21 minutes, 21.5 MB)