Tag Archives: irssi

Ubuntu Server + VMWare Workstation

0/ Have your own virtual machine in your desktop is not hard!

0.1/ Some Terminology

  • OS – Operating System
  • Host OS – Underlying OS – in this you install VMWare Workstation.
  • Host needs to be stared for the guest to be able to start.
  • Guest OS – The extra OS you install inside the host or in VMWare Workstation.
  • VM – Virtual machine.

1/ Pre-install

1.1/ Storage space, memory, CPU

What do you want to do?
Do you have enough of it?
My desktop has an Intel i7-920, 8GB RAM and two 500GB hard drives.
Generally when testing I would give it 1GB or maybe 2GB for Windows. This can be decreased later if you feel the need.
You can also increase storage, memory and CPU after you create your virtual machine.
It is easy to create a new virtual machine so do not worry if you make it too small or too big.

1.2/ Network setup, LAN, Bridged, Hidden.

Do you want to be able to access your VM from your LAN, Internet or do you want a completely private network between your virtual machines?

Especially if you do set up a Windows guest OS (perhaps to use as a client in your test environment) please do remember that before you connect it to the Internet (to install patches etc) you should definitely think about installing an anti-virus solution on it.
I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) – it is free and takes up little resources.
I read recently that the time you have until your unprotected computer is infected is about 10 seconds. But if your computer is behind a NAT – broadband router (so it has an IP like 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x or 172.16.x.x.x) then it is safer, but not safe from other computers on your network.

2/ Install the OS

2.2/ Download Ubuntu, easy setup wizard

There are two versions of Ubuntu – desktop and server version. If this is your first time with Linux you may be better of starting with the desktop variant. I used the server version (uses less resources – no graphical user interface).

Here is a guide for using the Ubuntu Virtual Kernel with VMWare Workstation.

2.3/ Windows 2008 R2?

sharepoint-2010-foundation-windows-2008-r2-vmware-workstation

3/ Set up management

3.1/ sshd – autostart if you reboot host OS / Windows.

I haven’t managed to set up autostart of the VM when rebooting the OS.
But then again, I do not run “life-critical” services in the virtual machine, just some cheap bash-script and an EyeOS. Not sure if I want to have it autostart, I like to have a fast reboot.

3.2/ Timezone, time.

Quite frustrating, but here is how it worked out in Linux: time-sync-for-linux-vms-in-vmware-workstation

4/ Post-Installation Joy

4.1/ Something simple like screen + irssi

This is really easy to set up.
Basically all you need to do is install these in a Debian style Linux (like Ubuntu):

sudo-apt get screen irssi openssh-server

then start a screen session called chat and the command ‘irssi’

screen -S chat irssi

It then starts irssi in a screen.
You can hit CTRL+A+D (or, CTRL+A D also works) to detach it and get back to the terminal. You can then close the terminal / log off from the server. Next time you log on you can just type:

screen -rdx chat

Irssi is my IRC tool of choice, it’s slim and well, I’ve gotten used to it. It has scripts and you can do encryption and lots of nice little things with it if you want to.

Of course the screen does not resume when you restart the whole server / virtual machine.

4.2 Other ideas:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux in VMWare Workstation.
How small VM can you have for just IRSSI?
File share from Windows to Ubuntu in a VM.
EyeOS – OS in your web browser.


Ubuntu 10.10 + VMWare + Irssi

How small VM can you make if you are only going to use it to run Irssi in a screen?

OS: Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Virtual Kernel
Hypervisor: VMWare Workstation

Disk – no logs – 1.10GB is what my previous took, with samba, so probably less but 1.1 should be all right, don’t want it to run out of space either. Should probably partition /var/log into its own so that if that fills up (maybe after bruteforce ssh logins) then it doesn’t fill up the rest of /.
RAM –

  • turn off cron jobs
  • install virtual kernel

about the cron jobs, I just installed a ubuntu virtual kernel and only cron job running (as seen in syslog) is this:

CRON[9141]: (root) CMD (   cd / && run-parts –report /etc/cron.hourly)

Test 1

1.2GB disk
64MB RAM

Kernel panic – not syncing: attempted to kill init!
ctrl-alt-del in the VM doesn’t work, had to hard kill it :p
Reboot – same problem. It does this after selecting minimal virtual kernel and pressing install Ubuntu Server.

Test2

Increased RAM to 96MB and now it passed.
However, after selecting keyboard it still crashes. So 96 is also too little.

Googled around a little and found an article on Ubuntu.com that gives some insight.

For example: if you run out of memory, then it will swap. So if you are not running out of memory then it’s probably better to give it a little more to be on the safe side.

Test 3

Increased RAM to 128MB
Now it goes even longer.

Partitioning -> chose manual.
There is a device there ‘sda’ -> SCSI3. Mark that and hit enter. Say yes to create new empty partition. Then it creates a new space pri/log. Create new partition.

As size, type in: 100MB
Primary, beginning, default settings on the filesystem etc but mount point: /var/log. Then done setting up this partition.

Then we will create another partition for / (or the rest).

Like this:

ubuntu_partition right

ubuntu_partition right

The above does not include a swap space, and the installation complains that there is no swap space defined and that there may be problems if this is not configured during install.

Let’s see :)

** maybe Ubuntu is not the slimmest OS to install for this purpose. The guide I linked to above mentions a DSL – damn small linux. But we want a minimal server OS, not a desktop one. Maybe the new Debian 6 would be cool to try.

During install there was a dialogue about something being already on the disk.. and that this could cause issues. Maybe this was copied there from one of the previous tries with less amount of RAM. Went back and erazed this on each just to be on the safe side. Very slow though. About 1% / s. After this I went into each and set them to format instead. It mentions old installation files anyway. Proceeding. This happened twice? Three times now.. Maybe this is not going so well. Ok happened four times.

Hit Alt+F2 (and then enter to get the console) and then df -h. Nothing is over 20% except the SR0/cd-rom which is at 100%. Did a ‘more /var/log/syslog’ and at the end there are some ‘Out of memory’ things going on.

So there we go. 128MB is too little.

But here:  it says that 128MB is the requirement..

Test 4

I will try to install again and not mess up with the partitions.
1.2GB and 128MB again.
Going pretty well, looks like it’s stopped at 75% and “storing language”. Patience. Ok, 10mins later still there. Nothing about out of memory in /var/syslog. The Guest was behaving a little slow though when working the console.
Left it on over night and when I looked again the following day it was at the next step!

Installing openssh via the installation menu this time.
Taking quite long time this time as well. Like hours. 2 hours now. Nothing happening in syslog. Think I’ll give Debian a shot next Test.

In the meantime did Test 5. However 4 hours later, still configuring ‘language-pack-en-base’.

Now, approximately lots of hours later. It is at configure grub.

And yay, it finally boots!

user@irssi:~$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             1.1G  430M  606M  42% /
none                   54M  164K   54M   1% /dev
none                   57M  4.0K   57M   1% /dev/shm
none                   57M   36K   57M   1% /var/run
none                   57M     0   57M   0% /var/lock
none                  1.1G  430M  606M  42% /var/lib/ureadahead/debugfs
/home/martbhell/.Private 1.1G  430M  606M  42% /home/martbhell

And the size of the folder in Windows: 750 MB (787 341 312 bytes)

With 128MB ram there is maybe 10MB free and it swaps a little (just a few kB so far).

Test 5

debian-6.0.0-amd64-netinst
Using Debian 5 64-bit.

  1. graphical menu is seen, no advanced options used
  2. chose languages – look a lot like Ubuntu but there are some differences:
  3. After choosing a hostname it asks for domain. Put in WORKGROUP.
  4. Set a root account password (so no more sudoing – probably just add my user to the wheel/root group).
  5. and you have a few more options in the partitioning, like a separate /home partition
  6. then you get to chose a debian mirror (becuase I use the netinst). ftp.fi.debian.org is the one I chose
  7. you can participate in a “most used packages” survey
  8. software selection: graphical desktop, web, dns, ssh, laptop, standard system utilities. I chose SSH and standard system utilities.
  9. grub, then reboot and loading!

Internet works fine from the start. apt-get update; apt-get install irssi
Remember, here you have to log in as root to run ifconfig or apt-get.

It’s the same way in Debian as in Ubuntu to set static ip. Just edit /etc/network/interfaces / don’t forget you can just restart the networking services by ‘/etc/init.d/networking start’ instead of rebooting ;)
Now, I actually forgot to set minimal ram/disk for this one. So we have to do this again ;)

Test 6

debian-6.0.0-amd64-netinst
Using Debian 5 64-bit.
128MB RAM

One thing that’s cool about a VM is that you can resize the amount of RAM whenever (probably good to turn off the guest first). So how about just lowering it instead of installing a new one?

OK, so it now has 512MB. Going down to 64 in one go (listed as minimum in VMWare Workstation).

It’s swapping after just a few minutes with screen+irssi.

to sort by memory usage in top press SHIFT+m

biggest memory hogs (all over 1% – figures in bold) are :

1474 user 20   0 23388 6220 1572 S  0.0 11.2 0:00.25 bash
1503 user 20   0 50084 5228 3824 S  0.0  9.4 0:00.06 irssi
1470 root      20   0 70488 3280 2584 S  0.0  5.9 0:00.03 sshd
913 root      20   0  117m 1788  904 S  0.0  3.2 0:00.01 rsyslogd
1473 user 20   0 70488 1680  964 S  0.0  3.0 0:00.06 sshd
1502 user 20   0 25184 1472  992 S  0.0  2.6 0:00.01 screen
1546 user 20   0 19040 1300 1004 R 99.9  2.3 0:00.01 top
985 root      20   0 22392  712  512 S  0.0  1.3 0:00.00 cron
1233 Debian-e  20   0 44140  660  392 S  0.0  1.2 0:00.00 exim4
1472 root      20   0  5928  620  520 S  0.0  1.1 0:00.00 getty
1 root      20   0  8352  616  560 S  0.0  1.1 0:01.42 init
1277 root      20   0 49168  544  428 S  0.0  1.0 0:00.00 sshd

What I might be able to get rid of is rsyslogd and cron. But then again, if I were to connect this to the internet so I could access it and resume the screen/irssi from anywhere, I would want to keep track of what is happening on the machine.

user@debian:/var/log$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             3.8G  638M  3.0G  18% /
tmpfs                  28M     0   28M   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                   23M  140K   23M   1% /dev
tmpfs                  28M     0   28M   0% /dev/shm

Windows usage: 887 MB (930 816 000 bytes)

Summary

The Ubuntu Server 10.10 with the minimal virtual kernel took forever to install (maybe it would have been faster to have more mem during install and then lower when it’s done) and with 128MB it still swaps a little with only screen and irssi running. But it does use about 130MB or 200MB less space than the Debian6 guest.

The Debian 6 however runs OK with 64MB, swaps a little at that though so I would probably run this with 96 or 128MB just to be on the safe side if I were to run it.