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Old 07-26-2011, 08:37 AM
Jon Dowland
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:27:09AM +0200, Moritz Mühlenhoff wrote:
> I think it's sufficient for starters to provide images for stable
> (they can be updated for every few point updates if needed).
>
> What virtualisation solutions should be supported?

As far as I understand it, a VM is usually two separate things: a disk image
and a VM definition. We can probably prepare a disk image which is versatile
enough to work in a variety of VM technologies: i.e., have the correct drivers
and software for the majority of VM hardware (or commonly virtualised
hardware). This is probably pretty much done for us largely by the kernel
already.

The VM definition file is trickier. qemu/kvm essentially don't have one; you
would supply command-line arguments to the tool. virsh/libvirt/virt-manager et
al sitting on top of KVM have an XML definition. VMWare uses an XML definition.
I suspect VirtualBox does as well.

End users may want to customize many aspects of the VM definition (perhaps all):
not least, specific networking settings; amount of memory; CPU affinity etc.

Perhaps a Debian web service could spit out custom VM definitions alongside the
image file in a chosen disk format for users on-demand?

For starters, compressed RAW disk format is perhaps the most useful disk image
format (can be imported into virtually anything)

--
Jon Dowland


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Old 07-26-2011, 08:40 AM
Vincent Bernat
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

OoO En cette matinée ensoleillée du mardi 26 juillet 2011, vers 09:28,
Lucas Nussbaum <lucas@lucas-nussbaum.net> disaitÂ*:

>> What virtualisation solutions should be supported?
>> - Virtual Box seems like a natural candidate since it's free and
>> included since Squeeze.
>> - Vmware has a significant installed base and is relevant, although
>> proprietary
>> - Microsoft Virtual PC is likely also needed
>> - Qemu
>> - Citrix XenServer?

> - images for cloud infrastructures (AMI -- Amazon Machine Image)

I was about to ask the same. Those images seem very popular for
Ubuntu. Maybe we are missing something by not providing them. I remember
that those images can be used with Eucalyptus as well (no need to use
Amazon).
--
Vincent Bernat ☯ http://vincent.bernat.im

Use the fundamental control flow constructs.
- The Elements of Programming Style (Kernighan & Plauger)
 
Old 07-26-2011, 09:05 AM
Philipp Hagemeister
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

Jon Dowland wrote:
> The VM definition file is trickier. qemu/kvm essentially don't have
one; you
> would supply command-line arguments to the tool.
virsh/libvirt/virt-manager et
> al sitting on top of KVM have an XML definition. VMWare uses an XML
definition.
> I suspect VirtualBox does as well.
OVF is open, well-supported (including VirtualBox and VMWare), and imho
not a bad format.

I'd suggest we add support for OVF for the virtualization solutions that
don't support it instead of inventing a new format or writing obscure
metadata files for each virtualization solution(virtualizer?).

Philipp
 
Old 07-26-2011, 09:08 AM
Stefano Zacchiroli
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:27:09AM +0200, Moritz Mühlenhoff wrote:
> I believe it's high time we start to providing Debian in form of official
> virtualisation images

Yes, absolutely. These days having virtual images is yet another way of
distributing an operating system and I think we should do that.

> What virtualisation solutions should be supported?

As a general principle we should at least have all images needed to run
virtualisation technologies which we do have in the archive.

Additionally, I think we should also consider getting contacts with
"cloud providers" (e.g. Amazon, as mentioned in this thread) and have
them offer Debian images provided by us. Some of those provider already
offer, possibly via third parties, Debian virtualization images. It
would be much better if they can offer the "official" ones provided by
us. For this we need contacts though, possibly of people who are
Debian/FOSS friendly within the companies. Of course we should strive
for not singling out any single company, hence the way it could work is
to have a page listing providers offering official Debian virtualisation
images + offering a contact point that providers could mail to get
listed. In that respect, it could work very much like
<http://www.debian.org/distrib/pre-installed>.

> How should the images be generated? IMO the images would need to be
> created by a DD and to provide at least some form of trust path
> validation we could provide PGP signed hashes of the download images.

No matter what internal process we decide to have for generating the
images, we should advertise them as official images rather than
distributing them under some sort of personal URL.

Thanks for raising this topic!
Cheers.
--
Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Quando anche i santi ti voltano le spalle, | . |. I've fans everywhere
ti resta John Fante -- V. Capossela .......| ..: |.......... -- C. Adams
 
Old 07-26-2011, 09:15 AM
Luca Capello
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

Hi there!

On Tue, 26 Jul 2011 00:46:47 +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:27:09AM +0200, Moritz Mühlenhoff wrote:
>> I believe it's high time we start to providing Debian in form of official
>> virtualisation images.

While the Debian Events team mainly needs a BabelBox, it would be also
useful to have a standard and full Debian desktop that people at booths
can easily download, better *before* being at a booth, and show to
people. We could also provide them in the BabelBox machine, so booth
organizers can just copy the images:

<http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Events/DebianEventsBox>

>> How should the images be generated?
>
> vmdebootstrap --image=debian-squeeze.img --size=4G
> --mirror=http://cdn.debian.net/debian --distribution=squeeze
> --enable-dhcp --root-password=password1 --user=tomjon/password
> --hostname=squeezebox --package=gnome
>
> That should get you started. Vary the packages as you wish, and
> see also the --customize option for futher tweaking.
>
> (vmdebootstrap is not in Debian at this time, but see
> http://liw.fi/vmdebootstrap/ for the home page, and help with
> packaging if you start using it, please.)

FWIW, this is needed with QEMU/KVM for the Debian Events Box, so if no
one wants to package it I will do that.

> It would probably be nice to have a debian-installer based way to
> generate the images, so they're as close to a real, installed system
> as possible, but vmdebootstrap (or one of the other similar tools)
> will do in a pinch.

This would be really appreciated.

Thx, bye,
Gismo / Luca
 
Old 07-26-2011, 09:26 AM
Evgeni Golov
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

On 07/26/2011 02:00 AM, Tony Godshall wrote:
>>> What virtualisation solutions should be supported?
>>
>>> - Vmware has a significant installed base and is relevant, although
>>> proprietary
>>> - Microsoft Virtual PC is likely also needed
>>> - Citrix XenServer?
>>
>> Would this require the Debian project to go out and buy various bits of
>> proprietary software to build the images with?
>
> Of course Debian should not provide images in proprietary
> formats any more than it distributes non-free software.

How about OVF[1]?
Who wants to hack support for it in qemu?

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Virtualization_Format


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Old 07-26-2011, 09:58 AM
Yves-Alexis Perez
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

On mar., 2011-07-26 at 11:15 +0200, Luca Capello wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Jul 2011 00:46:47 +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:27:09AM +0200, Moritz Mühlenhoff wrote:
> >> I believe it's high time we start to providing Debian in form of
> official
> >> virtualisation images.
>
> While the Debian Events team mainly needs a BabelBox, it would be also
> useful to have a standard and full Debian desktop that people at
> booths
> can easily download, better *before* being at a booth, and show to
> people. We could also provide them in the BabelBox machine, so booth
> organizers can just copy the images:
>
> <http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Events/DebianEventsBox>

Well, there are Debian live cds with main desktop environment which
would nicely fit the purpose, imho. See
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/release/current-live/amd64/iso-hybrid/
and http://live.debian.net

Regards,
--
Yves-Alexis


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Old 07-26-2011, 10:22 AM
Ian Campbell
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

On Tue, 2011-07-26 at 00:27 +0200, Moritz Mühlenhoff wrote:
> Hi,
> I believe it's high time we start to providing Debian in form of official
> virtualisation images. [...]
> Do people think this is relevant and are willing to work on providing
> one of the images? If so, we could arrange a BoF at DebConf.

I think this would be a great idea. If there is a BoF I'll do my best to
attend.

Ian.
--
Ian Campbell

Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake
when you make it again.
-- Franklin P. Jones


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Old 07-26-2011, 10:34 AM
Michael Tokarev
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

26.07.2011 02:46, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 12:27:09AM +0200, Moritz Mühlenhoff wrote:
>> What virtualisation solutions should be supported?
>> - Virtual Box seems like a natural candidate since it's free and
>> included since Squeeze.
>> - Vmware has a significant installed base and is relevant, although
>> proprietary
>> - Microsoft Virtual PC is likely also needed
>> - Qemu
>> - Citrix XenServer?
>
> You don't mention KVM explicitly (it's almost identical to Qemu,
> but fast), or Xen. Anyway, qemu-img can convert a raw disk image
> into many other formats. So you generate one raw image, and then
> convert it to any other formats using qemu-img.

There is, actually, practically no need to provide different
images, just one should be sufficient.

The question is: how well all the listed virtualization solutions
can work with raw images?

If they can do that, it's the best approach to take: create _one_
single image (of each distribution or point release, whatever) as
a raw image, and include all software (drivers and agents) to work
as a guest for any of the mentioned solutions.

That's basically it.

Yes, if some solution can't work with raw format, it most likely
have some import tool to convert raw to whatever format they
understand, and this is better be done by "native" utility than
by qemu-img, since native better understands all the needs.

The only problem is that raw images may be large(ish). For that,
create as small as possible file, to fit stuff almost exactly,
and recommend resizing it. Maybe...

/mjt


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Old 07-26-2011, 10:54 AM
Jon Dowland
 
Default Providing official virtualisation images of Debian

On Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 02:34:18PM +0400, Michael Tokarev wrote:
> The only problem is that raw images may be large(ish). For that,
> create as small as possible file, to fit stuff almost exactly,
> and recommend resizing it. Maybe...

I'm fairly sure that compressed RAW is not much larger than sparse-file formats
like qcow2, so the file size should not be a problem for transmission, but
potentially for unpacking at the user's end. I agree though, sizing the
underlying virtual disk to be quite small is a good idea. Users can attach
additional virtual disks if they need more capacity. It might be wise to use
LVM between the virtual disk and the filesystem, so that users could add
additional PVs and grow the root filesystem if required.


--
Jon Dowland


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