Creating a virtual test lab – part#1

It’s been a while since my last post. One of the things keeping me busy since then has been investigating using existing tools to document a process/workflow that would make testing easier for me (and hopefully others). What I’m doing probably isn’t new to many people, but I haven’t seen it spelled out this way before. Outlining the steps will also help me identify the gaps … and I invite others to do the same!

My goal is to document the installation, setup and workflow of creating a virtual test lab on a single system. For this post, I will focus on the installation and setup. Future posts will detail how I’m using (or planning) to use the test lab.

Requirements


  • Hardware capable of running kernel-based Virtualized machines (aka KVM)
  • Memory – My system has 8Gb of memory, although not required, the more the better
  • Disk space – Again, the more the merrier, I am reserving 10-15Gb for each KVM guest

Installation and Configuration


With Fedora 10 hot off the presses, start your download and start the installer. I’ll note only the 3 key steps during the install. You are welcome to diverge to suite your needs, but pay closer attention to the following steps:

  1. Partitioning – Go ahead and have anaconda autopartition your disk(s). Be sure to select "Review and modify partitioning layout" at the bottom. You can always skip this and reduce the size of your ‘/’ partition and logical volume later, but doing so here is easier.
    • At the partitioning details screen, I recommend you reduce the size of your ‘/’ partition to leave room for your virtual guests. I like to use LVM logical volumes as the disk for my virtual guests as it’s easier for me to re-install the host while leaving the the exists guests intact. For example …

  2. Package Repository – Let’s make it easier on ourselves after install …
    • Select the Fedora 10 and Fedora 10 Updates package repositories. This will pull in any updates released since Fedora 10 was unleashed.
    • Select Customize now

  3. Package Selection – Go head and enable the Base -> Virtualization package group.

  4. Complete the install and reboot
  5. With your system installed and booted, let’s get a few more packages installed … Login as root, and type:
    # yum install cobbler snake koan syslinux

Congrats, your system is setup and installed. In my next post I’ll outline how I’m configuring cobbler. Stay tuned …

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