Virtualization

ESXi on an Asus Chromebox M004U

I recently stumbled across the ASUS CHROMEBOX-M004U. It’s a Chromebox, which is cool in its own right, but I was interested in using it’s dual-core Celeron Haswell CPU, expandable RAM (up to 16GB), and M2 Sata storage for other purposes. First things first, you’ve got to enable the box to run things other than ChromeOS… Thankfully that’s well documented ( http://kodi.wiki/view/ASUS_Chromebox¬†), so I won’t go into detail at this time.

Bonjour Avahi Addendum

A while back I wrote about advertising Linux services via Avahi/Bonjour. Since then I’ve made a few changes to my setup.

First, I nixed netatalk for direct AFP support. My primary reason for using it was to gain a more Mac-like network filesystem which would make Time Machine happier. Well, Time Machine uses a sparse bundle disk image on it’s target; after learning about that, using AFP seemed a bit unnecessary. Also, Samba CIFS/SMB seemed to perform better. I don’t have solid benchmarks for this, but simple file copies seemed to be consistenly faster with Samba. One of the biggest annoyances about netatalk was all the extra hidden files and folders it created. I run a hybrid network, I have more Mac machines, but also Windows, plus I browse file systems on the command line quite often; and those excess files pushed me over the edge.

Second, I nixed Time Machine. Just when I thought everything was working perfectly, it completely blew up and could no longer access its data store. Not good for a backup solution. I plan to write about my new home backup solution sometime, but it’s basically rsync with a few key points.

EasyVMX: Easily Create VMware Player Machines

I’ve used this before, but today I was struck by how useful EasyVMX really is! I’m setting up a new PXELINUX / TFTP server (which will incidentally be running the PXE Knife tools put together by my friends John and Brian. Anyway, EasyVMX provides a form (easy, super simple and 2.0 with advanced options) to generate a VMX config file (which VMware uses) to run a virtual machine. All you have to do is choose a few basic options about what you need on your machine, how much RAM, how big your disk needs to be, etc; click ‘Create’; and download your zip file.