Posts Tagged ‘CenterIM’

Migration Project: Part III – Building My VMs

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Now that I’ve got my physical machine up and running, I can get started with my virtuals. I’m going to go into some detail on the Linux one and not so much on the Windows one.

The Linux VM (referred to from here out as Ka) is going to be running my fully configured postfix server (acting as a relay for other machines on my lan), my wiki, my email (I use mutt) and the config files that go along with it, my IRC client and my IM client. This is where I want to keep my always on services. My Windows VM is named Peeves. It’ll be managing my online address book and my FTP server, not much else.

  • You may be wondering why my Samba server is running on the physical machine and not this one. It comes down to this; if I store all my media on the VM it becomes much harder to move it to a new machine and get it running if something ugly happens to the physical server. So, if something goes awry, I’ll be without my media for a while but I won’t be without mail and communications.

I performed the same installation/configuration I covered on the physical host with some changes when it came to installing my packages.

apt-get install ssh vim build-essential linux-headers-2.6-686 bzip2 p7zip-full less lsof lshw psmisc w3m lynx nload telnet host dnsutils ftp lftp vnstat file screen irssi unrar cksfv rsync smbfs samba postfix wakeonlan apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5 rcs libcgi-session-perl libdigest-sha1-perl libarchive-tar-perl libsasl2-modules mailx mutt procmail fetchmail urlview abook libgpgme11-dev libgpgme11 automake libgnutls-dev libgnutls13 autoconf libncurses5 libncurses5-dev gettext cogito liblzo1 liblzo-dev libcurl3-openssl-dev

  • Some of the applications (samba and postfix for example) will require that you provide some setup information. You’ll want to configure them for yourself.
  • If you don’t know what these packages are, you can do an apt-cache show <package> on Debian or Ubuntu.
  • It’s not obvious why I need all of these packages, many of them are required by Twiki and other applications I plan on compiling/running.

I also installed VMWare tools, I want the host to be able to start and stop the VMs in an orderly fashion and the tools allow that.

Now that everything is installed, I download and install Twiki (this will be the subject of another post). I use it for everything I need to document. That includes records of upgrades/changes to the house, complete and incomplete projects, info on TV shows we watch, side work I’ve done, fishing stuff (knots, laws, etc), gardening tips and schedules, and just about everything else I ever write down. Now that I have a wiki, I can’t imagine NOT having one… End rant on wiki, moving on.

Next I download and compile centerim. They have a list of dependencies and fixes for gotchas on the site. It was simple to do. It was between this and Pidgin, when it comes to console IM, I just prefer the look and feel of centerim.

Now I take a few minutes to configure Samba, I’m only sharing home directories. This makes it easy for me to save attachments from my email and have them quickly available to GUI desktops and Windows machines.

The next step was to configure postfix. I’ll be honest. I’m NOT a pro at ALL. I’ve been able to get postfix to act as a relay server for my LAN (and only my LAN) and to use SSL to authenticate with my ISP’s SMTP server for mail relay. I hand outgoing mail off to my ISP’s server to help prevent mail from me being marked as spam by pretty much every mail server in the world. It works and now that I have it that way, I’m just not touching it. I have a book on postfix that I hope to read (eventually). Maybe I’ll be a little more confident following the read and I can elaborate on this.

With that complete, I move on to building the Windows VM and shutting down my older hardware. This is the best part. I’ve shut down the two machines in the basement (albus & voldemort) and moved cerberus (formerly nix) to the dungeon. I can now keep darktower in standby as it’s no longer acting as a server and all of my documents and pictures live on the Samba server. Come the end of this month I’m going to (attempt to) use the Gparted Live CD to re-partition darktower and install Gutsy Gibbon, converting the machine to a dual boot.

My next step is to develop a backup routine and some scripts to automate it. I’ll be keeping my data on a remote Debian machine that I manage and I’ll be using SSH to transfer my data to it.