It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and its because I have a new role with new responsibilities. I actually have a few posts queued up, but they will go onto another site, which I will announce later.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get some things worked out with hypervisors. I primarily use a MacBook nowadays, but have a Dell D830 that I want to convert to virtual server. However, I cannot decide on whether to use ESX/ESXi, HyperV or KVM. And after chatting with one of my colleagues in the virtualization group, I do not have to. He suggested I install each one on a USB stick (he said 2GB would be fine, so I got 3 4GB sticks) and then just use the drives in my D830 for the VMs themselves. And he suggested using SSD (Solid State Drives) for the VMs to get better performance out of the VMs.
I thought about doing this about 3-4 years ago, but nothing was “ready for prime time” when it came to virtualization and laptops. Rob M assured me this was no longer the case, and that my Dell was a very, very viable option. Well, we’ll find out.
First off, I set out to try ESXi. Since the Dell is 32-bit natively, I found this article on making the USB stick. However, I’m on a Mac, so I had to modify the directions to fit my needs. First, I downloaded ESXi 3.5, Update 5. Then I used Finder to crack open the ISO, and then extract out install.tgz. Once I did that, the extract of the tgz file wound up in my Downloads folder. So the full path of what I needed was at (my username is dimikagi):
The USB drive happened to be /dev/disk2, and when I first ran dd, here is what I got:
twmac04:~ dimikagi$ sudo dd bs=1024 if=/Users/dimikagi/Downloads/install/usr/lib/vmware/installer/VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_5-207095.i386.img of=/dev/disk2 dd: /dev/disk2: Resource busy
I then realized I had to unmount the drive (but not eject it), so i just used Disk Utility to do it. I then ran dd again, and here’s what happened:
twmac04:~ dimikagi$ sudo dd bs=1024 if=/Users/dimikagi/Downloads/install/usr/lib/vmware/installer/VMware-VMvisor-big-3.5.0_Update_5-207095.i386.img of=/dev/disk2 768000+0 records in 768000+0 records out 786432000 bytes transferred in 528.885199 secs (1486962 bytes/sec)
So that is where I currently am. I have a USB stick with ESXi 3.5 and it should be bootable on the Dell. On the Mac, it looks like it created 4 partitions, which is a positive sign. Unfortunately, the Dell is upstairs, and I’m heading out with my family, so we’ll need to see where this experiment goes next.