• Setting up Xen on Ubuntu 12.04

    In order to be able to run some destructive testing on customer's systems, I needed to set up virtual servers. The hardware I have spare doesn't have virtualisation hardware, so KVM is out. Due to time constraints, it means my usual choice of CentOS is out (as RH have dropped support for Xen in RHEL6 and I lack the time to risk delays).

    So, I figured I'd use Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) for my Dom0.

    The hardware is an old HP G3 with dual Xeon processors and 3GB RAM. It's never going to be much use for testing dedicated servers, but as a lot of VPS configurations are set to 1 core/ 1GB RAM it just about passes the mark.

    This documentation details the steps I took to get Xen installed and set up - every step listed can be run via SSH (assuming you do a net install of the base system), but be aware that if something goes wrong you might need physical access to the system to resolve it.

  • Testing Raspberry Pi Images with Qemu

    Although changing the OS on a Raspberry Pi is quick and easy (especially if you have a spare SD card), there are times when you might want to test a system first, or simply tinker without needing a spare Pi.

    This documentation details how to use Qemu to run a RaspberryPi image.

  • Virtualisation with Xen on CentOS 6.3

    It's been a while since I've had to set up a virtualisation server, but today I needed to configure a brand-new install of CentOS 6 to act as a virtual host. The hardware doesn't have virtualisation support (an old G3) so I had to use Xen so that paravirtualisation was available (not currently supported by KVM). Oops, not so easy now that Xen isn't included by default, Red Hat having opted to use KVM instead.

    Despite that, getting things set up isn't that hard, although not nearly as easy as it was when you could just

    yum install xen

     This documentation details the steps you'll need to follow.

  • Virtualisation: Google Play Music Manager cannot identify your computer

    Although there seem to be an increasing number of things which irritate me about Google's Play Music, there's no denying that it's an incredibly convenient way to listen to music when not at home. Whether using the Android App, or playing in a browser, it makes your library available wherever you are.

    It's a pity then, that Google have decided to make it such a royal PITA to upload music (I'm also not too happy about the requirement to have card details on file, even if you plan on using the free version - you should only ever need to provide card details when the plan is to actually use them, it reduces the likelihood of them being compromised).

    As Google's Play Music Manager now won't run on my desktop (something I need more introduces a conflicting dependency , I figured I'd run Music Manager in a virtual machine and just point it at the right NFS share.

    Turns out it wasn't quite so simple, as Music Manager returns the error 'Login failed. Could not identify your computer'.

    After some digging, it's incredibly easy to resolve though.