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1clue
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Tiny disk image, big machine for a developer VM. Reply with quote

Hi,

I have a need to generate a small-disk-image non-gui 64-bit Linux VM to be run on Mac or Windows. The current target host is a MacBook Pro with 8g, and that will only go up as time goes by, but for now each of the developers has at least that hardware. The VM guest will be a generic PC-compatible 64-bit Intel box.

I need to run Sun/Oracle Java 6 (non-free) 64-bit, grails 1.3.7, sshd and bash, full ipv4/ipv6 support for a normal client. Multiple core support would be a big plus, big memory is necessary.

I don't think I need a system logger, or authentication. Maybe I need cron, not sure if that's really a system requirement or not. If I could find some tiny distro that would fit, a C compiler would not be necessary.

If I could make a simple gui then I would throw that on too, maybe blackbox or something, but I think it will be too big.

The goal is to make a VM whose external image when shut down is 1g or less. We set it up, get our build working on it and then shut it down, and probably burn the image onto a DVD for posterity. Or transfer it to or from some server or some laptop over the Internet.

This will be a build-and-forget system, although we will keep the basic image for future similar installations. We are developing custom software on the Java platform. Each customer has a slightly (or not-so-slightly) different build. We've been tagging this in source control, but the problem is we get the customer coming back for a change two years after the installation, and we no longer have a development environment for them at that point. We have the source, just not a working build environment.

So first, does somebody know of a tiny distro that already can accomplish this?

Second, what exactly can I reasonably do without if I were to build Gentoo? I'm not asking about what the handbook describes, but after that.
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Crooksey
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could do this with Gentoo quite easily, but tbh if it was me.

I would just buy a development server, then setup jails or chroot enviroments for all dev enviroments.

Does java not support anything like pythons virtualenv?

This thread might help.

Although I may have missed your point entirely.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not exactly getting the point I think. This isn't for simultaneous access by separate customers, we already have that taken into account. This is for future support of an old customer, say 2 years after they went live for example. The software is generally installed on their internal hardware so we don't have to worry about the type of partitioning you're talking about.

The problem is that we make a small number of highly customized and fairly complex java/grails applications. All the customers get common source code, but each winds up being a branch in subversion because nothing is exactly the same from customer to customer.

This is as much evolution as customization. We usually start from the trunk, develop the applications with new functionality as desired by the customer, get close to the production release, then branch it for stability.

The issue is, right after the branch the trunk often takes a huge bunch of changes, like a grails upgrade or database refactor or some other massive change in the way we do things.

What we want is a way to engrave in stone not just the source code, but the build environment necessary to make the application work, and then store that entire system on a server so anyone can run it if necessary, and make changes as requested by that customer.

So basically I'm using a micro distribution to do that. I prefer a pre-built one because that way I have less work into something I won't be using very long.

So what I currently found is Ubuntu Server with the minimal configuration specifically for a VM, then added what I need. It's under 2g, I don't think I can really get under 1g without a lot of work.

I'm going to make that work, build a functional application, and then freeze it so we can build that same application again with a small incremental change.
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Crooksey
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under 1g without much work isnt really going to happen.

If ubuntu can give you a 2GB image with no work, then its happy days.

If you want an image under 1GB your going to need a more hands on distro such as Gentoo/Slackware or maybe even Arch/Debian

If you arent forced to use Linux then maybe NetBSD would be a good idea.

Im pretty sure you can run Gentoo and Slackware on under 700mb (with some ricing)
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imaginasys
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look at this : http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Tiny_Gentoo

Its 500mb and you have room to add whatever is missing...

If you have no desktop you don't need that much space. You can remove the man files too, its big but usefull!

Regards,

BT :D
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll give it a look. Thanks.
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