[clug] Virtualisation solution for development

Ben Nizette bn at niasdigital.com
Wed Jun 22 05:47:57 MDT 2011

On 22/06/2011, at 5:39 PM, Robert Edwards wrote:

> On 22/06/11 17:16, Ben Nizette wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> For the last several months I've been trying to keep 32-bit and 64-bit development files playing nicely together on my Ubuntu 64-bit dev box.  Each time I find a new, dumb, 32-bit, proprietary package I spend ages creating a set of $PATH, $LD_LIBRARY_PATH and symlinks that will actually get the stupid thing to run.  And those then break my finely tuned environment for the other stupid packages.  I've started creating scripts that set up a good environment, run the program, then tear it down again but that's getting tedious, I've had enough.
>> My first instinct was just to grab VirtualBox and install a 32-bit machine but surely there's a better, lighter-weight way!  Especially as many of the stupid packages have to talk to host hardware, eg programmers, which aren't completely trivial to punch through a VM.
>> I've had a brief look at OpenVZ but it looks like when they say 'same OS workloads' they really mean it; I thought they could support parallel distributions so long as they were all Linux-based but it looks like I was wrong.
>> Anyone got ideas?  Done the same thing?
>> Thanks,
>> 	--Ben.
> My Internet-facing Linux system at home (am I allowed to say that on
> this list?) is running OpenVZ and has Debian, CentOS, SuSE and Ubuntu
> "containers" happily running on it concurrently. This is with a 32-bit
> kernel. (Actually, I have two pretty much identical boxes, both retired
> desktops, and I can easily migrate virtual machines from one to the
> other etc. One is in the garage and the other under the stairs and I
> regularly backup one to the other).
> We use a lot of OpenVZ at work (ANU Comp. Sci.) and they are mainly
> 64-bit, but I haven't, yet, tried running a 32-bit distro on a 64-bit
> OpenVZ kernel. I guess it will break. But I could make a 64-bit distro
> work nicely with 32-bit apps in a container.

Sounds promising, might give it a try, thanks Bob.

> Problem with OpenVZ, for your scenario, is giving the containers the
> right accesses to the hardware ports for your external devices.

Looks like you can punch arbitrary device nodes through to the virtual node like

vzctl set CTID --devnodes ttyS0:rw --save

> If it were me (ie. this is what I do in my office at work), would be to
> run separate machines: one running 32-bit to talk to the hardware etc.
> and the other is my normal (64-bit) development desktop. Sharing things
> over a fastish network makes most hassles go away.

Yea that's a fallback position for sure, just seems a shame to spend good money
on a bitching dev PC which still can't complete all tasks I set it!


> Cheers,
> Bob Edwards.
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