I've been curious about Oracle VM Server and wanted to try it for my own home lab. I've had the VMWare ESXi 5, OpenVZ, as well as Xen but not the Xen-based Oracle VM Server.

So I downloaded Oracle VM Server 3.0.3 (and a few weeks later upgraded to v3.1.1) and the initial experience was quite pleasant and the whole thing was easy to install. I've also installed the Oracle VM Manager 3.1.1 and the v3.1.1 in general is night and day compared to 3.0.3 (no silly "refresh" thingy).
You'll have to use Oracle 11g database and also if you use the Express version you can't convert it to the full version.

A couple of high-level observations:
  • I'm using Lenovo W520 with i7-2860QM and 32GB RAM as well as Seagate XT Momentus 750GB x 2 (Intel soft-Raid). Everything went smoothly, unlike the newest Ubuntu 12.04 distribution who failed at everything and was just in general buggy.
  • I could not find an option to do a snapshot from the GUI like I did in VSphere. There is a "Clone" option though. I haven't tested this on a live Oracle database
  • If I want to export the virtual machine .img files is done with qemu. Nothing in the GUI.

So, what's the benefit of using Oracle VM Server compared to VMWare?
  • Well, it's XEN-based and it's free
  • There's a bunch pre-built Oracle templates such as Oracle Enterprise Linux, PeopleSoft, 11g, etc. With VMWare
  • The overall licensing is cheaper for Oracle Database. There is a price difference if you use Oracle database server and your virtual machine uses VMWare.

A few screenshots for your viewing pleasure:
Oracle VM Server 3 Installation






Oracle VM Manager 3

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I think Ubuntu 12.04 is a big failure. It's unstable and buggy to the point where I think it just deserves rm -rf /*. I can't believe an unstable product like this is labelled as "LTS". I've been reading Ubuntu forum and found too many issues regarding lockups in this version. Separating the install into "desktop","alternate","server" just so that it fits into a CD doesn't make sense. This is 2012 and even on the racks there's DVD-ROM. The price difference between CD-ROM and DVD-ROM is so minimal it is just not worth it to separate the contents. Also, regarding the lockups, don't blame it on X Window - it's the whole package that matters. Last year when I tried 11.04, the partitioning tool in the installer never work properly (GPT, MBR issues) I had to use Redhat's Anaconda installer to partition it and then use Ubuntu. A year later it's still the same and it's even buggier!!

The installer also failed to detect my RAID and yet it said "Installation is complete". This release is so bad it makes Windows Vista looks so much better. If I want a buggy, unstable OS with nice eye candy, I'd install Windows ME or Vista, not Linux.

On the other hand, Oracle VM Server (derived from Redhat Linux) installed just fine on Lenovo W520 and it perfectly detected the RAID configuration and everything was smooth sailing with no lockup whatsoever.

Ubuntu 12.04 on Lenovo W520

Executing 'grub-install' /dev/mapper/isw_BLABLABLA failed. This is a fatal error. Then it said "Installation is complete. You need to restart the computer in order to use the new installation.

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I believe I'm one of the poor souls who tried to install CentOS 6 64-bit on a laptop with no DVD drive with UNetbootin. I need a full Linux test environment as I'm testing the directory server and a few control panel software and its integration with my Baby Gekko CMS. I tried putting the 4Gb ISO onto a flash drive along with the 4GB image that was created. Then as I was going to mount it, I couldn't go to tty2 since Anaconda installer hasn't given me a prompt yet. I got this error:
The installer has tried to mount image #1, but cannot find it on the hard drive. Please copy this image to the drive and click Retry. Click Exit to abort the installation.
So I finally used the CentOS-6.0-x86_64-netinstall.iso with UNetbootin, then extracted the 4GB ISO disc 1 and 2 into a newly created directory in my local EasyPHP development server. I tried again and things are finally looking good, I finally got the graphical installer to show up. It was saying

Then I got this cripting error
Unable to read package metadata. This may be due to a missing repodata directory ... and there was this file ffb0e227e2cdd8a2b3609b65d7f38f6c1e756b437405b2918d6d36ebe59a0cb4 that was in the repodata dirtectory that couldn't be read or something like that.
I was in disbelief, so I tried going to the FTP site and looked up went to /pub/centos/6.0/os/x86_64/repodata and apparently the files were different than the one in the ISO. Then I deleted all of those from the repodata directory and replaced it with this one. Voila - my CentOS 6 is finally installed on my Dell Vostro V131!

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OK so I just installed Ubuntu 10.04 with ATI's fglrx proprietary driver on my HP 6930p with Samsung 2443BW 24" monitor but the screen resolution got stuck at 1280x1024. Here's how I made it to work in its native resolution.

You can either use root or just add sudo before each command.

root@ubuntugekko:/# xrandr --newmode "1920x1200_60" 193.16 1920 2048 2256 2592 1200 1201 1204 1242 -HSync +Vsync

If you tested it and it works, then create a file in your home directory called .xprofile with the following in it:

prana@ubuntugekko:~$ cat .xprofile

xrandr --newmode "1920x1200_60.00" 193.16 1920 2048 2256 2592 1200 1201 1204 1242 -HSync +Vsync
xrandr --addmode CRT1 "1920x1200_60.00"
xrandr --output default --mode "1920x1200_60.00"


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