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XenServer 6.0 - Tips/How-To?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ksDevGuy, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. ksDevGuy Guru

    Was curious if anyone had tips or status on the ease of laying down the latest PBIAF onto XenServer 6.0? Has been a long while since have had time to tinker with Asterisk, etc. and the first step was to unload our Digium card and go to a SIP gateway device of some sort - so we can go a little more solid state and VM the PBIAF server.

    Any tips or known How-To's out there?

  2. wardmundy Nerd Uno

    You might want to chat with the good folks at RentPBX. I think they use Xen.
  3. rentpbx Guru

    We run barebones Xen platform. I believe that XenServer share similar virtualization engine with additional front end management.

    We do not have any experience with the front end management for XenServer and how it impact on installing iso and managing VM template.

    If you use barebone XEN in RHEL platform, you can use virt-install to install the PIAF iso (any PIAF iso will work). You can use HVM virtualization as start. Running/Installing PIAF in HVM is the easiest path for us. PIAF can run in paravirtualization mode with some tweak eventually.
  4. ksDevGuy Guru

    For mixed environments (like most businesses) using VMWare, XenServer, & Hyper-V becomes important for many reasons. So far it appears both 20621 and 175xx have the same experience under XenServer -- it boots the CentOS install from the PBXIAF ISO's and terminates in Linux ... never executing the startup PBXIAF script and appropriate .cfg choice process as with a baremetal install.

    The only option in creating the VM which boots the selected ISO - is an "Advanced OS boot parameters" which by default has "graphical utf8" ... however that way or empty, both produce the same result.

    Any thoughts to get the boot to run the appropriate startup code -- or is the default CentOS install ok, if we launch the PBXIAF startup after (and what is the command to do that?)?

  5. rentpbx Guru

    We have been interested in XenServer. We will play around with it and see if we can reproduce your problem.

    Have you try to run piafdl manually when it boot to Centos console?

    I am not sure about XenServer. By this time our VM will already have functional ssh. You may want to ssh in to the VM and run piafdl instead.
  6. ksDevGuy Guru

    Thought about that (running piafdl -text) however couldn't find it on the mounted ISO (what is the path)?

    XenServer FWIW is really a clean, nicely packaged rendition of Xen with the paravirt benefits for mixed OS optimizations/perf/etc. You may like it - and the base free offering has a reasonable selection of enterprise features typically in the paid versions of VMWare vSphere.

    Thanks for any thoughts/help,
  7. rentpbx Guru

    You should not need to mount the iso. On the first boot after the centos installation, piafdl should be in your system already. If I understood you correctly, your centos installation was successful right? It is just does not continue with the piaf installation stage.

    The PATH environment should have been setup by this stage to find piadfl. You can just type piafdl without absolute path. Your ssh also should have run by this time (it imply neworking should have also worked). Your root password should be valid also at this point.

    If you do not have the piafdl or any of the above indications, something must have gone wrong in the centos installation part. I am not sure it is worth to move forward with paifdl.
  8. ksDevGuy Guru

    Well re-fired another VM just now and CentOS 6.2 seems to install just fine. I can log into root and directory structure looks like a clean CentOS install. However, piafdl does not run when typed in.

    Again, something with the boot I am guessing. I know on v1.7.5.x booting the CD on baremetal gave you a different menu which launched the ks.cfg (default) that laid down CentOS & PBIAF altogether. In this case, when the VM starts it boots from the CD (ISO) and runs the CentOS install but somehow misses the ks.cfg pbiaf bootup routine (and possibly is not copying it over, or at least the path is not set).

    Thoughts? Thanks again for your input - would love to virtualize our bare-metal PBIAF install and decommission the hardware it is on (but we are a 100% XenServer house on multiple hosts).

  9. darmock PIAF Developer

    The 206X tree no longer includes either piafdl or the xtras stuff. This is now downloaded by ks.cfg

    There are a number of things that are performed by ks.cfg and they ALL have to be duplicated in the environment or centos 6.2 /piaf just does not work. so....

    1. mount the ISO somewhere
    2. copy the contents of ks.cfg somewhere
    3. replicate the extra commands contained within on your xen server
    4. you will be able to run piafdl

    Note this may be going away as in future the piafdl may be tied to a specific ISO file so piafdl will only run on the most recent version of the PIAF ISO.

  10. rentpbx Guru

    I am able to fire up a XenServer.

    I try to create a VM using Centos 6 profile and able to see your problem. During the installation, I can see that it was only installing 180 packages. It was too small for a PIAF 2.0 install. As suspected, your install are having problem early during Centos installation. Your networking is not working eather at this point. Based on the console, I can tell the iso installation is in paravirtualization mode. This is your problem.

    I try to find a way to change my setup to HVM. I am not too familiar XenSever management yet. I am not sure where it is.

    However, there is an easy trick. I know running Windows VM must be under HVM. I did create another VM using windows 7 (choose 32 bit or 64 bit depending on your iso). I know it is windows. It is ok and just continue. Attach your PIAF iso on this VM and run it. PIAF will install just fine.

    Please make sure you checkout the video and keyboard locked issue.
  11. ksDevGuy Guru

    Thanks Tom. However, esp. if things may change I'm hoping to find another way to make PBIAF more generically supportable in the XenServer VM environment for future versions too (but will keep in mind as a backup!).

  12. ksDevGuy Guru

    Interesting, the reason the Windows template has keyboard/video issues is due to the fact that Linux support in XenServer (in past versions anyway, I don't know about v6.0+) only had drivers for Xen-aware kernels (paravirt).

    Ref: http://forums.citrix.com/thread.jspa?threadID=153886

    However, a promising start! Seems like if we can figure a way to update CentOS to paravirt aware kernel etc. as the above link mentions, then a custom XenServer template could be made from the Win 7 template and give us ProxMox template-like option for XenServer. Hmmm.

    Here is a couple guys claiming to have automated the process of converting HVM to PVM (and back) and mentions setting up a template to eliminate the headache in the future:

    Ref: http://djlab.com/2010/10/convert-xenserver-hvm-to-pv-paravirtual/
    Ref: http://linuxnet.ch/groups/linuxnet/wiki/51a8b/XenServer_HowTo_Convert_HVM_to_PV_RHELSuSE.html

    Sadly, I am not a great Linux guy but it seems to make sense. Thoughts?

  13. rentpbx Guru

    Going to PVM is fine. We like to run in this mode as the performance is better.

    However, HVM + the availability of XenTool (driver for the VM to avoid emulation on some of the device) is not too bad.

    I am going back and share my experience with generic Xen now. Once you have your file structure, in HVM, for XEN moving this to PVM is easy especially on Centos 6. There is a bit tweak here and there. I cannot speak for XenServer.
  14. chemcat9 Guru

    I'm not certain where your problem lies, I'm running two PBXIAF VMs in production without issue under ZenServer 6.0. If I recall correctly I used the generic "Linux" iso install, not the scripted CentOS Linux template under Zen. Once the initial install was complete, I was able to copy/edit/delete/run other instances without a problem.

    First chance I get I'll do fresh install and note the process.
  15. ksDevGuy Guru

    That would be fantastic! We have tried the CentOS v6.0 (x86 Experimental) template in XenServer 6 with no success, then tried the "Other OS" generic option which did start the instal and get maybe 20% correctly before rebooting back to start (failure), and finally RentPBX has been gracious to invest some time/effort and tried the Windows 7 template to get HVM rather than PVM mode and reportedly got to completion but without keyboard/video/mouse due to no drivers since in HVM mode (and typically XenServer's linux is PVM based & so thus the drivers).

    Any feedback would be so greatly appreciated. Thanks for the thought at the very least.


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