What if I need a file server + revision control?

Lou Cyphre's picture

As in the subject: can I install a ... merge of two different appliances, like a samba file server and a subversion server?

Maybe the right question is how to do that, with a minimal effort...

One more question: will there ever be a 64-bit version? If not, why?


Jeremy Davis's picture

Then the preferred way is to run them as separate VMs under a hypervisor OS. Rather than saying it all again, here are a number of threads discussing this (there are more):

Having said that, if you don't actually require the full functionality of the Fileserver appliance and just want access to your appliance via Samba shares then you can just install Samba and go from there:

apt-get update
apt-get install samba webmin-samba

As well as installing Samba, it will also install the Samba Webmin module so setup and admin of your Samba shares will be easier.

Lou Cyphre's picture

Thanks Jeremy,

and please excuse if the question is recurrent and annoying :)

I think the VM paradigm to be quite interesting, so to have different and separated appliances with a well defined role. And I found the Proxmox solution really captivating, but I'm just unsure on how it could perform on the down to earth hardware I'm planning to use -- a bare HP microserver N36L, with an 1.3 GHz Athlon II and just 2 GiB RAM.

Well, I could give it a try (to the VM solution), but being short of time maybe I'm better getting an SVN appliance and add the samba support...

You really gave me good ideas to work on, I appreciated that a lot!


Jeremy Davis's picture

Glad the links were useful to you.

I've just had a quick Google of your server and that looks like a trick setup! If I wasn't boycotting HP products I'd definately consider buying one. - It's a long story, but short version: my sister had endless problems with an HP laptop that had one of the dodgey nVidia GPU chips that plauged HP & Dell laptops a couple of years ago and HP's response was pathetic and disgusting so I'll never buy anything from them again, in fairness Dell weren't a lot better, but at least they extended their warranty on all affected machines. It's a pity though because HP generally seem to have quite good Linux support and I really like to support companies that support Linux.

Anyway I digress... Bottom line is that it looks like the AMD Athlon II NEO N36L CPU (found in your server) supports both 64bit and virtualisation extension so it should run ProxmoxVE no worries. Obviously with a 1.3GHz CPU (seems like it's dual-core too though?) you won't be able to have lots of CPU intensive VMs without some sluggishness. But i think you'd find a couple or 3 (or more) TKL VMs would run beautifully under PVE - especially if you use OVZ (rather than KVM). Most appliances with relatively light traffic will never need anymore than 256MB RAM so you should have plenty of headroom there too. (Although there are exceptions - such as Zimbra - that alone really needs 2GB IIRC).

If you are used to Windows Server OS then you will be amazed how little CPU & RAM TKL appliances use (even more amazed if you run them under OVZ within PVE).

Good luck and let us know how you go. :)

Lou Cyphre's picture

Speaking frankly, I'm not fond of HP either (...) but I happened to find a good offer on that tiny server (125 Euro, without taxes), and it promised to be very quiet as well, having no CPU fan: this was the main requisite it satisfied!

Without that offer (and the fanless preference) I would have gone for Fujitsu, period.

I'm not thinking of using heavy appliances, but I already tried a base Ubuntu with Zentyal admin interface, which depends upon Postgres: the whole thing was running fine, but the 2 GiBs were adequate, just that.

I already tried some TKL appliances in VM on my desktop, and yes, they have a low memory footprint, which is quite nice. I just could need some spare time, to follow the steps for Proxmox install from an USB flash (have no CD/DVD drive), etc.

Let's see what I can do (and when...), thanks again for helping and sharing!


Jeremy Davis's picture

I'm not sure whether the hardware supports it, but perhaps you could replace the 2 x 1GB RAM you have (making an assuption there) with 2 x 2GB? That'd definately give you a bit more headroom.

If you use OVZ templates (under PVE) then you will find the memory footprint even smaller. OVZ is 'container' virtualisation (rather than true or para-virtualisation) so OVZ VMs actually piggy-back off the host OS and don't run their own kernels (and other base processes/services that the core OS relies on). This means that they use much less RAM (& CPU) than any other form of virtualisation. In my experience the performance is as close to running on bare metal as you'll get (I notice no difference with the OVZ VMs I use). The TKL core devs have official OVZ templates on their todo list, but until then we have some unofficial (community created) ones available. Have a look here. Also feel free to post requests there too if there is anything you want that isn't yet available.

As for getting PVE onto a bootable USB, no doubt the PVE wiki and/or forums would have info about that but I have found UNetbootin to be quite a useful Win tool in similar scenarios, and there is plenty of good info on PenDriveLinux about that sort of thing. Also Ubuntu has an ISO to bootable USB converter pre-installed (at least it does on my 10.04 desktop at home). I don't recall what it's called (perhaps 'USB creater' or something similar) but I have used it with success in the past.

Good luck.

Lou Cyphre's picture

Ok, I succeeded installing proxmox, and even a TKL core OVZ: for a while that made me feel amazed :)

Then I started thinking about the downsides/quirks:

  • There are very few OVZ templates, ready for proxmox: as an example I'd like to have the file server TKL, while it's not there and more than turning a key I had to use a wrench ;o)
  • I installed the TKL core and added samba, webmin-samba; it looks like webmin looks for /etc/rsyslogd.conf, while I find here an /etc/syslog-ng, that's unsupported(?): is this normal?
  • [edit] Latest proxmox 1.8 requires templates to have a filename different from the convention adopted in SourceForge project: to let it accept the template to upload, I had to change "turnkey-core-11.1-0-lucid-x86-ovz.tar.gz" to "turnkeycore-11.1.0-lucid_0_i386.tar.gz"

On the side of performances I have to admit this solution is really fast, responsive, and low on system's resources: thumbs up for it. I don't think I'll go beyond two VMs, never heavy loaded, since they serve just as a small office repository; maybe I could be running a third VM as a test environment, so this is really a great environment for me.

What I'm loving too (from what I read on specs) is the ability, in a future, to easily migrate the appliances to another proxmox server: simply astonishing! (if it's really that simple!).

About ease of installation, I was thinking to suggest this setup to a friend of mine, that has similar requirements in his office: the only drawback is that he's even shorter of time than me, so I already advised him about TKL, but I don't know if he wishes to take the steps for proxmox, TKL core, updating to samba environment, etc. Never advise a friend for an easy solution that will be hard for yourself ;)


Jeremy Davis's picture

And glad that the setup works for you.

A few responses:

  • You are right that currently there are very few appliances available in OVZ templates. But that is improving (I uploaded a few new ones yesterday - including the Fileserver appliance) and I am happy to accept requests (on this thread). Also you are able to do the conversion yourself if you wish (although admitedly, for the uninitiated it's probably more of a jackhammer type solution). Eventually once OpenVZ is officially supported then all appliances would be available in this format.
  • The Webmin issue is an unintended consequence of the conversion process. And thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. The reason why that occurs is that Syslog-NG is used in preference to Rsyslogd for performance reasons (apparently Syslog-NG performs much, much better under OVZ than Rsyslogd does). Obviously Webmin doesn't like that and is expecting Rsyslogd. Hopefully we can work around that to create a better user experience, or I guess worst case scenario decide which is most important (flawless Webmin support vs better OVZ template performance).
  • I have been considering changing the naming convention for TKL OVZ templates to the naming convention expected/required by PVE (rather than currently parallelling the default TKL filenames). I discussed my proposal in this post.

Glad you've found the performance agreeable. TBH I'm not surprised, it's pretty good isn't !? :)

I haven't used PVE in cluster mode. I'm keen to try it out but I'll wait until the v2.x branch as I don't want one to be a master and one a slave (v2.x will allow for multi-master cluster config). From what I've read it's really easy to migrate VMs between host nodes in cluster mode (you can do it without even turning them off!)

Even without that it is really easy to backup and/or migrate OVZ machines. All you need to do is shut them down and tar the filesystem up. To restore you simply just shutdown, rename the current filesystem (delete once confirmed you no longer need it) and replace it with the archive version. You can clone OVZ machines by using the tar-gz file as a template for a new OVZ VM (as you would any of the other template). The commandline tool (included in PVE) vzdump also makes backups easy. However it must be configured before it can be used.

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