Virtualizing: Because I CAN…


… and I spent far too much time, money, and effort working with countless permutations of hardware, software, peripherals, and so on just to have “The Industry” force me to upgrade.

Yup.  The following series goes out to many, many individuals (you know who you are) and it aims to show what I can do with some time and XenServer.  It is a fun challenge, but for me, it is really about having the environments, tools, and instant access to things old and new.

I’ve edited this page 7 hours after it’s original post because I was in a rush.  I’ve added more screenshots (below).

So, from the abstract to the useless re-branding of other operating systems, I will be presenting old and new OSes I’ve virtualized on XenServer.  Sometimes I might dive into the gory details and sometimes, like this morning, I may just gloss over the fun.

Something Old… Something Old-ish…

I sat down and spent some time with several operating systems: breathing life back into the tried, true, and sometimes (in retrospect) very annoying to use.  I’ve always been a fan of Window Maker and OpenStep, so I hit those first.

Eh?  OpenStep?  Yes.  Specifically 3.x or 4.x from back in the day.  It is amazing to see how much of Steve Jobs’ NEXT interface “things” ended up into Mac OSes upon his return.

The OpenStep version I pumped up on XenServer still needs some work.  Irradic mouse control (relative positioning), tweaking of VESA/Basic VGA drivers, and … networking.  It was a fun little project and with the display being in black and white, I had to laugh.

Oh.  Before I begin, YES — I used a generic template withi 512MB RAM, 4GB virtual disk, VGA enabled (not Cirrus), and also disabled any HVM things like parallel port and serial port.  XenServer 6.5 SP1.

The screenshots…








As you can see by this edit, I added things I mucked around with for a while: preferences, the text editor, terminal, and so on.  No doubt an interesting trip down memory lane, but until I can make some more time to tweak my OpenStep Guest, it’s more for show than anything.

The interesting thing was that for as little that was being done, well, OpenStep is just a CPU greedy as it was on bare metal.  Overall it was sluggish, but I shall return and tweak this VM.

In the same vein of the “User Experience”, I finally built a template for Window Maker Live: a Debian 8 niche distro built to mimic OpenStep and its user interface.

I have to say that this VM is staying up and running!

I assigned it one CPU and 2GB of RAM, but it never squeaked above 40% of that amount and as such, I’ll probably lower the RAM to 1GB.  The installation was blazing fast, updates were minimal, and guest tools installed without a hitch for obvious reasons.

I’d like to think that this experience is what I had with OpenStep back in the day, but hey — it’s all in fun and all possible because of XenServer!





In Conclusion…

Laugh if you will, but there is more to come.  XenServer can rock the latest OSes as well as the legacy ones.  For any business, that is pretty darn powerful because not everyone can drop OS and Core Products just to use the latest version of X, Y, and Zed.

Next up?  That is a secret, but I will be covering fresh distros (as well).  Feel free to send a request and I’ll see what I can do!

–jkbs | @xenfomation | | My Blog



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