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I Smell Pretty Oh So Pretty

28 December 2007 21:50

Tomorrow, all being well, I should receive a new desktop computer. I ordered it upon Boxing Day so the turnaround is pretty good.

Right now I have two desktop machines:


This machine is occaisionally used by my partner, but primarily exists to remotely backup my various servers. It runs rsnapshot to do a full rsync of four machines every six hours.


This is my day-to-day desktop machine. It is going to be replaced, and this will be rotated into the backup machine. The machine yours will sit in a closet for a couple of months then be donated to somebody local.

As with all the machines I've bought recently the new one is coming from Novatech - (Another company whos website has a suprising hostname.)

The interesting parts of the spec are :

  • AMD X2 4200 processor
  • 2 x 500Gb SATA drives
  • 4Gb memory

The biggest difference to me will be the significantly increased disk space which means that I'll be able to remove the external 120Gb USB hard drive I currently house my MP3 collection upon. By retiring vain and moving my current desktop machine to be the "random guest machine" and backup host I'll also have a lot more space for storing backups upon. (Full database backups every six hours; I'm paranoid...)

Having 4Gb of memory will also mean that I can run more than 2 or 3 Xen guests at the same time.

My plan is to setup at least the following guests:

  • sarge.security-build.xen
  • etch32.security-build.xen
  • etch64.security-build.xen
  • etch32.desktop.xen
  • etch64.desktop.xen

The desktop machines will run GDM / X11 and will be available for logins via xdmcp - so that I can have a fully seperate working environment which is pristine and easily regenerated. Giving 5 xen instances 256Mb of memory each will leave me with close to 3Gb of disk for the host and that is three times what I hav enow!

All in all I'm looking forward to the new machine enormously a bargain at ~ £290.



Comments on this entry

icon James at 21:38 on 28 December 2007
Can the new hardware run 2.6.18? I've been having issues running linux-image-2.6.22-xen from Ubuntu on hardware (Intel G33) that needs 2.6.20 or so, where it reboots or freezes every few days. The X2 4200 is probably old enough that it should be ok, I guess it depends on the motherboard chipset. XenSource's lack of patches for post-2.6.18 kernels is bad enough that we're looking at going to VServer or using OpenSolaris as the dom0.
icon Steve Kemp at 21:44 on 28 December 2007

Right now? I have no idea whether it will work. I'm optimistic, since the motherboard and chipset are reasonably old.

Expect a post tomorrow evening ranting if it doesn't work! If the Debian packaged Xen doesn't work I'm happy enough to compile from source, even though that is a pain, just because I know there is a fair amount of active work going on.