vmware is odd

I installed the final release of vmware server 2.0 on a server today. Not much has changed since the RC version I had been using. I found some quick fixes and tips in this blog: http://digital.blogsite.org/index.php/2008/10/04/review-vmware-sever-2
The authorization.xml problem was a REAL pain, so I was grateful to find a fix for that. And the tip about the VI Client laying around on the server was priceless (duh, the least they could have done could have been a link in the webinterface). Using the client to access the vmware host is finally not painful anymore. The webinterface is still Ok if I’m not at a computer of mine, or am under linux.

There are still some oddities about vmware that bug me, like the missing option to turn off the DHCP server if you set up networking to use a virtual switch (HostOnly). The VI Client allows me to do some stuff that isn’t possible with the webinterface (like priority for RAM and CPU, or CPU affinity), but it doesn’t allow me to ad virtual machines that are on the server ?!?

The Software is free, so I’m not complaining here. But theese would be a real pain in the rear end if I was using the software in a production environment.

[Work in progress] HackIt Server

The last HackIt I set up was a few years ago, so I decided to have a go at it again. As before it will be a Linux server. And I will also have some fun with grsecurity kernel patches (including the additional Role-Based Access Control system). So nothing new up to here. I’m also going to be using most of the features I used back then too (like “trusted path execution” and no outgoing/server sockets for users, …)
Last time it was separate hardware on my little DSL line (meaning back then all users had to share a 128kbit upstream). This time it will be a vmware box on a 100Mbit Internet connection and it’s own IP, so no more worry about laggy ssh sessions.

I’ll post more details as soon as this gets more “ready-for-release”. Right now I’m still hardening the box, I still haven’t decided on which holes I’m going to build into it to make it a “HackIt”.

rkhunter and linux kernel 2.6.26-3

The combination of rkhunter and the latest stable Linux kernel has been giving me problems the last few days. Considering that I couldn’t find anything about this on the Internet, I guess it must be something special about my box. rkhunter makes my server hang when it gets to the part where it checks for hidden processes if I use the 2.6.26-3 kernel. If I use the same .config and make myself a 2.6.25-16 (the latest stable 2.6.25) rkhunter runs without problems.

While it is nice that I found the problem, it was a pain narrowing down the culprit. The last few days I had noticed that my server was dead in the water every morning and had at first suspected vmware, since I had installed that a few days ago on the server (and had to make a new kernel to get it running). Well, everything is fine now. Next time I have to update my kernel, I’ll remember to do a test run of /etc/cron.daily

vmware for dummies

A few months ago I stumbled across Moka5. Moka5 is more or less nothing else than a nice frontend for the free version of vmware’s player and creator. Now you may ask “Why use 3rd party software when I could use the stuff from vmware?”. Good question, simple answer: moka5 is comfortable. It brings along a lot of functions that make working with vmware more comfortable. Import existing vmware images from the moka5 lab oder vmware’s virtual appliance marketplace. Make your own vmware session with a few mouseclicks. Package together your vmware to have a backup. Install moka5 on a usb stick/drive and take your virtual pc with you; moka5 will install the necessary vmware software on the host pc, and deinstall it when you are done. Right now I have a few images on my moka5 usb drive that I carry around with me. Ubuntu, Backtrack, a Windows installation for trying out software without it mucking up my system.

Definatly something to have a look at if you are on the search for a free and easy to use virtualization solution.