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Not a linux geek I am looking for a recommendation which Linux distro to use for a hyper-v based hosting envfironment (so access to the enlightment part easily is important).

I Would also love to have something that alloows me to split operating system read only files and user files easily without too much tinkering onto two discs, so that the boot disc can be read only.

(reasoning: This would allow me to set up a read only disc that is shared between multiple server instances, with the server disc only containing basically the user files)

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4 Answers 4

I think Red Hat might be a good candidate here. They have signed on Microsoft's Server Virtualization Validation program.

http://www.redhat.com/promo/svvp/

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The problem here is price - imagine how much a VPS would cost with the license in. Makes sadly no sense financially. –  TomTom May 19 '10 at 7:27
    
CentOS is a community version of RHEL. –  ptman May 19 '10 at 8:50
    
Technically, Fedora is the community version of Redhat Enterprise. CentOS is a rebuild of Redhat, with all of the Redhat copyrighted pieces removed. There is no support from Redhat with CentOS nor Fedora. However, unless I needed someone to sue when I'm sued, or a package I need requires Redhat, I'd skip Redhat. If you're the sort of person who, 10 years ago, would have bought their fleet of company cars from GM simply because they are the biggest, then go with Redhat. But they are not the best in all measures. –  labradort Dec 22 '10 at 20:52

i don't see why any distribution wouldn't work for this, though there might be issues of the root partition being utilized by more than one running machine.

you would certainly only want to do upgrades from one host, so as to not interfere with the other hosts.

you could easily mount one partition as / across multiple instances, read only, and one instance with read write (for performing system upgrades) and then mount /home from different partitions/disks in the other instances.

you might also want to segregate /dev, /etc, /sys, /proc, /var and /tmp across installs, perhaps some other directories i have overlooked, in order for this to work smoothly.

again, i am purely /assuming/ that you can mount ONE partition as / across multiple virtual machines.

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my Desktop Ubuntu runs both Xen and Virtual Machine Manager, I managed to run Fedora and Windows 7 under them

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-1. TOTALLY irrelevant answer, unrelated to the question. I am not interested in running a hyper-visor under linux. I am interested in running linux IN a hyper-v virtual machine. Read the question please before answering. –  TomTom May 19 '10 at 8:04
    
Redhat and of course Fedora, SUSE, Ubuntu run well in hypervisor I don't think there is any restriction on which distro to run in a hypervisor except if this distro requiers a different architecture e.g. PowerPC CPU while your hypervisor runs on x86 –  A.Rashad May 19 '10 at 9:03

This is actually two questions.

First: which linux distribution? I've run both CentOS 4.current and 5.current under HyperV and they are reasonably well behaved. I would avoid Fedora, because it changes quickly and goes EOL relatively fast.

Second: keeping running Linux instances in sync? I would check out the Linux Terminal Server Project. It would be relatively easy to run instances of the Termial Project in VMs, customized to your particular use. Alternatively you could investigate configuration automation tools like puppet or chef (sorry, no link) or cf-engine. Also there is a diskless-client configurator included with RedHat/CentOS called system-config-netboot but as of a year ago I couldn't make it do anything useful.

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1 - which of those would you recommend? 2 - I acutally think more of saving space witha central disc for like 30 or 40 vm's running on a server. –  TomTom May 19 '10 at 14:53
    
Personally? I would recommend CentOS 5 just because it will last the longest. For saving disk space? Probably the system-config-netboot path or similar PXE setup. That way the VM can have 0 local disk, and you can keep the individual pieces to a minimum while maximizing what is shared. But each individual node will require at least some unique disk somewhere. –  David Mackintosh May 19 '10 at 15:16

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