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I am buying a new AMD 6 core machine and would use it as development server machine. I want to achieve 2 things:

  1. have multiple Virtual machines on it to run various Operating systems (something like Xen) and
  2. be able to work on it as well (without using SSH/remote login etc.)

Now, if I use Xen I do not have an option of using it as dev machine, unless I resort to SSH and remote login ways. If I just have multiple partitions, then the idea of running multiple virtual machines for servers fails.

  1. So, I would like to know a strategy to achieve what I want to do in the description above.
  2. And in case I just run single OS, would Ubuntu or Debian be a good choice for a personal+development machine?
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Sucks that I cannot upvote the answers I like. –  sabertooth Jul 26 '10 at 18:44
    
@AJ, We can fix that. –  Chris S Jul 26 '10 at 18:46
    
@Chris: Thanks a lot. :) –  sabertooth Jul 26 '10 at 20:47

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

What is your OS of preference? If it's Windows, try Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V. If it's Linux try KVM.

What do you use now for development? That's probable the best OS for you to continue using.

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I am a Mac user at this moment. I do not prefer Windows as most of the stuff I do is opensource. So there is no way I can work on a machine and run multiple Virtual machines along side on the same box (provided I have enough computing power)? –  sabertooth Jul 26 '10 at 14:45
1  
Yeah, you need a hypervisor, like Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, QEMU, ESXi, or any one of a dozen others. But if you want a desktop environment you need a base OS, which OSX doesn't run on the hardware you're looking at. Looks like you have some experience with Linux, you might want to stick with that (plus KVM which will allow you to run other Linux VMs or Windows VMs). You might also consider FreeBSD; Darwin is loosely based on FreeBSD, so many of the system interfaces are identical... if your programming on that level. Obviously you don't get Aqua or Cocoa, if you're GUI only you're still SOL. –  Chris S Jul 26 '10 at 15:32

Even with Xen in the dom0 you could work on it (I wouldn't do that though, not necessarily from bad experience, but personal preference). Just install a xen-ified kernel in i.e. Debian and than add an X11 server and all the apps you like to it. The same would likely be true for KVM, but I haven't used this.

Nevertheless, I would prefer to use VMWare Workstation or VirtualBox (free) or something like that for this case and run the virtualization essential as an application.

For the second question: Debian/Ubuntu is as good a dev platform as anything else, except you would have specific needs of course.

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Thanks. I think this answers my question. I was thinking the same too. Perhaps a good hard drive would be required to accelerate my box performance which is going to run Virtual OS(s) while I work on it at the same time. –  sabertooth Jul 26 '10 at 15:29

In a comment you mentioned you're a mac user. Why not stick with OS X and run Parallels or Fusion on that box?

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I want to build my own box (Now that the AMD 6 core is out :)). Also, I am still a linux user but over time, I just did stuff on my Macbook. yes, I have a macbook, not even a pro. Plus, a good Mac config will cost me almost 2 grands. I can build a new slick box with 6 core for waayyy less than that. :) Hope you understand. –  sabertooth Jul 26 '10 at 15:00

I've worked on a Xen Dom0 before on hex cores, 2 of them, with a raid 1 and it was fast enough to develop on. I also recommend using vitualbox. Thats much like VMware with its management interface.

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