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Basically, I will be running multiple VM's on my XServe. I wanted the Main OS to be very lightweight and not a memory hog. I am not sure but I feel like OS X Server is not very lightweight, also because I wont be needing any features OS X if offering except VMware/VirtualBox.

So I thought, why not install something much more lightweight like linux.

so the questions are: 1. Is that a good approach ? 2. Is Mac OS X lightweight ? 3. Could I install linux on it ?

Thank you for the help. Any other suggestion, please let me know.

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closed as not constructive by mdpc, Michael Hampton, Ward, faker, Khaled Jan 5 '13 at 8:09

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Define 'lightweight'? If you're just looking at running multiple VMs on a single box, why aren't you looking at hypervisors that are designed to do that, like VMware ESXi, or Xen? –  growse Jan 3 '13 at 23:29
    
lightweight meaning it doesn't take up much ram or CPU usage. For example, how fedora is 700mb installation cd, while Mac OS X is 4gb. Yes, I will be definately using those type of VM software, however, I was more concerned on which os to install Vmware in. –  user151870 Jan 3 '13 at 23:36
    
VMware ESXi doesn't install 'in' anything. It is an OS, specifically designed for running VMs on in a datacenter. Xen is the same (iirc). And you're making OS installation choices based on install disk size? I've seen everything now. –  growse Jan 3 '13 at 23:38
    
It was more of an example. I just meant LIGHTWEIGHT. I don't know how else I could define what I mean by Lightweight. Anyway, thanks for the VMware ESXi info. I'll keep it in mind. –  user151870 Jan 3 '13 at 23:43
    
@growse I been playing around with ESXi and it seems to be exactly what I was looking for. if you would like to make a post, I could accept it as the correct answer. –  user151870 Jan 4 '13 at 0:59

2 Answers 2

Is that a good approach?

Honestly, it seems like a waste. An Xserve is pretty sweet piece of kit. To me it would be shame to run Linux on it. If that's all you have available to you, though... But, then, this is subjective. (See below.)

Is Mac OS X lightweight?

Not constructive / no we won't help you with capacity planning. This site is not intended for broad or open discussions. Things that are subjective. It's to serve a purpose for Q&A of which there are definable answers. Also, we won't plan your infrastructure for you.

Could I install Linux on it?

Yes. I have a colleague that migrated his Xserve/OS X environment to Linux to get the enterprise level functionality he needed from a modern OS. With recent OS X Server software updates, features he requires has been eliminated. He turned to Linux as a replacement.


Only you can define lightweight and only you can set your resource requirements. It depends on how many VMs, what their load is like, and the resources available to the physical host. As this stands, it's either Not constructive or capacity planning related. I have 2-3 VMs on a Mac Mini under OS X. Surely an Xserve can do the same. That said, maybe your VMs have much higher resource requirements.

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thank you for all the info. –  user151870 Jan 4 '13 at 2:10

It sounds like what you need is a bare-metal hypervisor, such as VMware ESXi or Xen. These are specifically designed to be minimal OSs that simply provide some host management and the ability to run VMs on server-grade equipment.

Both are free and should also both work on the XServe. Technically, I believe the XServe won't be supported from VMware (as it's not on their HCL), but the easiest way to find out if everything works is to just download and install.

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