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RE: [Xen-devel] organizing virtual machines

  • To: "Eric S. Johansson" <esj@xxxxxxxxxx>, <xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • From: "Tom Hibbert" <tom@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 12:05:00 +1300
  • Delivery-date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 23:06:24 +0000
  • List-id: List for Xen developers <xen-devel.lists.sourceforge.net>
  • Thread-index: AcUYaEMIDXyVYIQiRd+CLBExa0N3NAAAHP+g
  • Thread-topic: [Xen-devel] organizing virtual machines


>just want to make sure I'm understanding things correctly.

>Every virtual machine must have effectively two partitions.  The first
being a root partition containing all of the system executables and
configuration files as well as the usual /var, /tmp, etc.  The second
being storage for your application/user.
>I imagine one could make a single partition to hold both of these sets
of information but that's not the wisest choice.  my preference would
also be to put /var on the data partition.

There is no requirement for seperating partitions on installation. This
is considered a best practice because in the event of a partition
faliure it increases the chance of recovering at least part of the
system. In the purists world, / is mounted read-only and the only parts
of the disk that can be written to without mounting readwrite are /var
and /home. 

>Assuming the use of a standard OS distribution like Gentoo, it is my
impression that each virtual machine would be updated independently just
like they would be on separate physical hardware platforms.

Absolutely true. However, it is possible to have a shared root/usr using
NFS, with independent /var, /home and /etc. This is a common
configuration for clusters and big iron.

>Obviously, this seems like a terrible waste of space but given the
current dogs breakfast known as /etc, I'm not sure that is another
solution.  I have a few ideas on how to fix this that may or may not pan
out but not the hands (rsi).

Dogs breakfast? Only in the event of badly constructed packages or an
inexperienced aministrator installing from source should there ever be
any configuration data stored outside of /etc. This is the sole reason
/etc exists. I don't consider it a dogs breakfast at all, even under


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