Enthusiast/former professional returning to VDI/Linux/OpenSolaris/TBD

With Threadripper 5000 series approaching and major changes in my life, leaving more time to the nerdier things in life, I’m getting myself a new rig soon. But this here is about the software.

When I got my degree in business computing, I was really into was is now called VDI and Citrix/RDP, mainly Windows and the occasionally Solaris10/Oracle database stuff. Well I didn’t stick to it for very long and ended up in marketing (my professor always told me I’d be a better politician than a coder, he was right).

I want to get back into some server-grade stuff as a hobby and maybe for my brothers small company needs. Given the performance of threadripper and today’s consumer-grade hardware, many doors will open rather than one at a time. Problem is that I’m really out of practise. I could still write some bash scripts, but don’t get me started in more sophisticated stuff.

What Linux distribution is worth recommending? I’ve been into SUSE and some redhat. OpenSolaris still a thing? What are good VM/VDI for free / open-source? Xenserver still there? GPU in guest machines wasnt a thing back “in my days”. Has this changed and I can retain my gaming needs with a windows guest machine?

Guess I’m back to Level1 as a tech. For now.

Any one that you feel comfortable with. The major names have not changed much: RedHat (and its derivatives), Debian (and its derivatives), Gentoo (for the hardcore), and SUSE.
Some new challengers worth looking into are Ubuntu (Canonical’s take on Debian unstable with a unique NIH-syndrome spin), ArchLinux (The hipster distro that claims to be as hardcore as Gentoo and Slackware without requiring source compilation. It also has derivatives like Manjaro that are more user friendly), T2SDE (the logical next step of Rock Linux used more as a development environment), Alpine Linux (meant for embeded and base systems to build from), Void Linux (once you enter the void you know immediately if it is for you or not), and QubesOS (a secuirty based distro focused around sandboxing everything in containers and VMs).

OpenSolaris is pretty much dead after Oracle bought Sun Microsystems. It is basically on life-support updates. It lives on as the OpenIndiana project but, I have not heard much over the last two years. I think they are still on the Hipster kernel release.

Xen is still a thing but qemu/libvirt have pretty much taken up that space due to built in support and close integration with the Linux kernel virtualization extensions.

Boy is it an exciting time to be alive. No only can you do this, but you will want to look into the Looking Glass project here on these very forvms to get the best, low latency performance.

Wendell has covered openRDP and freeRDP integration into terminal services. IF you wanted to do VDI, then you really have to stick with Citrix as they pulled a Microsoft and out-Microsofted Microsoft on their own terminal services extension. Citrix is going to get you the best experience that you can get with VDI, but you will have to pay for it.

Welcome back to the fold. That is why these here forvms exist. Happy tech-ing.


Arch Users

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XCP-NG seems to be getting some love for being a popular platform for things XenServer-ish. I’ve been toying with the idea of putting it on a machine here and checking it out instead of using Fedora or Arch or something and starting from there.

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Thanks for the new buzzwords entered my “(v)sphere” of influence. I picked up some other neat stuff like VFIO, SR-IOV and passthrough related to the gpu and other pcie devices. I guess my previous fear of win/linux dual boot that was a real bummer back then, are unfounded. We can make this fly.

I’ll check out looking glass for sure. And Proton…and KVM…so many new toys to work with. Guess I found the right forums for that.

Although I’m kinda limited now with my old Xeon E3 v3 (8GB RAM, 4 Cores, among the first ones to ship with VTx), but VMware workstation should do the job just fine for evaluation and compiling my first stuff in years. Laying the groundwork until my Threadripper arrives. I can’t really convince myself buying 3000 series CPU for two grand when a new generation is rumored to come soon.

Next step: getting my old gpu from the basement, having multiple gpus seem mandatory for passthroughs. And getting some ISOs for several distribution to get a primer of today’s world.

Hardcore without source compilation? that smells like heresy. I remember Debian being the hipster distro and SUSE being the “Windows killer” selling in retail to consumers. Guess I can laugh at that now as I’ve done with my legacy AS/400 legacy applications in my company at that time.

I guess I’m have a good time setting up my home with multiple services in a single high performance machine. My hobby room and the room for guests really need some upgrades. And Winter is coming…

Be sure to create a blog post detailing how you come of things, it will definitely be interesting to follow.

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