[CentOS-devel] CentOS5 virtual machine image

Thu Jan 25 15:16:26 UTC 2007
Nils Toedtmann <centos-mail at nils.toedtmann.net>

Dear CentOS developers,

there is a demand for ready-to-boot virtual machine images for distros
like CentOS. Since i am an afinicado of CentOS and Xen, i would like to
build and maintain a CentOS5-image. Is centos.org interested in hosting
such a sub-project? Testing and tasting CentOS would get much easier, it
would help making CentOS more popular.

Planned features:

  * support for several VMMs (Xen3, VMware player/workstation/server,
    VirtualBox, UML, KVM, ...; maybe even VirtualPC ;-)

  * Click&Run for win32-users:
    1. download & install vmplayer
    2. download & unzip CentOS-desktop-image.zip
    3. double-click "centos.vmx"

  * sparse flat disk image (most VMMs support this image format)
    containing two or three partitions (swap, /, maybe /boot)

  * kernels and initrds to run the image fully and para-virtualized

  * Firstboot script (setting root-password and hostname)

  * VMM config files, at least for the most popular VMMs (Xen/para,
    Xen/HVM, VMware player)

  * Documentation how to boot the image with those VMMs. Special notes
    on kernel-xen and virt-manager (CentOS5, FC6)

  * clean: never booted, empty /{tmp,var/{log,spool/mail,cache/*}}

  * all changes to the pristine image (like customized /etc/fstab, 
    /etc/X11/xorg.conf) properly documented

Different flavors:

  * arch:  i386; maybe x86_64

  * image: flat disk sparse; maybe flat filesystem sparse

  * scope: "minimal" (networking, sshd, yum, vim, cron, syslog);
           "standard desktop"; maybe "standard server"

  * archive: sparse-aware .tar.bz2; .zip for win32 hosts


  * wait for CentOS5-beta2 ;-)

  * create and post a minimal CentOS5-beta2 i386 image with xen- and
    vmware configs, wait for reviews/bugreport

  * create and post a standard desktop CentOS5-beta2 i386 image, wait
    for reviews/bugreport

  * if there are enough positive reports, repeat for CentOS5-final

  * release when/if centos.org is pleased with the (bugfixed) images

Are you interested in such a project? I am eager for comments.

Regards, /nils.