One of the most talked about technologies these days is virtualization. Which is why this year's PCQLinux is heavily focused toward this and therefore brings to you a number of different ways of installing and implementing it.
PCQLinux 2008 Core
First off, we have the PCQLinux 2008 Core system. The Core is a very basic installation of PCQLinux that contains only a very minimal set of tools, Gnome front-end, and the VirtualBox application to load virtual machines. To install the Core on a machine, drop in the CD it comes in and boot up the system. Ensure that the system will boot from the CD/DVD drive. This can be done either by changing the boot order in the BIOS (which changes it till the time you change it to something else) or by a one-time boot order (which changes it only for the current boot).
Once the system starts the boot up from the CD, you will be welcomed by the
PCQLinux logo. Simply press
This is the step where you need to be extremely careful in selection. If you have an existing OS which you would like to retain, you will need to use any free space and install PCQLinux on that. If you wish to remove other Linux partitions or all other partitions, select the appropriate choice and proceed. You can confirm and verify the selections when prompted if you wish.
You will now be prompted for a password for the 'root' user. Make sure you have a secure and strong password-but which you can remember later on. Once this step is completed, the installation will then continue without any intervention required, till it actually completes.
The installation of the files will take a while to complete. You will see the total, installed, and remaining for both number of packages and time. When finished, you can reboot your machine and take out the CD from the drive. Congrats-your machine will now boot up using PCQLinux 2008 Core. Once the system boots up, you will be greeted with a text-based login prompt. Use the login as 'root' and the password you entered earlier to login. As soon as you login, you can enter the command 'startx' to bring up the PCQLinux graphical environment which is Gnome.
|To install PCQLinux Core, drop in the CD and boot the system. Once the system starts the boot up, you will be welcomed by the PCQLinux logo||If you want to retain existing OS, use any free space and install PCQLinux on that. To remove other Linux partitions, select appropriate choice & proceed|
|You will now be prompted for a password for the 'root' user. Once this step is completed, the installation will then continue without any intervention required, till it completes||The installation of the files will take a while to complete. You will see the total, installed, and remaining for both number of packages and time|
PCQLinux 2008 Virtual Appliances
The PCQLinux Virtual Appliances are pre-installed appliances based on the PCQLinux 2008 Core system. Each appliance is configured with a different set of applications and services. The best part about the appliances is that you can even run them on Windows if you wish by simply installing the Windows version of innotek's VirtualBox software. On PCQLinux 2008 Core, the software is already available and installed.To get up and running with the appliances, drop in the Appliances DVD in your DVD drive. Open up the INDEX.HTM file in the root of the DVD (see screenshots on next page). This will give you a small introduction to the appliances as well as links to all the ones included. Click the one you wish to work with. The browser will then prompt you to either open or save the file locally. We recommend that you open/run the file directly from the browser so as to save space on your hard disk. If you are on Windows, you can use WinRAR to open the BZ2 file. On PCQLinux the file will open the Archive Manager.
Extract the file into any location that has enough disk space. Once extracted, fire up VirtualBox. Click the New button to create a new virtual profile. Give the new profile a name and also select the OS Type to be 'Linux 2.6'. In the next step, assign an amount of RAM to this appliance. We suggest a minimum of 512 MB for each VM.
Now comes the step when you need to attach the appliance hard disk that you extracted. Click the 'Existing' button. In the new Window that comes up, click 'Add' in the toolbar and browse over and select the .VDI file you extracted. You should now see this file in the hard disk list. Click on finish and review the settings of the new appliance in VirtualBox. You can now click the Start button to fire up the virtual appliance.
With this the installation and implementation of PCQLinux 2008 is complete. You can add more virtual appliances to your machine from the DVD or create your own. Articles on how to use the individual appliances are given in this issue, so do read them to see how you can use them the best possible way.
Set up the appliances to network
The default networking option for VirtualBox appliances allows the appliance itself to access the outside world (your network/Internet) but the outside world cannot access the appliance. Hence we need to set up something called the Host Interface networking. The way to set up this is as follows.
Boot up PCQLinux 2008. Login as root. We assume that the device name of the Ethernet or network interface is eth0. This is true for most cases-unless you have more than one network card. Make a copy of the file named ifcfg-eth0 (found in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts) as ifcfg-br0 in the same directory.
cp ifcfg-eth0 ifcfg-br0
Open the file ifcfg-eth0 in a text editor and append a line as: BRIDGE=br0
Next, open the file named ifcfg-br0 and add the following line: TYPE=Bridge
Save the files and reboot. Upon reboot, login as root. Now we will need to set up something called a TAP interface for each appliance. For this issue the following:
/usr/lib/virtualbox/VBoxTunctl -t vbox0
brctl addif br0 vbox0
ifconfig vbox0 up
Now you have a device called vbox0 which can be used by a VirtualBox appliance. If you want to boot up more than one appliance then repeat the above commands, replacing vbox0 with vbox1, vbox2, vbox3, and so on.
|Open index.html file from the appliance DVD. Here click on an appliance you want to set up. Choose'Open' when prompted||Extract files from last step to a location on your hard drive. Then lauch VirtualBox and click 'New' as shown to create a new virtual profile|
|Give the new virtual profile a
name (PCQLinux Developer) and also select the OS Type to be 'Linux 2.6'.
Click on Next to
|In this step you need to assign an amount of RAM for this appliance. We suggest at least 512 MB of RAM for each virtual machine|
|Attach the appliance you extracted in Step 2. Click the 'Existing' button in VirtualBox to get the above Window. Click 'Add' on and select the .VDI file you extracted||You should now see this file in the hard disk list. Click on finish and review the settings of the new appliance in VirtualBox. You can now click the Start button to fire up the virtual appliance|
A note on the firewall. By default, PCQLinux 2008 comes with the firewall enabled. We suggest that you first disable the firewall temporarily by issuing 'service iptables stop' or permanently.
For the latter, launch security level configurator by issuing system-config-securitylevel and select Disabled. We need to do this because depending on the appliance and the networking (especially DHCP), the firewall may prove a hindrance to set up the network and access the services running on the appliance. Once you have successfully played, tried, or tested the appliances, you can enable the firewall and the specific ports to make your appliance accessible from outside. This again can be achieved using system-config-securitylevel.
Next, as explained in the article 'Installation & Implementation', extract the compressed (bzipped) appliance and open it in VirtualBox. Next, select the appliance and click on Settings>Network>Adapter 0. Check the boxes labeled 'Enable Network Adapter' and 'Cable Connected.' Select 'Host Interface' from the 'Attached to' dropdown. For 'Interface Name,' type in vbox0. Click on OK. Start the appliance.
Now suppose you want to boot another appliance, then make sure:
1. Issue the above commands with vbox1 substituted for vbox0
2. Type vbox2 for 'Interface Name' on VirtualBox
Static IP addresses for the appliances
By default, PCQLinux appliances are configured to pick up a dynamic IP address from a DHCP server. In case you are not running a DHCP server in your network, then let the appliance boot. It will obviously not be able to get an IP address during boot up. After the appliance boots, login as root (in the appliance). Type in the command 'system-config-network' (on the command line or in X Window) and set up the IP address as per your network.