Configuring a server to host virtual machines

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WormBase uses virtual machines to quickly and easily create frozen releases.

This document describes how to set up a server to host these virtual machines.

Format the server

The amount of available contiguous disk space, and to a much lesser extent the amount of memory, dictate how many frozen releases can be hosted on a single server.

Just like a normal server, virtual machine memory requirements only spike with usage. And since usage of a given release decrease the older that it gets, the memory of its virtual machine becomes very small.

Taking into account these considerations, try to format the server with as much contiguous disk space available as possible. Figure 35 GB per hosted frozen release. A minimum of 4 GB of RAM is required to host 2-3 frozen releases.

Install VMWare Server

VMWare Server controls the operation of Virtual Machines on the host. When you build it as described below, it will also build the vmware console application (called "vmware").

Fetch it from this page (after the EULA):

Register for free serial numbers:

Online docs:

Unpack it:

tar xzf vmware-server*
cd vmware-server-distrib

Install it, selecting all defaults. Configure bridged networking and NAT, but skip host-only.

sudo ./

When prompted "In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?", enter /usr/local/vmx.

Fetch packaged VMXs and untar them in the /usr/local/vmx directory, eg:

cd /usr/local/vmx
scp .
scp .
tar xzf ../todd/wormbase-WS100.2003.05.10.tgz

Depending on the server, you may need to set VMWare server to bridge to eth1 instead of eth0. To do this, change occurrences of eth0 to eth1 in /etc/vmware/config.