I’m investigating the creation of VM images for different virtualisation solutions.
Among the target platforms is a destop as a service platform based on an OpenStack public cloud.
We’ve been working with bootstrap-vz for creating VMs for Vagrant+VirtualBox so I wanted to test its use for OpenStack.
There are already pre-made images available, including official Debian ones, but I like to be able to re-create things instead of depending on some external magic (which also means to be able to optimize, customize and avoid potential MitM, of course).
It appears that bootstrap-vz can be used with cloud-init provided that some bits of config are specified.
In particular the cloud_init plugin of bootstrap-vz requires a metadata_source set to “NoCloud, ConfigDrive, OpenStack, Ec2“. Note we explicitely spell it ‘OpenStack‘ and not ‘Openstack‘ as was mistakenly done in the default Debian cloud images (see https://bugs.debian.org/854482).
The following snippet of manifest provides the necessary bits :
# create or reuse a tarball of packages
# change if another mirror is closer
# Note we explicitely spell it 'OpenStack' and not 'Openstack' as done in the default Debian cloud images (see https://bugs.debian.org/854482)
metadata_sources: NoCloud, ConfigDrive, OpenStack, Ec2
# username: Administrator
# password: Whatever
# reduce the size by around 250 Mb
I’ve tested this with the bootstrap-vz version in stretch/testing (0.9.10+20170110git-1) for creating jessie/stable image, which were booted on the OVH OpenStack public cloud. YMMV.
Designing a virtual laboratory for a relational database MOOC
Olivier Berger, J Paul Gibson, Claire Lecocq and Christian Bac
Keywords: Remote Learning, Virtualization, Open Education Resources, MOOC, Vagrant
Abstract: Technical advances in machine and system virtualization are creating opportunities for remote learning to provide significantly better support for active education approaches. Students now, in general, have personal computers that are powerful enough to support virtualization of operating systems and networks. As a conse- quence, it is now possible to provide remote learners with a common, standard, virtual laboratory and learning environment, independent of the different types of physical machines on which they work. This greatly enhances the opportunity for producing re-usable teaching materials that are actually re-used. However, configuring and installing such virtual laboratories is technically challenging for teachers and students. We report on our experience of building a virtual machine (VM) laboratory for a MOOC on relational databases. The architecture of our virtual machine is described in detail, and we evaluate the benefits of using the Vagrant tool for building and delivering the VM.
A brief history of distance learning
Virtualization : the challenges
The design problem
The virtualization requirements
Related work on requirements
Scalability of existing approaches
The MOOC laboratory
Exercises and lab tools
From requirements to design
Making the VM as a Vagrant box
Delivery through Internet
Availability of the box sources
Reliability Issues with VirtualBox
Student feedback and evaluation
More modular VMs
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