Koozali.org formerly Contribs.org

SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS

SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« on: July 25, 2014, 06:25:16 PM »
I would like to get SMEServer 8.1 working on a virtual environment. It appears that many hosted options are running either Xen or QEMU/KVM. However, the wiki page http://wiki.contribs.org/Virtual_SME_Server has sections for each but both are empty.

Searching the forums, there are a few from several years ago,
This one for linode
http://forums.contribs.org/index.php?topic=46049.0
(I unsuccessfully tried the linode option; the four year old information may have been too out-dated to be useful with current versions of SME.)

Some others asked for recommendations or instructions for other VPS, but got a curt reply pointing to this one, which is scant on actual details.
http://forums.contribs.org/index.php/topic,49220.0.html

It was this one http://forums.contribs.org/index.php?topic=48812.0 by RequestedDeletion indicating a successful installation that helped me decide to try EDIS.

They were indeed able to make the ISO available for me, but on installation, I ran into a problem right away. After selecting language and keyboard, I get the exception (File "/tmp/updates/partedUtils.py", line 879 in findExistingRootPartitions (relstr, arch) = getReleaseString(self.anaconda.rootPath) file ...etc) when it searched for previous installations. The support staff suggested setting the virtio driver to OFF (IDE). Still encountering the same problem afterwards, they were unable to suggest any other ideas.

So what setting do I need on the installation? I've tried the boot options of 'sme', 'sme nolvm', 'sme raid=0', and even 'sme lvm noraid=0' or 'sme raid=0 nolvm'. Each time (another 30 minutes wasted) it seems to be looking for a hard drive that does not exist, or the non-physical drive is giving it trouble.

As usual, there is probably something minor that I'm missing to get it to work. However I'm still missing it, so let's try to see if anyone can help figure it out.
.........

Offline warren

  • *
  • 265
Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 11:15:54 PM »
Quote
It appears that many hosted options are running either Xen or QEMU/KVM

what about Proxmox  http://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/SMEServer_KVM

I've set this up in a test environ to play with following the above how to and have had no problems.

Quote
So what setting do I need on the installation? I've tried the boot options of 'sme', 'sme nolvm', 'sme raid=0', and even 'sme lvm noraid=0' or 'sme raid=0 nolvm'.

Try :
Code: [Select]
sme raid=none nolvm

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 06:56:16 PM »
The whole point of this question (please see title) is that I cannot use SME in my own environment (for various reasons...) so I need one hosted elsewhere. Looks like Proxmox is for virtualizing in a setting that one has access to physically. Or are you suggesting I set up proxmox on the virtual host, then run SME within that, matryoshka-like? Seems unnecessarily complicated.

Also, running the boot 'sme raid=none nolvm' command gave me the same trouble in my KVM.

I'm anticipating that RequestedDeletion will be drawn into this thread, since he is the one who successfully got SME working on QEMU/KVM (and Xen to some degree). And, being on the wiki/documentation team, could hopefully update the wiki with helpful instructions.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 06:58:36 PM by Shilotsugu »
.........

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 08:17:39 PM »
hi Shilotsugu,

At SME Server EU, we have built our developpement system for "SME Server Edu" on OpenNode. We are using remote storage on NAS for the ISO and the images.

Your skill level must be high enough in network, storage and server security to use SME Server in a virtual environment exposed to Internet!

At least, you need to know :
  • How to create iptables scripts.
  • What are the differences between bridge and nat.
  • What are the differences between gateway mode and server-only mode for SME Server.

Références :

Example to create a SME Server 8.1-x86_64 VM :
1) you have to install OpenNode, it can be installed after a CentOS6 on cloud hosting : http://opennodecloud.com/downloads/

2) Connect to your VE :
Code: [Select]
ssh -c blowfish -X -C root@YourServerIP
3) Download SME Server ISO :
Code: [Select]
cd /storage/local/iso/
wget http://mirror.smeserver.eu/smeserver/releases/8.1/iso/x86_64/smeserver-8.1-x86_64.iso

4) Pre-create VM disk image :
Code: [Select]
qemu-img create -f qcow2 -o preallocation=metadata /storage/local/images/smeserver8vm.qcow2 10G
5) Launch installation inside screen :
Code: [Select]
screen
virt-install --connect qemu:///system \
--name smeserver8vm --ram 1024 --vcpus 1 \
--disk path=/storage/local/images/smeserver8vm.qcow2,format=qcow2,bus=virtio,cache=none \
--network=bridge:vmbr0,model=virtio --vnc --os-type=linux --os-variant=rhel5 \
--cdrom /storage/local/iso/smeserver-8.1-x86_64.iso --accelerate --noautoconsole --keymap=fr

6) Detach screen :
Code: [Select]
[CTRL+A+D]
7) launch virt-manager to manage your VM
Code: [Select]
virt-manager
You will find help in the opennode's wiki and forum.

Regards
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 11:28:36 PM by Xavier.A »
“When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.”

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 03:56:48 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to post such detailed information in your reply, it's really appreciated.

However, before diving in and heading off in a different direction than I had been looking previously, let me take a step back to see if I have some concepts clear in my head.

1) If I have a bare metal machine in my living room (or other physically accessible environment), I can turn it on, install from the SME ISO, and then have a working SME server (this I have done countless times).

2) If I so choose, I can instead install some other OS on that machine, create a virtual environment, and install SME within that virtual environment (this I have also done, but found it less useful).

3) If I don't have physical access to the above, I must activate a virtual hosted machine instance (with someone, somewhere, in the cloud, whatever), install some other software (proxmox, Centos, anything other than SME), then create another virtual instance within that software to install and run SME.

From the two responses so far, it seems that SME is not able to be installed on a virtual host as if it were the bare metal machine in my room.

Can anyone explain if this is correct? If so, why?

Again, I'd like to be able to install SME on a VPS as if it were concept 1. Having to virtualize within an already virtual environment just seems like an unnecessary layer of abstraction. Though if that is the current state of SME, then so be it.
.........

guest22

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 08:07:59 AM »
From the two responses so far, it seems that SME is not able to be installed on a virtual host as if it were the bare metal machine in my room.

Hi, quick reply. I have no issues at all running SME Server as a VPS. I did it with Edis and also with leaseweb. Both provide me the SME ISO of my choice and it install like on a bare metal machine.

So I suggest you take a look at either:
1. Leaseweb
2. OVH

both have data centers on multiple continents.

SME Server is not listed as a default ISO available to install on your VPS, but you have to ask them and provide them a link to the exact correct ISO on one of the closest contribs.org mirrors.

HTH
guest

 

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 09:31:02 AM »
...I have no issues at all running SME Server as a VPS. I did it with Edis and also with leaseweb. Both provide me the SME ISO of my choice and it install like on a bare metal machine.

I am actually using EDIS, and having issues (which were unable to be solved by staff). Perhaps I should report this as a bug with 8.1 and try to have them load an older version ISO? Which version did you run successfully with EDIS?
.........

Offline ReetP

  • *
  • 1,985
Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 11:57:33 AM »

1) If I have a bare metal machine in my living room (or other physically accessible environment), I can turn it on, install from the SME ISO, and then have a working SME server (this I have done countless times).

Yup

Quote
2) If I so choose, I can instead install some other OS on that machine, create a virtual environment, and install SME within that virtual environment (this I have also done, but found it less useful).

Unless you intend running multiple virtual servers on your hardware then it isn't much use.

Quote
3) If I don't have physical access to the above, I must activate a virtual hosted machine instance (with someone, somewhere, in the cloud, whatever), install some other software (proxmox, Centos, anything other than SME), then create another virtual instance within that software to install and run SME.

Yup. And that could be a complete rack machine in a data center or just a VM (like you would create with say proxmox)

Quote
From the two responses so far, it seems that SME is not able to be installed on a virtual host as if it were the bare metal machine in my room.
Can anyone explain if this is correct? If so, why?

Remember that SME was never designed originally with virtualisation in mind.

However it can be used, but that depends on they type of machine you use, and the mode that you want SME in. A hardware machine is much easier than a VPS.

http://wiki.contribs.org/Virtual_SME_Server

If you are using it in the cloud you really need it in server-gateway mode (better firewalling), but that means you need two network adaptors. On Proxmox you can set up extra adaptors and fool the system - see the above URL. There are other ways too depending on the provider and what you want to do.

I hope that we will try and make Koozali SME much more 'cloud aware' in time, but at the minute we are very short handed and have a lot of other priorities ! A OpenVZ container would be good. Xaviers notes on OpenNode should go in the Wiki - I will add them later.

Quote
Again, I'd like to be able to install SME on a VPS as if it were concept 1. Having to virtualize within an already virtual environment just seems like an unnecessary layer of abstraction. Though if that is the current state of SME, then so be it.

As above, you can do it, but it might take a little hoop jumping to do so. Personally I used SME 8 on a VPS (Alvotech - pretty good) As my requirements grew I decided to get a full machine so I could then install Proxmox and run several - I have both v8 and v9 machine running happily in the cloud. My server is at online.net and is pretty good (I have no affiliation with them in any way)

B. Rgds
John
...
1. Read the Manual
2. Read the Wiki
3. Don't ask for support on Unsupported versions
4. I have a job, wife, and kids and do this in my spare time. If you want something fixed, please help.

Bugs are easier than you think: http://wiki.contribs.org/Bugzilla_Help

If you love SME and don't want to lose it, join in: http://wiki.contribs.org/Koozali_Foundation

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 03:05:24 PM »
About SME Server in VZ container:

Last month, I had worked on this solution and it' s working fine, but it's not for production yet and certainly not for newbies. The network conception of SME Server is quite hard to adapt and the iptables script (you call it masq is not well coded !).

Now, I'm working to make LXC template and Docker template for SME Server, if I find the time I will communicate about it.

If you want to complete the wiki's page about  KVM/QEMU with OpenNode :

Example to create a SME Server 9.0-x86_64 VM :
1) Install OpenNode : http://opennodecloud.com/downloads/

2) Connect to your VE :
Code: [Select]
ssh -c blowfish -X -C root@YourServerIP

3) Download SME Server ISO :
Code: [Select]
cd /storage/local/iso/
wget http://mirror.smeserver.eu/smeserver/releases/9.0/iso/x86_64/smeserver-9.0-x86_64.iso

4) Pre-create VM disk image
Code: [Select]
qemu-img create -f qcow2 -o preallocation=metadata /storage/local/images/smeserver9vm.qcow2 10G
5) Launch installation inside screen
Code: [Select]
screen
virt-install --connect qemu:///system \
--name smeserver9vm --ram 1024 --vcpus 1 \
--disk path=/storage/local/images/smeserver9vm.qcow2,format=qcow2,bus=virtio,cache=none \
--network=bridge:vmbr0,model=virtio --vnc --os-type=linux --os-variant=rhel6 \
--cdrom /storage/local/iso/smeserver-9.0-x86_64.iso --accelerate --noautoconsole --keymap=fr
6) Detach screen
Code: [Select]
[CTRL+A+D]
7) launch virt-manager to manage your VM
Code: [Select]
virt-manager
Of course you have to adapt the QEMU options to fit your needs and if you like the game you can try to do that with a physical SME Server and an OpenVZ kernel to transform your SME Server into cloud environment but that is definitely not for newbies.

Regards
“When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.”

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 10:42:58 AM »
So after a little thought, I had the host provider download the previous 8.0 version ISO. This time I was able to install correctly. This leads me to believe there is a bug in 8.1 when it comes to installing on a hosted environment (which I will report and post the link here).

There was one minor snag as I had to ask them to provide a second NIC for server/gateway mode to work.

I will post further notes to this thread as I encounter them.

With due respect to warren, Xavier, and ReetP(John), no other software was necessary (from me) to install SME.
.........

Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2014, 12:34:19 AM »
Well I found this bug report http://bugs.contribs.org/show_bug.cgi?id=8384 that was close enough to my problem (same error messages). I have followed the advice there and installed with version 9.0 with no issues. From this I conclude that version 8.1 is not suitable for my hosted environment, and should use 9.0 instead.

I should name the instance Chris.
.........

Offline stephdl

  • *
  • 1,500
    • Linux et Geekeries
Re: SME Server 8.1 on a hosted VPS
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2014, 10:25:52 AM »
I should name the instance Chris.

Thanks for Him!!!
See http://wiki.contribs.org/Koozali_Foundation
irc : Freenode #sme_server #sme-fr

!!! Please write your knowledge to the Wiki !!!