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Re: Hosting a GuixSD server on commodity hosting platforms, a journey

From: Christopher Allan Webber
Subject: Re: Hosting a GuixSD server on commodity hosting platforms, a journey
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:53:45 -0600
User-agent: mu4e 0.9.16; emacs 25.1.1

Hello everyone!  So I got a very nice and useful response about getting
GuixSD working on Rackspace Cloud.  I've gotten permission to post the
conversation verbatim, so I've done so below.  But here's the tl;dr:

 - In order for our image to work, we need to get XenServer and
   nova-agent working and running on it.  DHCP isn't used.
 - Apparently the right format is "VHD in an OVF container"
   but is hard to get right.  I'm assuming we probably won't get
   it right by guessing based on that description.
 - So we probably should use this tool to do our first attempt
   (then figure out from there how to generate such an image
   ourselves without help):
 - In order to use that, we'll need to supply a .iso, so I guess
   in order to move forward with the Rackspace route, we'll need
   to finish figuring out how to generate a .iso here too!

Thanks again to AlexOughton for the useful feedback.

> [Fri Dec  2 2016]
> <AlexOughton> hi, i just saw your question about GuixSD on #rackspace. you'll
>             need to get both the XenServer tools and the nova-agent working,
>             as Rackspace Cloud doesn't use DHCP                       [14:52]
> <paroneayea> hi! Ah I see :)
> <paroneayea> I've been documenting my attempt at getting GuixSD on Rackspace
>            here:
>                                                                       [14:54]
> <paroneayea> mind if I paste your reply here into the #guix irc channel and/or
>            to the mailing list?
> <AlexOughton> sure. i don                                             [14:55]
> <AlexOughton> sure. i don't know how far you're going to get with image import
>             methods (as this can be flaky, and also requires VERY specific
>             format). you might get better luck bootstrapping your own custom
>             image this way:
>                                                                       [14:56]
> <AlexOughton> that only provides a few distros, but there are ways of pointing
>             iPXE to your own ISO file to then boot that and perform an
>             installation                                              [14:57]
> <paroneayea> ok, thanks.  Yeah I was having trouble finding any information
>            about what the expected format is                          [15:00]
> <paroneayea> and there doesn't seem to be much info
> <AlexOughton> i believe it's VHD in an OVF container.                 [15:02]
> <AlexOughton> i think your success or failure is going to be down to whether
>             or not the OS works on XenServer (which is what our hypervisors
>             are), and whether or not the XenServer tools work. what kernel
>             does guixsd use?
> <paroneayea> linux-libre 4.8.10 is latest I think                     [15:03]
> <paroneayea> you can install other kernels
> <paroneayea> but that's the default
> <AlexOughton> ok, well since it's a Linux my guess would be that it's possible
>             to get XenServer tools working. and then the nova-agent is just
>             python, so hopefully that's possible too                  [15:04]
> <paroneayea> cool, ok.  I guess we need both nova-agent and XenServer then :)
> <AlexOughton> right. the boot.rackspace link i gave you above has
>             documentation for getting both of those working as well
> <paroneayea> cool... well, I was just looking into making a .iso of the boot
>            install media yesterday (currently we mostly use a USB install
>            stick) so I guess there's extra motivation to do that now :)
>                                                                       [15:05]
> <paroneayea> thanks for your help, this was a very useful conversation.  Okay
>            for me to just paste this conversation verbatim to the mailing
>            list?                                                      [15:06]
> <AlexOughton> yep, no problem. as long as it's understood that i'm just
>             answering as an individual, and that this isn't any kind of
>             official rackspace support answer. because it's definitely not
>             something which rackspace would be able to support for you
>                                                                       [15:07]
> <paroneayea> understood :)
> <paroneayea> thank you!
> <AlexOughton> you're welcome
> <paroneayea> I really appreciate it :)

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