Virtualization of FreeBSD
mkhitrov at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 00:11:18 UTC 2007
On 6/6/07, Sean Murphy <smurphy at calarts.edu> wrote:
> Is anyone running virtualization of FreeBSD servers on VMware or other
> virtualization software? What experiences have you had, good or bad?
At home I run have several FreeBSD installs running on Windows 2003
VMWare Server. The only reason I'm doing this is because FreeBSD
doesn't support my raid controller, so I'm stuck with windows.
Overall it works fine. However, you do have terrible disk (and to a
lesser extent network) performance. I use these installs mostly for
developing and testing software, so it's not a big deal for me. Here
are a few tips for getting the most out of a FreeBSD server on VMWare
(this is for Windows only):
- If you have enough memory, add prefvmx.minVmMemPct = "100" and
prefvmx.useRecommendedLockedMemSize = "TRUE" to VMWare config.ini (App
Data under All Users). That will keep all the VM memory in ram instead
of swapping it to the disk. The rest of the settings go into your
- Disable named memory file: mainMem.useNamedFile = "FALSE"
- Disable page sharing: sched.mem.pshare.enable = "FALSE"
- Disable memory trimming: MemTrimRate = "0"
- Be sure to use Intel gigabit network adapter: ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"
In previous versions of VMWare Server you had to configure your
kern.hz sysctl to be 100. Otherwise your clock would run very slow. I
think they fixed it in the latest version, but just keep that in mind.
Disk performance is quite bad. For example, doing a full extract of
the ports tree takes my server around 16 minutes. On my old laptop
with a crappy hard drive it takes only 8 or so minutes. So that's
something to keep in mind, you're not going to be able to use VMs as a
file server. For most other uses it works fine.
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