Wednesday, April 25, 2012

SUSE Studio

I might be late in the game on discovering Suse Studio, but I must admit that I felt compelled to talk about it a bit today. Now in the past I really haven't used the Suse distribution of Linux so much, as I had already fallen into the use of others such as Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, etc and just hadn't made my way down the list to them yet. But then they released this web interface with the purpose of making it easy to build a customized Linux image or appliance. My home lab is now going to change a bit.

The reason I say my home lab is going to change, is because of how simple it really is Suse Studio to make a Linux VM has the exact services I want, and without me having to deal with the hassle of setting them up manually. To show you just how much of a time saver this is I'm going to go ahead and walk you through the creation of a VMware appliance.

For the purposes of this we're going to set up a fairly simple web server. To start we are presented with the choice of a base template. I'm going to go ahead and choose the server addition of Suse Enterprise 11 with a 32bit architecture.

Next we'll go into the software tab and take a look at that menu. To start off with there are a little over 300 packages selected for install. For my case I've decided to add apache2, the PHP mod for apache and postgresql-server as additional packages. This would ostensibly give me a good basis for a webserver with some decent functionality.
Next one can begin to set their custom configuration for the VM. Here I'll create a user account called 'tux' to use. You can also do things like customize the network settings, but for the purposes of this example I'll leave it alone at DHCP. Two things that are really cool here though are that you can use a SQL dump to set up the schema for your database in the image, saving the time of having to write create table queries. And you can also customize the VM appliance hardware settings so that you don't have to mess with it when you import the VM files into your environment.