ROCKS Frontend on VMware

Running ROCKS frontend on VMware can simplify some management and recovery operations. The ROCKS frontend functions don't require much compute resources and represent a small load on the frontend, except when installing lots of compute nodes.


On the Intel Core Duo 2 XEONs, set the BIOS to enable VT. This is required for running a 64 bit guest OS in VMware.

Install the VMware server RPM, see VMwareMain. Have 1.0.4 build-56528.

Run to configure the install.

VMware Client

Have a partition for storing the vmware client disks at /vmware-disks. Create a new client with 2 CPUs, 3600MB RAM, 200 GB drive at /vmware-disks/MSUROX, two Ethernet cards. Didn't pre-allocate the harddrive space and used 2GB drive files.

ROCKS Frontend

Start the VMware console and create a new client. For this install the setup included:

Eth1 (eth0) Bridged Eth2 (eth1) NAT at CD-ROM on /dev/cdrom. Have also attached to DVD iso images in the VMware host machine's filesystem.

Start the client and install the frontend. It will get its public IP via dhcp (from VMware). ROCKS didn't seem to mind that the IP/hostname it was given didn't match (the IP was from dhcp, maybe this is a special case?). The install should proceed normally, though the downloading of OS roll from DVD is slower than usual. (Suggest using ISO image on harddrive of VMware host --- this runs faster than DVD, even faster than a native DVD install...)

Config at first boot

  • Skip YUM update against CERN repositories during boot
  • create ssh key for root without passphrase
  • Edit /etc/grub.conf to remove rhgb and quiet boot options.
  • Turn off yum-autoupdate chkconfig yum-autoupdate off

Shutdown and save a copy of VM disks.

ROCKS Client

Installing a compute node (native, not in VMware) should work normally from the new frontend.

Run rocks-dist dist then run insert-ethers as usual. The private network should be in bridged mode on eth0.

Switch Network From NAT to Bridged

The network is available and wish to move the rearrange the networking on the vmware server and host.

The server eth1 is moving from a address to an address. VMWare will be reconfigured to have two bridged ethernet devices instead of one bridged and one NAT. The client already has the proper IP address (behind the NAT), but its default gateway needs to be changed.


  • change default gateway on client and shut it down
  • run and change networking setup to have two bridged devices
  • change setup of host machine, restart to make sure that setup is right after reboot (otherwise just restart the networking and manually fix the default gateway)
  • change cabling on host machine, check that VLANs are correct on switch ports
  • start vmware
  • look at the output of ps ax | grep bridge and see the /dev/vmnet connections. In the config of the client, specify the proper device with the "custom" button. Simply setting both eth0 and eth1 to bridged didn't work for me.
  • boot client (note that I had the client running when I did the above step and packets immediately started following...)

-- TomRockwell - 06 Nov 2007
Topic revision: r10 - 07 Dec 2007, TomRockwell
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