Starting the virtual server

July 18, 2007

I have selected UK-based mythic beasts as service provider for the time being. While I do now rent a Virtual Dedicated Server (VDS128) from them, I also appreciate that they offer Mac Mini dedicated servers, a likable and somewhat idiosyncratic choice.

This provider uses User-mode Linux (UML) for virtualization, and keeps mirror images for a few (oldish?) installed Linux distributions on site. UML guest machine support is by now integrated into recent versions of the Linux kernel, so in principle upgrading kernels and switching beween distributions should not be a problem.

Bringing up a Linux operating system on the VDS requires the following steps: log into admin console with ssh (USER is a placeholder for my actual mythic beasts user name): instruct virtual server to restart automatically when physical server does so, select root filesystem, start virtual server and choose root password, wait until virtual machine is fully booted, then access its (Unix) console:

$ ssh
admin> help
admin> autoreboot on
admin> rootfs
admin> rootfs gentoo-20050218
admin> start
admin> status
admin> console

Unfortunately I’m running into a problem at this point, and the Gentoo boot process cannot succeed nor finish:

Id "c1" respawning too fast: disabled for 5 minutes

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