Installing an openSUSE vserver guest

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Revision as of 17:40, 6 September 2007 by Mstrobert (Talk | contribs)

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Installing and running openSUSE (previously knows as SUSE Linux) as a vserver guest.


Test configuration


  • Debian Etch AMD64, Kernel, util-vserver 0.30.210 + similar patch, or
  • Debian Etch AMD64, 2.6.18-4-vserver-amd64, util-vserver 0.30.212-1 + patch (see below)


  • SLES 9, or
  • openSUSE 10.2

Running openSUSE vservers on a Debian server


Debian is lacking the required rpm tools to install an openSUSE or SLES system directly via vserver build (the required apt-rpm is available in source only for apt-0.5.xx, and Debian is already at 0.6.xx).

Therefore, use the normal openSUSE installation procedure and then copy the system to a vserver directory:

  • Install openSUSE on raw metal or in a virtual machine (such as VirtualBox).
  • Boot from CD (openSUSE or Debian - whatever you prefer), or just boot into the OS and log in as root.
  • tar the whole system, copy it to the vserver host and untar it to the desired vserver location, usually /var/lib/vservers/<servername>
  • Create /etc/vservers/<servername> manually, or copy it from another vserver.

Post install cleanup

  • remove some startup service, either delete the appropriate /etc/init.d/.... links or run the following from inside the vserver:
# chkconfig -d -f boot.swap boot.isapnp boot.idedma  boot.loadmodules \
                  boot.device-mapper boot.proc boot.shm boot.sched \
                  boot.rootfsck hotplug boot.localfs boot.crypto boot.clock \
                  boot.scpm boot.ipconfig

# chkconfig -d -f coldplug irq_balancer random network fbset powersaved kbd hwscan
  • remove unneeded packages:
# rpm -e irqbalance kernel-smp grub reiserfs xfsprogs raidtools ntfsprogs \
         module-init-tools mkinitrd powersave hotplug mdadm

Note: there are a number of redundant packages remaining that can not be removed due to yast2 depending on them.


openSUSE's /etc/init.d/rc expects two environment variables: RUNLEVEL and PREVLEVEL. The vserver.start script fails to set those. There are a couple workarounds:

  • Edit /etc/init.d/rc to set those values (not recommended (why?)). For example, inserting these lines near the top of the file:
  • Apply the following patch to vserver.start to set the values:
--- vserver.start,orig  2006-12-09 12:37:58.000000000 -0700
+++ vserver.start       2007-06-11 12:27:27.000000000 -0600
@@ -141,7 +141,7 @@
     $_VUNAME     --xid self --set -t context="$VSERVER_DIR" -- \
     $_VATTRIBUTE --set "${OPTS_VATTRIBUTE[@]}" -- \
-    $_ENV -i "${OPTS_ENV[@]}" \
     $_VCONTEXT   --migrate-self --endsetup --chroot $SILENT_OPT \
@@ -157,7 +157,7 @@
     $_EXEC_ULIMIT      "$VSERVER_DIR/ulimits" \
-    $_ENV -i "${OPTS_ENV[@]}" \
     $_CHAINECHO "${_IS_FAKEINIT:+$startsync_pipe}" "" \
     $_CAPCHROOT        "${CAPCHROOT_OPTS[@]}" . \

edit me: do we need to modify the vserver.stop script as well?

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