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Windows 7: Anybody actually use Hyper-V with Linux guests?

05 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Anybody actually use Hyper-V with Linux guests?

Because Hyper-V has gained a lot of publicity lately and because I truly love the server virtualization products...i picked up a book on Hyper-V and have been reading through it and testing Hyper-V on a box under my desk.

Very first thing that caused massive grief: Trying to remotely administer Hyper V from a workstation on a Windows domain while the Hyper V server is on a workgroup is a real challenge. It took nearly an entire day to get this working and that was after using the HVRemote shortcut tool on the MSDN blogs. Now that I know how to do this, it only takes a few minutes but it sure is complicated for somebody doing it for the first time.

Next, my company does quite a lot with Linux virtual machines. From what I have seen, the only supported HyperV Linux guest OS's are SuSE and RHEL (only using emulated drivers). Of course, the emulated drivers don't provide the performance of their synthetic counterparts.

In addition, it seems that Linux guests are relegated to
  • no smp support. So, it's 1 CPU only for any linux guest
  • no integration services are supported, such as remote system shutdown and Time Synchronization or Heartbeat
So, in closing, it's really hard to take this Hyper-V product seriously in the enterprise market with such limited support for any OS that isn't Windows. Looks like we will be sticking with VMWare ESX and ESXi for the forseeable future.

This posts here in the vmware blogs pretty much corroborates my feelings:
VMware: VMware: Virtual Reality: Who’s going to Run Linux Workloads on Microsoft Hyper-V Now?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #2

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
why not write a small piece either on the forum or in the tutorial on what exactly you had to do to get it to work -- this will save other people from going through the same hoops as you did.

I've also been looking at HYPER-V and would definitely like to "have a go" but I'd certainly appreciate some tips on what to do and probably even more importantly what NOT to do.

Also tips on what you "hosed up" and how you "un-hosed" it would also be great.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

As far as remote administration goes, there is 1 blog on the Internet which is the defacto guide for setting up remote management using Hyper V. The blog is John Howards who is a Microsoft Senior programmer in the Hyper-V team. His blog details in painstaking detail, all of the hoops and which have to be jumped through in order to get remote admin working. I honestly think that most people simply RDP into their Hyper-V box and admin from the console after going through these hoops to manage from my Vista machine.
John Howard - Senior Program Manager in the Hyper-V team at Microsoft : Configure Hyper-V Remote Management in seconds

In addition, John Howard has released a script which can be used to "automatically configure Hyper V for remote administration). That tool can be found at the following MSDN site:
Hyper-V Remote Management Configuration Utility - Home

One can use this tool and cut down the manual steps to about 4-5 commands. I'm not going to go into detail on how to use this tool because John Howard does a great job of explaining this and the situation is different depending upon your workgroup or domain configuration. He has a 35 page PDF guide that explains the tool as well as a 10 second chart guide to get you pointed in the right direction based on your environment. With this tool, and a few commands, I can get a new Hyper V box ready for remote admin tasks in about 2 minutes and can have a workstation ready in about 3 minutes.

Needless to say though, this MS solution is a royal PITA compared to VMWare ESXi ....which uses a simple Vsphere client that you install and run and viola you are on your way. And with the apparent lack of support for hosting virtual Linux boxes...this product is very limited in it's usefulness to me.

Edit: In my case, here are the commands that I had to run with my 2008 server being in a workgroup and my Vista box being on a domain.

On the Server:
1.) add local user to the box and put that user in local admins group
2). cscript hvremote.wsf /add:username

On the client
0). download the Hyper-V manager (KB952627)
1). cscript hvremote.wsf /anondcom:grant
2). cscript hvremote.wsf /mmc:enable
2). non-elevated command line: cmdkey /add HyperV-Server_name /user:/HyperV-Server_name\username /pass

You will be prompted for a password. This is the password that you used on the HyperV server when you added your local account. This does NOT have to match your domain password.

When you remotely connect to the server, it will prompt you for credentials to connect with and you simply provide the local username and password from the Hyper-V box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Nov 2009   #4

Windows Vista Business / Windows 7 Ultimate

I enjoy using Hyper-V and its worked well for us at work, but we do not run any linux distros on our VMs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Anybody actually use Hyper-V with Linux guests?

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