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Date:      Tue, 1 Mar 2011 11:12:37 +0200
From:      Valentin Bud <>
To:        freebsd-questions <>
Subject:   Custom FreeBSD "appliance"
Message-ID:  <>

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Hello community,

 We have started using virtualization platforms at work,
a mix of ESXi and KVM. Until now I had no problems
running FreeBSD (full ZFS) as a guest on neither of them. Some
might say this is not optimal neither safe but we have a dedicated
server (10 GB RAM, Intel Quad Core) running 8-STABLE with
ZFS for backing up all the VMs that we have.

 We have quite a few apps we use, from Apache to MySQL,
ghostscript and others. Until I've heard of virtualization all the apps
were running on a single dedicated server. I remember once I had
to update some appX which depended on some libX-new-version and
the other appY depended on libX-past-version. I had to roll back the update,
quite a pain and some downtime. No more of that when I've heard about
jails. At first I've used jails,which are great (thanks FreeBSD for this). I
do use them in
some parts of the environment and I am very happy with them. We chose
because we have a mixture of debian, Windows and FreeBSD machines
we need to do the job.

 I have been thinking lately to build specialized robots (as I call them)
for a
certain task. A specialized robot for me is a custom FreeBSD install
with a certain package (eg. MySQL), with all the tuning done for that
particular app, starting from FS to memory optimization, network
and the like. What do you think about this?

 I would like to build that custom install *exactly* with what's needed by
particular app, no more no less. Where would be a great place to start?
I suppose the build system and src.conf would be a start.
How can I find  what a certain app really needs? For example if I want to
build a robot that does outgoing SMTP using postfix, what are the stuff
that need to be build/loaded into base system for this to work?

 This way I can save memory, boot speed, security.

What do you think of all this? Your comments are greatly appreciated.

network warrior

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