Monday, September 3, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 and VMWare Player

In the last few months I have been swamped...COMPLETELY swamped...with not only my own projects and things around the house but also on projects for other people. Unfortunately, part of my time constraint issues have stemmed from one of my test machines being infected, not one but TWO hard drives failing, and a network connection at home (provided by Comcast) that generally sucks everytime it rains.

Some of the testing I have been working on over the last few months has been a little more frustrating than running across a read-only partition that I posted about earlier. While I absolutely love Ubuntu AND SecurityOnion, I have been rather annoyed as of late with trying to set up a distributed setup of Ubuntu 12.04 (32-bit) virtual machines, in order to do some testing of some newer SO features.

It is first important to note that the installation of SecurityOnion is EASY and FAST and is NOT the cause of my heartache with the testing I am attempting to do. In fact, I am ONLY installing the OS right now and will then move from a base install of the OS to installing the latest/greatest SO version.

The problem is Ubuntu 12.04 itself. I am using a downloaded ISO and VMWare's Player and am now into hour 3 of the install process!!! Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to troubleshoot the issue but I suspect it is nothing more than a slow connection...although I am letting VMware's Easy Intaller run which may also be the culprit. The ISO I am using is coming from a network location and it "appears" as if the installer is trying to ALSO retrieve packages from the repo. This is NOT what I want it to do so I have 'skipped' the retrieval of a LOT of files and was very interested to see the end result. However, the VM is now HUNG at the "Easy Installer's" installation of VMware Tools.

Bottom line: things that are "designed" to help us or make things faster/automated STILL run a high risk of slowing down progress. Some irony though in this process is that the actual SO image (Live CD) is designed with ease/speed of install in mind...and it DOES work!

I have a new plan now:
- perform OS install and NOT use the Easy Installer (for a total of three VMs)
- establish host only network for said VMs
- stress test VMs to identify any performance issues NOT related to IDS tools
- install latest SO version from repo (on all three VMs)
    - one to serve as the collection point for data from the other two

In parrallel to the above, I am also going to set up three VMs using the latest SO ISO file (again, one manager and two sensor VMs) and begin testing from there.