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Beorn is a virtualisation server, providing virtual machines for research and student projects. The server was purchased in December 2015 and has been named after Beorn, the character of The Hobbit.

This page contains static information, i.e. guides and hardware documentation. For more dynamic content, i.e. currently deployed virtual machines and their network address allocations, please see Ressource assignment and deployed VMs on Beorn.


Hardware Characteristics

The server has the following characteristics:

• DELL PowerEdge R430

• Processor: Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3, 8 cores 16 threads @ 2.40GHz

• RAM: 2x16GB, 2133MHz

• Storage: 2x400GB SSD, hardware RAID1

• Network Adapter: 2x1GBit Ethernet

The server is placed in the server room inside the laboratory (Edison 331) mounted on the middle rack, and has three years of basic warranty provided by DELL, running from ~December 2015.

Server installation guide

1: Install Ubuntu

Install Ubuntu 14.04 LTS from USB drive (use standard lab admin account as user). Create your own superuser (

2: Install SSH

Install SSH:

  $sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Save public key on server: Sec. 6 in Remember to turn off password authentication: Sec. 9 in

3: Install virtualization components

    1. $sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils
    2. Add user to libvirtd group:
     ~$ sudo adduser <username> libvirtd

4: Setup bridge (cannot be done via SSH)

    1. Shutdown network connection, take a backup of the interfaces file and enter the interfaces file:
  ~$ sudo ifdown em1
  ~$ sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.factory-defaults
  ~$ sudo chmod a-w /etc/network/interfaces
  ~$ sudo editor /etc/network/interfaces
    1. Change the file to:

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system # and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface auto lo iface lo inet loopback

# # The primary network interface # auto em1 # iface em1 inet dhcp

# Bridged network interface auto br0 iface br0 inet dhcp bridge_ports em1 bridge_stp off

  ##Bring up the new bridge:

~$ sudo ifup br0

5: Create the build-command script

  ##Create and enter the script file:
      $sudo nano /var/lib/libvirt/images/
  ##Change the file to:

vmbuilder kvm ubuntu \ --hostname <insert> \ --user <insert> \ --pass <insert> \ --libvirt qemu:///system \ --addpkg openssh-server \ --addpkg linux-image-generic \ --destdir=./image \ --flavour virtual \ --bridge br0 \ --mac 02:00:02:06:00:<insert last two digits> \ --suite trusty \ --cpus 1 \ --mem 1024 \ --swapsize=1024 \ --rootsize 10000

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