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Re: Debian on Azure - vmdepot

On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 08:23:49PM +0000, Pierre Couzy wrote:
> > - How can people on this list play with that image?
> To test the image in situ, you'll need an Azure subscription and the
> instructions available at
> http://wiki.debian.org/Cloud/WindowsAzureImage
> If that's a blocker, I can provide some access to VMs running on my
> subscription, but ideally everything should be tested in the same
> conditions and not rely on any prior configuration from me.

I agree that it'd be better to test from scratch. Do you know if we can
get access to any limited, free account for interested people on this
list that want to experiment with the Azure images, with the purpose of
improving them?

I, for one thing, would be happy to try the images myself, as I did for
the Amazon ones, but I'm not exactly willing to pay out of my pocket to
do that :-) Others probably feel the same. If there is a shared account
we could use, so that we avoid the burden of setting up per-individual
accounts, it might be even better.

> >   In particular, it would be nice if you could provide guidance on how
> >   to retrieve the corresponding disk image and mount it, it would be
> >   much appreciated.
> I'm assuming you want to inspect the VHD for the Image (not a VM
> created from that Image).

I think doing both would be nice. There are things you can verify by
only looking at the VHD and others you really need to try on the "live"

> When creating a new VM with the azure create vm command, you can pass
> the --verbose flag. It will show you the location of the VHD image
> used to provision the VM. You can simply wget that location, and
> you'll have a vhd file that you can mount. It won't be useable as a
> system disk because there's no user provisioned, but you can inspect
> its content.  I just did these steps for the version currently
> available (selecting North Europe datacenter), here is the location :
> http://vmdepotneurope.blob.core.windows.net/linux-community-store/community-17-50526934-193e-480f-ac4c-35429a0dc2f2-1.vhd

Great, thanks! I'm downloading it while writing this. It's a bit
unfortunate that it's huge (10 Gb), so I suspect I'm downloading also
the "free space" on the disk, something that's avoided with other
formats, at least when the disk is still untouched.  If you've any tips
on how to avoid that, assuming it's feasible, please let us know.

> That VHD is a normal vhd file. A quick search points to vdfuse to
> mount VHDs on a Linux box, but I have no direct experience on this.

/me nods. I'll try with that.

> >   What is the "azure" command I see in there?  Is it something
> >   DFSG-free or not? If not, we'll have to consider the Azure images
> >   non-free as they cannot be built with an entirely free
> >   toolchain. Comments and guidance are very welcome!
> The azure command-line tool sources are at
> https://github.com/WindowsAzure/azure-sdk-tools-xplat and its license
> is Apache version 2.0. This tool is the simplest way to create a new
> VM from an existing image, but you don't need it to build the image.

Thanks for the pointer! Is anyone here interested in packaging it? I'm
personally not, but I think we should strive to package the stuff we use
to build Debian. So if noone is interested at present, I think we should
at least file an RFP to avoid forgetting about this.

Thanks a lot for your help, Pierre!

I'd still like to hear back from people who have worked on the Azure VM
about the "Debian Wheezy" naming. It's a pretty important issue, even
though it is so only for the time being.

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Debian Project Leader . . . . . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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