I have been running a virtual machine of Debian sarge under VMware at work. I have eventually convinced the geeks around here a Debian machine would make a nice addition to the network.

It took quite a lot of whining and fits over stupid RPM packages. It is such a nightmare to find packages for the things I need. There are several RH machines at work and they’re all horribly out of date because it is so difficult to upgrade them.

I had real difficulties building CVStrac on a RH9 machine (for the Joel test ) and in the end people went with the Debian server. I offered to get the network clients going properly with DHCP, instead of guessing a local address that might not be taken.

The Debian dnsmasq package did the trick here. It is so sweet and simple (without resolvconf), DNS and DHCPd in one. I put in the critical/server machine names in /etc/hosts whose IPs are between 192.168.0.1/50 and setup the rest of the network in /etc/dnsmasq.conf to get an IP over .50 from the dhcpd in dnsmasq. No more BIND on an ancient machine.

There were some strange problems when I /etc/init.d/networking restart the Debian machine to take over the DNS. The NFS mounts came up with permission denied errors, though their orginal exports were for the entire local network. A remount solved the problems. Since the cvstrac IP changed with Debian, the windows machines needed a ipconfig /flushdns. Pretty painless overall, considering it is afterall DNS.

Since I have Debian under WinXP in VMware becoming more and more important, I now have a physical machine to put it on. But, urm… I don’t want to install Debian all over again and copy the files. Is there some easier way from VMware to a live physical machine?