Coming soon: vPi - a Raspberry Pi initiative

[Update] 5 July – vPi has now been released: http://xtravirt.com/product-information/vpi/

You may well have been living under a rock if you have not yet heard about the Raspberry Pi. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Raspberry Pi, it is a slightly bigger-than-credit-card sized computer that is both cheap, and capable, developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It runs a 700MHz ARM CPU and the latest revisions come with 512MB RAM. Storage is handled by an SD card, and you even get HDMI output as well as network connectivity right out of the box.

So, if you are a VMware evangelist and love the Raspberry Pi, what do you do? You create vPi of course! That was Xtravirt’s co-founder Alex Mittell‘s thought when he decided to put together the vPi project. vPi is a modified version of the Raspbian distribution (which is based on Debian). It aims to provide a “plug and play” platform for administrators, consultants, or anyone else really, to use to connect up to any VMware vSphere virtual infrastructure and quickly and easily perform administration tasks, gather information, or run scripts against it. You could even think of it as a beefed up mobile vMA appliance, with a huge scope for customisation.

Here is a quick list of some of the features and utilities that are included with vPi:

  • Perl 5.14.2 + CPAN 1.98
  • VMware vSphere Perl SDK 5.1.0 build 780721
  • Python 2.7.3
  • Ruby 1.8.7 & 1.9.3 + Rubygems 1.8.24
  • Ruby vSphere Console 1.1.0 (http://labs.vmware.com/flings/rvc)
  • vGhetto Scripts – built as DEB package from http://vghetto.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/vghetto/build/DEB/ - thanks to William Lam for these! Includes a custom vGhetto update script to easily update the scripts from William’s Sourceforge repository
  • ESXCLI 5.1 (a special ARM compiled version allowing it to run on the Raspberry Pi hardware)
  • vmkfstools 5.1.0
  • Misc. software: ngnix-light, PPTP Client, ifstat, iftop, subversion client, tmux
  • Desktop / GUI

Xtravirt are currently working on the vPi project with the aim to release it out into the wild as a community supported project. The hope is to get everyone involved and using vPi. We would love to see other virtualization evangelists, script writers and automation experts writing content and improving on the vPi project, hence the reason we want to keep it as a free and open initiative. Join us on the Xtravirt forums to discuss the vPi project, whether it be ideas, questions or anything else related!

For now, here are a few screenshots showing example usage of some of the utilities to whet your appetite.

Some of the VMware utilities built in to the vPi image

Some more utilities and examples run on the vPi

The Ruby vSphere Console fling being demonstrated

The excellent vGhetto script collection on the vPi and demo of the updater script

ESXCLI – the ARM compiled version in action on the vPi

Running the vGhetto perl health check script

vGhetto health check script report output after running from the vPi

We are working hard to get the image ready for release, so keep your eyes on the Xtravirt blog and Twitter for updates. Otherwise, feel free to create a new thread or join an existing discussion on the forums!

  • mrm

    Esxcli whoot. No vim-cmd or esxcfg-*?

  • Sean Duffy

    Hi mrm, the esxcfg-* commands will be in there. Still yet to confirm on vim-cmd though. Feel free to drop any suggestions in on the forums. There is not much there at the moment, but once released they should get busy.

  • Alex

    esxcfg-* is included, same commands as vicfg-*. Vmware-cmd is on there so I think vim-cmd should be too, not that you need it with esxcli.

  • Ben

    Any release candidate yet?

    • Sean Duffy

      Hi Ben,

      vPi is in final testing and due to be released imminently. Thanks for the comment and interest!

  • Mellowiz

    This is a very interesting initiative. I’d be more than happy to test it as soon as it’s released!

    • http://xtravirt.com Sean Duffy

      Hi Mellowiz,

      Thanks for the comment. You’ll soon be able to get the image. Feel free to post any comments, feedback, or customisations on our forums when you do.

  • Benjamin Troch

    Hi Sean, really keen on taking this for a test drive if you need additional testers. Cheers Ben

  • Wilberth Lemaître

    Hi, Do we have vPi already?

    • Sean Duffy

      Hi Wilberth,

      I can now confirm that we will have vPi released in the next 10 days. Keep an eye on the site / our Twitter account – you’ll be able to download it soon.

      Sean