Episode 516 – Roll your own VMware ESXi Server and more

Building your own VMware ESXi Server in under an hour with parts you may have lying under your bed. Extreme sports cameras and mounts and mounts can be expensive. Why not build your own for about 5 bucks. And light video editing that’s both easy and free? Avidemux may be the answer.

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Darren’s on a mission to mount a digital video camera to his motorcycle. While commercial options such as the $300 Vholdr Contour HD and $150 Oregon Scientific AT3K are available, why not build your own universal camera mount for about 5 bucks.

Continuing with the theme of rolling your own, why not build your own ESX/ESXi compatible virtual machine host? Matt builds one that fits inside a gym bag and walks us through setting up ESXi in about 10 minutes (give or take a few progress bars).

Rounding out the nearly free and useful bits this episode, Shannon shows us an open source video editing application that may be perfect for your light video editing needs. Avidemux is a light weight editor perfect for simple video trimming, filtering and encoding. It sports some really nice automation and job queing features and comes with profiles pre-configured for common formats such as MP4 for iPod, PSP, or Apple TV.


  • Eyeball

    Nice Vmware segment. There used to be a way to install esxi to an ide drive. i was looking for the page that the information was on but i couldn’t find it. but basically you go into the terminal and use vim to change a line in the config file and it will install. I know it works because i have used it on a few servers where the customer didn’t want to shell out the money for new hardware

  • Redxine

    For editing (With open source/linux of course) I use Heroine Virtual’s Cinelerra. or . It is comfortable enough for the average user, although I advise to have a dual head setup, as it uses a modular window system. One of the features I like about this is that it allows the use of a render farm. Just set up a common file system, run cinelerra -d 400 on all of your little minions and you’ll be rendering hours worth of footage in…. hours. or not.

  • rabbit

    the rabbit has killed the turtle.
    because, the short is winning over the long run for now.
    look at the market.

    Oh, you can also boot from ESXi from USB pen drive and connect through SAS. In case some people don’t want to go buy a new motherboard.


  • dustin cogburn

    Hey, im responsible for 2 networks from two private organizations. I have deployed and revamped both networks to run inside of virtual machines. Currently on one network we are running 3 physical servers pumping out about 15 servers between them. they consume alot of resources (we are talking about constant backup servers from remote sites and clients, mail servers..just about anything with server in the name) compared to our large cooperate competitors (rack space managed hosting) we are also very very cheap (and still managed! yay!) the machines are all running cent os 5 with various virtual machines ranging anywhere from linux to windows. although these machines are extremely powerful (dual socket quad core opterons with a lsi logic raid controller card) we bottleneck at high load (about every thursday, noon) Would we benifit at all by dumping cent os and converting over to vmware esxi? let me know, thanks

  • Ken

    Great show as always!
    Lovin’ the VMWare stuff, keep it up. I’ve played around with vm’s for awhile now, but would like to put them to greater use.
    I could have used Avidemux a few days ago. I’m sure I’ll have another chance to use it soon.

  • Smoke_007


    I was really hoping you were going to cover building something a little more powerful like a nice multi dual or quad core proc box. That’s what I’m looking to build anyways. I’m still at a toss up of whether I’ll build a RAID right in my ESXi box, like I have now, or put my RAID in a separate OpenFiler SAN box and do iSCSI. I’m really leaning towards the easy way and just keeping my RAID in the ESXi box.

    Any thoughts?

    Also, anyone know if any 3ware RAID controllers are on the VMware HCL? I don’t see anything on http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php#Storage I’ll have to dig some more for a good cheap card. 🙂



  • AnimeNinja

    good show guys !

    More mods!

    P.S. any more work on the tank mod?

    Keep up the great work (especially on vm stuff!)

  • El Di Pablo

    After playing with it a little more, I think I may have been wrong about Open Video Editor. Sure, it is really easy to use, and works great, but I think the BEST open source video editor has to go to kdenlive. I have been messing around with it all day, and in my opinion it is better, and easier to use than Adobe premier Elements 7 once you figure out how to use it.

    Incidentally, I liked the mods too Darren. The home made camera mount was pretty cool.


  • Russ

    Hey guys. Love the show. I learn a lot from it. I just wanted to comment on avidemux. I use this app all the time on both Linux and Windows for simple video edits and for putting videos that have been chopped up (for whatever reason) back together with the append option on the file menu. I just wanted to let you know that it is actually pronounced Ay Vee Eye Demux after the avi video container and what you do with a multiple stream av file to seperate the streams into individual objects to edit.

  • Glen

    Do you guys not think to put safety goggles on when you fire up the rotary tool ?
    Have you seen how fast those little cut off wheels fly off when they shatter (which they do all the time, they are so brittle)

    Geez I sound like my parents, but you CAN’T get a new set of eyeballs.

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