Joined: Mar 30, 2010
Adventures in making your Indigo Server run somewhere else.
So just notes for the user contribution forum.
Lately, after the failure of my Mac Mini (maybe heat induced), I've been on a quest to find a more reliable home for my Indigo server. Interestingly enough, I have a small HTPC box sitting around decked out with lots of cores and memory and running VMware ESXi. Believe it or not, it is indeed possible to install Mac OS X on other hardware, and on top of ESXi. I got there with the help of ModCD from Nawcom, and manually replacing the patched system kernel with his modbin_kernel (cp modbin_kernel from the modCD and replace legacy_kernel) after installation. Started with 11.6.0 install DVD, and then patched up to 11.6.7. Works pretty good. But, and big but, I couldn't get Powerlink USB communications to go through - kept getting a communications write error and failures. For those who are VMware gurus, you may know that ESXi also has the ability to pass through hardware. This is different than assigning USB ports to a virtual machine. So I passed a USB port and PCI controller through to the VM. Still no good. I have a couple of different sets of ports, and didn't try them all, so this might work for somebody. I was trying this with Indigo 5.
On to item 2.
I also happened to have a Belkin USB Network Hub sitting around - what they call a F5L009. This thing serves up USB devices over your Ethernet (and therefore wireless too) network. So attempt number 2, I fired up the Powerlink on the USB Hub, and installed the drivers on my virtualized Mac OS X 11.6.7. Works like a charm. Lots of potential here - you could plug the powerlink in just about anywhere without having a Mac near it. You could even pair this hub with a wireless bridge or router, and not even need an Ethernet jack nearby. I found mine on clearance somewhere for about $30.
So, I'm now running my headless virtual Mac controlling Indigo (and not using much memory or CPU), my Macbook Pro, and my iMac, any of which I can use to connect to Indigo on the virtual Mac for configuration, or any of which I could actually attach to the PowerLink if something happened to one of the other machines. And I have my Mac Mini sitting in a box as a sad little lump of parts.
1. Still some hiccups with USB if you're brave enough to virtualize your Mac.
2. Belkin USB Network Hub is awesome for Powerlink, but they are probably scarce, I think they've really stopped making/selling them, but maybe I'm wrong.
Hope a little detail helps somebody!
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas
Re: Adventures in making your Indigo Server run somewhere el
Just a reminder - it's against Mac OS X licensing to run it on non Apple hardware.
Jay (Indigo Support)