Import OVA as Proxmox VM

OVA is a virtual appliance, ready to run on a hypervisor. With an OVA file, you can import the image into VirtualBox, VMWare, etc and all needed information is loaded from the file and you can start the VM. This works as long as your hypervisor is capable of reading an OVA file. Proxmox does not understand OVA, and you cannot use the image out of the box. Reading the provided VM definition is not possible. As an OVA file contains the VM disk, you can add the disk to a VM.

First, create a new virtual machine definition in Proxmox. You are going to import the disk image from the ova file, not the virtual machine definition. Therefore, you must first create a VM, this creates the necessary information in Proxmox, and then you are adding a disk to this VM.

The overall steps to add OVA image to Proxmox are :

  1. Create VM
  2. Delete associated disk
  3. Import OVA
  4. Assign OVA to VM

Create a new VM definition

In Proxmox, add a new VM. Note the VM ID. You need this later when importing the OVA disk.

Go through the wizard to create a normal new VM.

It seems that you have to add a disk. The disk will be deleted later, the configuration entered here is not important.

I’ll use a CPU with 2 cores.

I am using the VM for SAP HXE, therefore I am going to use a little bit more RAM: 24 GB RAM in total.

After going through the wizard, the VM definition is ready and you can let Proxmox create the VM.

The new VM will appear in the list of available VMs in your server. Note the ID: 101 and the available storage locations.

Delete associated disk

Open the VM configuration and got to Hardware. The disk you added in the wizard is listed. This disk must be removed.

Remove the disk

  1. Detach from VM

Select the disk and click on Detach. The disk state will change to unused.

  1. Remove disk from VM

After the disk is detached, remove it from the VM. This will delete the disk file.

Import OVA

The next step is to import the OVA disk and assign it to the VM. As Proxmox uses LVM for managing its storage, a provided tool must be used to import the disk to LVM and assign it to the VM. Copy ova file to Proxmox server. Unzip OVA file. OVA is a zip file, you can simply unzip it to see its content. It contains the VM definition (ovf) and the vm disk (vmdk).

tar -xzvf hxexsa.ova

To import the image, you need to specify the VM and location where the disk is imported to. This information is available in Proxmox. You can see a list when looking at the server at the left menu. I am going to use local-lvm and VM HXE with id 101.

qm importdisk 101 hxexsa-disk1.vmdk local-lvm -format qcow2

This starts the import process. Basically, the vmdk file is copied to the storage local-lvm. After the import finishes, the disk is listed in Proxmox.

Assign OVA to VM

The disk is now available in Proxmox and added to the VM, but not usable. The disk must be assigned to the VM. To do so, open the VM definition and go to hardware.

Click on Edit.

Here you can specify how the disk is accessed by the VM. SCSI should work. If you get errors, try IDE, etc. As result, the disk is added to VM and can be used.

Note: SAP HANA Express Edition

To get the disk shipped with SAP HXE working, I had to use SATA, not SCSI.

Add the disk as SATA.

Make sure the boot order is set to SATA.

Starting the server should now work and you should see the configuration dialog.

Let the world know

Adjust image size of Docker qcow2 file

Short version

Increase image size by 100GB:

qemu-img resize ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2 +100G

Resize partition:

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2  -m 512 -cdrom ~/Downloads/gparted-live-0.30.0-1-amd64.iso -boot d -device usb-mouse -usb

Get an empty Docker.qcow2 image from my GitHub page and make your Docker use it:

https://github.com/tobiashofmann/sap-nw-abap-docker

How to adjust the Docker image size for using large containers like SAP NetWeaver ABAP

Docker uses an image file to store Docker containers. The file is named Docker.qcow2 and is located (on Mac) at:

~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2

By default, the file can grow to a size of 64 GB.

When you first start Docker, the size of this image is around 1.4GB. Adding containers, image, etc and it will grow to 64GB.

The 64GB default size can be seen when using qemu-img info:

qemu-img info ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2

When this limit is reached, Docker should automatically increase the size of the image, but this isn’t working always. As a result, when the image is at 64 GB, you can get an error message stating that the device is full:

no space left on device

At least with my Dockerfile for SAP NetWeaver ABAP Developer Edition Docker is not increasing the image file dynamically. Because of this I had to split the automatic installation process in two parts: base image setup and installation. I guess that right now the SAP Installation is filling up space faster than Docker can react.

The Docker.qcow2 file is a VM disk. Therefore, it is possible to manipulate it like any other virtual disk: you can increase the disk size and access files within the VM disk when you mount the image in a VM. An easy solution to change the disk size Docker has available to store images and containers is to increase the disk size. This can be done by using Qemu and GParted.

Preparations

Locate qcow2 on your Computer

Click on open in finder. Finder opens at the specified location.

Shut down Docker.

Make a backup of the Docker.qcow2 file.

Install QEMU

To install qemu, use brew on Mac.

brew install qemu

Now Qemu should be installed.

Download GParted

Download the x64 gparted ISO image from their web site: 

https://downloads.sourceforge.net/gparted/gparted-live-0.30.0-1-amd64.iso

Resize Docker.qcow2

Resizing the Docker.qcow2 file to a new size consists of two steps.

  1. Make the disk larger
  2. Adjust the partition

Increase disk size

First, let’s make the disk larger. SAP can occupy some space, make sure you add enough GB to the image. An additional 100 GB should do it.

qemu-img resize ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2 +100G

Output is a simple status message.

Image resized.

Adjust partition table

To resize the image, start Qemu, use the GParted ISO image as boot file and mount the Docker.qcow2 disk.

qemu-system-x86_64 -drive file=~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2  -m 512 -cdrom ~/Downloads/gparted-live-0.30.0-1-amd64.iso -boot d -device usb-mouse -usb

I got some error messages, but Qemu started.

Starting the virtual machine will take some time. Be patient. Next you’ll have to configure the GParted ISO image.

The default values should be enough. This gives you a keyboard, mouse, English and X. After that, Gparted is started and you should see the Docker.qcow2 disk in the Gparted app.

Select the disk and click on Resize / Move. In the new size (MiB) field, enter the new size of the disk you need. The disk size is allocated dynamically and won’t occupy immediately space on your physical disk. So don’t be shy. Assign all free space to the partition.

Click on Resize/Move and on the Apply button

Last chance to stop. But as you need the new free space for Docker, click again on Apply.

The partition will be resized. In case something goes wrong, please restore the backup of the Docker.qcow2 file you made previously.

After the operation finishes, you can see that the partition is now offering 164GB.

Shutdown the VM. As the Docker.cqow2 file changed was the original one used by Docker, you have only to restart Docker to benefit from the new image size. Now you can use Docker to run SAP NetWeaver ABAP with just one command. As the Docker.qcow2 file is empty, even when the image size is reported as 4 GB, compressed (zipped) it’s just a few MB.

With the new Docker disk file you can even start SAP NetWeaver ABAP without getting the “no space left on device” message.

Image creation works. The space occupied by just the SAP NetWeaver ABAP image is already at 65 GB.

Start a container

docker run -P -h vhcalnplci --name nwabap751 -it nwabap:latest /bin/bash

In Kitematic

Start UUIDD

/usr/sbin/uuidd

Change to user npladm

su - npladm
startsap

Problem with starting SAP

When you log in to your container and run startsap, the program will fail. It will report that no instance profiles were found.

startsap

Take a look at the available profiles.

ls -1 /sapmnt/NPL/profile/

During the installation, the installation script installed the profile files for the container with the dummy name 4f65[…], after starting the container, we specified a specific host name: vhcalnplci. Of course, these do not match and make sapstart fail.

Let’s adjust the instance profile configuration.

  1. Rename files
  2. Substitute references to old hostname to correct one vhcalnplci
mv NPL_ASCS01_4f6e4ee4de40 NPL_ACS01_vhcalnplci
mv NPL_D00_4f6e4ee4de40 NPL_D00_vhcalnplci
sed -i -- 's/4f6e4ee4de40/vhcalnplci /g' *

Now run again sapstart and it should work. If not, stop and start the container and try again.

Let the world know