I've been using Linux and FreeBSD for about 15 years, but I had a hiatus of 3-4 years and am a bit of out of the loop. From online reading, I think LMDE 64 might be a good match for my current needs, but I have some specific questions. My goal is to install LMDE as a host for virtual machines. I am thinking of using VirtualBox.
I need the following types of VMs:
1. Client workstation with access to IP and (that would be sweet) serial port on another machine (even if it has to be done through some kind of IP serial terminal). I need to run up to 12 of those machines at once, all with individual IPs, of course. IP acquisition by DHCP would be one of the requirements. I am thinking of installing LMDE for that purpose as well (to reduce complexity of dealing with multiple systems). Client VMs have to run both Flash and Java.
2. Server VMs providing traffic (voice, streaming video, data). Server VMs would never run on the same physical machine at the same time as client workstation VMs, so it's (1) or (2) but not both.
3. I would also have to write some simple shell for admin login to insulate operator from access to Linux CLI while proving simple functionality like launching VMs, etc., but that would not differ depending on which distro I install as a host.
So, here are some potentially naive questions:
4. Is it possible to install just one client VM in VirtualBox and launch it 12 times while acquiring 12 separate IPs? Persistent storage for users is not a problem, when they log out, everything zeroes out. Or do I need to install one VM, configure it, then clone it 12 times and have them log into the clones once they are launched? If so, does VirtualBox provide tools for easy cloning of VMs?
5. How much memory should I expect to commit to each client VM running Mint with GUI, Java, and Flash (reasonably responsively)?
6. Will one processor be enough to handle such a load?
7. How much space on the drive would each VM take considering the above requirements?
Thanks for all your input.