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Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by duby229 View Post
    What's up with the command line phobia? It's strange hearing it on phoronix forums.
    Using the command line is harder with qemu... consider the workflow:
    • Create VM, boot Linux ISO, install Linux
    • Install accelerated video drivers so desktop doesn't suck
    • Take a snapshot (from desktop, live without shutting down the VM)
    • Make some changes, take another snapshot
    • Revert to first snapshot, delete 2nd snapshot


    In Virtualbox this is all simple and quick, in particular making a live snapshot, reverting, and deleting a snapshot are each a single button click. Easy. Installing the host drivers is a single menu click. A user could perform the whole above workflow in a few minutes.

    But with qemu, it seems like it was easy to start a VM, but harder to do all of the other things that people commonly do with VMs. Part of the issue is that when you have a window that represents something, users want to be able to interact with that window in a graphical way. It's like trying to use the commandline to interact with a web browser - it might be possible, but it's going to be slower than using a mouse. Maybe VirtualBox does a better job of making common operations quick. Also, VM technology has evolved over time, and the qemu documentation is stale or hard to find eg. searching for "qemu snaphshots" on google, the top 4 links are to docs on qemu.org, but none mention the "savevm" command - the top hit for "qemu create snapshot" is http://wiki.qemu.org/Documentation/CreateSnapshot but that doesn't actually tell you about the "savevm" command either... (Maybe "snapshot" used to mean "clone a disk image", but in modern VM terminology, a snapshot includes all data of the running VM, so which makes the qemu pages confusing)

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    • #62
      Originally posted by chrisb View Post
      Using the command line is harder with qemu... consider the workflow:
      • Create VM, boot Linux ISO, install Linux
      • Install accelerated video drivers so desktop doesn't suck
      • Take a snapshot (from desktop, live without shutting down the VM)
      • Make some changes, take another snapshot
      • Revert to first snapshot, delete 2nd snapshot


      In Virtualbox this is all simple and quick, in particular making a live snapshot, reverting, and deleting a snapshot are each a single button click. Easy. Installing the host drivers is a single menu click. A user could perform the whole above workflow in a few minutes.

      But with qemu, it seems like it was easy to start a VM, but harder to do all of the other things that people commonly do with VMs. Part of the issue is that when you have a window that represents something, users want to be able to interact with that window in a graphical way. It's like trying to use the commandline to interact with a web browser - it might be possible, but it's going to be slower than using a mouse. Maybe VirtualBox does a better job of making common operations quick. Also, VM technology has evolved over time, and the qemu documentation is stale or hard to find eg. searching for "qemu snaphshots" on google, the top 4 links are to docs on qemu.org, but none mention the "savevm" command - the top hit for "qemu create snapshot" is http://wiki.qemu.org/Documentation/CreateSnapshot but that doesn't actually tell you about the "savevm" command either... (Maybe "snapshot" used to mean "clone a disk image", but in modern VM terminology, a snapshot includes all data of the running VM, so which makes the qemu pages confusing)
      All of that makes sense. Your not the first person in this thread to mention problems with documentation. I suppose that is something that should be fixed.

      This might sound strange, but IMO poor documentation is just as bad as a bug. Not just on this particular instance, but any instance, you should file specific bug reports pertaining to the documentation problems that you're having.

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      • #63
        @michael-vb

        Why not using git(hub)? svn seems kinda outdated.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by michael-vb View Post
          ...I think there must be some confusion here, there are definitely more than four of us! I think reports of our death must have been slightly, should I say, exaggerated? I won't go into too any detail, but as one commenter said, take a look at our svn log to see what we are working on. Hope you will enjoy the results!
          Just want to say thanks for working on VB, and wish you all the best. I hope you'll stay open source (mostly at least), and would like to see you start charging some reasonable amount even for home/private users (Maybe only for version with guest additoins or similar?). I would definitely be ready to pay something like 20 ? or more, depending on conditions, as long as I pay for open source product. Not exactly happy you work for Oracle (quit, get together and start working on fork : )) m but nobody is perfect...

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          • #65
            Originally posted by phoronix View Post
            Phoronix: Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?
            I've been using VirtualBox for quite a few years, for a variety of purposes, including development, software testing, and to preflight linux distro releases and updates. It's been rock steady for me. I don't know what new features I could conceivably want (actually, I'd wish it would let you install OS X on non-apple hosts, but I guess that's a greedy/short-sighted Apple issue, and not something Oracle can fix on its own).

            IIRC it is being updated regularly, I think there were 3 or 4 point releases in 2014. Perhaps just compatibility updates for new versions of Windows, Linux and what-have-you, whatever, it just works, and it's free.

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            • #66
              I've no idea why the folks are complaining about qemu requiring the CLI when it's got a few good to decent guis.
              Gnome boxes works fine but if you want more knobs go with virt-manager. You can enable vNC or spice, monitor load, take snapshots, etc.
              If you have an iommu-enabled system you can pass through your GPU for excellent 3d performance.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by dschaefer View Post
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't VirtualBox already a fork of qemu? I wonder if it makes sense to bring some of the great things about VirtualBox, like it's 3D support over to it. There's also the Android emulator out there, another fork of qemu, which also has some support for 3D.

                I would just think focusing the OSS community on qemu, which already has a lot of it, would be the right thing to do. And I wonder why it hasn't already.
                I'm interested in this as well.

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                • #68
                  I'll just end repeating what has been already said here... VBox "just works" (at least for me, a Linux user), it's great software, and AFAIK, there aren't many features left (what about comparing it with VMware products?), bugs are usually fixed if you report them and their support is good. I think one may find minor bugs from time to time, but that's in every software, depending on your use. And AFAIK, VBox in Linux works much better than in Windows.

                  I've used both qemu and VBox, and find both good at what they do.

                  You [email protected] keep attacking some software as if everyone hated it, things aren't black or white. You do a good job informing Linux and/or F/L/OSS users, but there is no need for this kind of clickbait, IMO... although of course it attracts visitors, so it's understandable.

                  @michael-vb: thanks for you

                  Regarding nested VMs: have you tried disabling hardware acceleration in the nested VMs?

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                    You can run a VM inside a VM? Last time I tried something similar that experiment failed miserably.
                    Sorry, that's not what I meant. I'm running KVM on a server at home. I connect to the server to manage/use the VMs with virt-manager. However, I couldn't find an easy way of running virt-manager on Windows. So when I have to do it from Windows I run VirtualBox, so I can run Linux where virt-manager feels at home. It's not a big deal - I could run dedicated VNC or Spice client on Windows. But I don't like to tinker with the VMs' setup with virsh - I use virt-manager to create and manage the VMs. It also has an integrated VNC/Spice viewer so I can easily get acces to the VM console.

                    As for Nested Virtualization - I think Xen and KVM support it. I don't know how stable or performant it is. Apparently, Haswell has some new feature which can reduce the overhead for Nested Virtualization. So you might want to make sure you have a Haswell-based CPU.

                    Cheers

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by kobblestown View Post
                      Sorry, that's not what I meant. I'm running KVM on a server at home. I connect to the server to manage/use the VMs with virt-manager. However, I couldn't find an easy way of running virt-manager on Windows. So when I have to do it from Windows I run VirtualBox, so I can run Linux where virt-manager feels at home. It's not a big deal - I could run dedicated VNC or Spice client on Windows. But I don't like to tinker with the VMs' setup with virsh - I use virt-manager to create and manage the VMs. It also has an integrated VNC/Spice viewer so I can easily get acces to the VM console.

                      As for Nested Virtualization - I think Xen and KVM support it. I don't know how stable or performant it is. Apparently, Haswell has some new feature which can reduce the overhead for Nested Virtualization. So you might want to make sure you have a Haswell-based CPU.

                      Cheers
                      Alright, thanks for the info. I'm really gonna have to give virt-manager a serious try. Seems like it's made a lot of progress since the last time a played with it. A few people on this thread seem to like it.

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