Virtual Machines
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Offline CwF

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Virtual Machines
« on: September 01, 2016, 11:36:53 AM »
How do we do it?
I'd like a two part, with what base OS you use also.
I'm using now Xubuntu with Qemu/kvm.

Offline Spatry

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 11:48:51 AM »
Love Qemu/KVM as my newest favorite but still have virtualbox and vmware installed.
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Offline Kalthrix

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 11:17:56 PM »
Personally, I use Virtualbox. I have tried some of the open source alternatives such as QEMU and haven't had any luck. VMWare is nice, but also costs. However, if I were to have to pit Virtualbox vs VMWare (considering both didn't cost), I would choose VMWare any day.

Offline TheFlagCourier

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2016, 01:29:37 AM »
Virtual Box. I don't need anything fancy like GPU pass-through, so it does the job just fine. I keep it running on both my laptop (Ubuntu 16.04), and my desktop (hot-swap between Windows and Arch). Usually, I just use it to test a distribution's aesthetics, or to test a package's reliability.
I would like to learn how to use Qemu/KVM, but at the same time I would rather just not be bothered. Same issue I have with learning Vim or Emacs. I have no patience. :-\

Offline CwF

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2016, 06:13:07 PM »
Well a few votes are in and Oracle is winning. If a few a you have connected the dots, I came to Linux specifically for this power and by now may be considered knowledgeable in Qemu/KVM, but trust me I' still feel ignorant in the basics.. So many simple things trip me up. As I go, the lure of Linux is strong and my windows use is diminishing.
So I have some interesting notes:
In the last update (for me), Qemu/KVM has gained the power to use the host mouse on a pass-through video equipped VM. Awsome, But I was flailing for awhile thinking it was broke. I had a Logitech unifyer USB passed to the VM and it took a day to figure out it will no longer pass. Xubuntu host holds on to it. I assume from the updated drivers that give goodies like battery charge and the like. BUT the mouse goes to the second screen!?! Cool, but I was used to two keyboards and trackball where I could just use them for each OS without switching host windows or locking'unlocking etc. I'm not sure I like the lose of that while a single input set is convenient once I was used to it. However I found a bug, the QXL video driver is incompatible with vga passthrough. It's one or the other. With an active passthrough additional video (2+ screens), there is no mouse. With either disabled, it comes back. For windows the qxl should not even have drivers. Without passthrough integrating virtio for everything works well.
I'm confused about nesting, a newer flag. I assumed it was for second layer Linux's, but Xubuntu came with it on. OK. I an extreme test. With a beefy VM I booted Debian8.5 non-free Live DVD, pointed its synaptic to my local repository and loaded Vitrual Box 5.2. Fired that up and gave up 2 gigs for memory and 6 gigs for a disk, all in memory mind you, and loaded XP. Amazing. It worked well, while being a huge waste of resources, but fun. I have read that KVM's and VB's mouse drivers conflict on the same layer, so...

The system is FULL and the addition of the dual slot 750Ti for the host that must be in slot 6, meant some changes. My LSI u320 fails to initialize in the new slot (YAH, saves time) and works fine within the OS. In a VM, it initializes fine and I can get into its bios for any changes just like a real bios. So, an unintentional upgrade in function. And yes, it will boot a VM.

In a similar vain, I've found that a passed USB card gains the ability to boot a vm also. But be careful, many cards are not fully compliant with pcie specs concerning powerstates and hotplugging. On VM shutdown they can fault, they will take down the host upon VM restart. Namely, no Fresco's. Use a "dmesg | grep -i vfio" or similar to check state and if you need to reboot the host.

I now have WINE on the host to play maybe. I'm still swimming in there....
While Qemu/KVM seems the quirky step-child of the group it's becoming very capable. I'll be throwing my weight behind it, all 5 lbs.

Offline lcRONOS

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 11:14:47 PM »
Was too late to vote (and wasn't going to re-open it lol) but thought I'd share my 2 cents.  I've used every method listed except for xen, and have found that there is no true "best one."  It depends on what you're virtualizing.  QEMU+KVM generally offers better speeds, but can be a pain to get going, and I've found it to be somewhat unreliable at times.  Virtualbox is probably the easiest of the libre virtualization tools out there to use, but some operating systems just don't work well on it, specifically anything that really makes full use of 3d graphics.  VMware gets me the best performance, but it's proprietary which raises ethical issues for some people, and good luck getting it to work with anything strange like RedoxOS (actually Qemu was the one that did the best job at using systems like that).  Dual booting offers the best performance, but requires the OS support your hardware, and can be a pain (some systems just don't like to co-exist lol).  It's why I use all of them.  OS X in a virtual environment works best in VMware, while Linux actually performs better in Virtualbox (well better in qemu, but it's a pain to get going sometimes lol), and Qemu can run just about everything under the sun since it can emulate other processor types.  At the end of the day though, I'd rather multiboot (hence my ridiculous laptop set up lol).
Laptop: HP Pavilion 15t, quadboot Obarun Linux, macOS 10.13, TrueOS, Windows 10
Desktop: Dell Inspiron 660, dualboot Artix Linux,Windows 1

Offline CwF

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 02:35:57 PM »
I'm still impressed with my now well developed qemu/kvm system using linux guest. Seemless, however things vary sometimes between boots, like vdagent isn't consistent. As mentioned elsewhere I'm now playing with wine and have discovered a wine install of VNC pulls in a real iron XP machine in a way that mimics the seemless way of the Linux VM's. At this point it is remotely possible I will abandon trying to get a XP VM, or wine versions to a satisfactory point. My full pass XP VM is maybe 90%, wine maybe 40%. I suppose I could find a native vnc to hook the XP box, but my wine version works well. While wine works well for some things, it's messy compared to a VM. So, still no single box nirvana...

Offline dmull

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 03:44:44 PM »
I have been messing with Qemu with kvm and a second gpu, keyboard, and mouse. Just need to pass-through the gpu, , keyboard, and mouse into the VM. I have a 100 gig partition on the ssd and 3 - 1 terabyte drives running raid0 that I install my games on. I run windows 10 pro on the VM as well. When I power up my vm, i just switch inputs on my monitor and use a second keyboard and mouse. Works flawless!
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Offline CwF

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Re: Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 05:11:20 PM »
keyboard, and mouse into the VM
You can use the host kbm with accuracy by opening a virt-viewer window and capturing the mouse in the window before switching monitor feeds.
 Remove "Tablet" from the vm config if so configured, it interfers with locking the kb and mouse to the guest.
 Make the window full screen before you click within it, then switch source, and mouse scaling will be 1:1. Have the guest and host resolution the same if possible to keep that 1:1. If the resolutions are different, or DISPLAY AREA difference is present, then the scale will not be 1:1. Factors other than 1:1 are usuable, depending on specifics.
 The left keyboard <Ctrl>+<Alt> releases the lock, so that's what you can't use in the guest. And also most extra key functions (audio) won't transfer to the vm, yet.

Using The Tablet pointer works best with QXL driver for a software driven vm.

On my machine I have a second monitor (4), and I use x2vnc for seemless access across the system with the host kbm. I have had dedicated vm kbm, but rarely use it since I got the "game mode" working. So when I need better mouse tracking I wait for the game to load, mouse over to the host and create a virt-viewer windoow of around the game resolution and then 'click in'. With the mouse locked in all games are now playable.
 Then unlock the window and kill the window on the host and I'm back to vnc mode.

I've learned a little to change my OP, I use a clean Debian with KVM. It rocks...after 2 years of working on it...

Offline cage

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2018, 11:17:03 PM »
I have been using Qemu for three years and love it.  I also use the Virtual Machine Manager for setting up the iso's.  Virtual Machine Manager makes it as simple as Virtualbox.  I have less problems with setting up iso's using Virtual Machine Manager then I do with Virtualbox setup.  I also do not have the problems with Virtualbox video settings.  Some iso's only run in 1024x768 but Qemu allows me to setup the native resolution of my system on every iso I have tested. If you want to try Qemu then get the Virtual Machine Manager to set up your virtual machine.

Offline CwF

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Re: Virtual Machines
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2018, 11:46:58 AM »
Also note spice_vdagent. Install it in your vm's. I wonder why live distro iso's rarely include it. At least most include the QXL driver by now.