[colug-432] KVM management

Rick Troth rmt at casita.net
Tue Aug 7 10:21:18 EDT 2012

Greg, et al, --

I don't have an answer to your management tool question (because I too
am looking for answers), but I *love* the stuff Steve describes,
especially sharing the base content.  For v-machines on the same
"hypervisor", you can typically share disk images directly (as an
alternative to NFS).  Obviously they should be R/O in that case.  I
run several Xen guests this way.

I used VMware as far back as 1.0 beta.  Loved it.  Lately, I find
either Xen or KVM as shipped with Fedora or SuSE just too convenient,
so I have not used VMware for more than two years.

Because of prior experience with mainframe VM (now "z/VM"), I am
really spoiled.  As far back as I can remember, mainframe VM accepted
shell-like commands from the guest.  Best I have seen (eg: from
VMware) has been really limited in scope and capability and I am
hoping libvirt will foster this and similar functions.  So ... this is
probably why I am still searching for answers:  I want to script
things from within the guests.  (SSH from guest to host sometimes
works, but has its own requirements and limits.)

The method Steve suggests of using X via SSH tunnel is fabulous.  I
use it all the time, whether the target system is virtual or not.  I
don't use the console desktop (of the virtual systems) even when the
guest OS is Windows.  For Windows, I install VNC server, but you can
probably also use RDP.  (Admin tools on Linux all grok X. Not so for
Windows, duh.)  So ... for Windows, yeah, I use the "console desktop",
but not via virtualization.  But for Linux guests, you can treat them
like headless servers and get full GUI via the network.

-- R; <><

On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM, Steve Roggenkamp <roggenkamps at acm.org> wrote:
> I've been using KVM for my personal VMs for over three years and have
> been generally pleased with it.  I have configured my system to have a
> base system responsible for hosting the VMs, then several VMs to
> perform different tasks.  For instance, I have one VM for browsing the
> general web, one for connecting to my financial institutions, one for
> VPN connections to my work, etc.  The base system has exportable file
> systems that VMs can mount via NFS.
> My first system I configured like this was based (and still is) on
> Debian 5.  I purchased a new laptop this Spring, an HP Pavilion dv6
> having an AMD A6 with 8 GB RAM and use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for it.  My
> primary reason for using Ubuntu rather than Centos is that it uses a
> much newer kernel.
> Thnigs work pretty well with my setup.  I use Spice rather than VNC as
> it seems faster, and I could never get audio to work with VNC.  There
> seems to be a significant difference in video performance between
> native and virtual systems, but I'm still looking into using the
> network ability of X Windows to mitigate to some extent.  What I mean
> by this is I use ssh invoked from the base so that it's displayed on
> the native display rather than on the Spiced console.  So, to run
> firefox on a VM, I use the following command on my base system:
>     ssh -X webuser at  firefox
> The other thing that seems to help is to use a display size that maps
> 1:1 to the native canvas to eliminate scaling.  I'm still
> experimenting.
> Hope this gives you some ideas.
> Steve
> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM, Neal Dias <roman at ensecure.org> wrote:
>> May want to look into oVirt.
>> Actively developed; is, or was, an active upstream project for Red
>> Hat's Enterprise Virtualization, which means they have a vested
>> interest in seeing the project continue and mature.
>> Regarding VNC, SPICE is an alternative you may want to explore.
>> http://spice-space.org
>> Disclaimer; I don't run these myself, nor really looked at them after
>> I left RHT.
>> -nd
>> On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM, Greg Sidelinger <gate at ilive4code.net> wrote:
>>> I'm finally replacing my home server which is an old P4 and this means
>>> I get to rethink how I have things setup.  On my laptop I spin up
>>> virtual machines to play with new things all the time.  I would like
>>> to move a lot of these guests to the new home server now that it
>>> supports virtual cpu extensions but have not decided how to configure
>>> things.  I was thinking about using vmware's "free" esx stuff but
>>> since it's management interface is a window's only program that is
>>> out.  So I started playing with KVM over the weekend and I can't say
>>> I'm in love but I bet most of it's a learning curve as I've been using
>>> VMWare products for over 10 years on the desktop and server.
>>> Does anyone have any recommendations for a KVM management suit that
>>> allows me to still use the libvirt command line tools if needed.  I'm
>>> looking for something that is either web centric or provides native
>>> clients for  Linux and OSX.  I've looked at
>>> http://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Management_Tools but would like a few
>>> suggestions of which ones are "good".  So far I like cloudstack but
>>> have yet to try and set it up.
>>> And is VNC really the preferred way to view a GUI from a KVM guest?
>>> I've never really cared for VNC because it always seems "slow" to me
>>> so I was hoping to see something that worked a bit better in the KVM
>>> world to access my guests which require a GUI.
>>> ------------------------------------------
>>> Sent from mobile device.... Please ingore my many typos.
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-- R;   <><
'::1, sweet ::1'

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