Gnome Boxes

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wove
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Gnome Boxes

Post by wove »

Gnome Boxes is virtualization software. I believe it is built on QEMU and works like a stream line version of Virtual Box. Configuration is very easy and straight forward. You do assign a memory limit, but as far as assigning cores go, it just automatically uses whatever it can get its hand on. It will use an local iso to install an OS, but it will also download and install a huge array of OSes direct from the internet and configure them automatically.

It also has remote desktop built in and if setup you can enable a remote session via a click. Virtual Box certainly is more configurable, but if you just want to simply take a look at an OS to see what it is about, it is very slick and easy to use. It is very handy to simply start up a live image and take a look at what it is all about. It seems to favor Linux distros, although it does run the BSDs and I have Haiku running in it.

I enjoy giving OSes a look to see how different ones approach UI and workflow. I have found for this purpose it is hard to beat software.
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crosscourt
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Re: Gnome Boxes

Post by crosscourt »

Ive used virtual sessions but still tend to just use live media as its quick, easy and allows me to also demo distros to friends and charity clients.
I typically test with live media, usually dvds, then do a test install on hardware to see how it goes. This gives me the ability to be sure its suitable for me and friends/clients. I make copies of some distros and distribute them pretty freely trying to interest others or offer alternatives to Windows.
For long term testing of a number of distros software really is a big help, particularly with distros that are a bit more unique with mixed dev results.
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tlmiller
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Re: Gnome Boxes

Post by tlmiller »

I've used it before once after reading a review and wanting to check it out. I personally lIKE the customization options (as I like to set my virtual machines to EFI boot) of virt-manager, so I tended to not care for it. But it is easy, and if there was a way to set it to use EFI boot (is there now), it was nice for the simplicity of using it.
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crosscourt
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Re: Gnome Boxes

Post by crosscourt »

Ill have to give it a look and see how it goes.
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wove
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Re: Gnome Boxes

Post by wove »

"tlmiller" wrote: if there was a way to set it to use EFI boot (is there now),
As far as I know there is no way to set EFI boot. The Boxes home site notes that it aimed at a regular desktop user. It sees its main purpose is to allow a user to easily check out a new distro, check out software and distros that are in beta, and to look at adding new software/UIs to try out changes they might wish to make in their work flow.

That puts it right up my alley, it is fast, easy to use. You can create an virtual machine by simply pointing to an iso download and come back when it has the virt machine up and with the new image.
wove
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Re: Gnome Boxes

Post by wove »

I did some checking on UEFI boot is Boxes it is suppose to be built in for version 3.36-2 and later. I am a bit confuse whether it is installed after that version or not, but OVMF will need to be installed for it to work.
<https://github.com/tianocore/tianocore. ... /wiki/OVMF>

Gnome Boxes when running Linux virtual machines can use splice additions <https://www.spice-space.org/download.html> which I gather serve the same function as VB additions. The download link is also provided from within Gnome Boxes.

When you create a new Box and it asks for an image, you can point it to a .vdi and it will automatically convert it to the format used by Gnome Boxes. It works well, but if the .vdi contains virtual box additions those additions can create conflict and should be removed from the Gnome Box image which is typically stored at ~/.local/share/gnome-boxes/

I have been using Haiku, FreeDos, and OS/2 and have a good time. Haiku and FreeDos run pretty well; OS/2 is much more problematic.
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