Virtual Machine Manager

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wove
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 4:47 pm

Virtual Machine Manager

Post by wove »

I installed Virtual Machine Manager and I am lost. It was my understanding that Virtual Machine Manager could be used as a compliment to Boxes, but I have been unable to figure out how Boxes and Virtual Machine Manager relate to one another. It seems it is easy enough to create a virtual machine with Virtural Machine manager and it looks like you have good control over the resources allocated to the virtual machine. I do not see anyway to open or edit a virtual machine created with Boxes using the Virtual Machine Manager.

According to Boxes documentation a shared clipboard should be automatically available. I just needs to be turned on and the same is true for sharing folders and access to USB devices. Boxes documentation says these can be turned on by editing the "Properties" of the Virtual machine, but I have never found anything in the Properties that allows me to turn this on.

Specifically I would really like the guest machine to have access to the host's home folder and I would like to setup networking, so that the guest machine is part of the same network as the host. (Right now the guest has an IP starting with 10.x... while the host has a network IP of 192.x....)
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tlmiller
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by tlmiller »

So by default with virt-manager all qcow images for your VM's are stored in /var/lib/libvirt/images. Do you know where your qcows are stored by default in boxes?
With virt-manager, you should be able to get a shared clipboard with a Linux guest by installing the spice-vdagent on the guest (assuming you're using Spice in Qemu). I have tested this on most of my guests and it works fine.
I've never gotten folder sharing to work without actually setting up shares on my host...so that one I'm not sure of. Supposed to work with virtio-fs now, but I haven't tried recently.
wove
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by wove »

Thanks for the information. Sometimes I just really miss the mark. I installed spice-vdagent on the host. My guests at the moment are Haiku and Windows, so I am not sure that will work anyway.

Boxes store qcow images in ~/.local/share/gnome-boxes/images and I created a quick guest with virt-manager and it used the same location. I am pretty sure I need to spend more time digging into documentation before I get it right.

As of now the easiest way to share info is to install NextCloud client on the guest and just trade files through NextCloud and perhaps that is just as easy as anything.
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tlmiller
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by tlmiller »

spice agent is definitely available for Windows, although I'd have to look up how to install it. Haiku I have no idea, although given that they know most people test it in a VM still due to the limited hardware support, I wouldn't be OVERLY surprised if it has it (I actually HAVE the Haiku nightly installer from about a month ago on this machine too, and haven't ever tested it).

So if the virt-manager is looking at the same directory as boxes uses, it should be as simple as File > New Virtual Machine > Import Existing Disk Image and choose the qcow disk image of the VM you want to import. Then choose the hardware specs, and it should work (have tested virt-manager > virt-manager, but since boxes still uses qemu-KVM as it's backend, it should literally be identical).
wove
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by wove »

Thank you for the assistance. It is starting to come together in an understandable manner. I did successfully create a Haiku guest using the Haiku image from Boxes. When I went to create a new virtual machine, virt-manager picked up both the location in /var listing it as "Default" as well as the ~/.local location.
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tlmiller
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by tlmiller »

I tested with several Haiku images, and was unable to install ANYTHING with the Q35 chipset emulated, via EFI or normal BIOS boot. Going to the amazingly archaic i440fx (which doesn't support EFI) chipset, it was able to install. Live it did work on the Q35, and would even boot in EFI mode without issues. But would fail install every single time.

As far as I can tell, Haiku DOES NOT currently support spice vdagent. It does have a vmware-addons package, but not sure if that provides the ability to interface with spice as well. I need to reboot to find out, but waiting for the OS to update.
wove
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by wove »

I created the Haiku guest in Boxes. Using Boxes, Haiku shows up when you select download an ISO. From what I understand, if the option to download the installer appears, it means that someone has created the xml configuration file for that guest. It does run quite well in Boxes and when I used that to create an new machine in virt-manager it did quickly without any issue. And I have found that the process does not make any changes that prevent you from using it in Boxes as well.

The same was not true when I used a Win10 guest created in Boxes to create a guest in virt-manager. However when started from virt-manager it complains that it is not activated and I need to get a new license. However when the same Win10 guest is started from Boxes where it was originally created it is fine. I am not sure what is going on there. I will just go ahead and blame Windows for the matter.

The vdagent makes all the difference in Boxes as far as what can be used. Once I installed vdagent for Windows, I had an automatic clipboard and I could select USB devices, the camera, and bluetooth in the Windows guest. These switches to turn resources on however are not persistent and I need to start the guest first and then go back to properties and turn them on again.

Oh I should have added that the default Haiku created via boxes does use the chipset you mentioned as working. Also as far as I know Haiku does not yet boot from EFI without some serious tweaking.

I really need to quit editing this. There is a package in Haiku Depot called VMware additions and it works just like vdagent, giving you a clipboard, and allowing for the mounting of USB drives and use of the webcam.
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tlmiller
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by tlmiller »

Yeah, under virt-manager the vmware-addons package doesn't work...
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wove
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Re: Virtual Machine Manager

Post by wove »

Ok now that is downright peculiar. The VMWare additions do work under Boxes. You get the same "Not running in VMware", however they are doing their work. You need to go back from the Guest Window to the launcher, right click on the launcher select properties. Under the "Devices" tab you can select items that are part of the host that you want to use in the guest machine. So you can use the camera, usb drives etc, by just turning them on. You can turn on devices from the properties tab unless the guest is up and running. The devices are always off and turning them on is not persistent between boots of the guest vm.

It seems like there should be someway to do that from the virt-manager as well. Since you pointed out the need for the vdagent in the guest, I wonder if I even have need of having the virt-manager installed. Mostly all I do is just poke around to see what some interesting OSes are up to. The one productive thing I wanted was having an external tablet connect to the computer, and the Windows guest with the spice additions installed is doing that fine in Boxes.

I had thought that shared folders would be great, but since both host and guests I have looked at can connect to my NextCloud instance, it convenient to transfer files etc back and forth.
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