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Thread: VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration

  1. #1
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    VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration

    I have been an avid user of VirtualBox for many years yet have only just started playing around and testing Virtual Machine Manager (QEMU/KVM).

    I am currently creating a new VM inside Virtual Machine Manager for testing and so far is running fine and there are no problems.

    But what I am curious of is, is there any way for Virtual Machine Manager to see the existing VMs I have installed inside VirtualBox?

    I'm seeking some clarification as I'm unsure whether this is even possible and precise information is so difficult to find using search engines (and yes, I have tried).

    Is it a simple case of because they're installed using two different packages that I must continue to use both VirtualBox and Virtual Machine Manager side-by-side?

    Or is there some way to unite them into one GUI?
    Last edited by fragglebliss; August 3rd, 2020 at 06:37 AM. Reason: solved

  2. #2
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    Re: VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration


  3. #3
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    Re: VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration

    While I appreciate the response, the response you did provide had absolutely nothing to do with the questions that I asked. You either misread my post, or never read it at all. Since I am a polite and civil fellow Linux user, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you misunderstood my post.

    So as far as I am concerned, this still remains an open thread and my questions are still unanswered.

  4. #4
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    Re: VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration

    Quote Originally Posted by fragglebliss View Post
    So as far as I am concerned, this still remains an open thread and my questions are still unanswered.
    You'll probably be unhappy with my reply too. Nobody here works for Canonical. Everyone is a volunteer.

    You can reuse the VDI files. libvirt is supposed to be able to hook into virtualbox, but I've never seen that done and never tried it myself.
    A web search found this: https://libvirt.org/drvvbox.html They mention some incompatible licensing between libvirt and virtualbox causing problems. I wouldn't assume that after doing that, then it would be possible to use the VirtualBox GUI again.

    About 20 yrs ago, I moved all my virtualbox VMs over the KVM+qemu and libvirt control. At the time, to get good performance it was necessary to convert from .vdi to .img files which were fully pre-allocated, i.e. not sparse files. If you put the VDI files on fast SSDs, then that doesn't matter these days.

    I don't know any method to convert the virtualbox VM configuration to a format that works for KVM+qemu other than to manually configure them. That has worked a number of times for me.

    I only use virt-manager to setup VMs, never to access them unless I must have a console. There are much more efficient ways to access VMs than the hokey VNC/Spice interface provided. IMHO.

    The link provided by Dennis N says most of that in the comments - at least to my reading. Moving existing VDI files over to be used by KVM isn't hard, but KVM is a server hypervisor, not really meant for typical desktop users. If you move the VDI files out of a HOME directory to where libvirt expects to find them ... or add a new "storage pool" for libvirt to manage, then those files can be used directly - assuming the correct virtual hardware is configured in the libvirt setup. But libvirt has many more powerful, faster, storage methods that a vdi supports. I use LVM storage and have the block storage presented as needed to the different VMs. Relatively speaking, vbox is a toy in comparison to all the advanced network and storage and RAM balloon and CPU emulation capabilities libvirt provides with qemu+kvm. Thanks to spice, even the GUI performance is very fast compared to what we had previously, especially if access happens from the same machine where the hypervisor is running. I never do that, but most home kvm users would, I suppose.

    BTW, libvirt has been massively under development the last 10 yrs, so different versions can have extremely different capabilities. The virt-manager GUI that I use on 16.04 is very different from the virt-manager on 20.04. So all questions related to libvirt and virt-manager should clearly state which OS release is being used and which libvirt version. On three different Ubuntu KVM systems:
    Code:
    ii  libvirt0:amd64   1.3.1-1ubuntu10.30 amd64  library for interfacing with different virtualization systems
    or
    ii  libvirt0:amd64   2.2.0-0~16.04~ppa0 amd64  library for interfacing with different virtualization systems
    or
    ii  libvirt0:amd64   6.0.0-0ubuntu8.2 amd64    library for interfacing with different virtualization systems
    And I'm sorry if I misunderstood the question too. Maybe try explaining it differently rather than saying "that's not what I wanted."

  5. #5
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    Re: VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration

    Thank you, your reply was great and actually went a long way to confirm what I had already thought was the case of interoperability. I appreciate your thoughtful reply.

    Except for this opening statement which frankly, I have absolutely no idea why you included because I never mentioned anything to do with Canonical. But anyway, I can ignore this because the rest was great, as I mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    <snip> Nobody here works for Canonical. Everyone is a volunteer.

  6. #6
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    Re: VirtualBox existing VMs and Virtual Machine Manager integration

    I've never used KVM, but can it import VMs exported in the Open Virtualization Format? See File > Export Appliance in the VirtualBox manager.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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