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Thread: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

  1. #11
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    I would add this about accessing host. You only need to manually connect (with IP address) once! The Ubuntu in the VM will offer to 'remember' the connection details. Then, I bookmarked some key folders on the host so I can access them from Gnome's 'Places Menu'. Click there and you automatically connect and open that host location in file manager. This works in Ubuntu MATE also.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    Wow!
    I think my brain is fried; there is so much more to this than I knew, and a huge amount to get my head around.

    One step at a time, and thank you for so much help; much more than I expected to get so quickly.

  3. #13
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg!

    If you won't ever use a remote connection into the VM, say so and lots of stuff becomes completely unrelated. Because that's almost the only way I ever connect into a VM, all that information is crazy important to me.
    Also, if you want to run older OSes, like WinXP or earlier, there are a bunch of HW things that we all use today which have zero support. The MB chipset, NICs, disk controllers. For example, WinXP didn't include Intel PRO/1000 drivers or virtio drivers, so picking those will end in failure. The drivers exist, but we have to hunt them down to use them. I wouldn't expect Intel to leave WinXP support files online today. Would be fun to run OS/2 Warp ... hummmm. Have my CD somewhere here.
    Last edited by TheFu; September 16th, 2020 at 08:27 PM.

  4. #14
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    Just a quick update for all who have given me such useful information.

    I've now been using KVM/qemu for virtualising Linux Mint for just over a week and I'm very impressed. Graphics are better than VBox, with no problems getting the full resolution, and no guest additions to add to get USB or host files sharing; I just ssh connect to the host which I suppose is possible using VBox as well though I have never done so.

    I am now aboiut to try importing a qcow2 file of Windows-10 that I have created by converting a vmdk file extracted from the Windows-10.ova created by exporting the VBox-VM. I will update this after the deed is done and let you know how easy (or difficult) it was.

    Once again, many thanks to all who have helped me so far.

  5. #15
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    I am now aboiut to try importing a qcow2 file of Windows-10 that I have created by converting a vmdk file extracted from the Windows-10.ova created by exporting the VBox-VM. I will update this after the deed is done and let you know how easy (or difficult) it was.
    Windows is VERY picky about hardware changes, especially if the motherboard changes. ova is a virtualbox format. Don't know how well it works with anything else.

    There is a Windows program that will remove all drivers and put the machine into a state that is nearly ready for a fresh install, just with all your programs. I used that about a decade ago to avoid losing 7MC TV recorded file data. sysprep? I think that's the name, but don't quote me.

    Once you have moved to KVM with a Windows VM, make note of the settings in the XML file. Those will be what you have to retain forever, as you move from VM host to VM host the next 30 years. There are specific motherboard models. The libvirt XML files are stored under /etc/libvirt/ somewhere. Don't just go edit those. virsh edit is necessary, if you don't use virt-manager. For migrations, we can dump the XML, then "define" it on a new system or after making any changes we like. But there are names and UUIDs that need to be modified too. KVM with libvirt likes to keep track of UUIDs in a multi-host environment, so as VMs get migrated either manually or using migration techniques with shared storage, the libvirt subsystem doesn't get confused.

    Did you setup a linux bridge or are you using NAT?

  6. #16
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    Just as an aside: I have found that KVM does not handle BSDs or pure Unixes well if they have a GUI. Command-Line only is fine. BSDs with GUIs seemed to work in VBox, but you can't run both VBox and KVM at the same time.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    I am trying the Windows-10 import just as an experiment, not because I need it for anything; I haven't really used Windows properly for 15 years so this is just a "for interest" exercise.

    Watch this space!

  8. #18
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post
    Just as an aside: I have found that KVM does not handle BSDs or pure Unixes well if they have a GUI. Command-Line only is fine. BSDs with GUIs seemed to work in VBox, but you can't run both VBox and KVM at the same time.
    Linuxen have QXL drivers built-in, but there are other display types supported with KVM - Cirrus and VMVGA are the safe, but slower fallbacks which should work with anything. Cirrus is like from 1990, maybe earlier. I vaguely recall a BSD desktop with support for "spice" and QXL, but don't recall which has it.

    Virtual machine hosts need a kernel module which connects into the VT-x or AMD-v kernel extensions, so only one can be run at the same level.

    However, thanks to nested virtualization, it is possible to run KVM on the hardware, then have a VM running Xen and a VM inside it running Vbox. Sorta like "inception". It is fun, but not really useful in production.

    For play environments, there's all sorts of things possible. I've seen people running Xen on the hardware, then using KVM to host LXD and docker containers and having ESXi in another VM, just because they could. Just remember, only 1 hypervisor using hardware VM extensions can be run at the same level.

    Whenever possible, for non-Windows VMs, please choose virtio drivers for storage and networking. It is good to have 45 Gbps connections between VMs and the host, rather than 1 Gbps connections. For Windows VMs, if virtio isn't an automatic option, it is probably best to stick with SATA/SCSI for storage and Intel PRO/1000 since those drivers should always be available from Win7 forward. WinXP has the Intel PRO/1000 drivers, but only as separate downloads, which means in "safe mode", you'll need to have those drivers easily accessible. The same applies to virtio drivers from Redhat for Windows. I decided to use virtio for storage and networking and it was a little better (faster, fewer resources), but the hassle factor when Windows refused to boot for any reason made me wish I hadn't.

    Most popular Linux distros have supported virtio for 10+ yrs.

  9. #19
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    Re: Qemu-KVM virtual machine storage.

    I followed the info at https://dev.to/guinuxbr/convert-ova-to-qcow2-48f2 to convert the ova to qcow2 and I am surprised to find that Windows 10 works very much better using KVM than it does in VBox.

    It runs smoothly and fast with none of the terrible lag that I've seen trying the same thing when importing the same ova into VBox.

    Definitely one up for KVM at the moment.

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