Linux, Technical

Easy VM Management on Ubuntu!

I may have just had a revelation.

I inherited a bunch of ProxMox. It is a rather nice, freemium (nagware) front-end to virtualization in Linux. One of my frustrations is that the local NAS is pretty weak, so we mostly run VMs on local disk. That compounds with another frustration where ProxMox doesn’t let you build local RAID on the VM hosts. That is especially sad because it is based on Debian and at least with Ubuntu, building software RAID at boot is really easy. If only I could easily manage my VMs on Ubuntu . . .

Well, turns out, we just shake the box:

On one or more VM hosts, check if your kernel is ready:

sudo apt-get install cpu-checker

Then, install KVM and libvirt: (and give your user access..)

sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin ubuntu-vm-builder bridge-utils
sudo adduser `id -un` libvirtd

Log back in, verify installation:

virsh -c qemu:///system list

And then, on your local Ubuntu workstation: (you are a SysAdmin, right?)

sudo apt-get install virt-manager

Then, upon running virt-manager, you can connect to the remote host(s) via SSH, and, whee! Full console access! So far the only kink I have had to iron is that for guest PXE boot you need to switch Source device to vtap. The system also supports live migration but that looks like it depends on a shared network filesystem. More to explore.

UPDATE: You CAN live migrate between local filesystems!

It will get more interesting to look at how hard it is to migrate VMs from ProxMox to KVM+libvirt.

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Categories: Linux, Technical
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