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Recommendation for *simple* virtualisation on home PC
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Recommendation for *simple* virtualisation on home PC

fixxationfixxation Member

Hi

I'm new to configuring virtualisation software, and I now have a need to run it at home on a small Mini PC I have. I need to run two virtual environments, one will run Ubuntu Server 20.04 and the other will run Ubuntu Desktop 20.04. Being my own PC, I don't really mind if the resources are shared, I just need to keep them separate.

I've read a bit about OpenVZ, KVM, LXC, Proxmox etc - does anyone know which type of virtualisation would be the easiest to configure and maintain? I really just want to get down to business and work in my two virtual environments, and no have to worry too much about the virtualisation platform itself, once it's up and running... so easy is key.

Thanks for the help.

Comments

  • rm_rm_ Member
    edited June 27

    If you need to "work", as in use a keyboard-mouse-monitor-GUI on the Mini PC itself, then none of what you listed sound like the best choices (though KVM is likely to be utilized under the hood at some point).

    One setup that comes to mind, is to install Ubuntu Desktop on the machine itself (directly on hardware), then install VirtualBox on that, and run an Ubuntu Server virtual machine inside.

    Otherwise it sounds a bit puzzling why you need two separate Ubuntu systems, likely what you actually want to do is easily achievable within one single OS for both tasks.

    Thanked by 1fixxation
  • Hey @rm_ - that's a great idea, I had forgotten all about VirtualBox - and that's simple too. I do need the two environments for reporting reasons to Datadog - each OS goes to a separate Datadog account. Thanks for the tip, this is very helpful.

  • niceboyniceboy Member

    I tried once running centos 7 desktop as kvm hypervisor. Runs beautifully with virt-manager to your graphical rescue. try it.

    Thanked by 1fixxation
  • VirtualBox works OK on Linux and Windows - simple, idiot-friendly, even I can use it: :)

    https://www.virtualbox.org/

    Thanked by 1Logano
  • +1 for VirtualBox @bikegremlin - been using it for years, but usually only for development. I was over-complicating things earlier... it'll be perfect for my needs. Ubuntu Desktop on the PC, Ubuntu Server in the VM. B)

  • ralfralf Member

    If you're trying to run a process that should be the same on both, I'd advise you to make two VMs for the exact things you want to test, and so you won't have to worry about anything on your normal machine impacting the results. Typically, I find that my development machine has a load of things installed that I forget about unless I'm starting from scratch. I like to make notes and/or scripts when setting up a system, so that I know I can replicate it if I need another the same or similar later on.

  • risharderisharde Member

    Vouching for VirtualBox, use it on both windows and Linux. My only issue is that to make backups, one must shutdown the vm to do so since copying while a vm is running doesn't work. Wish they had something amazing to do this but it is free software after all.

    Thanked by 1fixxation
  • DPDP Member, Moderator, The Domain Guy

    I've used VirtualBox for many years but then switched to Hyper-V on my not-so-new-now W10 laptop because I was experiencing a weird issue a few years ago with VirtualBox where the application would freeze for a very long time when shutting down VMs.

    Didn't bother to troubleshoot or to find out the cause of that since Hyper-V was just clicks away and it's more than enough for my use case back then, and I'm still using it still, when required.

    Thanked by 1bikegremlin
  • jmaxwelljmaxwell Member

    For me VMware works flawlessly both on Windows and Linux hosts and I prefer it more for windows because certain virtual box drivers kept screwing up causing BSOD.

    Thanked by 2bikegremlin melp57
  • @risharde said:
    Vouching for VirtualBox, use it on both windows and Linux. My only issue is that to make backups, one must shutdown the vm to do so since copying while a vm is running doesn't work. Wish they had something amazing to do this but it is free software after all.

    Run the backup inside the VM. (?!)

  • Proxmox can work as a desktop, in fact I have used it like that many times and still do (in Kimsufi). While it can work on top of Debian, people say it is much harder over Ubuntu, albeit I have never tried as I am not a fan of Ubuntu (other than Studio for completely different needs).
    Even so, with a Debian Desktop and 2 LXD instance of Ubuntu it can work. The advantage is lower overhead and better flexibility at the cost of higher complexity compared to virtual box (vmware player, btw, offers better performance).

    Thanked by 1fixxation
  • vinhaisvinhais Member

    Use Proxmox, it is the most complete and easy to use in this case and has a nice web interface

    If you need something even simpler, install Lubuntu + VirtualBox

    Thanked by 1fixxation
  • DupondtDupondt Member
    edited June 30

    VirtualBox is great. Just wish it'll support ARM hosts soon.

    I haven't used it in a while but I remember really liking VMware Player. It's a lot like VirtualBox.

  • @Dupondt said: VirtualBox is great. Just wish it'll support ARM hosts soon.

    what? i was going to install this on my oracle arm box..
    mind to tell me other option to run vm on arm host?

  • DupondtDupondt Member

    @ElonBezos said: what? i was going to install this on my oracle arm box..

    mind to tell me other option to run vm on arm host?

    I've only experienced this issue on Mac with M1/M2 CPUs, which VirtualBox does not support. On Mac, I use UTM instead (https://mac.getutm.app/). Haven't researched any other options.

    Maybe Parallels?

    Thanked by 1ElonBezos
  • cyagoncyagon Member
    edited June 30

    @fixxation said:
    Hi

    I'm new to configuring virtualisation software, and I now have a need to run it at home on a small Mini PC I have. I need to run two virtual environments, one will run Ubuntu Server 20.04 and the other will run Ubuntu Desktop 20.04. Being my own PC, I don't really mind if the resources are shared, I just need to keep them separate.

    I've read a bit about OpenVZ, KVM, LXC, Proxmox etc - does anyone know which type of virtualisation would be the easiest to configure and maintain? I really just want to get down to business and work in my two virtual environments, and no have to worry too much about the virtualisation platform itself, once it's up and running... so easy is key.

    Thanks for the help.

    If its an own "server", proxmox is the way to go. It will install everything you need and then - as long as your home router uses DHCP - your server and Vserver will be connected to the net like a regular LAN connection.
    For Ubuntu Server i would consider LXC - less overhead and smaller Backups (as long as you don't use docker). Otherwise Ubuntu Desktop with KVM, so you can manage the GUI via Webinterface if you need to.

    Thanked by 1fixxation
  • @Dupondt said:

    @ElonBezos said: what? i was going to install this on my oracle arm box..

    mind to tell me other option to run vm on arm host?

    I've only experienced this issue on Mac with M1/M2 CPUs, which VirtualBox does not support. On Mac, I use UTM instead (https://mac.getutm.app/). Haven't researched any other options.

    Maybe Parallels?

    I believe VMWare ESXI was doing a proof of concept on a Raspberry pi and maybe Microsoft, too?

  • fixxationfixxation Member

    Thanks @cyagon - I do like the sounds of Proxmox, I think it would work well for my needs. Might give it a shot this weekend with a spare SSD. Sounds very handy about the GUI via web-interface - that would save me constantly having to take a keyboard/mouse down to the "server" (Mini PC)

  • melp57melp57 Member

    VMware works perfectly on my Mac -Air. I run Ubuntu server in a VM and it's been up nonstop for several months. I run nextcloud on the sever. I have 2 other Linux distro's I also run as desktops, along with Mac OS. Free version of VMware.

  • sotssots Member

    I use QEMU CLI on my laptop. Just write a script and you can start a VM in seconds.

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