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About Dav3

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  1. Hello, I've been struggling with how to configure Unraid to work how I need it to. Thanks to members answering my questions in the past. I've never come up with a solution that looked like it would work, but I think I might have now and am looking for feedback and advice on how to make it a reality. Problem: I work on confidential IP and I don't trust OS-resident security solutions and can't use a more advanced external firewall for various reasons like needing to be mobile at times. I think I need a self-contained (single workstation-based) solution based on virtualization where security (basically firewall) is handled on an external VM. Currently I use (used for over a decade) Vmware Workstation where there's a 'clean' Windows host with quasi-advanced firewall monitoring & rules (WindowsFirewallControl is an app that helps a lot) and I access protected IP by running guest VM containers configured with a combination of limited or disabled internet access and encryption. This has worked well enough but the issue with this is Workstation doesn't provide GPU-passthru and recent versions of the CAD apps I use pretty much require modern GPU capabilities and have prevented me from upgrading. I'm stuck using dated 2014 CAD & design apps which has become too limiting. At least this has allowed me to work within the corporate network rules often imposed on me, but I'm looking for something better. I've experimented with Unraid, but the RDP-based approaches to high-speed graphics haven't seemed to work well for me in the past. I'm currently running an 8700K w/64GB RAM + GTX1080, with only one monitor as my workstation. Intel graphics & VT-d are available, and I've gotten my monitor's KVM switch working to access the iGPU & GTX, but it's too unreliable to use (apparently BIOS primary monitor selection issues). The core problem I'm having with Unraid seems to be that there doesn't seem to be any workable KVM-switch hardware equivalent in software. Proposed solution: (disclaimer, I'm not an unraid or Linux expert, just a Windows guy. Sorry.) Set up Unraid to auto-boot a primary VM which is assigned to the GTX1080 GPU & monitor, and another headless background VM (Linux or Windows based, shouldn't matter) that acts as a support layer and provides routing/firewall and other services to the primary VM. So I should get near-metal performance and functionality on the primary VM and could access the host & support-VM, where high-performance graphics isn't as important, via RDP or web interfaces. (right?) Would this work? I'm a bit stuck on how I'd configure the thing, including routing the network from a virtual NIC on VM1 thru to VM2, etc. Since I'm not an advanced user, this has been my sticking point. I can't afford to invest a lot of hours in dead-ends like in the past so I'm hoping that by reaching out to the Unraid community I might be able to leverage you guy's expertise and get feedback on whether this idea is wack and if not, perhaps some pointers on how to set it up. A potential issue is I'd like my Windows Server 2012R2 'Server Essentials' on my external server solution to backup the whole workstation if possible. Thanks for reading. Feedback & suggestions welcome... @SpaceInvaderOne?
  2. Ok, I'm going to look into a solution based on RDP and will take a look at NoMachine this weekend. It sounds like it's worth a try. Thanks for the recommendation. At the risk of going on a minor rant, my issues with VMWare Workstation have to do with primarily two things: 1. It only supports 'emulation pass-through' graphics in the VMs that support up to the DX11 level API. I.e. No real GPU shader support, which is becoming increasingly important in a modern computing environment. Since v2015, my CAD software (primarily Autodesk Inventor) requires DX12 or it reverts to software graphics, which is unacceptable for my needs. So I've been stuck on v2014 since then. [I'm hearing rumors that Workstation v16 may support some sort of quasi-GPU-pass-through that might support DX12, but they're only rumors AFAIK at this point. Similar rumors circulated prior to v15 & v14 so I'm not holding by breath.] 2. This isn't talked about much but VMWare found some serious bugs in their driver implementation in Workstation that could (and did) lead to some pretty bad data corruption issues. Their solution was in following versions (and patches to older versions) to wrap their IO drivers in a mutex (single thread lock) that solved the corruption issue but absolutely kills heavy IO performance by forcing one IO transaction to complete at a time and forcing all other activity to wait before starting another. And the way they implemented that wait was the worst possible way - by forcing it to be synchronous by just putting the VM CPU into a wait state until the current IO operation completes. So nowadays, when I do something intensive (even copy large files or complex FEA runs, which I'm doing a lot of these days) it basically makes other VMs (thus the whole machine since I keep the host pretty barren) basically unusable. Some other related issues. When you consider that VMWare treats Workstation like a backwater product - they're all about the cloud now - I'm not holding out a lot of hope they'll fix the product anytime soon. On the other hand (?), they have virtualized the IOMMU in recent releases, that's a big step towards virtualizing the GPU in smarter ways than simply locking it to a single GPU. Another issue is that Nvidia is locking their consumer-level cards from API's that would enable GPU sharing. So who knows how it will play out? FWIW there are other rumors that Nvidia might forced to open up and allow their graphics cards to to this 'datacenter level' stuff (by AMD of course). And maybe Vmware might get it's act together and finally properly support GPU hardware in Workstation. All I know is that when doing heavy FEA, running the app in a VM is actually far worse than running it directly on the host. It entirely locks up my primary machine for hours at a time. Thus I'm casting around for better solutions. If you read this far, thanks for reading. Apologies if that turned into a rant. -Dave
  3. Hi, UNRAID Noob here, hope you dont mind the probably ignorant question: [Background: Currently I'm stuck on VmWare Workstation but it's just not cutting it. It seems to just get worse with every release. I need help dumping Workstation and switching to UNRAID.] I've tried several times to switch to UNRAID but always run into the problem where it appears difficult / impossible to run several VMs at the same time without dedicating a keyboard & monitor to each VM. But running multiple keyboards & monitors just isn't practical for me. I looked at Evdev but that seems to only address the USB keyboard issue. I did successfully get the KVM switch built into my monitor working by connecting a 2nd cable to the motherboard graphics port, and although that works it only allowed a 2nd VM to run at the same time, no more. There was also some hokey weirdness with the BIOS randomly swapping the boot graphics device I never fully pinned down ant that was the eventual show-stopper. Am I missing something here? I have the feeling I must be, isn't this a really common problem? I think I understand the solution to VNC/RDP into other 'headless' GPU-accelerated VMs from a primary VM, but I expect performance to suck even if both are running on the same machine. Is this wrong? I admit I haven't fully explored this option yet. I've been waiting & watching UNRAID, hoping a new release brings a solution, but so far I'm not seeing it. 'Tldr' detail: My primary use is heavy-duty CAD work, and I need high-performance 'DX12' level GPU-accelerated graphics in at least one VM. I'd like to run another VM to provide 'host' background services (routing, etc) to other running VMs, and minimally one other VM (general purpose) and ideally a 3rd (VPN isolated) VM. These other VMs don't need a dedicated GPU. Can someone recommend an UNRAID configuration that might work for me?
  4. Hey @SquidI just wanted to say thanks for helping out. I've resolved several of the above issues. Most of the solutions were either user- or setup-specific and probably not worth writing up since they were rather convoluted. Anyway, thanks for the help and merry Xmas.
  5. Hey I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. After trying every permutation of a solution I could think of and in desperation I tried your solution and it works beautifully.
  6. Hi! I'm a new user to Unraid. I've run into a few problems and hope someone can help me out. Apologies in advance for my newb-ness and these may be answered questions - I've tried half-heartedly searching for answers on this forum but haven't come up with what I need to get my server going. My basic setup: 8700K on an ASUS Z370E Gaming motherboard with 64GB RAM and a GTX-1080 video card. Virtualization features enabled in BIOS (UEFI, latest version). Installed UNRAID 6.6.6 onto a USB drive (obviously). I've configured a 4TB Seagate HDD as a storage device (sorry, don't recall the actual model & unraid terminology at the moment) and a 1TB 840 EVO SSD as a cache drive. Background: I've been following the instructional videos posted by @SpaceInvaderOne to set up my server and run into problems. I've precleared and setup the basic server and installed the recommended plugins as per @SpaceInvaderOnerecommendations. Hey by the way @SpaceInvaderOne thanks for making your videos, they're great! Ok, I've run into basically three issues, listed here in increasing priority: 1. Initial LAN performance: This may be more of a symptom and isn't a deal-killer but here it is. Upon exporting the I ISOS share and copying a Windows ISO file into it, I noticed really bad performance. Like 5MB/sec. On the exact same hardware (client, server & network) I usually get at least 50MB/sec when transferring big monolithic files like ISOs in Windows. Everything LAN & HDD related is pretty much default settings. Is there something I'm doing wrong? I was expecting better performance, even though I don't have a real RAID storage subsystem setup yet. 2. Boot order: This may be an unfixable BIOS issue but I'd like to boot UNRAID whenever the USB Compact Flash drive is inserted. I changed the boot order to make the USB drive first and that works until I remove it and boot Windows (on an NVME drive). When I re-insert the USB UNRAID drive and reboot the BIOS boots Windows instead of UNRAID off the USB drive. It forces me into sitting there and hitting F8 to get back into UNRAID. Is there a way to force the BIOS to permanently prefer booting off the USB drive whenever it's inserted? Below are the deal-killer issues for me===>>> 3a. VM Setup Part-1: When setting up a new Windows 10 VM, it goes great until I try to boot the VM. I hit a key to boot the install media but the VM ends up at a UEFI BIOS shell> prompt instead of booting the ISO. The ISO is the original Windows 1809 bits from Microsoft and I've used the ISO to install Windows (bare metal) before so I think the bits are good. There is no error message, but a list of enumerated devices and the prompt. What am I doing wrong here? A possibly related issue is I had to manually start the VNC session to the desktop myself. 3b. VM Setup Part-2: Trying to work around the issue, I set the graphics device to the GTX1080 and the HDD to the NVME drive that has Windows already installed on it. Booting this results in an "INACCESSABLE_BOOT_DISK" blue-screen. Although I followed instructions to create/fix/copy/use the VGA BIOS for the video card and that appears to work great I might have messed up and followed @SpaceInvaderOne 's instructions on setting up an NVME drive that applied to an older version of UNRAID but not to 6.6.6. However, I don't recall what I edited (I think it was the raw XML) and can't seem to find the place in his many videos where he gave instructions on this so I can't figure out how to reverse the edit. 3c. VM Setup Part-3: (Ok, I'm blatantly cheating on my problem-count here) I can't seem to stop a running VM. When I hit STOP in the drop-down menu for a VM, it's icon changes to a circling reddish thingy for a minute, then it's status goes back to green-triangle 'running' status thingy instead of red-square. Again, is it me? Am I doing something wrong here?? So I'm stuck... I think I'm going to really like UNRAID if I can just get past these newb issues and get things running. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! -Dav3 And hey, by the way, thanks you guys for putting in the hard work to make this magic software accessible to us mere mortals. Hopefully you'll help the world (me included) break their addiction to Windows/etc and lead us to a better, more OPEN place.
  7. Hello, I'm a software developer who has been using Vmware Workstation for many years, mostly for containing install-bloat & to deploy / test software. Windows is the host and usually the guest OS. I often have several VMs running at a time. This works OK but more and more I'm running up against limitations of the type-1 hypervisor - mostly lack of level-5 GPU (shader) support in the VM guests. I'm interested in switching to a type-2 VM like unraid but can't seem to figure out how it would work. How would I run more than one OS at a time without having to resort to RDP from one guest to another? I'd like to use UnRaid to get full hardware support in the guests with bare-metal performance while also sharing devices or at least hot swapping for hardware that probably don't support concurrency like the GPU. My system is an Z370-E/8700K with IGP enabled and a 1080GTX video card so I have two video-outs available. Could I hook up a KVM switch (the other kind of KVM) to the motherboard (IGP) graphics port and the 1080 and use that to switch between two running VMs? Hmm, how would I connect the keyboard? I can't really seem to get my head around solutions other than having multiple montiors & keyboards on my desk. Are there any other ways to swap between running VMs without a KVM switch? Ideally there would be some sort of hotkey to cycle between running VMs (full screen) and when one is selected it would grab the devices assigned to it. This is roughly what I have working now using vmware workstation. Thanks, I'm looking forward to trying UnRaid out once I get my head around these basics. --Dave Apologies in advance if this is an answered question - I haven't spent a lot of time but can's seem to find a direct answer.