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NAStyBox

Toss KVM, and move to a VirtualBox solution

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When it comes to Windows as a guest OS, from what I've been reading, using KVM is an exercise in creating mental anguish. Having recently discovered myself to be a victim of a KVM/libvirt upgrade within the product, I move that KVM gets tossed, and a supported plugin/Docker for VirtualBox be the solution instead. I know you can't include it with the product or else Oracle will freak out, but like it or not it's just a better solution. Even better a means for users to install VB on top of Unraid would be great too. That way we can stay on whatever release for that piece as we see fit. All Unraid needs to do is publish a support statement on it. In other words "Maximum Virtual Box version supported is 5.1.1" or something.  

The reasons being...

1. It's stable. I have yet to have a serious problem with VirtualBox code. 
2. You can import into it. The process to import into KVM is cumbersome and the results are hit or miss. Mostly miss.

3. It's ubiquitous. Everyone knows how to use it so the usability questions should be minimal. Even if they don't if Unraid doesn't alter the functionality all the documentation is already out there from Oracle. 

 

Really. How many more threads on KVM problems have to be written before it gets scrapped? Sorry if I sound annoyed. I am, lol. Blowing 20 hours or so chasing a problem I didn't create has that effect on me. Either way, it's still a valid suggestion given the issues that plague KVM. 

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I am not sure what mental anguish you have had but I have had very little problems with KVM/libvirt.  I think they used a VirtualBox plugin before going over to libvirt.  Most of my issues I have had are either self inflicted or are issues with Unraid overwriting XML settings.

 

How well does VirtualBox do passthrough of hardware like video cards and usb controllers? I currently have 2 daily driver systems running on my Unraid box with video cards, nvme drives and usb ports passed through.  The only issues I have had is odd benchmarks with CPUz.  Other than that they both run great. You can't tell you are on a VM. 

 

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2 hours ago, TType85 said:

I am not sure what mental anguish you have had but I have had very little problems with KVM/libvirt.  I think they used a VirtualBox plugin before going over to libvirt.  Most of my issues I have had are either self inflicted or are issues with Unraid overwriting XML settings.

 

How well does VirtualBox do passthrough of hardware like video cards and usb controllers? I currently have 2 daily driver systems running on my Unraid box with video cards, nvme drives and usb ports passed through.  The only issues I have had is odd benchmarks with CPUz.  Other than that they both run great. You can't tell you are on a VM. 

 

Great. I'm sure it's a wonderful toy for you. 

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Have you ever tried passthrough a USB device to VirtualBox or even a physical hard disk? @NAStyBox Good luck with that! It's possible, i know but it's not a one click solution that it sounds like. For the user who only needs a VM to test some software, checking different OS'es to see how they look and feel, VB is great. Importing prebuild VMs, great. But if it comes to passthrough real hardware like PCIE devices, USB or network controllers for close to bare metal performance you have to choose another product.

 

VB is a type 2 Hypervisor with it's limitations of not been able to directly access and use bare metal hardware. On the other hand you have the choise of Hyper-V, Xen and VMware vSphere as a type 1 Hypervisor been able to directly access bare metal hardware and get the best performance out of it. KVM is more like a mix of both types. You can have it installed on different host systems and can use the hostsystem at the same time for other stuff like for Docker or as a NAS + you gain the advantage of beeing able to passthrough your hardware to a VM. For every usecase their is a product. I can tell you something, using a Windows OS to host a VB environment for production can work, as long as you don't update your host OS. With every Win10 update in the past, stuff broke. Starting from display drivers stopped working, wifi or ethernet getting instable, software started to become instable and randomly crashing or older software refused to work at all. And recently with the 1809 update a couple people reported that their documents folder are empty after that patch with no way to recover the data. To judge UnRaid for updating their system and breaking your Windows Media Center VM so it begins to stutter streaming recorded media isn't fair.

 

As i first stumbled across unRaid i searched for a HV that is OpenSource in the first place and wich is easy to configure and where i get the most out of my hardware. I'am not that big of a Linux guy so the easy to handle gui for managing it is great for me. Try to set up the same on Arch or Debian if you're not really know what you're doin you're lost. I have no problem to pay Limetech for the product, because they do a amazing job to bring KVM to a bigger audience. All in all it's everyones own choice which system they prefer. If you don't like the virtualisation part of UnRaid why have you choosen it than? You had 2x30 days to test it 😂 and NOOOO, KVM don't get's tossed out of UnRaid, not as long their is a better solution and VirtualBox clearly is NOT.

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In my experience VirtualBox is not an equivalent to KVM as I have never been successful in doing hardware pass-through with it.   

 

If you do do not want to do hardware pass-through then most people have no problems (or at least easily soluble) problems with KVM.    From what I have seen in the forum a significant proportion of those who want to do virtualisation on Unraid intend to use hardware pass-through so for them VirtualBox would not be good choice.

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For a time during early v6 days we had xen and kvm both. The decision in favor of kvm was for simplicity and better graphics-card passthru support.

 

But nothing stands still, and I'm sure today there are other options.[mention=75426]nastybox[/mention] unRaid is mostly open source, show us how it might work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, NAStyBox said:

Great. I'm sure it's a wonderful toy for you. 

I wouldn't call it a toy. I am using it as a NAS, plex server, home automation server, music server, RDP gateway, downloader, network controller & vm host it also backs up to another unraid box that is my failover for all but the VM's.  Personally I wouldn't use Unraid in a business production environment this way but for home "production" use it's great.

 

Virtualbox is a toy to me, I have never and would not use it in production, I have used ESXi & Hyper-V in production and they shine there. 

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Whilst I accept you might be having issues, that is not a viable solution.

 

I don't think you can judge the suitability of a product or system based on the volume of support threads.

 

Having used KVM and Virtualbox, I propose we keep KVM and discard the suggestion.  Does that cancel out your vote?

 

 

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-1

LimeTech, please do not get ride of KVM unraid functionality by downgrading to VirtualBox. In addition, I do not want any item owned and controlled by Oracle installed as default as part of unRaid.

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1 hour ago, CHBMB said:

Whilst I accept you might be having issues, that is not a viable solution.

 

I don't think you can judge the suitability of a product or system based on the volume of support threads.

 

Having used KVM and Virtualbox, I propose we keep KVM and discard the suggestion.  Does that cancel out your vote?

 

 

Well you're a developer, right? I mean when I was an administrator at least 50% of my job was keeping you folks from breaking things. So your opinion is your own. Just don't ask me to have any respect for it. 

...and oh yes you can. Crap code generates support threads. If you're seeing too many reports of issues, and there are alternatives, you go with the alternatives. That's not only business sense, that's common sense. 

But hey, I just wanted to see what kind of a response I'd get. I posted the issue in the forum and let it sit about a week. No solutions or even suggestions to do with the product of course. Because the typical mentality of a developer is "Well, the only thing that changed was the code, so clearly it's something you must have done."

...and now I know what to do with this piece of crap. Migrate off of it. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm not a professional developer, and not in any way affiliated with LimeTech. 

 

Maybe nobody suggested anything because nobody had any ideas, but lets be realistic here, just because you have a problem doesn't mean a whole system is flawed. 

 

Now you're entitled to throw your toys out your pram and behave like a spoiled child, but don't expect the rest of us to pander to it, in fact, I shall do the same I do with my 18 month old daughter, and just ignore it.

 

Good day to you sir.

Edited by CHBMB
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One irony I find though, is you clearly have disdain for developers, but if you had their abilities you could develop a plugin for VirtualBox yourself.  Somewhat serendipitous I feel. :D

 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/6/2018 at 2:35 PM, NAStyBox said:

Well you're a developer, right? I mean when I was an administrator at least 50% of my job was keeping you folks from breaking things. So your opinion is your own. Just don't ask me to have any respect for it. 

...and oh yes you can. Crap code generates support threads. If you're seeing too many reports of issues, and there are alternatives, you go with the alternatives. That's not only business sense, that's common sense. 

But hey, I just wanted to see what kind of a response I'd get. I posted the issue in the forum and let it sit about a week. No solutions or even suggestions to do with the product of course. Because the typical mentality of a developer is "Well, the only thing that changed was the code, so clearly it's something you must have done."

...and now I know what to do with this piece of crap. Migrate off of it. 

@NAStyBox I want to believe this pun really is not intended to offend anybody and I sense the frustration in your post where it might be a bit on an angry side.

 

Let's take a step back here and look at things from a rational perspective. Issues do occasionally come up when an unforeseen configuration conflict rises and was outside of testing scope. No need to throw your IT hat and tell us that all developers write crappy code. It's not always true. If you are familiar with SDLC (I suppose you should, as an IT guy who doesn't just push stuff to production blindly and does his preliminary testing), there are requirements for the development and then there is a team that does the necessary testing to ensure code is stable and properly covers the end-to-end of the original requirements/functionality. Now if you decide to use that solution outside of the tested scenarios and the requirements - you might be prone to failure.

 

I guess what I am trying to say, it is not fair to compare one solution to another (KVM vs VirtualBox) based on a single issue that has occurred and judge it based on one user's poor experience. Mind you your valued input won't be disregarded, we just have to be cognizant of the over all picture here. I am not a developer so save your breath. Have I done IT jobs? Plenty. Have I supported OSs (Windows, *NIX) and other corporate products that had ton of bugs in them? I have. 

 

So rather than continue bashing on developers why don't we figure out how we as a community can provide sufficient information for the issue to be resolved.

 

Complaining is easy. Blaming somebody is even easier. But reporting the issue and making sure it is followed through - that's the challenge. It takes perseverance and dedication to actually make sure things are done right.

Edited by ezhik
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-1

 

Partly because I work for a company where our main product (a VERY successful product) has its virtualisation platform based on KVM.  At least, parts of it are.

 

Side note ... I’m really surprised at the disdain for developers shown in the posts above.  Migrating off a product because of that seems pretty misguided, considering every software product has a developer behind it somewhere.  Windows 10 build 1809 started deleting files earlier this week ... I doubt anyone will migrate off WIndows because of it.  And I’m a full-time Linux user, too.  :)

 

I have my own issues with unRAID (like everyone, I suspect) but it’s still by far the best NAS solution I’ve used for my home requirements.

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On 10/6/2018 at 1:35 PM, NAStyBox said:


...and now I know what to do with this piece of crap. Migrate off of it. 

 

You are absolutely right!  You really should dump that seriously old, unsupported, Windows Media Center.

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LOL, can you produce any proof that KVM is fudamentally flawed and not worth being supported?

 

As I was going through over 150 of the latest unread posts, I counted the VM threads. There was one code 43 VM issue and one newby posting that their browser couldn't connect to a VM. So, 1% of the latest active threads were KVM related. Doesn't really match your claims that KVM is fatally flawed and generating an overabundance of support threads. Sorry, but there is no good technical reason for it to go, and no way in hell would virtualbox be a viable replacement.

 

Good luck in the future, You want to throw tantrums and act like a baby while not wanting to work with anyone towards a solution for your particular usage (of old basically unsupported software) on unRAID, so obviously it's not the solution for you. But just maybe you'll find something else that works flawlessly for you.

 

On a side note. I was having a lot of difficulty with VM's corrupting and not being stable. turns out it was the USB card I was passing through.

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@NAStyBox posts are so stereotypical of the "angry sysadmin" that I'm not completely convinced it isn't a semi-elaborate troll. Thanks for the grins either way! :)

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On 10/6/2018 at 11:35 AM, NAStyBox said:

...and now I know what to do with this piece of crap. Migrate off of it. 

Is this the root issue for you?

 

 

 

If so, we can continue over there because I will be Bilging this topic.

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