Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

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Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby Technologov » 17. May 2010, 09:59

Hi All !

There are several products (and projects) on the market, that are based on VirtualBox.

Those are:
1. OpenLina - (commercial, dead) an average between API virtual machine "Java-concept" and hardware virtualization
2. VMlite - (commercial) an average between application virtualization and hardware virtualization
3. MokaFive - (commercial) a centralized way to deploy virtual machines (???)
4. Oracle VDI - (commercial) a centralized way to manage several VirtualBox hosts.
5. Abiquo - (commercial) a cloud management solution that supports multiple hypervisors, including VirtualBox
6. C12G OpenNebula - (commercial) a cloud management solution that supports multiple hypervisors, including VirtualBox
7. UnifiedSessionsManager - (commercial) a cloud management solution that supports multiple hypervisors, including VirtualBox
8. GNS3 - (community) a graphical network simulator, that supports multiple hypervisors, including VirtualBox (co-dev by Technologov)
9. cuckoobox - (community) dynamic malware analysis system based on vbox python API.
10. jclouds - [UNSTABLE] (community) jclouds is an open source library (in Java) to manage virtual machines and clouds.
11. phpvirtualbox - (community) Web GUI to manage single VirtualBox server host.
12. Vagrant - (community) Automated Deployment of Web environments
13. Pallet (community) infrastructure management #pallet
14. Jenkins VirtualBox plugin - (community) enables you to build a project in a VM node. (uses vboxweb)
15. Paragon P2V, aka "Paragon Virtualization Manager" (commercial) enables P2V across several hypervisors, including VirtualBox.

Terms:
Community = community-run project, without single major commercial vendor. (single vendor cannot sponsor >50% of development)
Commercial = single vendor sponsors >50% of development.

Here is the place to discuss them.

What are your experience with any of above ?
Any other product is based on VirtualBox, that I forgot ?

Personally, I would like to see more activity, from those "users"... more patches and QA efforts.

Please share your experience.

-Technologov
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby Technologov » 17. May 2010, 10:01

Personally I have tried to use OpenLina.

Their concept is interesting -- it is to provide a standard Linux binary image for software developers, to develop cross-platform software, like Java.
But implementation falls short from promises. At this point I have lost interest in their technology.

They promised full GUI integration -- that is - running guests GTK+ and Qt3/X11 libraries as native widgets on Windows, and this did not happen. They wanted to write a mechanism for those GUI libraries to forward calls to Windows, and to render those natively.
They provide a couple of demo applications, but all are either web-based, or command-line, not GUI, so I have zero interest in those.

OpenLina has very slow progress. I am unhappy about it. (as of late year 2010 they only support Fedora 8/9, while Fedora 13/14 do exist.)
OpenLina team does not contribute back at all to VirtualBox.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby Technologov » 17. May 2010, 10:06

I also have used VMlite Workstation.

This one looks like a clone of VirtualBox, GUI-wise, plus few extra features, such as host-menu integration, and color-borders, like in VMware, and automated wizard for preparing Windows XP images.

Unfortunately, the product contains more bugs, than VirtualBox does, and is only available for Windows hosts.

VMlite team contributed back few patches, but I expect more.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby HubTou » 18. May 2010, 00:26

Hi Technologov !

Technologov wrote:There are several products on the market, that are based on VirtualBox.
What are your experience with any of above ?
Any other product is based on VirtualBox, that I forgot ?


I didn't knew any of those you mentioned.

Here are the opensource tools (rather than products) that I know of:

    AbiCloud http://www.abicloud.org/display/Community/Home a cloud computing platform manager that allows you to easily deploy a private cloud infrastructure. One of the key features is the Web rich interface for managing the infrastructure. You can deploy a new service just dragging and dropping a virtual machine. It allows you to deploy instances over VirtualBox, VMware, KVM, and Xen. It features user management through ACL, infrastructure and network management, an appliance repository, and the ability to easily design virtual datacenters
    Aloofix http://sourceforge.net/projects/aloofix/ a build kit for creating a minimalist Linux distribution optimized for running in a virtual machine. Aloofix is conceptually similar to the Ubuntu JeOS (Just enough OS), but much more aggressive when it comes to the term "just enough". The build environment consists of a collection of Makefiles, scripts, and configuration files capable of creating a bootable ISO image. This ISO image contains a small set of scripts and utility programs for installing Aloofix on a primary hard drive in a VM environment. The build environment provides the raw materials for creating and provisioning a set of guest instances for VirtualBox, VMWare, and Qemu
    CloneVDI http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22422 Many Windows users dislike the fact that you currently have to use the Command Prompt to clone VDI files. Also, questions often arise related to VDI files such as "how do I increase the maximum size of a VDI?" or "how can I make my dynamic VDI file small again?". As a recent vacation project I decided to try to write a nice simple tool that provided a good answer to all of these questions
    libvirt http://libvirt.org/ A toolkit to interact with the virtualization capabilities of recent versions of Linux (and other OSes). A long term stable C API. A set of bindings for common languages. A CIM provider for the DMTF virtualization schema. A QMF agent for the AMQP/QPid messaging system. libvirt supports: The VirtualBox hypervisor
    VBoxTool http://vboxtool.sourceforge.net/ Provides effective control of virtual machines of VirtualBox icon-external-link.png (virtualization solution) on a Linux headless server
    vboxweb - VirtualBox Web Console http://code.google.com/p/vboxweb/ an open source project implementing an AJAX version of the popular VirtualBox user interface. As a modern web interface, it allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances

And here are some of our own (all available through http://www.projet-hev.org/fr/telechargement/composants.html or http://sourceforge.net/projects/hev/):

    Projet HeV an open source solution for building “Virtual Private Clouds” with servers that may be indifferently located either within the user organization or dedicated servers offered by many hosting providers. Systems and applications deployed on these servers can be moved at will and without any modification between different infrastructure providers
    Configurateur FreeBSD the tool used for building nodes of the virtual cloud, based upon a stripped down optimized version of FreeBSD, complete with VirtualBox OSE installed (Aloofix seems to be quite similar)
    VBoxHost the tool used to manage both the virtual cloud nodes and their virtual machines (VBoxTool seems to be quite similar)

We also have some yet unreleased components:

    Generateur de socles HeV the tool used to automatically build raw disk images needed to install nodes of the virtual cloud from parameters collected on a web page (uses VBoxHost and Configurateur FreeBSD with VirtualBox keyboardputscancode feature)
    unamed management framework tools for monitoring, backuping and providing centralized management of our virtual cloud infrastructure

And we (and others) are thinking about a GUI to provide integrated centralized management of virtual cloud infrastructures.

Well, it's still a work in progress (that we mostly do on our free time), lacking documentation at this time (especially for our english readers!), but it works for us...

Technologov wrote:Personally, I would like to see more activity, from those "users"... more patches and QA efforts.
Please share your experience.


For our own part, we mostly do this through the FreeBSD mailing lists and our project forums because we use the unofficial FreeBSD port of the VirtuaBox OSE version.

The one experience that i had of sharing a patch on the VirtualBox forums (http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28215) has been rather surprising. It felt like a "patience exercise" for both sides :-)

Anyway, the intent was really to share and not to be disrespectful of the VirtualBox developers. Obviously i wouldn't have spent so much time on all this if i hadn't thought VirtualBox is a wonderful product.

Best regards,

Hubert
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby Technologov » 20. Jul 2010, 17:40

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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby crash0veride » 21. Jul 2010, 00:54

VBoxRemote (dead)
Last edited by crash0veride on 21. Nov 2013, 00:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby NeBlackCat » 27. Dec 2010, 14:14

Has anyone found a thin Linux "virtualbox hypervisor" distro yet? A minimalist distro (ideally with a livecd) for doing nothing more than running VB VMs?

The topic comes up quite regularly on here, and some have occasionally announced they've done/are doing one, but I search the web every few months when I remember, and still haven't found one.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby sej7278 » 28. Dec 2010, 19:23

NeBlackCat wrote:Has anyone found a thin Linux "virtualbox hypervisor" distro yet? A minimalist distro (ideally with a livecd) for doing nothing more than running VB VMs?

The topic comes up quite regularly on here, and some have occasionally announced they've done/are doing one, but I search the web every few months when I remember, and still haven't found one.


probably as its not needed, just install a headless version of any distro that's supported, a livecd is going to be no good as you need to compile kernel modules etc.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby abcuser » 29. Dec 2010, 09:00

NeBlackCat, as sej7278 has written search for "headless" versions of some Linux distribution. Be aware that "headless" can similar names like: bare-bones, minimal etc.

I have installed Ubuntu Minimal (Hardy) few years ago and I am still running it with VirtualBox v3.2.x in headless mode.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Insta ... /MinimalCD
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby NeBlackCat » 29. Dec 2010, 20:42

@sej7278

Thanks, but that was the whole point - finding a livecd (or flash stick) that has VB all compiled in and ready to go, with a minimal memory footprint. I also didn't want to be restricted to headless - one use would be to have (say) a boot flash stick that I can shove into any computer, boot from it, and have a Windows VM appear on the screen.

I guess it's not hard to do if you have Linux skills.

@abcuser

Cheers, I'll have a look at that.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby sej7278 » 30. Dec 2010, 00:15

NeBlackCat wrote:Thanks, but that was the whole point - finding a livecd (or flash stick) that has VB all compiled in and ready to go, with a minimal memory footprint. I also didn't want to be restricted to headless - one use would be to have (say) a boot flash stick that I can shove into any computer, boot from it, and have a Windows VM appear on the screen.


well its not going to be very minimised if you want a gui too! you could try making a linux-from-scratch with the vbox modules compiled if you had the skillz, but then it wouldn't be maintainable - upgrade kernel or vbox and you'd need a new disk image.

a minimal (albeit with a gui) distro is your best bet, then just have a script to start the vm's. you could just use remote desktop to connect to the guests, and not have x11/qt4 installed.

even vmware esxi is not bare metal, its a kind of redhat underneath, same as sun xvm server was going to be xen on top of opensolaris, same as anything from redhat/citrix/oracle/novell based on kvm/xen.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby arny » 22. Jan 2011, 00:02

Just to summarize, is there any VBox based bare metal (or "bare metal") hypervisor system similar to VMWare ESX that runs on any hardware? Let's say like Xen, but able to run even without virtualisation extensions (or paravirtualization)?
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby abcuser » 22. Jan 2011, 19:25

arny, VirtualBox requires host operating system. It does not run on "bare metal" like ESX (If I am not mistaken ESX is also using some kind of Linux to run as host, but this Linux is not accessible form "outer" world).
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby Martin » 24. Jan 2011, 13:03

ESX runs really bare metal (no Linux of any kind as host), it just uses a Linux boot loader (grub) to load the vmkernel.
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Re: Discussion about products, based on VirtualBox

Postby arny » 24. Jan 2011, 21:49

abcuser wrote:arny, VirtualBox requires host operating system. It does not run on "bare metal" like ESX (If I am not mistaken ESX is also using some kind of Linux to run as host, but this Linux is not accessible form "outer" world).


Uhm, that's exactly why I asked. Like Martin said, ESX boots a tiny kernel which then again loads the hypervisor. I noted it just as an example, just because ESX like all VMWare products is capable to run using software virtualization only. Another example which is more probable to create is like Xen (and I believe xVM was supposed to be Xen based?) However, Xen has no software virtualization engine, so I was hoping someone has been working on something similar VBox based. IIRC some work has been done for Linux KVM to use QEMU engine...
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