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"new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 29. Nov 2018, 02:12
by Technologov
Host: VBox 6.0.0-BETA2 + Win7 x64.
Guest: Windows XP + GA 6.0.0-BETA2.

"new file manager" GUI is unable to find any filesystems on the guest, even after installing latest GA.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 29. Nov 2018, 17:16
by Whiskeyjack
Did you try clicking the "Session" toolbar button to initiate a guest control session? Please note that this is a new feature and may not deliver the best user experience yet. But I think just going thru the toolbar buttons to see what they do (a bit experimentation) takes less time to create a forum post.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 20:02
by Technologov
Nope I didn't. I expect things to "just work". No sessions. Auto-session.
Anyway, with manual session start it works, which is good news. Just very non-friendly. Most Windows users don't have any user passwords to begin with, so I'm not sure if such "session" model can even work for most Windows users.

Moreover, even better would be to map guest's disk to host's letter. (reverse shared folders)

This will allow me to use any and all file managers, rather than VirtualBox specific one.
Something like Windows Explorer and Norton Commander, that is.

The GUI should either do auto-session by itself, or require the user to start a session, rather than show "grayed out" panel, which is really poor UX as it stands now. Guest Additions control the guest at kernel level anyway.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 21:25
by socratis
Technologov wrote:I expect things to "just work"
Apple is going to sue you for copyright infringement ;)

Technologov wrote:No sessions. Auto-session.
Auto-sessions? With which user name? Your local one? No way that's doable, neither does it make too much sense. To open a session you need an account on the guest. That's neither necessarily your local one, nor the only username in the guest.

Technologov wrote:Most Windows users don't have any user passwords to begin with, so I'm not sure if such "session" model can even work for most Windows users.
You know that VirtualBox runs on several OSes and it's not Windows-centric, right?

Technologov wrote:even better would be to map guest's disk to host's letter
Letter? On a Ubuntu host? Or OSX host? Or Solaris? Again I think you're thinking too Windows-centric.

Technologov wrote:or require the user to start a session
+1. Yes, but not necessarily "require". It could ask "Do you want to open a new session?".

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 21:31
by Technologov
Auto-sessions? With which user name? Your local one? No way that's doable, neither does it make too much sense. To open a session you need an account on the guest. That's neither necessarily your local one, nor the only username in the guest.

Auto-session with "root" or "Administrator" user name, giving full access to guest's disk drive. Passwordless.

even better would be to map guest's disk to host's letter

Letter? On a Ubuntu host? Or OSX host? Or Solaris? Again I think you're thinking too Windows-centric.

Map to letter or mount to folder, like /mnt/VM01_Disk_XYZ/

+1. Yes, but not necessarily "require". It could ask "Do you want to open a new session?".

Require, because else things don't work. I just see "gray panel", that's useless.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 21:53
by socratis
Technologov wrote:Auto-session with "root" or "Administrator" user name, giving full access to guest's disk drive. Passwordless.
You're joking right? This honestly can't be a serious proposal. You know that this is a security hole of major proportions just thinking about it. :roll:

But more importantly, how on earth do you expect VirtualBox to gain access to an independent computer, which is what a VM is. Magic? What would that say about the OS running in the VM and about its security, when Joe Schmoe can gain root access. Come on...

Technologov wrote:Map to letter or mount to folder, like /mnt/VM01_Disk_XYZ/
Many users especially on *nix systems can't mount anything.

Technologov wrote:Require, because else things don't work. I just see "gray panel", that's useless.
To you maybe. To others a beauty. I want my FTP client for example to ask me if I want to use a session, but not mandate it.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 22:05
by Technologov
You're joking right? This honestly can't be a serious proposal. You know that this is a security hole of major proportions just thinking about it. :roll:

VirtualBox already controls the host's kernel and all guests running on top. So security wise nothing changes.
host's kernel has access to host's RAM, all guest's RAM, host's disk and all guest's disk anyway. --- especially with something like VMtools / GA. Something like "vboxdrv" has complete access to all data.
In other words, it is _impossible_ to protect a VM from host's kernel or CPU anyhow.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 22:17
by socratis
Technologov wrote:VirtualBox already controls the host's kernel
I'm sorry, but no, you have it backwards. VirtualBox has installed some kernel drivers (4 to be exact). That doesn't mean "control the kernel", the kernel modules ask the kernel for permission to do anything.

Technologov wrote:and all guests running on top
VirtualBox doesn't control the guests either. VirtualBox provides the virtual hardware, nothing to do with what software is running in the guest.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 22:22
by Technologov
That doesn't mean "control the kernel", the kernel modules ask the kernel for permission to do anything.


Look, I don't want to argue, but it's not true. Once a kernel module (like vboxdrv) is installed & active, is doesn't ask ANY permissions. It asks for permissions only BEFORE installed.
Once active it has complete control over the machine. This is true for all kernel modules, even your mouse driver. Ha-ha. :)
This is true for all host OSes: Linux, Solaris, Windows and Mac.

The current way of asking for "user permissions" and "password" is no more secure than asking for a plain-text password with Telnet protocol back in the 1980's. So-called "security-through-obscurity".

=====
Anyway: back to the topic:

I suggest to (at least) auto-open the "Session dialog" once user starts the "new file manager".

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 22:57
by Whiskeyjack
There will be no auto session in the file manager. Anyone who is too lazy to type in username and password will have to find some other way to do guest-host and guest-guest file operations.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 22:59
by Technologov
There will be no auto session in the file manager.

Okay, then I suggest to (at least) auto-open the "Session dialog" once user starts the "new file manager".

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 23:04
by Whiskeyjack
The file manager dialog remembers the visible panels as you close it. So if you open up the session panel and dont close it again it will be there next time you fire up the dialog.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 23:09
by Technologov
First-time user experience is a poor one:
User gets only the gray panel, as shown in screenshot, and ZERO hint about the need to start a session. A user typically expects an auto-session, or a pop-up dialog to start new session, not just "gray screen" and nothing.

Re: "new file manager" GUI - unable to find XP guest

PostPosted: 1. Dec 2018, 23:17
by Whiskeyjack
Yeah. You have a valid point. I think starting the file manager with the session panel visible (I mean the first time) might help a new user. I will do that.