Have a VM accessible for several users

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Mac OS X hosts.

Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby qtip532 » 3. Mar 2009, 08:18

Hi,

I created a .vdi under my Mac user. HOwever I just realised that it would be nicer if all the iMac users access the windows VM.
How do you suggest to setup the .vdi file

Thank you
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Re: Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby tkwm » 3. Mar 2009, 14:15

I'm not sure if this will work, but
- the vdi has to reside under /Users/shared and must have proper usr-privileges, so that it may be used by all users, you can set the path inside the virtual-box properties, before any vm is started
- for every user a vm has to be set up.

Normally a vdi can not be attached to more than one vm at the same time, but I don't know if this is true with different user-accounts.
Try it and please post your results here
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Re: Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby qtip532 » 3. Mar 2009, 20:42

I will try that, but like you said I don't think it will work.

Meanwhile, do you know if a Mac user can act as a "server". this way I could use BVoxheadless feature and connect to the VM of the Mac user where the vdi resides.

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby tkwm » 3. Mar 2009, 22:12

Just tried this and it works, but you have to set up proper rights (write-access) for the vdi-file. But different users will surely not be able to use the same vdi at the same time ...
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Re: Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby qtip532 » 3. Mar 2009, 23:40

But maybe we can take this further....

Is it possible to remote connect to the Windows VM running on my account, from another user account on the same iMac machine?

the perfect example would be.

My son wants to play a window game. he logs-in on the imac, and remote desktop to the WindowsVM running on my admin account. If it is not running, there should be a way of starting the windows VM remotely. He plays and plays and plays and suddendly decides he has enough and leaves the computer without logging-out.

My daughter comes in, switches users, and want to play Barbie on windows. She remote-connects to the windowsVM.
My son's game is still on. she kills it (not my son...the game) and starts Barbie.

Those that make sense?
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Re: Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby tkwm » 4. Mar 2009, 00:47

Does that makes sense?
That Barbie kills Ken? Certainly not. Sorry but I could not resist.

You have to test it by yourself. I have no experience with that remote desktop connection stuff, but from my experience with vnc I would assume that it will be to slow for gaming. And, if this all happens on the same Mac you need a little bit of ram and it may happen that all the running tasks will slow down that mac. Give it a try and post the results, or as we say in german: Versuch macht klug. (Bad translated: Trying gives knowledge.)
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Re: Have a VM accessible for several users

Postby davemusic » 6. Mar 2009, 06:42

According to the manual -if you use IMMUTABLE vdi - then it is shareable concurrently (ie - multi user) . To quote from the manual (approx page 75)
By contrast, immutable images are read-only and can be used from multiple
virtual machines simultaneously. Write accesses to immutable hard disks will be
directed to a special differencing disk image which VirtualBox creates automatically.
However, when you shut down the VM to which the immutable disk is
attached, the changes in the differencing disk will be completely discarded.


In this way, ken and barbie are sharing the image (possibly concurrently) but will never "mess each others carpets". Should you want some "persistent" data - setup a shared folder and any game save data/whatever can be put in that. The shared folder could be either in the user's home folder (private and persistent) or in a common area (public and persistent)

But, I agree with a previous poster that some games don't workwell over RDP. Maybe we have to wait for fedora/redhat to make SPICE (quamranet) available?

Dave
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