Miscellaneous questions

Mr Oca

New Member
Jun 23, 2023
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Hi there !
I have a single desktop computer and I'dl like to use it to host multiple system.
I currently am on Linux (mint), with docker and Jellyfin, website, etc in containers.
My idea would be to install Proxmox with multiple VMs : one with docker, one with Linux, one with Windows, and maybe others later.
I'd like to split the containers from the daily used OS, so I can switch OS, update, etc without stopping or loosing the containers.
BUT since I have only one computer, i'd llike to know if I could acces my VMs from it. Like when I start the computer, I drop on an UI letting me choose wich Linux or Windows VM I'd like to go to, or maybe one of the VM with Linux or Windows start automatically and I'm sent on it at start.

SO !
Questions are :
- Is it something possible ?
- If so, is it a good idea ? Or what would be one ?
- How could I do this ?

I don't know if I made myself very clear, so don't hesitate to ask me for any clarification ^^

Thanks !
 
I think you want the graphical output from that VM on your screen and your keyboard/mouse working in the VM too? No, that is not easily possible and most of the time not worth the hassle. Maybe you should look into desktop virtualization, which does exactly what you want.
 
BUT since I have only one computer, i'd llike to know if I could acces my VMs from it.

Look here: https://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/Developer_Workstations_with_Proxmox_VE_and_X11


From my own experience: I am testing this on a NUC, without hardware pass-through or any other tricks. This is on a 7 years old NUC6I5SYH with 16 GiB Ram and some random SSDs. Please note: this is definetely sub-optimal hardware - just for testing.

PVE is debian, so I installed my choice for a GUI: Wayland + GDM3 + SWAY. After login with a normal local user I can start a browser (Librewolf in my case) and connect to https://localhost:8006, login as root and start any VM I want. This is great and it works as intended :)

For GUI output I am using Spice. I can move the window of a VM to any of my "physical" Desktops and toggle "Fullscreen" via "Shift-F11" in the "Virtual Machine Viewer".

The result is having several VMs with different Linux-Distributions with a GUI. Each VM is reachable via a single key press like "Win-1", "Win-2" and so on. And yes, with this NUC this works in native 4K@60Hz Resolution. I did not test Windows on this NUC, but I expect it to work the very same way.

This is a test-setup; my hardware is lowest-end for this approach and of course the GUI performance is relatively low - but is is ok for "normal work" like reading Emails, text editing and web browsing. But gaming is no-go for sure; actually I didn't try anything as it is out-of-scope.


Problems in my specific setup:
  • performance - as expected for slow hardware
  • my startup-sequence is not automated yet --> too cumbersome for daily use
  • my VMs do work in 4K, but this setting is not sticky. For most of them I need to set the resolution manually after start. (Probably this can be automated with some easy script inside the guest.)
  • Audio not tested - out of scope; Spice should be capable of this
The goal for this test-setup is to check if it could replace my Qubes-OS machine which I primarily use. Qubes uses Xen to isolate "Domains" from each other but it allows to transfer data between these more easily than my PVE approach with Spice. (On the other hand there is no seamless full-screen mode for "Domains" - the usual windows-border is always visible.)

Just an example for a "different" setup... :)
 

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