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Old 08-28-2012, 02:23 PM
"James B. Byrne"
 
Default KVM as a desktop

I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
as my primary workstation.

However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
console of the kvm host system?


--
*** E-Mail is NOT a SECURE channel ***
James B. Byrne mailto:ByrneJB@Harte-Lyne.ca
Harte & Lyne Limited http://www.harte-lyne.ca
9 Brockley Drive vox: +1 905 561 1241
Hamilton, Ontario fax: +1 905 561 0757
Canada L8E 3C3

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Old 08-28-2012, 03:06 PM
Cal Webster
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On Tue, 2012-08-28 at 10:23 -0400, James B. Byrne wrote:
> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
> as my primary workstation.
>
> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
> console of the kvm host system?

CentOS 6 Manuals are not yet available but the upstream docs are here:

https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/docs/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/

You probably want to start here:
(watch for line-wrap)

https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6/html/Virtualization_Host_Configuration_and_Guest_Instal lation_Guide/index.html

To open a graphical console on your virtual desktop from the KVM host:
(you'll probably do this when you create your VM anyway)
================================================== =======
[Applications]->[System Tools]->[Virtual Machine Manager]

Authenticate dialog opens

Password for root: [your_root_password]

Button: [Authenticate]

VM Manager window opens
First connection is highlighted (default is localhost (QEMU))
Virtual machines under connection are displayed

Double-click desired VM

Native console of VM opens

>From here you can login, get info, pause, stop, start, go full-screen,
etc.
================================================== =======

KVM uses VNC to connect to the guest machines' consoles and by default
will automatically assign the next available VNC port, beginning with
5900. I would highly recommend manually configuring your first guest's
display (Display VNC) with VNC port 5901 and let subsequent VM's get
assigned automatically. Otherwise, there will be a conflict with
"tigervnc-server-module" if you later wish to connect remotely to the
physical server (KVM host). If auto-configured the first VM will get
port 5900 which the Xorg VNC module expects to be reserved for the
(physical) host's console port. The port on which the Xorg module
listens cannot be changed easily.

./Cal

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Old 08-28-2012, 03:12 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 9:23 AM, James B. Byrne <byrnejb@harte-lyne.ca> wrote:
> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
> as my primary workstation.
>
> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
> console of the kvm host system?

I like to use freenx to host the desktop and the NX client to display
it. That should work regardless of whether the desktop is a VM or not
and regardless of the OS or location of the display - and it wouldn't
surprise me if it performs better than whatever the built-in KVM
mechanism uses. Even if you normally work locally, you may find it
handy to be able to pick up the display from elsewhere with everything
still running and have good performance.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:28 PM
Chris Beattie
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On 8/28/2012 11:12 AM, Les Mikesell wrote:
> I like to use freenx to host the desktop and the NX client to display
> it. That should work regardless of whether the desktop is a VM or not
> and regardless of the OS or location of the display - and it wouldn't
> surprise me if it performs better than whatever the built-in KVM
> mechanism uses. Even if you normally work locally, you may find it
> handy to be able to pick up the display from elsewhere with everything
> still running and have good performance.

Seconded. I use freenx, too. For me, it provides a better experience
than VNC, Radmin, RDP, PCoIP (even on a zero client device), and
whatever VMware uses when you open a console in vSphere Client. That
goes for speed and smoothness of display updates and even just copying
and pasting text into the remote machine.


--
-Chris

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Old 08-28-2012, 03:37 PM
Akemi Yagi
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 9:23 AM, James B. Byrne <byrnejb@harte-lyne.ca> wrote:
>> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
>> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
>> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
>> as my primary workstation.
>>
>> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
>> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
>> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
>> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
>> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
>> console of the kvm host system?
>
> I like to use freenx to host the desktop and the NX client to display
> it. That should work regardless of whether the desktop is a VM or not
> and regardless of the OS or location of the display - and it wouldn't
> surprise me if it performs better than whatever the built-in KVM
> mechanism uses. Even if you normally work locally, you may find it
> handy to be able to pick up the display from elsewhere with everything
> still running and have good performance.

The wiki is here:

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/FreeNX

Also look into spice:

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Spice-libvirt

Akemi
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:12 PM
"James B. Byrne"
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On Tue, August 28, 2012 11:37, Akemi Yagi wrote:

>
> Also look into spice:
>
> http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Spice-libvirt
>

Actually, I posted my question after reading that very page. I did
not want to start down some technically involved path if a simpler
solution was already widely used. I also will take a look at FreeNX
as others have suggested.

Thank you all for the suggestions and references.

--
*** E-Mail is NOT a SECURE channel ***
James B. Byrne mailto:ByrneJB@Harte-Lyne.ca
Harte & Lyne Limited http://www.harte-lyne.ca
9 Brockley Drive vox: +1 905 561 1241
Hamilton, Ontario fax: +1 905 561 0757
Canada L8E 3C3

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Old 08-29-2012, 11:13 AM
 
Default KVM as a desktop

-----Original Message-----
From: centos-bounces@centos.org [mailto:centos-bounces@centos.org] On Behalf Of Les Mikesell
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 5:12 PM
To: CentOS mailing list
Subject: Re: [CentOS] KVM as a desktop

On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 9:23 AM, James B. Byrne <byrnejb@harte-lyne.ca> wrote:
> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
> as my primary workstation.
>
> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
> console of the kvm host system?

I like to use freenx to host the desktop and the NX client to display
it. That should work regardless of whether the desktop is a VM or not
and regardless of the OS or location of the display - and it wouldn't
surprise me if it performs better than whatever the built-in KVM
mechanism uses. Even if you normally work locally, you may find it
handy to be able to pick up the display from elsewhere with everything
still running and have good performance.

-----Original Message-----

Not sure if freeNX is the best way to go.
How about x2go: http://www.x2go.org/
Or thinlink from http://www.cendio.com/

Hw

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:58 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 6:13 AM, <J.Witvliet@mindef.nl> wrote:
> >
>
> Not sure if freeNX is the best way to go.
> How about x2go: http://www.x2go.org/
> Or thinlink from http://www.cendio.com/
>

The free version of NX may be on the way out, but currently freenx has
the advantage of being a 'yum install' that comes up working with the
still available 3.x versions of NX. All you have to do is copy/paste
the unique key that the install will generate from
/etc/nxserver/client.id.dsa.key into the client config window, pick
unix, gnome desktop, and connect. Normally the only thing I touch in
the server config is to adjust DISPLAY_BASE to be unique since I often
run multiple sessions as the 1st and only user on different targets
which would otherwise get the same display number but that won't be
necessary on your first install.

x2go may have more current work and better support for sound, mapped
drives, etc., but I normally just use those facilities from the host
with the display or the native network support from host running the
desktop.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:22 PM
Johnny Hughes
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On 08/28/2012 10:37 AM, Akemi Yagi wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 28, 2012 at 9:23 AM, James B. Byrne <byrnejb@harte-lyne.ca> wrote:
>>> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
>>> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
>>> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the guests
>>> as my primary workstation.
>>>
>>> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
>>> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
>>> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
>>> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
>>> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
>>> console of the kvm host system?
>> I like to use freenx to host the desktop and the NX client to display
>> it. That should work regardless of whether the desktop is a VM or not
>> and regardless of the OS or location of the display - and it wouldn't
>> surprise me if it performs better than whatever the built-in KVM
>> mechanism uses. Even if you normally work locally, you may find it
>> handy to be able to pick up the display from elsewhere with everything
>> still running and have good performance.
> The wiki is here:
>
> http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/FreeNX
>
> Also look into spice:
>
> http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Spice-libvirt

I do several Windows desktops with spice

I think I would use freenx for a linux desktop .. unless sound is
important, then spice would be my choice.

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Old 08-29-2012, 01:42 PM
Nux!
 
Default KVM as a desktop

On 28.08.2012 15:23, James B. Byrne wrote:
> I am nearing the end of a project that moved our disparate services
> and hosts onto kvm virtualized servers. What I am now contemplating
> is setting up my desktop as a virtual host and using one of the
> guests
> as my primary workstation.
>
> However, I am not sure how this would work in practice. I am
> accustomed to working with virtual instances via ssh (a terminal
> window) and with my desktop system in a Gnome window manager. Is
> there a reference somewhere that outlines the mechanics of logging
> into a virtual guest's graphical desktop directly from the physical
> console of the kvm host system?

Hi,

You could use virt-manager/virt-viewer + SPICE, it shows a lot of
promise and it works reasonably well, especially over low latency links,
but ATM you could be better off with using NX or FreeRDP (for Windows)
from within the guest.

--
Sent from the Delta quadrant using Borg technology!

Nux!
www.nux.ro
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