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Old 10-09-2008, 03:51 PM
Joey Boggs
 
Default RFC On importing raw images

David Huff wrote:

Bryan Kearney wrote:
We are starting to look at more interesting use cases around bringing
in existing appliances into virt-manager. Joey has some interesting
questions about driver, but I wanted to bring up an easier one.


Some of public appliances which exist are raw disk images which can
easily be booted, but have no virt-image xml file. The user can of
course manually create the file, but I think it would be nice to have
the tooling help this. I could see one of the following solutions.
Can folks pipe in with comments on these or another approach?



(1) Create an "interactive" mode for virt-image which prompts the user.


Doesn't virt install already have a kindaof an interactive mode for
creating a new image?
I think Bryan's hinting at a way to import just an imagefile and the
interactive portion fills in the blanks about the memory/etc


(2) Modify virt-image to allow for all data normally the xml to be
passed at command line (example, add a --imagefile parameter)

(3)Create a simple pre-processor to achieve 1 or 2 above.


-- bk


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Old 10-09-2008, 04:23 PM
Cole Robinson
 
Default RFC On importing raw images

Bryan Kearney wrote:
> We are starting to look at more interesting use cases around bringing in
> existing appliances into virt-manager. Joey has some interesting
> questions about driver, but I wanted to bring up an easier one.
>
> Some of public appliances which exist are raw disk images which can
> easily be booted, but have no virt-image xml file. The user can of
> course manually create the file, but I think it would be nice to have
> the tooling help this. I could see one of the following solutions. Can
> folks pipe in with comments on these or another approach?
>

> (1) Create an "interactive" mode for virt-image which prompts the user.

Interactive shouldn't be our first goal, if a goal at all. We
should design for the command line options and build a cli
wizard as an afterthought.

> (2) Modify virt-image to allow for all data normally the xml to be
> passed at command line (example, add a --imagefile parameter)
> (3)Create a simple pre-processor to achieve 1 or 2 above.
>

Hmm, the whole problem of taking an existing disk image and
turning into something useful is not handled well by any of
the virt-* tools.

There needs to be an explicit way using one of the tools to
say 'Don't install anything on this, just build an xml file
with these options'. In turn there could be a flag to dump
out libvirt xml or virt-image xml.

The main problem is, where do we do this?

- virt-install: Seems the only option for libvirt xml, if
we want to define and start the guest. But what about just
dumping out the xml? Seems like it may be getting a bit
too ambitious. There are lots of virt-install options that
don't map well to virt-image, though we could just build
the xml and feed it through a libvirt xml -> virt-image
parser in virt-convert.

- virt-image: no go for libvirt xml, but could be expanded
to build image xml, and probably the most consistent place
to do it.

- separate tool, something like virt-import? would duplicate
all the option parsing, but probably the cleanest solution.

I'd have to look at it all a bit more and determine what it
would really require to build up virt-image xml and how the
options would differ from a subset of virt-install options to
make an informed decision.

Thanks,
Cole

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Old 10-09-2008, 07:55 PM
"Daniel P. Berrange"
 
Default RFC On importing raw images

On Thu, Oct 09, 2008 at 12:23:13PM -0400, Cole Robinson wrote:
> Bryan Kearney wrote:
> > We are starting to look at more interesting use cases around bringing in
> > existing appliances into virt-manager. Joey has some interesting
> > questions about driver, but I wanted to bring up an easier one.
> >
> > Some of public appliances which exist are raw disk images which can
> > easily be booted, but have no virt-image xml file. The user can of
> > course manually create the file, but I think it would be nice to have
> > the tooling help this. I could see one of the following solutions. Can
> > folks pipe in with comments on these or another approach?
> >
>
> > (1) Create an "interactive" mode for virt-image which prompts the user.
>
> Interactive shouldn't be our first goal, if a goal at all. We
> should design for the command line options and build a cli
> wizard as an afterthought.
>
> > (2) Modify virt-image to allow for all data normally the xml to be
> > passed at command line (example, add a --imagefile parameter)
> > (3)Create a simple pre-processor to achieve 1 or 2 above.
> >
>
> Hmm, the whole problem of taking an existing disk image and
> turning into something useful is not handled well by any of
> the virt-* tools.
>
> There needs to be an explicit way using one of the tools to
> say 'Don't install anything on this, just build an xml file
> with these options'. In turn there could be a flag to dump
> out libvirt xml or virt-image xml.
>
> The main problem is, where do we do this?

It really isn't all that much different from the live cd case
where there's no installer either - in fact the live cd
installer class in virtinst can basically do 90% of the
neccessary stuff already - just doesn't need to bother with
adding a CDROM device.

> - virt-install: Seems the only option for libvirt xml, if
> we want to define and start the guest. But what about just
> dumping out the xml? Seems like it may be getting a bit
> too ambitious. There are lots of virt-install options that
> don't map well to virt-image, though we could just build
> the xml and feed it through a libvirt xml -> virt-image
> parser in virt-convert.

How about just adding a '--preinstalled' flag, handled in the
same way as --livecd, just causing it to skip install phase
and boot it straight off.

This could work in virt-manager too - in the wizard step where
you select install source. You currently chose network install
source, PXE, or local media. Simply add a fourth 'pre-installed'.
All the rest of the wizard steps still apply, so we'd want to
share all that.

> - virt-image: no go for libvirt xml, but could be expanded
> to build image xml, and probably the most consistent place
> to do it.

Yeah, I don't think its applicable for virt-image. virt-image
is really focused on having all the domain metadata upfront
and not prompting the user for it.

Daniel
--
|: Red Hat, Engineering, London -o- http://people.redhat.com/berrange/ :|
|: http://libvirt.org -o- http://virt-manager.org -o- http://ovirt.org :|
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:10 PM
David Lutterkort
 
Default RFC On importing raw images

On Thu, 2008-10-09 at 20:55 +0100, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> > - virt-image: no go for libvirt xml, but could be expanded
> > to build image xml, and probably the most consistent place
> > to do it.
>
> Yeah, I don't think its applicable for virt-image. virt-image
> is really focused on having all the domain metadata upfront
> and not prompting the user for it.

Wouldn't that be a job for virt-convert ? If the images are so raw that
they have _no_ metadata whatsoever, I am not sure that a tool would be
any better than a doc describing how to craft image.xml.

BTW, virt-image has a --print option which will print the libvirt.xml,
so there's at least a way to do image.xml -> libvirt.xml

David


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