A query about Virtual boxes

Nik-Ken-Bah

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Just a quick one.
Been thinking about virtual boxes as I hear so many Linux oriented You-tubers talk about using a virtual machine or box.
Even in one of the PDF's I downloaded about security was talking about it and using it to run the exercises.
So what is the the most reliable one to use for a Linux distro? :(
Do they use your HDD or do they create their own virtual HDD? :confused:
As always lately point me in the direction of documentation to run the bloody thing, which is Appreciated. :)
 


captain-sensible

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@Nik-Ken-Bah i haven't used Virtualization much; in fact I only touched on it since laravel a php framework used homestead, which in turn needed virtualbox.

Certain hardware are used with the PC being the "host" and the running virtual the "guest". I found it took quite a bit of RAM - i'm only on a lightweight laptop.

The most irritating for a conservative like me was the context of controlling the mouse on the virtual vs the running OS guest. i.e when i used it probably not that well either i had control of the mouse on my PC or the virtual environment had it but not both. Once set up its not that bad to use, but for me why bother when you can run several OS easily from the same usb stick using ventoy
 

f33dm3bits

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@Nik-Ken-Bah I don't think you need to read the whole user manual of Virtualbox to get on your way. I think these links should you go on your way without needing to read the user manual and this link.
 

Tolkem

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So what is the the most reliable one to use for a Linux distro?
I've been playing with VMs(virtual machines) for quite some time. I started using VBox back in 2009-10 when I still used windows as my main OS and tried my first distros that way, previously I'd used virtual-pc too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Virtual_PC. Now, in Linux I've found that QEMU does a better job as it allows more control and performance is a bit better, so I'd suggest using that for running Linux guests and VBox, VMware for Windows ones.
Do they use your HDD or do they create their own virtual HDD?
As the name implies, it uses virtualization at the hardware side; CPU, HDD, USB, GPU. It does use host's resources too to achieve that, as you need to assign some portion to them, for example, if you want to run any distro running KDE, host's RAM must be 4GB at least, so you can assign 2GB to it for a better experience, otherwise it might not even run. Note that as any other software install in your pc, it'll only use resources as needed, in the example above, the guest you assigned 2GB will not use it all unless it has to, this is by design so the host don't run out of resources.
To install VBox, first check if it is available from your distro's repos, if it's not, download it from here https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads choose the one for Linux. You will also need to download VBox extension pack from that same page. Creating VMs is quite easy, after installing VBox, launch it and the interface is quite intuitive and straightforward; you'll find everything in the menus. QEMU is a different story, you can use via command-line only, that is, you will create, run and manage your VMs by typing commands in the terminal, or you can install virt-manager, which is a GUI to do the same. Personally, I prefer the command-line mode as it allows more control and it isn't that difficult once you get the basics. To install QEMU, you'll need to install these pkgs: qemu, qemu-system-x86, qemu-block-extra, qemu-utils, libguestfs. This will allow you to create, run and manage VMs via cli, if you want the GUI, then you'll need to install the virt-manager pkg too. Running VMs is a fun and reliable way to learn new things as you don't need to compromise your host to try stuff you're not sure what they might do, or simply if you want to try new software, customizations, themes, icon themes or anything else you can think of, really.
You might want to read these:
In this link you'll find the best documentation I've ever found on using VMs with QEMU as it contains lots of great examples, tips & tricks and best practices.

Here you'll find description and basic usage examples for virt-manager.
Hey, running VMs is one of my preferred hobbies, so if you need some kind of help, don't hesitate to ask. :)
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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Hey, running VMs is one of my preferred hobbies
Thank you for your brief explanation about VM's it cleared a few things up I was unsure of and it is in my repository. by the looks I will only need to download Virt-manager. For use mainly till I am more confident using CLI, a reason I was thinking of VB (not the Aussie brew either:eek:) so my eff ups won't effect my normal software and give me a headache.
Just to clarify something.
When the VB accesses the HDD it accesses the free space on the HDD, correct or incorrect?
Will keep you in mind when I have queries about the VB.
 

Tolkem

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Thank you for your brief explanation about VM's
You're welcome.

When the VB accesses the HDD it accesses the free space on the HDD, correct or incorrect?
Yes, sort of. QEMU uses qcow2(qemu copy-on-write version 2. A version 3 is in the works https://wiki.qemu.org/Features/Qcow3) format for its VMs, though you can use raw and img format too. VBox uses VDI, VMDK, VHD and HDD, and there are two options: fixed-size or dynamically allocated. Fixed-size implies that space assigned to the VDI will be automatically allocated, this means that a 10 GB VDI will use all of it even if the system running in the VM uses only 1 GB. Dynamically allocated means that space assigned to the VDI will be used as needed, this means that a 10 GB VDI will use only what the system running in the VM needs and grows as you add more stuff to it; install new apps, add files and so on, just like a real system does. Here's an example from one of my VMs running Alpine Linux:

As you can see in the img above, VDI size is 10 GB, however, after installing the system only 1.08 GB is currently being used, the rest is available to the VM and the host, but it's not used at the moment, meaning that even the VDI size is 10 GB, it doesn't use that space at once but only what it needs, and the rest is available in the host and the guest to use. I don't have VBox installed at the moment but it's basically the same thing, except for VDI format, of course. Read here for more info:

Will keep you in mind when I have queries about the VB
As I said before, don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions, I'll try to help to the best of my abilities and knowledge. :)
 

KGIII

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If it helps, I use VirtualBox or VMware multiple times every single day (that I'm computing for any length of time). I've never once read the documentation. It's pretty straightforward.
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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@Tolkem
That cleared some of the mud from the water in my thinking. ta. :)
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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It's pretty straightforward.
Mayhap to some but this little black duck who took some time to understand positive and negative feedback in a transistor circuit.:eek: I am use to mechanical feedback 'cause I could see it and it is a bit hard to see what electrons and holes are doing but I understood in the end just a matter of respect to the base and collector.
This is just like that so I need to read and make sure I have fair handle on what is required of me to do to minimise my ability to a right royal cock-up with it. :D:cool:
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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@stan , @f33dm3bits , @captain-sensible , @Tolkem , @KGIII , @wizardfromoz

Thank you all for your help with this query appreciated.
Down loaded vitl-manager using apt-get and installed virtual box straight out of the repository, less than ten minutes all up. Run it up just to have a squizz at it and how its GUI looked like then began reading the documentation and for me like reading legal stuff hard to get into as it don't paint pictures with the words ; words paint pictures for me.
 

KGIII

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This is just like that so I need to read and make sure I have fair handle on what is required of me to do to minimise my ability to a right royal cock-up with it.
That's one of the great things about virtual machines. Not only can you do snapshots, you can just wipe the entire thing and start anew without a care in the world.
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

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watch some videos too
Thanks :)that actually helped with clarification of what to do especially with the VB Beginners guide.
It sorta felt like being in trade school lesson as the student not the vocational teacher. (one of the certificates I obtained in my working years)
 
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