In search for alternatives, decided to test drive “gnome boxes“, which is said, to be an easy-going gui for the libvirt qemu virtualization system.

lsb_release -d; # tested on
Description:	Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye)

su - root
apt update
# with MATE Desktop (Gnome2) it's actually only 175MBytes that needs to be downloaded
apt install gnome-boxes
apt show gnome-boxes
Package: gnome-boxes
Version: 3.38.2-1
Priority: optional
Section: gnome
Maintainer: Debian GNOME Maintainers <x>
Installed-Size: 7,140 kB
Depends: genisoimage, libosinfo-bin, libvirt-daemon, tracker (>= 2.0), dconf-gsettings-backend | gsettings-backend, libarchive13 (>= 3.1.2), libc6 (>= 2.7), libcairo2 (>= 1.6.0), libfreerdp2-2 (>= 2.0.0~git20160317.1.75ae3f5+dfsg1), libgdk-pixbuf-2.0-0 (>= 2.25.2) | libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0 (>= 2.25.2), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.52.0), libgtk-3-0 (>= 3.22.20), libgtk-vnc-2.0-0 (>= 0.5.1), libgtksourceview-4-0 (>= 2.91.4), libgudev-1.0-0 (>= 165), libhandy-0.0-0 (>= 0.0.11), libosinfo-1.0-0 (>= 1.4.0~), libpango-1.0-0 (>= 1.14.0), libsecret-1-0 (>= 0.7), libsoup2.4-1 (>= 2.44), libspice-client-glib-2.0-8 (>= 0.35), libspice-client-gtk-3.0-5 (>= 0.32), libtracker-sparql-2.0-0 (>= 0.10.0), libusb-1.0-0 (>= 2:1.0.8), libvirt-glib-1.0-0 (>= 3.0.0), libvte-2.91-0 (>= 0.40.2), libwebkit2gtk-4.0-37 (>= 2.26), libwinpr2-2 (>= 2.0.0~git20160317.1.75ae3f5+dfsg1), libxml2 (>= 2.7.8)
Recommends: qemu-system-x86
Breaks: libspice-server1 (<< 0.12.5-1.1~)
Tag: admin::virtualization, hardware::emulation, implemented-in::python,
 implemented-in::vala, interface::graphical, interface::x11,
 role::program, scope::application, suite::gnome, suite::openstack,
 system::cloud, system::virtual, uitoolkit::gtk, use::simulating,
 use::viewing, x11::application
Download-Size: 1,085 kB
APT-Manual-Installed: yes
APT-Sources: bullseye/main amd64 Packages
Description: Simple GNOME app to access remote or virtual systems

 GNOME Boxes is a desktop client to view or use local virtual machines,

 remote physical machines, or remote virtual machines.

Boxes is intentionally simple and easy to use.

Hardware virtualization is required to use local virtual machines.

as minimalistic as the description is the gui:

indeed nothing against a bit of gui minimalism…

kvm is developed by Redhat…  that’s why it is right there on top… but there is more for “easy” or “instant” install…


would have been nice, if the disk size can be directly entered in numbers as well…

also a checkbox for “thin provisioning” would have been nice

but it definately works

the vm properties tab, might be a bit too minimalistic… when changing vm settings afterwards, the user will have to rely on the user’s xml editing skillz ;-p

this is a nicely done overview screen… showing real time thumbnails of the all vm’s current desktop…

when almost finished installing Debian 11… gnome boxes skips the “where to install grub” screen and reports “debian 11 is ready to use”

but it won’t boot X-D

just in case if the cursor is “stuck” it can be released by hitting Ctrl+Alt

the gui minimalism is a nice try, but gnome-boxes got some quality issues there, not ready for use with Debian, not ready to replace redhat’s kvm’s excellent virtmanager, which works flawless under GNU Linux Debian and has way more settings to modify vms

how to uninstall gnome-boxes

apt --purge remove gnome-boxes
apt autoremove

# not sure why gnome boxes needs
dpkg -l|grep tracker
ii  tracker                               2.3.6-2                          amd64        metadata database, indexer and search tool
ii  tracker-extract                       2.3.5-2.1                        amd64        metadata database, indexer and search tool - metadata extractors
ii  tracker-miner-fs                      2.3.5-2.1                        amd64        metadata database, indexer and search tool - filesystem indexer

running a full blown desktop container?

this user demonstrates… it is possible… even under win!

the good thing about docker:

  • it’s lightweight
  • saving on disk space as it re-uses the host’s files.
    • e.g. if the host is Debian and the container is Debian, the container will be very small in size
    • if container is RedHat, it will be larger in size, because more files are different

imho not sure if things changed, but what was a downside of docker vs virtualization, that docker messes a lot with (iptables) firewall ruleset.

virtualization + containers?

containers inside vms!

So docker would make sense not directly on a host, but inside a virtual machine, where the admin can control the host’s firewall completely and docker can mess up the firewall of the virtualmachine 🙂

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