Some months ago when I first started seriously considering Gnome 3 for daily use, I experimented with Boxes and installed Fedora 30 as a guest on my Debian 10 host. I was absolutely thrilled with how easy this was, how everything “just worked” and also how fast the virtual machine seemed to be compared to what I was used to running VMs under Virtualbox on Windows.
Because it’s obvious that Boxes is fairly restrictive in the controls it allows, I thought I’d try Virtual Machine Manager as an alternative. On trying to install CentOS 8 Stream using Virtual Machine Manager, I found the screen output disappeared as soon as I tried running the CentOS installer. I tried it on Boxes instead. It worked immediately.
What’s been scary about Boxes, though, is it doesn’t seem to have much for importing and exporting VMs, which for me is crucial, so that I can move a machine with all it’s saved work from one host to another easily.
It seems it’s possible to convert Virtualbox images from the command line and import them into Qemu, which is the backend of both Boxes and Virtual Machine Manager, but I thought I’d try installing Virtualbox instead so that I could import previously saved VMs directly.
So… I installed Virtualbox and Extension Pack on Debian 10 host, imported a Ubuntu (18.10, I think) image, found it ran perfectly, though disappointingly very slowly. After the VM had finished updating, I shut it down, tweaked settings in Virtualbox, re-ran and it’s running with very good performance now! So, I thought I’d install a previously saved image of Fedora 31, which I did. That also works fine, performance is okay but still seems slower than expected to me, given how fast it had run for me under Boxes, also I had to mess around a fair bit with it to get the Guest Additions to compile for full-screen to be enabled, which I eventually succeeded with.
A problem I am having with Virtualbox (6.0.14), is that it seems to keep losing mouse capture. So the VM is running but it’s not seeing mouse movements when mouse is clearly in range of the VM window… Obviously this is a deal-breaker and I have no idea why this is happening. It was happening under Virtualbox 6 with Debian Sid guest under Windows 10 host too, so I’m thinking it’s Virtualbox
Now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t go back to Qemu, learning it from low-level upwards, to better understand VMs under Virtual Machine Manager and Boxes, in a way that my knowledge is transferable to servers too, eventually.
I’d appreciate advice from seasoned users of Virtualbox who may know how to get around the mouse not being captured problem (on Windows and Debian+Gnome+Wayland) described above.
I’d appreciate advice from seasoned users of Virtual Machine Manager who may know how to get around the problem of why the screen suddenly disappeared when trying to install CentOS 8 Stream.
I’d appreciate advice from seasoned users of Qemu on appropriate documentation / books that I could use to understand it better, because it seems to have more scope in terms of architectures it emulates and (I think) that knowledge could then be extended to use with servers too