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Re: [vfio-users] Linux-on-Linux desktop


I've got very similar setup on my laptop, one VM with passed in GPU that does X and desktop environment, a lot of containers and other VMs around on the internal network.
I have discrete radeon GPU though, I've not personally tried any other.

Also have a look at QubesOS, that one has idea of AppVMs, where applications are on separate VMs. It's based on Xen though. I wanted to be able to pass in the only GPU though to be able to switch the X VM for a windows one for gaming, so I went the LVM + LXC way instead. The downside there are less premade tools, so you do some scripting yourself.


Adam Hunt wrote:
I'd like to virtualize my desktop so that Linux machine I use day-to-day is running as a VM on a minimally configured Linux host.

The idea is to allow me to run a couple other virtual machines along side my desktop without them getting in each other's way. This way I would be able to do things such as upgrade the kernel on my desktop without disturbing the VM acting as my primary firewall and router[1], or the VM which hosts a number of containers running various personal services.[2]    
While I've read quite a bit about KVM, QEMU, PCI passthrough, and vfio I wanted to make sure that what I'm planning isn't doomed to fail for some reason which I've overlooked. My two primary concerns are that as of now I lack a discrete GPU and that my Ivy Bridge CPU (i5-3570) clearly lacks ACS.

If necessary I suppose could hold this off until I get myself a suitable PCIe GPU, though, I'd prefer not to. I don't use the system for gaming of any sort and while I'd like to have the option of doing some 3D work in the future it's not an immediate concern of mine for this system. The CPU is more of a sticking point, there's little chance of it being upgraded in the foreseeable future and most certainly not to what Intel refers to as a "high end" processor. If you scroll down you'll find a list of the hardware in my machine currently.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on this plan of mine. I have years of experience with Linux but PCI passthrough is new territory for me.



[1] I'm upgrading 
​ to ​
a symmetric gigabit FTTH connection in the near future and I 
​ don't expect
 my OpenWRT wifi router with its puny 560 MHz MIPS processor 
​ will be able​
 to keep up. So, for the time being, 
​ running 
VyOS in a VM my workstation is my best option. 

[2] One of these days I hope to have enough space for proper hardware to run all these things on, until that day, I'm hoping VMs will suffice.

Item Manufacturer Model Notes
CPU Intel i5-3570 4×3.4 GHz, VT-x, VT-d, EPT
Motherboard Intel DQ77MK Q77, vPro, VT-d, dual 1 Gb/s Ethernet
Memory G.Skill 32 GB (4×8 GB) DDR3 1600 MHz
SSD Samsung 850 Pro, 256 GB GPT partitioned with a small FAT boot part and a large Btrfs filesystem
Storage various various 4×3 TB SATA v3.0, operating as single multi device Btrfs filesystem
NIC Intel 82579LM 1 Gb/s, integrated, AMT 8.0 support
NIC Intel 82574L 1 Gb/s, integrated

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